Silurian Hypothesis

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Prudentia
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Silurian Hypothesis

Post by Prudentia » Fri May 11, 2018 6:57 pm

https://www.cambridge.org/core/services ... record.pdf

Really interesting paper that raises some interesting ideas, including this thread.

If there was a previous sapient species on Earth, how would we know? The chances of detecting physical evidence after 4 million years is basically zilch. So the authors set about identifying likely marks that we will leave behind in the geological layers. They also utilized examples from past events (ocean anoxia, temperature increases, etc) that would resemble what we might leave behind. They gave dates for these events and these dates generated a question that I thought we might have some fun with.

If we pretend that there were previous sapient species at these times (379, 359, 305, 252, 183, 132, 120, 93, 56, and 40 million years), what might they look like? What do you think their beliefs and values have been? What do you think they would have been closest related to? What do you think could have happened to them?

And remember, the environment shapes our beliefs. Also, nukes may have left a widespread marker that doesn't seem to exist (so far?) so I doubt nuclear genocide.

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Re: Silurian Hypothesis

Post by naturegirl1999 » Sat May 12, 2018 12:25 am

Interesting, Maybe there might have been sapient amphibian creatures 305 million years ago to 252 million years ago which might have died off due to droughts. If they had religions, there might have been lots of water gods and goddesses
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Re: Silurian Hypothesis

Post by Prudentia » Wed May 16, 2018 7:50 pm

I wonder... Below is some reading on the fauna of 305 MYA, and reading on a particular genus that seems to have promise. Yes they were tetrapods, but since their hinds legs were stronger, and they were at least partially warm-blooded (either homeothermic or endothermic (perhaps both)).
Perhaps there could have been a relative of theirs that could walk upright, and have tamed the world as we have?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophiacodon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasimovian#Palaeontology


Or perhaps these might have served the basis for a civilized species?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendrerpeton

Their fossils are at least partially found in association with tree fossils so they were at least partly arboreal. Perhaps they were the monkeys to their sapient cousins, just as primates are our cousins.


Being on Pangea, at that time would have been not so blobby and more spread out. There would have even been a massive seas that could likely be comparable to a lagoon as parts of the continents would have formed barrier island. Perhaps they thrived around this lagoon, until climate change began due to their industry. It seems that it began cooling first, potentially due to sulfate emissions, thus altering precipitation and agricultural output. Perhaps then to compensate they began to fertilize which reduced fish/non planktonic biomass through eutrophication events. Overtime they were forced to turn to the rainforest, slowly cutting it down, and reversing the cooling trend, but then adding CO2 to the atmosphere. Perhaps it eventually became too much and the overwhelmed species perished in the the drought that quickly followed, the one that they helped to make.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonife ... se#Animals
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwWWuttntio
Go to 3:36 and double click the pause until you get to 305 MYA, Would be Paleo-Tethys Ocean.
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Re: Silurian Hypothesis

Post by BakedToast » Tue May 29, 2018 4:07 pm

56 million years ago.

As the birds made their advances beyond their primitive reptile brethren, one race stood tall and dominant; the Diatryma.

Diatryma, in their own eyes, were the only intelligent species to ever exist; like us, they had no evidence of past sapient life to prove otherwise. Mostly solitary, Diatryma eventually began to form societies, breaking down trees and using them to build large shelters from which they would emerge in large groups to hunt or to make war with other Diatryma cities. Largely carnivores, Diatryma made tools, which it could manipulate with its beak, for hunting and fighting purposes.

The Pierce was a large spear-like weapon, made from whittled tree branches and sharpened rocks, held in a firm grip by the beak, pointing straight forward. The Diatryma used it to charge into large prey, grievously piercing it. Due to it's barbed end, the Pierce couldn't be removed from it's victim. Pierces were also used in combat with other Diatryma, and could seriously wound if not outright kill an unguarded opponent.

The Rip was a large serrated blade-like weapon, also made from whittled down trees, but from the trunk instead of the branches. Each tooth on the serrated edges had a sharp stone attached to it; this complex design meant that a Rip was a very valuable and rare weapon, due to it taking so long to make with Diatryma's limited tools.

Those were the early days. Diatryma continued the idea that tools were meant to be an extension of the body; as they had no arms, many tools were held in the beak, or, as time went on, large constructs were made that could be mounted on the back of a Diatryma, with various tool-holding slots so that a Diatryma could change it's tools on the fly.

Eventually, mechanical limbs were created, using a system of wooden pulleys and string, that created "bionic arms" for the Diatryma, much as they witnessed other species having arms.

As Carnivores, they eventually learned not to kill prey on sight, but rather to capture it and farm it, so that they could have a more predictable food source; this allowed for less infighting amongst the Diatryma, and more peaceful relations between the various Diatryma settlements.

The dominating ideology amongst the Diatryma was one of superiority, and subjugation of weaker and more primitive species. They believed themselves to be the apex of life. As for life itself, it was not to be questioned, but to be taken and used advantageously. An aggressively opportunistic philosophy, but one that kept these apex predators alive for a long time.

As Diatryma did not have extremely large brains, however, they did not have the capacity for growth as we humans do; they couldn't fathom the concept of digging underground for minerals or ores, as they were very large and saw the underground as a place for the minuscule beasts of the earth. They did, however, tame and use fire to their advantage. Since Diatryma could not see well in the dark, fire not only was of an aid to them, but also a weapon against other less sapient beasts, who feared fire through natural instinct.

Tribes of Diatryma spread predominately across the Americas, Europe, And Africa; the Asian plains could not be conquered, as Diatryma was too large to hide and ambush prey in the plains, as it did in other places. Also, a new competitor to the Diatryma was arising in the plains of Asia, a proto-wolf, that used sheer speed and pack hunting to run down its prey.

Eventually, this proto-wolf spread across the globe and encouraged natural selection to favour speedy herbivores, and wild prey could easily outrun a Diatryma, leaving them only with the animals that they had domesticated. But Diatryma had no concept of genetics, and inbreeding led to weaker and weaker domestic animals, until they eventually died out.

The Diatryma were forced to once again go out and hunt actively, but by now, the world had changed... and Diatryma couldn't keep up. The Sapient species died a slow and painful death of starvation, and their wooden tools and structures barely lasted 100 years; and thus, a sapient species and civilization almost 4 million years old was wiped off the earth without a trace.
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Re: Silurian Hypothesis

Post by Prudentia » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:31 pm

20 characters! wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:27 pm
Any thoughts or speculations? Figured that you would love this.
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Re: Silurian Hypothesis

Post by 20 characters! » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:45 am

I always did love these kind of ideas but I didnt feel I had much to say on them as I never studied the sirulian period with more than a passing glance. I shall read a bit more and then try to formulate a more coherent response regarding civilizations prior to man.
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Re: Silurian Hypothesis

Post by Prudentia » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:30 am

I imagine that, perhaps, around 40 million years ago lived a relative of the marsupial Mimoperadectes. This relative (let's call them, Larkeq) was bipedal, but employed a slouching stance. They initially evolved in North America, and over the course of a thousand years, spread throughout the globe. They had a varieties of cultures, but they not only thrived in, but also revered the evergreen trees all around them, in the tropical climes.
However, as their civilizations grew and advanced, they naturally needed resources. Resources that initially came from the burning of fossil fuels. Very, very dirty fossil fuels. These fossil fuels were loaded with sulfates, creating climate change in the form of a cooling trend.

One continent was generally ahead of the curve, Antarctica. They had been functioning on renewable sources of energy for well over a century before climate change became a worry. While socially ahead of the curve, the Antarticans were significantly more traditional in their spiritualist beliefs. As the first ice began forming in Antartica, and the retreat of the globe's evergreens and rainforest, they began plotting. The governments of the continent developed and released a bio-weapon, while lacing their own food and water with the cure. Killing billons throughout the world, except Antarctica. Viewing this as divine intervention, most avoided travelling off the continent.

To avoid details getting out, all files and data related to this bioweapon were destroyed. An unfortunate choice. Within a hundred and fifty years, the Antarticans, still confined to Antartica, and on the verge of interstellar travel, finally began to voyage to the other continents. The bioweapon was hardy, and designed to lay dormant for millenia. It didn't take long for the bio weapon to make its way back to Antarctica, which was in the midst of a minor anti-vax movement. Sadly, the immunity bestowed by their predecessors was gone, and when the government did eventually rediscover a cure, the herd immunity rate was over 99%, a threshold the Larkeq were unable to meet. Dooming the species to extinction.
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Re: Silurian Hypothesis

Post by magmacube_tr » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:22 am

...which was in the midst of a minor anti-vax movement...
So I guess history repeats itself.
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Re: Silurian Hypothesis

Post by naturegirl1999 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:38 am

magmacube_tr wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:22 am
...which was in the midst of a minor anti-vax movement...
So I guess history repeats itself.
Here's hoping we learned from the mistakes of the Larqueq
Lesson 1: Use renewable energy and keep using it BEFORE the world goes to crap
Lesson 2: Don't create bioweapons
Lesson 3: Get vaccinated
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Re: Silurian Hypothesis

Post by counting » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:15 am

A post from one of the author of the paper
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... on/557180/

It is very interesting that originally his idea is about detecting civilization elsewhere in the universe at astronomical distance, not in the past on earth. But by asking the question of "is our civilization a good template for detection measurement?", or even the "only template", it raises a good question. However the authors are pretty skeptical about any previous global industrial civilizations actually existed.

Their conclusion simply put is that we don't actually know. And the "resolution" and details in deep time (tens of millions of years) are simply not enough with current data if we don't specifically dug deeper and look for evidences really really hard. The rapid change of our civilization induces can only told us that it is simply way too short to be distinguished from longer larger trends tens of millions of years from now (if our civilization stay at current level and died out within 100,000 years. We leave impacts for sure, but not as much and as long lasting as most would think)
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