Exposing the Big Game


Humanity’s cherished hope that we are building a long-lived civilisation may be nothing more than a pipe-dream. Human endeavour, two scientists argue, may carry within it the seeds of its own destruction.

The two astrophysicists have turned one of the great questions in science into a way of examining the down-to-earth consequences of global warming, the pollution of the oceans with indestructible polymers, and the wholesale destruction of species in the last 300 years.

They put an innocent question: if there had been an advanced technological and industrial civilisation on Earth several hundred million years ago, how could anyone know? What marks would have been left by a race of intelligent reptiles with motorised transport, housing estates, international trade and an arms race?

In what they call the Silurian hypothesis – a reference not to the geological period long before the first creatures crawled from the sea onto the…

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12 thoughts on “Long-Lasting Civilization May Be a Pipe Dream

  1. I saw a show some years back called Life After Man and it was the premise of what life would be like if man was gone after 25 years, then 100, 500, thousands etc. Even though bad things would occur at first..nuclear power plants running out of water to keep things cool, domestic pets not being able to go “wild”, land fills, pollution etc., but after thousands of years, all was well and flourishing and balanced once again, although maybe in new ways.

    And at some point way in the future, the only evidence of man was not on earth, but the moon where space junk left behind was still there due to a lack of atmosphere. It was a fascinating show.

    It wouldn’t bother me,in some ways, if man disappeared because we have made such a mess of the earth and maybe that’s evolution’s way to finally give the planet a rest and a final home for all the flora and fauna until the sun expands.

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      • Was this an animated program? I remember watching (a looong time back) one that was … and it was VERY good. I recorded it on my Dish DVR, but when we moved, we had to change systems so I “lost” it. 😦

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        • No, “Life After People” wasn’t animated; although, it did liberally utilize computer graphics to portray future scenarios. I’ve seen it rerun on the Quest channel recently. The entire series is worth watching, and the presented science of erosion, decomposition, and decay is extremely fascinating.


  2. I have seen the theory that the human race passed the point of no return in the middle of the last century when the world population was about 2 billion. Wouldn’t everyone in the world like the standard of life of all Western democracies? I don’t see how that could have been obtainable or sustainable unless our population was held at 2 billion. We appear to be heading for the disease, war and famine route, but now on the world scale. Little hope for civilisation then.

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