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…
View original post 528 more words