Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

I had a strange and novel thought today as I watched the newscasts telling tales of Earth Day. There is no good news about how we humans treat our planet. As strange a concept as it may be to accept, humans will most likely bring themselves to extinction. That isn't really any big deal. It happens to species all the time (greatly accelerated because of us, but that again doesn't really matter), but what is really interesting is that we haven't found any evidence of any prior intelligent life that inhabited the planet (sorry, planet of the apes was pure fiction).

What this tells me, and I would guess that I'm not alone in my thought process, is that I am living during the rise of humanity (or fall). Either way, it is a one way journey and humans never existed before us (all homo sapiens included).

Archeologists have uncovered bones of dinosaurs from millions of years ago. The extinction of the dinosaurs was most likely not of their own accord, but they died anyway. Next at the top of the food chain are we. But that shall pass as well. Future earth dwellers will no doubt dig up traces of humans (sorry, all digital records will not survive, though a few or more fossilized computers will doubtlessly appear for anthropologists to ponder their use, but that's another I wish to aid via a time capsule and stone carvings...another time).

So when civilizations/species come and go for the next several millenia or so, our time on the earth was a short one. And it was during the early years as well.

My question, though is, is it possible or at all plausible that a civilization existed before the age of the dinosaurs, but was altogether erased from the universe (unless we can travel far enough from the earth to verify the existence, but this ain't gonna happen if we kill ourselves off at the rate we are going).

To make a long story even longer and more perplexing, we do not only live in the equivalent of a flat world, we are selfish enough to think that time belongs to us as well. If one could do a Prix the Pilot and travel to the ends of the universe and back, I seriously wonder what he'd find in a million or 100 million years. Possibly he'd find a world with birdmen who know nothing about dinosaurs or men, but some other past than our own (our own perceived past, that is).

If I could know more about archeology, I'd try to imagine a world that could recycle itself and when that might have happened. Here's one scenario that I'd research...just say that once upon a time, there were great floods and the earth was covered in water, enough water or gas or whatever to cover the earth and kill just about everything on it. Just say it was caused by a meteor or something big like that.

What if there was some natural mechanism where the earth could have turned inside out and lava covered the planet. That would pretty much melt any trace of anything that ever walked or crawled or flew or grew or lived or wrote poetry or engaged in orgies or smoked peyote. There would be no physical evidence of anything ever existing on the earth aside from rocks, minerals. and the elements. Could that have happened? I don't know, but it would be pretty bold of me to think that in the grand time scheme of the universe, I exist either in the beginning, the middle, or the end. I wonder which one.

Happy Earth Day.

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