Taking a break, do you recall that, according to a New York Times op-ed, Knowing the universe is a simulation will end it…? Here’s an even better one: Dinosaurs had an advanced civilization but then it just disappeared without a trace. So we found the fossilized poop but not the laptops and the androids?:
The idea, a thought experiment crafted by The Atlantic writer Peter Brannen, is meant to illustrate how all of the damage done to the world by humanity happened in the blink of an eye in terms of geological timescales — meaning that an archaeologist in the future might not even know that we were ever here.Dan Robitzski, “The Atlantic: it’s possible dinosaurs had a whole civilization ” at Futurism
From that perspective:
If, in the final 7,000 years of their reign, dinosaurs became hyperintelligent, built a civilization, started asteroid mining, and did so for centuries before forgetting to carry the one on an orbital calculation, thereby sending that famous valedictory six-mile space rock hurtling senselessly toward the Earth themselves—it would be virtually impossible to tell. All we do know is that an asteroid did hit, and that the fossils in the millions of years afterward look very different than in the millions of years prior.
So that’s what 180 million years of complete dominance buys you in the fossil record. What, then, will a few decades of industrial civilization get us? This is the central question of the Anthropocene—an epoch that supposedly started, not tens of millions of years ago, but perhaps during the Truman administration. Will our influence on the rock record really be so profound to geologists 100 million years from now, whoever they are, that they would look back and be tempted to declare the past few decades or centuries a bona fide epoch of its own?Peter Brannen, “The Anthropocene Is a Joke” at The Atlantic
Worse, all the great ideas the dinosaurs had were wiped out too, right, by that one miscalculation?
Actually, the Anthropocene is mainly a testament to the enormous power of immaterial ideas to shape things, for good or ill. It is the best argument against materialism and it is right under our noses.
In real life, the dinosaurs never had that.
See also: Knowing the universe is a simulation will end it…? Wow, magic. No, cosmology, according to the New York Times. At least the crackpot cosmologist is mostly scaring himself. The rest of us are wondering whether those water bears could survive on the moon. That’s all the “space aliens” we can be sure of.
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