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View Diary: Who can own the future? (262 comments)

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  •  actually, we don't even know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    how "smart" the dinosaurs got.  Every one of them might have been a freakin Shakespeare or Mozart, and their Opera productions may have been spectacular.  They didn't leave "eternal relics" (at least none that we recognize as such), but we know (at least a little) about human cultures in the past ten thousand years that left little more than piles of stone and potshards in a museum (and those disappearing fast), so what can we expect after ten million?

    We're just so full of ourselves, and how "special" we are . . .  

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:20:51 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Two million years ago, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean

      our ancestors were making stone tools.

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:30:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and bees and termites (0+ / 0-)

        were making complex apartment buildings.  Still are, in fact.

        Meanwhile we, for better or for worse, are "evolving" into Borg, and building glorified hives . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:44:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  and the most interesting part of that is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Sumner, Subterranean

        Homo Erectus was around for a very long time, yet was still making the same crude stone tools after a million years they did at the outset. No change, no development. Something impossible to imagine among human beings. More like bird behavior. After all, noone wonders why birds havent developed the technology over millions of years to build their nests out of stainless steel.

      •  But there's the issue of surviving evidence (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson

        IIRC, paleontologists are only able to date finds from the Mesozoic within ten million years. And finds of specific species are a lot less common than we non-experts believe. (For example, just how many T. Rex fossils have been recovered? A dozen? Twenty? More than 100?) And over the previous million years, a sizable share of Earth's land surface has subducted beneath the crust, destroying all evidence preserved on or in it.

        And stones shaped into tools might be hard to identify after 66 million years underground. Some paleolithic stone tools look very much like stones naturally fractured. And then there is the issue of out-of-place artifacts, although most of them are either dubious or explainable by other causes.

        All this means is that many species can come into existence & go extinct without leaving a trace in the fossil record. Sentient dinosaurs -- or amphibians -- could have come into existence then gone extinct without leaving any traces scientists might identify, let alone accept as undeniable proof of their existence.

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