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Mat74UK's avatar

Can we be sure that there were no "Global" races before us?

Asked by Mat74UK (4649points) July 7th, 2010

I like to think of myself as an evolutionist, but as any theories go there are holes. Can we be sure that there have been no global races before us that have been as successful as us yet failed millenia ago?

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18 Answers

Coloma's avatar

The only thing we know for certain is that we know nothing for certain.

dpworkin's avatar

What do you mean by “race”? There were plenty of hominid species which came and went. We have a lot of fossil evidence of them. Google Australopithecus for some examples. There were also a few species of Homo in Europe, such as neanderthalensis and heidelbergensis, etc. with whom we overlapped.

Mat74UK's avatar

@dpworkin – I know that! geez. A “race that were as successful as us!” hominid or not. Not hunter gatherers.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It they were there we would have found traces of concrete, steel, uranium, and other bits that last “forever” in the different layers of the earth. We find fossils of once living creatures all the way back to more than 500 million years ago. The layers are well defined. Only mankind has affected the earth with such magnitude.
Would the race before us have nuclear power? there would be traces of it in some layer.
.A researcher friend of mine needs steel that has absolutely no inherent radioactivity. The only source of that material is from sunken ships made and sunk before 1945. All steel made after that has traces of radioactivity.
We’d know if they were there.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have read some interesting Science Speculation Fiction that postulates an intelligent species of dinosaur, wiped out in the world wide catastrophe.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Define ‘race’ in an evolutionary acceptable term, and this conversation starts to make sense.

If you’re actually referring to ‘species’, then it’s impossible to prove the negative – there may have been a species of saura sapiens, or whatever you want to call it, but naturally the archaeological evidence is non-existent.

Why do Atlantis arguments, and the wild speculations of Hancock and others persist? Because there is limited counter-evidence for their claims. This does not grant their claims validity, however.

jaytkay's avatar

Provide some evidence and then start the conversation.

“I dreamed this up. Prove it wrong” is backwards.

dpworkin's avatar

This is an even sillier question than I first thought.

judochop's avatar

I am pretty sure that with names like Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brontosaurus, Velocipede, and Compsognathus Plesiosaurus Stegosaurus
Apatosaurus Lambeosaurus Rhamphorhynchus Styracosaurus
Archaeopteryx Maiasaura Saurornithoides Tyrannosaurus rex
Baronyx Pachycephalosaurus Seismosaurus Utahraptor
Coelophysis Parasaurolophus
Those things were no dummies.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@judochop. They might not have been dummies but they didn’t have nukes, steel, fire or concrete.

Drb3n's avatar

Well define succesful! Homo Erectus lived for about 1.5 million years compared to our brief existence as a “race”. I highly doubt our Homo Sapien “race” will come even close to that time span!!!

dpworkin's avatar

@Drb3n We are, indeed young, and stupid, and unlikely to outlast erectus.

bea2345's avatar

Question: is civilization a marker for the success of a race? Dolphins and whales have been around a long time, they obviously have societies – a scientist once remarked that cetaceans are very intelligent, but we don’t know what they use their intelligence for. I always thought that was an absurd comment: what exactly is the purpose of intelligence?

zophu's avatar

I guess there could have been, but if there’s no trace of them would it really matter?

I once read an awesome conspiracy theory about how the Earth is hollow and people live in a super-utopia down below with some kind of light crystal floating in the core as their sun. Would be awesome.

josie's avatar

No evidence so no basis for hypothesis.

Mitchell_Lewis's avatar

Can we define what we have now as success? Two islands of plastic trash in the ocean as large as Texas, polluted air, rampant disease in Africa, countless endangered animals…

Perhaps once upon a time there was, but their methods were cleaner and left no lasting impact on the planet. I would call that MORE successful if such a species existed.

zophu's avatar

@Mitchell_Lewis Well, regardless of how green this hypothetical people was, they would still be less successful for their extinction. . . You’ve got a little bit of the green-religion in you. The Earth’s here to serve us, we take care of it as we take care of us—don’t start going the Gaea route.

Can you imagine how corrupt the world could become if we all fell under the authority of some kind of Global Holy Environmental Police?

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