Is humanity the first technological species to exist in this solar system (or even on this planet?) The quick and easy answer is yes, but maybe we don’t know that for sure.
Prior Indigenous Technological Species
But if a prior technological, perhaps spacefaring, species ever arose in the
Solar System, it might have produced artifacts or other technosignatures that
have survived to present day, meaning Solar System artifact SETI provides a
potential path to resolving astrobiology’s question.
Here, I discuss the origins and possible locations for technosignatures of such
a prior indigenous technological species, which might have arisen on ancient
Earth or another body, such as a pre-greenhouse Venus or a wet Mars. In
the case of Venus, the arrival of its global greenhouse and potential resurfacing
might have erased all evidence of its existence on the Venusian surface. In the
case of Earth, erosion and, ultimately, plate tectonics may have erased most
such evidence if the species lived Gyr ago.
Lots of great tidbits in this paper:
- Carl Sagan once toyed with the idea that the moons of Mars might be artificial objects.
- A current astronomer suggests we should be looking for “city lights” on Kuiper Belt objects
This is in keeping with the show we did a while back about there potentially being many more planets in the solar system and we just haven’t discovered them yet. One of them may be home to a current (not extinct) technological civilization.
But if we can’t rule this out, what CAN we rule out?
Prior civilization on Earth? No
Aliens living among us now? No
Simulation hypothesis / Matrix / Boltzmann brains? No
Occam’s Razor says we shouldn’t buy any of this.
But maybe skepticism isn’t the whole answer?
Is there a benefit to be gained in exploring these unlikely scenarios?
Eternity Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) | Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License | http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
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