Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, April 14, 2018

It only took five minutes for Gavin Schmidt to out-speculate me. Schmidt is the director of nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (a.k.a. GISS) a world-class climate-science facility. One day last year, I came to GISS with a far-out proposal. In my work as an astrophysicist, I'd begun researching global warming from an "astrobiological perspective." That meant asking whether any industrial civilization that rises on any planet will, through their own activity, trigger their own version of a climate shift. I was visiting GISS that day hoping to gain some climate science insights and, perhaps, collaborators. That's how I ended up in Gavin's office. Just as I was revving up my pitch, Gavin stopped me in my tracks.

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It took me a few seconds to pick my jaw off the floor. I had certainly come into Gavin's office prepared for eye rolls at the mention of "exo-civilizations." But the civilizations he was asking about would have existed many millions of years ago. Sitting there, seeing Earth's vast evolutionary past telescope before my mind's eye, I felt a kind of temporal vertigo. "Yeah," I stammered, "Could we tell if there'd been an industrial civilization that deep in time?"

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Gosh Bruce you were so excited by this article you posted it 3 times

#1 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2018-04-14 03:17 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

Silurians.

The questions at the end, and the purpose for asking them, is the true value in this. I think I'm a fan of Schmidt!

#2 | Posted by YAV at 2018-04-14 06:30 AM | Reply

I think I'm a fan of Schmidt!
I wonder if he is related to Klaus Schmidt, the excavator of Gobekli Tepi?
Not totally positive he was doing a rhetorical thought experiment here.

#3 | Posted by BluSky at 2018-04-14 07:18 AM | Reply

#1 sorry! All yesterday the site was hanging and I mistakenly pressed the button thrice.

#4 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-04-14 08:00 AM | Reply

Stupid button! Bruce smash!

#5 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-04-14 09:56 AM | Reply

"Could we tell if there'd been an industrial civilization that deep in time?"

Ancient Astronaut theorists agree.

#6 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-04-14 09:59 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

In related news, Art Bell just passed away.

#7 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2018-04-14 10:19 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#6 yes it was a sad day when the History channel became the -------- channel.

#8 | Posted by bruceaz at 2018-04-14 10:28 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Are grown adults actually wasting their time with this crap?

#9 | Posted by danni at 2018-04-14 02:41 PM | Reply

Are grown adults actually wasting their time with this crap?

#9 | POSTED BY DANNI

The question is ... Why aren't more? (I blame the "agitator channel" of course)

Stepping outside your religious, cultural and societal boundaries to gain new perspectives on our origins has been where some of our greatest advances and discoveries have their roots.

Introspection from a cosmic perspective is good for us. In spite of religious hesitations.

#10 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-04-14 03:20 PM | Reply

Are grown adults actually wasting their time with this crap?
#9 | POSTED BY DANNI

It's science. This is the highest level. From this question comes understanding of everything we believe.

#11 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-04-14 04:44 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

"It's science."

With no evidence? It ceases to be science and become imaginary nonsense.

#12 | Posted by danni at 2018-04-14 05:05 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

It's a great question. How do we know we are reading the historical record correctly? How do we know our lasting impact on the world?

#13 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-04-14 05:10 PM | Reply

For example fracking. They claim it's benign. But how would they know if similar things happened to the earth before and what the consequences were?

#14 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-04-14 05:28 PM | Reply

"How do we know our lasting impact on the world?"

Legitimate question but imagining previous civilizations with absolutely no evidence doesn't help you to understand what our impact is. Science does, we have methods to measure all sorts of things of real evidence.

#15 | Posted by danni at 2018-04-14 05:47 PM | Reply

#15 that is the question - do we have the tools? Do we know what to measure? What kind of signal is real? What is background?

#16 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-04-14 06:09 PM | Reply

Good grief...reminds me of the stoned scene in Animal House.

I gonna go out on a limb a and say "No. There wasn't."

#17 | Posted by Angrydad at 2018-04-14 06:46 PM | Reply

Holy cats! I was dumbfounded after I read the article!

It's not often that you write a paper proposing a hypothesis that you don't support. Gavin and I don't believe the Earth once hosted a 50-million-year-old Paleocene civilization. But by asking if we could "see" truly ancient industrial civilizations, we were forced to ask about the generic kinds of impacts any civilization might have on a planet.

#18 | Posted by Angrydad at 2018-04-14 06:51 PM | Reply

"Was There a Civilization on Earth Before Humans?"

Better question, have humans ever actually become civilized.

#19 | Posted by danni at 2018-04-14 07:04 PM | Reply

#9 please inform us as to what you sit around thinking about all day so I can inform you how mundane, useless and stupid it is.

#20 | Posted by jpw at 2018-04-14 08:09 PM | Reply

Danni,

"With no evidence? It ceases to be science and become imaginary nonsense"

A lack of evidence can work both ways.

Personally, I'm intrigued by the idea that the earth being as old as it is (4.5 billion years?), if we were to contrast the length of time it has existed to the length of time "man" has existed, if the earth were 24 hours old, man would have been on it approx 1.5 seconds.

Geology is different from biology or chemistry because it is a historical science. Every so many years we still learn new and conflicting information about history.

Don't you guess in the next 100 years we're going to discover something new and astounding about this planet?

Do you presume scientists today have all the "facts" straight?

I'm fairly open minded about the idea we're likely sitting on some incredible find.

I have doubt there is something staring us straight in the face and the right mind needed to see it hasn't been born yet.

#21 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2018-04-14 08:11 PM | Reply

#15 relativity was born from a "useless" thought experiment.

Science isn't just measuring things. In fact I would say great science starts with thinking about a concept without boundaries then applying what you've learned within the existing boundaries.

#22 | Posted by jpw at 2018-04-14 08:13 PM | Reply

hmmm...I meant no doubt....

#23 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2018-04-14 08:13 PM | Reply

I'm glad they mention how little the fossil record shows.

Stupid people think lack of evidence proves _ didn't happen a/o exist.

So much is possible.

#24 | Posted by Tor at 2018-04-14 10:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

To what end, I wonder? Proof that history repeats itself . . . eventually?

And, doesn't it always?

As TOR said, so much is possible.

#25 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-04-15 01:32 AM | Reply

With no evidence? It ceases to be science and become imaginary nonsense
Agreed.
The evidence that the Great Pyramid was built in the Old Kingdom by Khufu is
this graffiti, and this "logbook".
TGP is 3/60th of a degree from perfect alignment with true north. The angles and dimensions reveal 12 mathematical constants. Egyptology considers both of those facts to be pure coincidence.

These diorite bowls are so perfectly balanced the bottoms dont need a flat spot. One sold at Christie's recently for 200K. Since you cant date stone any decent stone mason today with modern tools should be able to counterfeit one no problem, right? 200k for a couple weeks work. Egyptologists claim the people that mad these used copper chisels and wooden hand drills, had no concept of the wheel, and had not yet developed clay pottery.

The accepted model claims that the Old Kingdom sprang out of the desert in 2600BC and on its first attempt created the largest, heaviest, most complex and precise piece of art on Earth and then fell into immediate steady decline that didn't end until June 15th 1992 (the day Mo Salah fell from Heaven).

#26 | Posted by BluSky at 2018-04-15 07:53 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

-Great Pyramid

Yeah, I think Col Vyse might have gotten a little crazy with the red ochre when he hadn't found any markings inside the GP, and painted an iffy version of Khufu's cartouche there himself.

btw, in Genesis there is plenty of room for pre-Adamic civilizations, as the earth described was one of several re-creations. Whether they were industrial or not is another question.

#27 | Posted by Corky at 2018-04-15 01:03 PM | Reply

"To what end, I wonder? Proof that history repeats itself ... eventually?"

History does not actually repeat itself but it certainly does have a rhythm and rhyme.

#28 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-04-15 01:27 PM | Reply

It is a legitimate scientific question. If we had no eyes would we know light existed other than as a heat source? We detect things by interacting with them. What if we lack an organ capable of detecting something that is all around us? How would we detect it? Every detection device we made is an extension of our own senses.

#29 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-04-15 03:41 PM | Reply

Unlikely an industrial civilization. We needed a high density fuel source to kick off the industrial revolution. Would oil and coal have been properly cooked and ready to go for say the dinosaurs?

#30 | Posted by dibblda at 2018-04-16 02:47 AM | Reply

What if we lack an organ capable of detecting something that is all around us? How would we detect it? Every detection device we made is an extension of our own senses.

#29 | POSTED BY HATTER5183

DMT. The spirit molecule.

#31 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-04-16 11:20 AM | Reply

Bruce, are you saying that we may have an entire universe living under one of our finger nails? And that our entire universe may be under someone else's finger nail?

#32 | Posted by DixvilleNotch at 2018-04-16 01:08 PM | Reply

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