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Are Humans the First Civilization? The Silurian Hypothesis

Unveiling Earth's Ancient Secrets: Could Humans Be the First Civilization? Exploring the Revolutionary Silurian Hypothesis

By HalintonePublished 6 months ago 10 min read

Are Humans the First Civilization? The Silurian Hypothesis

Currently, there are over 7 billion individuals residing on the planet. Tens of millions are born and pass away annually, and each one of us leaves traces of our existence in various forms—whether it's in the air, water, soil, or even space. However, these signs are ephemeral and won't endure indefinitely. Our constructions will vanish within a few centuries, and our stone monuments, plastic, styrofoam, and even evidence of our inevitable nuclear devastation will eventually fade away. Consequently, how can we be certain that we were the initial advanced civilization on Earth? The silurian hypothesis raises doubts on this matter. Let us explore the reasons behind this uncertainty.

let's talk about the silurian hypothesis

what the hell is a solution well they

were intelligent humanoid reptilians who

in an episode of doctor who were

awakened by nuclear testing after 400

million years of hibernation blizzard

people yep we're finally doing a lizard

people episode we are

well kinda humans are selfish it's hard

for us to imagine that in a very short

time we as individuals won't be here and

it's even harder to imagine a time where

our civilization won't exist at all but

if we learned anything from archaeology

it's that every civilization has its

time think about ancient egypt they

lived 30 dynasties that spanned over 3

000 years and if you were an egyptian

living during this time

generations of your family going back as

far as anyone can remember walked in the

shadow of the pyramids they fished the

nile they sailed the mediterranean

mingled with other cultures as far as

you or anyone knew your civilization had

been there and would last forever

then it was gone the mesopotamians

before them the indus after them greeks

nubians the persians romans incas aztecs

these were empires of millions of people

all lasting a thousand years or more but

very little evidence of them remains now

all of these civilizations including our

own modern one have only been here for a

short time complex life has existed for

hundreds of millions of years modern

humans have only been here for about 100

000 years our entire history has taken

place in the past

0.002 percent of life on earth so

there's a whole lot of past in the past

and that's plenty of time for other

intelligent species to evolve thrive and

go extinct over and over again with

different species

and if that happened would we really

know they were here when adam frank and

gavin schmidt wrote the silurian

hypothesis they addressed a lot of

misconceptions about how we study the

past we're used to the idea that we

learn of ancient societies by examining

artifacts and excavated ruins

but this really only works if you're

going back a few thousand years but when

you want to go back millions of years

it's more complicated for example the

earth is about 4.5 billion years old and

complex life appeared about 600 million

years ago fine but the oldest surface

land ever discovered is the negev desert

in israel it's about 1.8 million years

old that's it

every other piece of exposed land we've

ever found is newer than that so

where'd all the land go


if ancient civilizations existed before

humans they could be very hard to detect

because of the earth's plate tectonics

today's mountains are yesterday's ocean

floor new land is formed every day as

old lands are eroded into dust that's

why discovering fossils is a lot more

difficult than people think very

specific conditions need to be present

for fossilization the organism needs

hard body parts like bones teeth and

shells the remains need to be quickly

covered and protected from scavenging

and erosion you need high pressure for

mineralization and low oxygen to prevent

decomposition this almost never happens

dinosaurs roam the earth for about 180

million years

trillions of individual animals lived

and died yet we only have a few thousand

near complete fossils it's estimated

that over two and a half billion

tyrannosaurus rex's lived and died on

the earth but fewer than 100 fossils

have ever been found and only one of

them is complete that means we've only

discovered 0.0000


zero four percent of the species

now schmidt and frank said that a

species as short-lived as homo sapiens

might not be represented in the existing

fossil record at all now the current

area of urbanization is less than one

percent of the earth's surface so human

artifacts like road cities machines even

mega structures would last only a few

thousand years and are unlikely to ever

be found

they conclude that direct evidence like

this can only go back about 4 million

years even if the entire human race were

eliminated by a nuclear war the

radioactive evidence would disappear

eventually so are there other methods

for detecting the existence of advanced

intelligent life in the distant past

turns out there are


civilization at least as defined by the

authors of the silurian hypothesis is

where industrialization occurs on a

global scale as ours does now as we

speak industrialization is leaving clues

of our existence that will be detectable

by scientists a hundred million years in

the future now eventually our time on

earth will be crushed down to nothing

more than a thin layer of rock sediment

yeah that's uplifting now in a

sedimentary core a layer of a few

centimeters is deposited every thousand

years and in those centimeters future

paleontologists will find evidence of

our geologic era called the anthropocene

now for example we grow so much food now

that our use of fertilizer is actually

redirecting the planet's nitrogen supply

and this nitrogen cycling is also

changing its isotopic signature and this

isotope will be detectable in the

sediment agriculture and deforestation

increase soil erosion and that erosion

washes into the sea and becomes part of

the sediment a human mining activities

have increased the amounts of gold lead

chromium platinum and other metals and

these also will be visible in the

sediment at greater rates than before

but the element that will really tell

the story of civilization is carbon

humans conquered the planet by

harnessing combustion and it seems

reasonable that intelligent life forms

everywhere would do the same thing when

we burn the tissue of long dead plants

fossil fuels we change the ratio of

isotopes in the atmosphere and this is

called the seuss effect the green omelet

guy differences yeah carbon comes in 15

flavors but the most common isotopes are

carbon 12 carbon 13 and carbon 14.

carbon 12 is light carbon this is the

isotope preferred by plants and used

during photosynthesis and animals that

eat plants consume the plants carbon-12

and animals that eat animals that eat

plants consume their carbon-12 and so on

now volcanic emissions are carbon-13

carbon-14 is radioactive and decays

predictably over time fossil fuels have

no carbon-14 at all and as we burn more

fossil fuels the levels of carbon 13 and

14 go down while the level of enriched

carbon 12 goes up all this carbon in the

atmosphere also causes the earth to warm


what global warming is a myth it's not


look you can argue that the warming is

man-made or that it's not but either way

we're up about a degree

anyway when looking through sedimentary

layers from millions of years ago this

is what we need to see to determine if

there was an advanced civilization

present we need to see a large but

temporary spike in carbon and oxygen

a large but temporary spike in metals

and a large but temporary spike in

global temperature

we find that

we're on to something have we found that

have we

we have and it happened 56 million years

ago the age of the lizard people


a sudden global change of carbon and

oxygen isotope levels happened 56

million years ago in what's known as the

paleocene-eocene thermal maximum or

p-e-t-m and the p-e-t-m only lasted

about two hundred thousand years now

that's nothing in geologic time but

remember that's as long as we've been

here and during this time the petm the

earth's temperature rose about six

degrees celsius now that was warm i mean

we're talking t-shirt weather at the

north pole warm i mean the ice caps were

completely gone lizard people do like

warm weather

what lizard people are cold-blooded

hello read a science book there there

were no lizard people

so is the p-e-t-m evidence of an ancient

civilization yep

probably not it took 5 000 years to

reach the level of carbon in the

atmosphere that we've done in only 300

years so what caused it nobody knows

the best guess is the petm was caused by

a massive volcanic eruption but nobody

knows for sure

what's weird though is there is evidence

of a lot of fossil carbon in the

atmosphere lazy people gas stations and

a few million years later these

conditions happened again and this event

is called the eocene layers of

mysterious origins sounds like the name

of a harry potter book it does and there

were other massive events in the

cretaceous period that depleted the

earth's oceans of oxygen for thousands

of years now to be honest most

scientists believe that we are the first

civilization but they do admit that if

an advanced species only existed for as

long as we have they would be really

hard to detect even the authors of the

silurian hypothesis admit if you're not

specifically looking at the right time

in history and for the right details

you'll probably miss it but the silurian

hypothesis does give us an interesting

set of tools tools that might not help

us find ancient civilizations on our

planet but could help us find them on

other planets

the drake equation is a well-known

formula for estimating the number of

extraterrestrial civilizations in our

galaxy it boils down to the number of

stars that have planets the number of

planets that can support life the

fraction of those planets that develop

life and the fraction of those that can

develop intelligent life now this number

fluctuates as new discoveries are made

but still the number of civilizations

out there could be anywhere from 150 000

to 1.5 billion even if it's just more

than one it would be so cool so cool

what's interesting is now that we had

the silurian hypothesis any planet that

can develop intelligent life can maybe

develop it again and again over millions

or billions of years and that was the

original premise of frank and schmidt's

paper they wondered not only about life

on other planets in the galaxy but about

civilizations that may have existed

right here in our solar system at one

time mars was much wetter and much

warmer so was venus one of jupiter's

moons europa is covered by a saltwater

ocean when we finally get core samples

from these planets we may realize that

those civilizations don't exist there

right now the distant past could tell a

very different story now the authors of

the silurian hypothesis don't believe

there are ancient civilizations on earth

for humans and our civilization may be

unique in the universe but they do lay

out an exciting possibility that there

could be millions of civilizations out

there and now we have the tools to find


thank you so much for hanging out with

us today my name is aj that's hecklefish

this has been the y-files if you had fun

or learned anything do me a favor and

like subscribe comment and share trying

to solve the youtube algorithm is like

trying to discover ancient civilizations

lazy people

but with your help

we can do it until next time be safe be

kind and know that you are appreciated


About the Creator


Join me on a captivating journey through extraordinary stories that transcend boundaries. Unveiling hidden treasures with vivid words, let's explore the magic of imagination together. Get ready for an unforgettable literary odyssey!

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