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Old 04.07.2021, 21:30
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Dinosaurs

Just finished re-reading one of my favorite books. „West of Eden“ by Harry Harrison, author of „Bill the galactic hero,“ „Stainless steel rat“ and too many to mention.
West of Eden speculates what the world would look like if the Chicxulub asteroid never hit. It is a world where the dinosaurs never died and evolved in Africa to became the dominant species on Earth. On the other side of the world, in South America, old world Monkeys evolved to become proto-humans.
It is a series of three books, however only the first one is a page turner the other two are a bit of a struggle, but they make you think: „What would have happened if the Dino´s hadn’t become extinct?“
Would a dino society have developed along the same lines as humans, and would their civilization be further along than ours?
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Old 04.07.2021, 21:37
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Re: Dinosaurs

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Would a dino society have developed along the same lines as humans, and would their civilization be further along than ours?
Dinosaurs were around for something like 180 or 190 million years.

Humans have only been around for 10 million at a stretch, and modern humans for only a fraction of that.

So if dinosaurs had been capable of developing a civilization, it's not for lack of time that they failed.
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Old 04.07.2021, 21:44
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Re: Dinosaurs

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Dinosaurs were around for something like 180 or 190 million years.

Humans have only been around for 10 million at a stretch, and modern humans for only a fraction of that.

So if dinosaurs had been capable of developing a civilization, it's not for lack of time that they failed.
What would be visible of our civilization if we were the ones who had been in the cross hairs of that rock after 65 million years? Or what if the dino´s civilization had declined millions of years before the hit?
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Old 04.07.2021, 21:45
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Re: Dinosaurs

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Just finished re-reading one of my favorite books. „West of Eden“ by Harry Harrison, author of „Bill the galactic hero,“ „Stainless steel rat“ and too many to mention.
West of Eden speculates what the world would look like if the Chicxulub asteroid never hit. It is a world where the dinosaurs never died and evolved in Africa to became the dominant species on Earth. On the other side of the world, in South America, old world Monkeys evolved to become proto-humans.
It is a series of three books, however only the first one is a page turner the other two are a bit of a struggle, but they make you think: „What would have happened if the Dino´s hadn’t become extinct?“
Would a dino society have developed along the same lines as humans, and would their civilization be further along than ours?
You mean like the contemporary crocodile society in Central Africa, the Amazon and Northern Australia?
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Old 04.07.2021, 21:53
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Re: Dinosaurs

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What would be visible of our civilization if we were the ones who had been in the cross hairs of that rock after 65 million years? Or what if the dino´s civilization had declined millions of years before the hit?
I haven't read the book, so don't know how civilization is defined here.

If they built roads, ships, buildings, had something like electricity or even computers, dug mines, dammed rivers, performed medical surgery, you would expect that at least random remnants might still be found here or there. Although obviously not very much as it is a very long time and erosion and other geological processes have completley reformed the surface of all continents since then.

But we've found fragments of dinosaur skin. We've found stuff inside their stomachs that tells us what they ate. So why haven't we found a wristwatch or a pacemaker or even a necklace or a dagger or a lucky charm?

But if their civilization took some completely other form, indeed, how would we know?

But what about their brains? Would they have had sufficient cranial capacity to build and maintain a civilization?
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Old 04.07.2021, 22:35
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Re: Dinosaurs

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I haven't read the book, so don't know how civilization is defined here.

If they built roads, ships, buildings, had something like electricity or even computers, dug mines, dammed rivers, performed medical surgery, you would expect that at least random remnants might still be found here or there. Although obviously not very much as it is a very long time and erosion and other geological processes have completley reformed the surface of all continents since then.

But we've found fragments of dinosaur skin. We've found stuff inside their stomachs that tells us what they ate. So why haven't we found a wristwatch or a pacemaker or even a necklace or a dagger or a lucky charm?

But if their civilization took some completely other form, indeed, how would we know?

But what about their brains? Would they have had sufficient cranial capacity to build and maintain a civilization?
In the Book dino Technology ist the total Control over genetics, all Tools are living creatures that have been tailored to function. As to crainal capacity a species has Bern identified with the potential
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Old 04.07.2021, 22:55
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Re: Dinosaurs

Cannot help but think that if dinosaurs kept dominating, they would dominate so hard that they'd eventually disrupt the environment enough to impact the ecosystems that sustains them.

No need for asteroids. Self-regulation happens to many species. Our current civilization is doing more or less OK because globalization. But there's enough historic evidence of what happens when people cuts too many trees or a multi-year dry period arrives, bye bye civilization.
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Old 04.07.2021, 22:59
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Re: Dinosaurs

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No need for asteroids. Self-regulation happens to many species. Our current civilization is doing more or less OK because globalization. But there's enough historic evidence of what happens when people cuts too many trees or a multi-year dry period arrives, bye bye civilization.
Though mostly so far we managed to survive and adapt somehow.

Humans are in essence flexible and inventive. Some of them anyway.
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Old 04.07.2021, 23:17
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Re: Dinosaurs

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Though mostly so far we managed to survive and adapt somehow.

Humans are in essence flexible and inventive. Some of them anyway.
Indeed we're here. But how many ancient written languages had to be deciphered because the people that survived and adapted somehow could not read anymore what their ancestors wrote.

Back to the dinos, all species hit a limit. We still don't know the exact mechanism but algal blooms like red tides end because something doesn't sustain growth to the infinite. Could the dinos avoid crashing that wall?
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Old 04.07.2021, 23:30
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Re: Dinosaurs

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Indeed we're here. But how many ancient written languages had to be deciphered because the people that survived and adapted somehow could not read anymore what their ancestors wrote.
We may have lost specific languages and specific alphabets but I don't think we ever totally lost the concept of writing, for example.
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Old 05.07.2021, 08:03
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Re: Dinosaurs

There are dinosaurs among us today. They can be observed in places like EF any day of the week, with the possible exception of Fridays.
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Old 05.07.2021, 16:22
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Re: Dinosaurs

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Cannot help but think that if dinosaurs kept dominating, they would dominate so hard that they'd eventually disrupt the environment enough to impact the ecosystems that sustains them.

No need for asteroids. Self-regulation happens to many species. Our current civilization is doing more or less OK because globalization. But there's enough historic evidence of what happens when people cuts too many trees or a multi-year dry period arrives, bye bye civilization.
Well we monkeys don´t seem to be doing that good a job. Although we can postulate what will happen if things do not change, we won´t perhaps our limit is rapidly approaching. There is a school of thought that suggests we will be extinct in another millenium or so.
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Old 05.07.2021, 16:34
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Re: Dinosaurs

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Well we monkeys don´t seem to be doing that good a job. Although we can postulate what will happen if things do not change, we won´t perhaps our limit is rapidly approaching. There is a school of thought that suggests we will be extinct in another millenium or so.
I don't think we'll go extinct. Some dinosaurs are still here as iguanas, others as chickens. So, some humans could survive and adapt to the new conditions. I'd think our contemporary cities could share the fate of Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistan or Tikal in Guatemala and current culture could vanish.

Back to dinos, I remembered some speculation/hypothesis from some years ago. Apparently, us mammals are more resistant to fungal infections than reptiles because our body temps are bad for them https://journals.plos.org/plospathog...l.ppat.1002808


The question from amogles is very interesting. Have hominids developed once drawing and writing and then completely forgot about them? Or the intuition that doodles in a rock mean something emerged one day (evolution) and has been with use since then? No idea.
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Old 05.07.2021, 16:59
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Re: Dinosaurs

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There is a school of thought that suggests we will be extinct in another millenium or so.
That long? Can't we speed it up, I want to witness it
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Old 05.07.2021, 17:48
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Re: Dinosaurs

Some dinosaurs had hands with 5 digits but so far as I know they did not have an opposing thumb, without that thumb it is difficult to make and hold the tools that are believed to be the root of civilisation.

Of course, if dinosaurs had thumbs then back to the drawing board.
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Old 05.07.2021, 20:55
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Re: Dinosaurs

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I don't think we'll go extinct. Some dinosaurs are still here as iguanas, others as chickens. So, some humans could survive and adapt to the new conditions. I'd think our contemporary cities could share the fate of Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistan or Tikal in Guatemala and current culture could vanish.

Back to dinos, I remembered some speculation/hypothesis from some years ago. Apparently, us mammals are more resistant to fungal infections than reptiles because our body temps are bad for them https://journals.plos.org/plospathog...l.ppat.1002808


The question from amogles is very interesting. Have hominids developed once drawing and writing and then completely forgot about them? Or the intuition that doodles in a rock mean something emerged one day (evolution) and has been with use since then? No idea.
Extinct, well yes, as soon as our civilization starts on the slippery slope, it´s going to be "downhill" from there. We won´t go with a bang but with a whimper and it will start when we run out of a cheap and abundant energy source. I also think that the pace of development of our current technology is outstripping the mental capability of our species to cope.
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Old 05.07.2021, 21:03
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Re: Dinosaurs

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Extinct, well yes, as soon as our civilization starts on the slippery slope, it´s going to be "downhill" from there. We won´t go with a bang but with a whimper and it will start when we run out of a cheap and abundant energy source. I also think that the pace of development of our current technology is outstripping the mental capability of our species to cope.
Even if our technology collapses at some point, I don't think that would be the absolute end but that we would just slip back to some previous level of technology.

For example if there is no more fuel to put in tractors, we just go back to ploughing with oxen. There are many parts of the world where that is still done today. It's not as if the "technology" has been lost forever.

But even that is an extreme assumption. Oil won't disappear with a bang but just get more and more expensive and in the meantime other technologies will evolve that are more competitive.

Maybe some things will get much more expensive for some people and maybe that will lead to wars and conflicts and famine. But that's just a passing phase (and it wouldn't be the first). I am sure when that is over, things will pick up again and continue.
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Old 05.07.2021, 21:12
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Re: Dinosaurs

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Extinct, well yes, as soon as our civilization starts on the slippery slope, it´s going to be "downhill" from there. We won´t go with a bang but with a whimper and it will start when we run out of a cheap and abundant energy source. I also think that the pace of development of our current technology is outstripping the mental capability of our species to cope.
Sorry for hijacking your thread. A very stupid question about the book: do dinos evolved hands? I cannot forget the juvenile joke of T-Rex short arms.
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Old 05.07.2021, 21:16
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Re: Dinosaurs

Well, there are many species that have existed on earth long before humans evolved into existence, but those species are still not nearly as advanced as we are in terms of technology, etc. So I find it unlikely that dinosaurs would have evolved to be more intelligent than humans* or intelligent enough to develop sophisticated technology, etc.

But if dinosaurs hadn't become extinct, I'm sure that would have put quite the glitch in the evolutionary chain, probably causing other species to become extinct and/or certainly less dominant (perhaps that includes humans).

* Although one could probably easily argue that humans actually aren't very intelligent.
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Old 05.07.2021, 21:17
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Re: Dinosaurs

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For example if there is no more fuel to put in tractors, we just go back to ploughing with oxen. There are many parts of the world where that is still done today. It's not as if the "technology" has been lost forever.
I think that's the key aspect.

Technology, or perhaps culture is the better term, is the ability to utilise and form the environment. That increases productivity, which in turn gives room to stop roaming and settle instead. Then build on that. This ability doesn't disappear with the end of fossil fuels. Just think of all the plants we use, pretty much every one is the product of targeted selection by humans. That started millenia ago, even if that knowledge disappeared it would be rediscovered, it's a consequence of intelligence and the ability to observe, abstract, and draw conclusions.
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