Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
An alien species, capable of interstellar travel, would probably have sensors good enough to locate a number of artifacts in space in and around the solar system (remember Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, at least, are in the process of leaving the solar system), as well as some on the Moon. In vacuum conditions these should be identifiable for millions of years.

A careful examination of the fossil record and the distribution of species around the planet, would also reveal an era (in geological terms extremely brief) of unusually rapid long distance migrations of plants and animals; as well as the mass extinction). This is evidence independent of the direct discovery of fossil humans and human artifacts.

I suspect all these strands of evidence would be diagnostic of an intelligent species which was not wise enough to avoid global catastrophe.

Of course, as the ultimate technological fix, we might have downloaded our minds to machines or created artificial intelligences as our successors; so the aliens could get a first hand account of what happened.

by Gary J on Sat Oct 14th, 2006 at 02:26:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the extintion thing will happen fast, there will be just a few artificial objects outside Earth's gravity. Vast majority of satelites will be burned in the atmosphere by then. But we may indeed have left enough objects near geostationary orbits - and that would be a convincing indication of intelligence.

One funny possibility is that we would leave enough evidence to suspect existence of our civilisation of this level, but not enough to establish it up to scientific certainty. We can imagine a bunch of rather gifted allien enthusiasts of Terrestial civilisation being derided by their scientific "establishment" :-)))

Intelligence detection is an interesting problem for science. Positive confirmation by single artifacts looks more feasible than falsification of the hypothesis by single observations. What would Popper say?

by das monde on Mon Oct 16th, 2006 at 10:35:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Top Diaries

Occasional Series