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Old September 27 2013, 12:25 PM   #73
Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Pavonis wrote: View Post
There's no "concession" that bones will survive over 65 million years. For one thing, fossils aren't bones. I've already explained that. For another thing, Tiberius seems to be under the impression that our civilization will leave huge buildings and other impressive artifacts intact across millions of years, so that non-human intelligences would be able to recognize our existence. That's just not going to happen. I would recommend he watch a show called Life After People to get a sense of how fast human-made structures decay without maintenance.
That's not what I am saying. I am saying that traces of human civilisation will last. I've never been under the impression that buildings will survive much as they are today.

Again, we are agreed. However, I must point out that this same luck which allows an eggshell to survive for 70 million years could also let a metal watch band survive for 70 million years.
A metal watch band? No. Didn't I point out that metal oxidizes?
There are plenty of environments that could protect it. We've seen these sort of environments protect human remains. My point was that the same luck that protected dinosaur eggshells for millions of years could also protect traces of our civilisation.

What would those wheels be made out of, though? Wood? Metals and rubbers? Neither material would survive. Maybe if a wooden wagon wheel off a Voth wagon were petrified somehow... but what would the odds of that be?
Probably about the same that we'd have fossilized dinosaur shit.

What? We possess a high-tech society, yet some of the most coveted homes are built of wood. The rich and famous of today love their rustic log cabins. And you can make incredible structures out of wood and clay. People in the southwest United States still build adobe homes now. I'd say that having an advanced technology in one area doesn't mean they have to be advanced in all areas, certainly not all the same areas we are "advanced" in.
And yet we don't see wood and clay being used for skyscrapers, nor for the buildings that are used to develop our high technology. If the Voth (or their ancestors) developed a spacefaring civilisation on Earth, then they didn't do it with wood and clay huts.

Yeah, so? How does that impact the survival of technology across deep time? I love my iPad, but it's not going to be around in 65 million years.
What I just said.

You said that we cannot assume ANYTHING about an alien culture, yet you are assuming that aliens even HAVE a culture. You are making an assumption yourself!

Animals help each other all the time. What makes you think we could distinguish animal from intelligent being based on a bone that healed?
Are you even reading what I write?

I was very clear that we could use the broken bone to determine that the animal was aided by others. You agree with me here. If we see an animal with an injury that renders it incapable of finding food and yet the animal survives, then we know it must be getting food some other way. Other individuals helping it is the most likely reason.

However, I NEVER said that this would allow us to determine that the animals were intelligent. I said that if we examine the healed injury we might be able to determine if it healed naturally or not. And if we find that the bone healed in a way that would not have happened without advanced medical aide, then we can determine that the animal was intelligent (or at the least was operated on by an intelligent veterinarian).

Please read what I actually write, not what you think I write.

For example, in 50 million years, when future scientists find evidence of Humans, how likely is it that they'll also find evidence of dental work? Or people who have metal plates attached to their bones? Even if the metal has gone, the bones will still show some evidence. yes, I know that only a small percentage of the population will fossilise, but we have several factors working in our favour. First, the sheer number of us. Secondly, the fact we tend to bury our dead rather than leave them on exposed riverbanks like dinosaurs. Thirsdly, the fact that lots of people have evidence on their skeletons which could conceivably last for millions of years.
I'm unconvinced. Yes, we bury our dead, but in vaults that keep the elements out. I have no idea what will be preserved in these modern (Western) burial chambers that we use, but I'd not be surprised if people from "less advanced" (non-Western) cultures were the dominant ones that become fossilized, while our advanced attempts to preserve the body after death just end up back-firing. (Say, why do we go to so much trouble to preserve bodies that we seal up in the ground and never look at again?)
Well, it seems to me that at the worst, the modern, sealed crypts would just fail and then any bodies within them would decay just like bodies exposed to the elements like those in non-sealed crypts. And if the vaults DON'T fail, then what would happen to the bodies? Would they be MORE likely to decay to nothing?

No, I'm not being obtuse. The episode stated that the Voth were descended from hadrosaurs (not a suggestion, it states it outright), and we have found hadrosaur nests. How is this being obtuse?
It's obtuse because "hadrosaur" is a family of dinosaurs, not a particular species. And those "hadrosaur" nests could be from the pre-intelligent Voth ancestors, or from contemporary cousins.

Hell, the whole discussion of the episode wasn't what interested me. I was interested in discussing the real potential of artifacts from our time surviving millions of years. It's clear to me that some people have no clue how fragile our modern structures and materials are, and how fast they'll decay away. It's also clear that some people have no clue how long a million years is, much less 65 million years.
And two things are clear to me.

Firstly, that you have not provided a single shred of evidence to support your position that all modern indications of Human civilization will decay to nothing despite the fact that we know for a fact that eggshells can survive for millions of years.

Secondly, that you do not read what I say, because i never once claimed that buildings will survive intact. My claim has always been that some trace of modern civilisation will survive. You are the one that leaped to the conclusion that I meant a rusty car being dug up in 60 million years or something.
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