I was just thinking the other day... What about all those supposedly advanced civilizations which used to be around?

You know... the ones that mysteriously disappeared without a trace, or else under curious circumstances. Where all we have is a fancy calendar and some inexplicable building projects.

And then I thought... Why hasn't anyone invented computers before now?

Surely someone has, somewhere... And think of how many changes have happened in the last century. It's been a quantum leap.. Things happen so fast that they're easy to miss.

It almost makes me wonder where we're headed. Are we destined to disappear like those ancient civilizations? If so....


You seem to be confused with your terms. When you say "Are we destined. . .", you seem to be forgetting the fact that it isn't like there is a single advanced civilization laying around, at least not in the old world sense. I suppose it might be possible for, say, the Japanese Civlization (what does that even mean?) to somehow be wiped out, but it wouldn't simply "disappear," since so many others would still be hanging around to watch and gape. If, on the other hand, you are referring to the modern civilization of mankind as a whole or all of the advanced civilizations as a whole, then the nature of the question changes.

Barring some sort of really strange biological disaster or self imposed exile, I find it unlikely that advanced mankind will vanish from the earth, thereby leaving rumors of an advanced race. In the past, geographical disaster was easy to blame for an ancient civilization's disappearance, since they supposedly wouldn't have been able to diversify. Advanced mankind, however, now resides on a large chunk of the habitable globe, and therefore even a major-minor geographical disaster, like, say, Australia sinking beneath the waves due to some weird stuff going on wouldn't be able to wipe out advanced mankind in the manner it supposedly wiped out Atlantis. The way I figure, anything that could make advanced mankind vanish would be pretty intense. . .like a nuclear war or something, and that would be hard to miss.

Other aspects of your reasoning are flawed. Yes, the invention of computers by themselves might be very easy to miss archeologically. The invention of the stuffs leading up to them like, nuclear power and mass producing factories, for example, would be hard to miss.

But let's forget all of that. What happened to Atlantis, Lemura, and some of the other advanced civlizations of legend? They couldn't have been that advanced if they were localized to one medium sized island: for their population to reside upon and off the fruits of a single medium size island, their numbers couldn't have been gigantic. Furthermore, their thinking and philosophy would have to have been vastly different from both modern and most civilizations in history, for they evidently didn't colonize, branch out, conquer, or even vacation, from all appearances (however, this is not a point that makes me particularly discount anything, since it is certainly possible).

I, for one, tend to doubt legend, since the legends were written by people who literally didn't know what they were talking about. But, at any rate, tradition and examination suggests that, as an alternative to the island idea, the Atlanteans, Lemurians, or what-have-you resided in Antartica in a time long past, during which the weather was more pleasant. Even today, we wouldn't be able to take a look at what they left behind, since the entire place is vast in size and frozen solid. This hypothesis may not be entirely impossible. But it seems unlikely. Again, why would an advanced civilization not explore or leave some more concrete indication of their presence beyond rumor and legend outside of their most local area? For the legend to even develop, they would have had to have gotten out at some point; what did they do? Whisper teasings into philosopher's ears and then run away back to their home? Furthermore, beyond getting really cold over a gradual period, what kind of disaster could have wiped them out? Once you move the hypothesis from a medium size island in the Atlantic and on to a gigantic landmass like Antartica, you solve and gain some problems, since a volcano or flood couldn't be at exclusive fault anymore. Things don't add up. For the most part, Plato has the earliest, best, and, in some ways, only account of Atlantis. One man's writings aren't enough, and vague stories about mystical and mighty civlizations aren't enough.

With so little facts, Atlantis/Lemura/whatever is as unverified as, say, Hades, heaven, or Valhalla. Why believe in Atlantis and not one of those others?

Zoom Out

As I said, I don't see a likely way advanced mankind could vanish without a trace from Earth. But I could see a way, and I'm sure you could too, as to how Earth or all of its contents could vanish from, say, the solar system. If that happened, would it be so strange if aliens from far off places in the years to be murmured stories and legends to each other derived from vague hints from around about some kind of mysterious, ancient, long-gone civilization on some vanished planet around Sol?

It's easy to see how traces of an advanced civilization can disappear (with some exceptions) over time, as the most destructive force in nature is not always nature, it is sometimes mankind itself. The reason only one Antikythera Mechanism has been found has a lot more to do with the value of metal than the scarcity of technology, as any non-functional metal devices left over during a barbaric period wouldn't have been preserved as is, they would have been used to make other items. Ditto girders and structural metal. Heck, the skin of the Great Pyramid was damaged in recorded history and there are almost no traces of any of it after locals used the stone for construction.

The things that last are stone items (non-valuable stone only, none of the Mica found in South and Central American ruins survived modern-day scavengers, for example) and constructions too large or massive to destroy. Anything made of anything valuable would have been melted down for scrap long ago.

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