Many people have asked the question, “are there other forms of life on other planets?” People are still pondering this question even in modern society, and now some groups, such as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI ), are considering looking for ancient civilizations in the solar system.
Another example is the James Webb space telescope, which will aim to look at atmospheres of far extrasolar planets in order to see if there is evidence of life. However, recent studies show that we should look for previous civilizations that existed on Earth, or across the Solar System.
According to the paper “Prior Indigenous Technological Species,” we should try to look for technological objects left behind by ancient civilizations. There is speculation that they could have destroyed themselves or are not in the Solar System.
Furthermore, there could have been a number of catastrophes such as a swarm of comets , a nearby supernova , or even self destruction. The civilization could also have just died out.
Where should we look for ancient civilizations?
Some places we should look are on Earth, because it is the most habitable place in the Solar System. For example, open pit mines could be evidence that an intelligent species dug out a specific substance from the ground. Over one billion years, plate tectonics recycled those regions, and absorbed the evidence into the ground.
The theory also suggests that we should look for technological structures such as factories, facilities and even cities. However, the structures would be covered by dust, or would have eroded.
It is possible that we could have missed them during space observations. That’s why there could be real evidence underground, which is protected from surface erosion. The paper suggests that we need more orbiters and rovers with ground penetrating radar in order to see below the surface.
Additionally, there are free-floating objects, such as ancient space stations. They could have been abandoned a long time ago. So what’s the point of all of this? In general, it means that even though there is no solid evidence for ancient civilizations, we have only scratched the surface of where to look.
Is it worth the effort?
The essay “Prior Indigenous Technological Species” explores many reasons why we need to do more research. One of these reasons is evidence in previous art. It explains that artists such as Voltaire and CE Lucian of Samosata wrote about the possibility of life forms existing on other planets. Therefore, we have been seeing this topic for centuries.
The author of the essay Jason. T. Wright says that although the evidence of an extinct technological species is hard to prove, it is not clear to what degree the existence of these species is demonstrated or not demonstrated by evidence.
The conclusion of these studies explains that because technology has imprinted in our records, there could be the same impact from a prior species on Earth. That is why we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of ancient life forms.
Wright says that we could benefit from further work to ascertain if there is evidence of free-floating artifacts in the Solar System, and that includes determining where objects might orbit. This would go a little way, at least, towards finding out how alone we are in the universe.