Paper Suggests Our Solar System Could Have Hosted an Advanced Intelligent Civilization in the Past

There are many intriguing theories on the possibility that advanced civilizations existed in the prehistoric times on our planet and beyond.

There are even claims that human race could have been created by such an advanced alien civilization, just like in the movie Prometheus. While these kinds of theories usually come from spiritually minded people and conspiracy theorists, sometimes we also see open-minded scientists who believe that something like this could be possible.

Thus, Jason Wright, astronomer at Penn State University, published a paper on 24 April, in which he explores the idea that an advanced civilization could have lived in our solar system long before the formation of life on our planet. He uses the term “indigenous technological species,” implying that the civilization originated in our solar system and not elsewhere in the universe.

Wright states that if his hypothesis is correct, then there must be so-called technosignatures, or the traces of an ancient civilization’s technology, which are not as prone to degradation as organic material. He writes that such traces could have been buried under the surface of Earth and our planetary neighbors, such as Venus or Mars. The astronomer also believes that we may have already found geological evidence that contained technosignatures, but they were mistaken for natural phenomena.

When could the advanced ancient civilization have lived and died?

According to Wright, the most likely period when the civilization disappeared is the Cambrian period. This is when complex lifeforms appeared and became common, which could have resulted from a cosmic disaster that destroyed the early species and thus forced the biosphere to form new species of living organisms. Something similar has already happened in the history of Earth (the extinction of dinosaurs, remember?), and the advanced civilization could have been wiped out as a result of an asteroid impact or a deadly burst of gamma rays, Wright suggests.

If something like this took place, the traces of the advanced civilization and its technology could have been erased by the geological processes on our planet.

Beyond Earth

As for our planetary neighbors, it is already scientifically confirmed that liquid water once existed on Mars. It means that the Red Planet may have had the conditions suitable for life and could have hosted living organisms in the past. Venus, in turn, could also have a favorable environment for the existence of life long ago, before the temperatures on the planet increased and boiled away its oceans.

For all we know, maybe Venus had cities all over it a billion years ago and now they’re gone,” Wright told the Atlantic.

Bold statement, isn’t it? But also quite a logical one. We are not always sure what exactly happened in our countries a couple of centuries ago, so how can we know what existed on other planets billions of years ago?

Wright also states that some of the most plausible places to look for technosignatures are rocky moons in our solar system. In fact, Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Europa have long been considered good candidates for the existence of life because of the presence of liquid water under their surface.

While there is no actual evidence of Wright’s claims, his hypothesis remains fascinating and plausible. Thus, Andrew Siemion of the Berkeley’s SETI Research Center believes that since Earth is the only known planet that hosts intelligent life, there is a high likelihood that an ancient civilization once existed here and then became extinct without any traces left.

As we improve our understanding of ancient Earth and the history of our solar system, perhaps we may someday uncover evidence that suggests the activity of another technological civilization right here in our neighborhood,” he told the Atlantic.

What do you think about this hypothesis? Please share your opinion in the comments below.

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