What is good time for Earth to begin new evolutionary cycle?

In summary, if humans go extinct, it is possible that another species will evolve to take their place. However, it could take many years for this to happen.
  • #1
Graw
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Humanity exctincted and after XXX years Earth is populated by "new" humans. How long could it take if exctinction happened in 2130?
 
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  • #2
I have no idea what you could mean by a "new evolutionary cycle". Evolution is continually happening.
 
  • #3
Depends on how close the nearest relative is.
 
  • #4
Graw said:
Humanity exctincted and after XXX years Earth is populated by "new" humans. How long could it take if exctinction happened in 2130?

That's impossible to answer since it depends a great number of variables, some environmental, some biological. To throw out a random guess, if we assume that one population of our nearest relative, Chimps, evolve to become similar to us, I'd guess around 5 million years at minimum. That's approximately how long ago our two lineages split from each other. But that's assuming this population of chimps is subjected to environmental pressures that favor an evolutionary path similar to our own.
 
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  • #5
If humans became extinct, I think that it's likely that nature would will find another cunning plot which is less likely to go extinct and will not necessarily resemble humans.
 
  • #6
Drakkith said:
That's impossible to answer since it depends a great number of variables, some environmental, some biological. To throw out a random guess, if we assume that one population of our nearest relative, Chimps, evolve to become similar to us, I'd guess around 5 million years at minimum. That's approximately how long ago our two lineages split from each other. But that's assuming this population of chimps is subjected to environmental pressures that favor an evolutionary path similar to our own.

rootone said:
If humans became extinct, I think that it's likely that nature would will find another cunning plot which is less likely to go extinct and will not necessarily resemble humans.

Dr. Courtney said:
Depends on how close the nearest relative is.

I am sorry that I didn't specify this. I am writing plot about all known mammals, reptiles, bird, fish etc. going exctinct. Humans are already colonising other planet so rest of them move there to start new life. By that time Earth is lifeless. Many many years after (That's the number I am looking for, it doesn't need to be 100% right but atleast beliveable) there is new life rising on Earth resulting in primitive tribes of new human race.
 
  • #7
Graw said:
I am sorry that I didn't specify this. I am writing plot about all known mammals, reptiles, bird, fish etc. going exctinct. Humans are already colonising other planet so rest of them move there to start new life. By that time Earth is lifeless. Many many years after (That's the number I am looking for, it doesn't need to be 100% right but atleast beliveable) there is new life rising on Earth resulting in primitive tribes of new human race.

Humans would not evolve again if we had gone extinct. If you mean sentient tool using race well if there is no life on Earth then your answer could be in the billions of years. There's really no way of answering it beyond a ballpark figure of "an extremely long time".
 
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  • #8
Ryan_m_b said:
Humans would not evolve again if we had gone extinct. If you mean sentient tool using race well if there is no life on Earth then your answer could be in the billions of years. There's really no way of answering it beyond a ballpark figure of "an extremely long time".
Hmm right. That's too long. So in other hand, how can survivors go primitive again? Let's say some of them survived exctinction but I can't see how can they lose their ability to read, count etc. after many generations later.
 
  • #9
Graw said:
Hmm right. That's too long. So in other hand, how can survivors go primitive again? Let's say some of them survived exctinction but I can't see how can they lose their ability to read, count etc. after many generations later.

That's a very different scenario and is much easier to imagine. If civilisation falls in some way then it's easy to see a return to hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Without millions of educated, specialised labourers modern society falls apart. What use it knowing how to use a computer if there's no power? How does being a marine biologist help you string together shelter? People would fall back to the basics of learning how to get food and shelter. The first generation would retain a lot of their knowledge and some might be able to apply it (mechanical engineers for example), but the second generation would only adopt the skills necessary to survive. By the fourth generation, when all the first are dead, technological society is little more than a story. Something no one they've ever known has experienced. It could take a great many generations for populations to get up to the point where they could organise together and try to restart a technological civilisation, but whether or not they would is another matter.

In terms of a number figure...well it took us ten thousand years to go from primitive agricultural communities to today. But like evolution history isn't a linear path. If you had books and other relics that showed you what might be and pointed the direction to go...perhaps the reboot time would be measured in centuries, or millennia.
 
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  • #10
Frankly, you seem to have a poor idea of what "evolution" is. Evolution results in species that are good for the specific environment in which they find themselves. There is no reason to believe that anything resembling humans would ever evolve again.
 
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  • #11
Ryan_m_b said:
That's a very different scenario and is much easier to imagine. If civilisation falls in some way then it's easy to see a return to hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Without millions of educated, specialised labourers modern society falls apart. What use it knowing how to use a computer if there's no power? How does being a marine biologist help you string together shelter? People would fall back to the basics of learning how to get food and shelter. The first generation would retain a lot of their knowledge and some might be able to apply it (mechanical engineers for example), but the second generation would only adopt the skills necessary to survive. By the fourth generation, when all the first are dead, technological society is little more than a story. Something no one they've ever known has experienced. It could take a great many generations for populations to get up to the point where they could organise together and try to restart a technological civilisation, but whether or not they would is another matter.

In terms of a number figure...well it took us ten thousand years to go from primitive agricultural communities to today. But like evolution history isn't a linear path. If you had books and other relics that showed you what might be and pointed the direction to go...perhaps the reboot time would be measured in centuries, or millennia.

Thank you that will help me a lot. I also want to ask how will Earth's landscape and biomes change in thousand years? No nuclear weapons caused exctinction. I want to make it that way that cities and everything else is burried under dirt and people are living in terramorphed mountains, forests, near rivers etc. Keep Earth same but bit different.
 
  • #12
[Nothing like us will ever evolve again, that's absolutely true, however, intelligence seems to have a general direction in evolutionary terms. Animals today are smarter than animals of previous geological periods, because it's such a powerful evolutionary advantage, many of what we used to think make us special has arisen many times independently: We've discovered tool use and production in other animals. We've discovered advanced grammatical languages in other animals. We've even discovered exceptionally high levels of sentience in some birds.

I would think if you wiped the Earth clean and started over, intelligence would arise again, but creatures like us are probably very rare.

If you are thinking more in terms of humans devolving and starting up again, that's more likely. Our society could fall apart easily, it's happened before. After the fall of Roman civilization, it took a thousand years to get back to where they were, constant fighting kept any sort of reunification. With the weapons our distant relatives could access, if our civilization fell, that fighting would probably drag out longer and do much more damage to our population.

When thinking about really long time periods and humans, remember that we haven't stopped evolving either. In five million years, there won't be any humans anymore. There will be a species that are very similar to, but very much not humans. In fact, I predict we'll start calling ourselves something else in only a few hundred years, as our intellect has given us the ability to design our own evolution through genetics.
 
  • #13
newjerseyrunner said:
[Nothing like us will ever evolve again, that's absolutely true, however, intelligence seems to have a general direction in evolutionary terms. Animals today are smarter than animals of previous geological periods, because it's such a powerful evolutionary advantage, many of what we used to think make us special has arisen many times independently: We've discovered tool use and production in other animals. We've discovered advanced grammatical languages in other animals. We've even discovered exceptionally high levels of sentience in some birds.

I would think if you wiped the Earth clean and started over, intelligence would arise again, but creatures like us are probably very rare.

If you are thinking more in terms of humans devolving and starting up again, that's more likely. Our society could fall apart easily, it's happened before. After the fall of Roman civilization, it took a thousand years to get back to where they were, constant fighting kept any sort of reunification. With the weapons our distant relatives could access, if our civilization fell, that fighting would probably drag out longer and do much more damage to our population.

When thinking about really long time periods and humans, remember that we haven't stopped evolving either. In five million years, there won't be any humans anymore. There will be a species that are very similar to, but very much not humans. In fact, I predict we'll start calling ourselves something else in only a few hundred years, as our intellect has given us the ability to design our own evolution through genetics.

It will be surely interesting. Such a shame none of us will be not able to see it. Anyways thank you for your response it clarified some stuff in my plot!
 
  • #14
newjerseyrunner said:
I would think if you wiped the Earth clean and started over, intelligence would arise again,
This is tantamount to saying that, any planet that is hospitable to life will likely evolve to intelligence. This is not the general thinking. Most arguments suggest that, among life, intelligence is probably quite rare.
 
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  • #15
DaveC426913 said:
This is tantamount to saying that, any planet that is hospitable to life will likely evolve to intelligence. This is not the general thinking. Most arguments suggest that, among life, intelligence is probably quite rare.
I didn't explain myself correctly. I believe that intelligence like dolphins, dogs, crows, chimps... would arise again, but we are something special.
 
  • #16
There are 7 billion people...living in a variety of climates, ecosystems. We are incredibly adaptable.

'If' there was some variable that wiped us out, then it would most likely wipe out at least all macro life including all mammals of any size.

The answer. Nobody knows. Evolution doesn't move towards a goal...there are just trends.

Intelligence isn't magic. It evolved on Earth. My thinking is that the division in life isn't between intelligence and non intelligence but between single cell and more complex organisms. Once complexity evolved then intelligence may arise (or not) as a trait like any other...size, adaption to terrestrial life, mobility, etc. again, it's not magic. At some point it is just a matter of circumstance as to what phyla develops more complex nervous systems...corvids in birds, cephalopods in molluscs, humans and in mammals. Any of these then may go off on a tangent to develop more intelligence.

This why I think intelligent in the Universe is common. Life is just chemistry. ...complex life at least one in every millionth star which would mean quintillions of intelligences. Personally I think intelligence is even more common than that. One planet around every thousandth star. Sextillions of intelligences.
 
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  • #17
newjerseyrunner said:
I didn't explain myself correctly. I believe that intelligence like dolphins, dogs, crows, chimps... would arise again, but we are something special.
Same thing applies. Dolphins crows and chimps are intelligent enough, even if they haven't had a chance to develop tool-usage.
 
  • #18
Graw said:
Thank you that will help me a lot. I also want to ask how will Earth's landscape and biomes change in thousand years? No nuclear weapons caused exctinction. I want to make it that way that cities and everything else is burried under dirt and people are living in terramorphed mountains, forests, near rivers etc. Keep Earth same but bit different.

What does "terramorphed" mean? It really depends on what this apocalyptic event was. How was civilisation killed off in this scenario? World war? Asteroid impact? Supervolcano eruption? Plague? Over 1000 years not much would change if humans were to just disappear other than some fairly noticeable reforestation.
 
  • #19
Ryan_m_b said:
What does "terramorphed" mean? It really depends on what this apocalyptic event was. How was civilisation killed off in this scenario? World war? Asteroid impact? Supervolcano eruption? Plague? Over 1000 years not much would change if humans were to just disappear other than some fairly noticeable reforestation.

If humans had the technology to 'terramorph' then not much would change. That takes engineering beyond what we have so they would also have technology to build transportation, communicate, etc.

As a geologist I really don't envision anything seriously hampering the position of man on Earth. If 1% of the population survives we'd be back up and humming along as a species in few centuries. We might actually advance quicker in the sciences and technology than if no disaster.
 
  • #20
tom aaron said:
As a geologist I really don't envision anything seriously hampering the position of man on Earth. If 1% of the population survives we'd be back up and humming along as a species in few centuries. We might actually advance quicker in the sciences and technology than if no disaster.
From a purely natural point of view, I'd agree. Humans are very adaptable and will only fight each other to the point where it becomes not worth it anymore, so once the population is small enough that there are enough resources to go around, our spats will be small and isolated and the population would slowly recover...

But that's making a very big assumption that we are still at the top of the food chain. The only way humans will go extinct short of a planet-killing event, is if something starts exterminating us: such as a military AI gone haywire.

In almost all doomsday scenarios there is a terrible event, but then, it's over. An asteroid hits, we have a nuclear winter... then it's over. We have a nuclear war, another nuclear winter... then it's over. We have a financial and societal collapse... then it's over. The only sure-fire way to kill us all is a continuing threat like an invasive "species."
 
  • #21
tom aaron said:
If humans had the technology to 'terramorph' then not much would change. That takes engineering beyond what we have so they would also have technology to build transportation, communicate, etc.

Ah so he might mean "terraform". Yeah if you can do that you're not a primitive society you're an extremely rich high tech one.

tom aaron said:
As a geologist I really don't envision anything seriously hampering the position of man on Earth. If 1% of the population survives we'd be back up and humming along as a species in few centuries. We might actually advance quicker in the sciences and technology than if no disaster.

I think that's only true in very idealised circumstances: no internal conflict with a very good idea of where to go and a continual concerted effort to rebuild the global economy and technology level. In reality I strongly doubt that will happen, looking through history the fall of major civilisations is often marked with protracted periods of factions fighting in the ruins. It also assumes they retain the lost knowledge which they may not given that the first few generations are going to be busy just staying alive and few will have time to teach (then useless) skills to the next generation and spend significant time preserving books (a challenge to say the least). There's also the problem of non-codified knowledge. Very few books are written with the aim of teaching complex topics completely independant of a teacher educated in the field. Consequently there's a lot of skills you can't learn from a book which are much easier to learn when you're being guided by an expert. Without that there's a steep (and in some cases dangerous) learning curve.
 
  • #22
newjerseyrunner said:
From a purely natural point of view, I'd agree. Humans are very adaptable and will only fight each other to the point where it becomes not worth it anymore, so once the population is small enough that there are enough resources to go around, our spats will be small and isolated and the population would slowly recover...

But that's making a very big assumption that we are still at the top of the food chain. The only way humans will go extinct short of a planet-killing event, is if something starts exterminating us: such as a military AI gone haywire.

True. Some AI may do us in.

This may be without any malice. Life and non life is an arbitrary division. Chemistry is chemistry and physics is physics. Only humans make the distinction and put life on another level. An AI may not have this subjective division. A carbon atom is a carbon atom. There is nothing special about a carbon atom in a life form than in non life.

The issue with AI is there is no universal control. Perhaps the first 30 AIs developed are passive to humans...it just may take one with access to advance technology to do us in.
 
  • #23
Ryan_m_b said:
Ah so he might mean "terraform". Yeah if you can do that you're not a primitive society you're an extremely rich high tech one.
I think that's only true in very idealised circumstances: no internal conflict with a very good idea of where to go and a continual concerted effort to rebuild the global economy and technology level. In reality I strongly doubt that will happen, looking through history the fall of major civilisations is often marked with protracted periods of factions fighting in the ruins. It also assumes they retain the lost knowledge which they may not given that the first few generations are going to be busy just staying alive and few will have time to teach (then useless) skills to the next generation and spend significant time preserving books (a challenge to say the least). There's also the problem of non-codified knowledge. Very few books are written with the aim of teaching complex topics completely independant of a teacher educated in the field. Consequently there's a lot of skills you can't learn from a book which are much easier to learn when you're being guided by an expert. Without that there's a steep (and in some cases dangerous) learning curve.

True to an extent. I'd assume that those with the most advanced technologically would survive at a higher ratio. Self contained military bases, etc. Things don't stop working. They still are subject to physics. A bicycle will still work, as will a wheelbarrow, as will two electronic devices that have independent communication with each other.

Yes, we'd lose all types of expertise but we 'know' what is possible. Radio, airplanes, etc. are not 'magic'. The average tinkerer, especially with zillions of parts laying everywhere, could get a telegraph system going or generate some solar power. Generate electricity. We know that we can produce antibiotics, microchips, put a spacecraft in orbit around the moon. Knowing something is possible saves a lot of spinning the wheels.

A century? Couple centuries? If that is too optimistic then 500 years.
 
  • #24
tom aaron said:
True to an extent. I'd assume that those with the most advanced technologically would survive at a higher ratio. Self contained military bases, etc. Things don't stop working. They still are subject to physics. A bicycle will still work, as will a wheelbarrow, as will two electronic devices that have independent communication with each other.

Actually I think the opposite is true, advanced technology tends to rely on a plethora of fragile, complex components. A shovel, axe, wheelbarrow could last a long time but computers, mobile phones or anything like that will be dead after a year or two. Replacement parts for these things require quite specialised factories which in turn need a long supply train of tools, hefty amounts of power and a moderate sized work force. All unlikely in a dark age setting.

tom aaron said:
Yes, we'd lose all types of expertise but we 'know' what is possible. Radio, airplanes, etc. are not 'magic'. The average tinkerer, especially with zillions of parts laying everywhere, could get a telegraph system going or generate some solar power. Generate electricity. We know that we can produce antibiotics, microchips, put a spacecraft in orbit around the moon. Knowing something is possible saves a lot of spinning the wheels.

The first generation knows what's possible but for the second, third, fourth these things start fading into myth. Granted there would be plenty of relics around so a society that manages to push itself through an industrial revolution would get a leg up but the longer the gap between that and the fall the harder it is. With regards to a tinkering lifestyle I'd reiterate my point above that a lot of high tech equipment has moved beyond the tinkerer stage. You might be able to cobble some things together but when your solar panels need replacing after twenty years and your electronics are all dead or dying you aren't going to be able to tinker anymore.

tom aaron said:
A century? Couple centuries? If that is too optimistic then 500 years.

I can't see a way we can know this for sure. There are two things we can look for in history that would be similar but not the same: 1) Track how long it took the first countries to industrialise to industrialise and what the major stages were, 2) Track how long it took other countries to industrialise after the first ones. Neither of these are perfect because in the first example they didn't have a specific goal in mind, nor any relics to help them and in the second they had trade with the developed countries.

All in all though a number of a few hundred years, in ideal conditions, seems believable on the face of it. Certainly good enough for fiction.
 
  • #25
newjerseyrunner said:
... once the population is small enough that there are enough resources to go around, our spats will be small and isolated and the population would slowly recover...
It would be a bad assumption that there are enough resources to go around. A disaster of sufficient magnitude might as likely wipe out the balance that keeps the Earth's ecology going. Macro-animals might die out, seas might change pH, atmosphere might alter, trees might stop providing oxygen.

Even if this didn't happen in the geological blink-of-an-eye, a positive feedback loop would ensure mankind finds itself in an ever-bleaker world with resources always drying up. We'd fight over the dwindling scraps and might never build up the infrastructure/technology to make large-scale alterations (such as farms, desalination plants or domes) to recover our species.
 
  • #26
DaveC426913 said:
It would be a bad assumption that there are enough resources to go around. A disaster of sufficient magnitude might as likely wipe out the balance that keeps the Earth's ecology going. Macro-animals might die out, seas might change pH, atmosphere might alter, trees might stop providing oxygen.

Even if this didn't happen in the geological blink-of-an-eye, a positive feedback loop would ensure mankind finds itself in an ever-bleaker world with resources always drying up. We'd fight over the dwindling scraps and might never build up the infrastructure/technology to make large-scale alterations (such as farms, desalination plants or domes) to recover our species.
A good point, I was thinking of previous situations where civilizations collapsed after resources ran out. They fought over what remained, but eventually killed each other and spread out enough to restart. If the entire planet is parched, there may be no place to spread out to.
 
  • #27
There are some options for an end of the world scenario that leaves resources relatively intact. A plague for instance.
 
  • #28
Ryan_m_b said:
There are some options for an end of the world scenario that leaves resources relatively intact. A plague for instance.

I don't see any less resources. Ecologies change but they are not sterile. Life..plant, animal repopulate niches quickly. Grass doesn't stop growing into my garden beds and trees would soon break through concrete. There is no less water on Earth. There is nothing that changes seasons, the rotation of the Earth, etc.

As for airplanes, etc. becoming 'myths. Not really. We have CD players, books, actual airplanes. They would not be myths. Unlike ten thousand years ago, we have well documented textbooks. Why would these disappear?

Even with my limited electronic knowledge I could generate enough power to have family movie night once a week.

The only scenario where everything 'disappears' is if some magician uses a wand.
 
  • #29
How long do the CD players last? How do you fix the components once they break?
How long do the books last? Who has time to copy them?
The airplanes won't fly, which makes them mystical ruins even while they are still recognizable as machines.
tom aaron said:
There is no less water on Earth.
Sure, but the pumps that transport it to you know stop working.
tom aaron said:
Even with my limited electronic knowledge I could generate enough power to have family movie night once a week.
With remains from civilization. You probably can't produce cables to make coils, or strong permanent magnets to make a generator from scratch. And that is not the hardest part - how do you replace a broken TV?

This is not a matter of years - witnesses of civilization will be around for decades. The question is how many things are still working after 100 years, and how much you can develop again in this time. For 2015 technology, population will be a critical issue - a collapse independently of the mechanism will reduce it significantly, but you cannot build a 2015 semiconductor factory for several billion dollars (or the equivalent man-power) without a huge world market and without millions of experts in all sorts of different fields.
 
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  • #30
Ryan_m_b said:
What does "terramorphed" mean? It really depends on what this apocalyptic event was. How was civilisation killed off in this scenario? World war? Asteroid impact? Supervolcano eruption? Plague? Over 1000 years not much would change if humans were to just disappear other than some fairly noticeable reforestation.

Plague that kills mammals. So reforestation is the only consequence? Is it beliveable that humans lose their ability to read etc. after breeding of survivors for like 1000 years?
 
  • #31
+1 to everything Mfb said. It's also worth considering how quickly our infrastructure decays without us to take care of it. Ever seen a house that's been abandoned for a few years? Damp, plants and animals fill it. Windows are broken, walls crack, ceilings sag. Hell take a walk around the countryside and eventually you'll find a farmhouse or barn that hasn't been used for decades, there's nothing left but brick and weeds. Books, electronics and everything else are going to ruin much faster in those conditions, exposed to wind and rain.

Sure there will be bits and pieces left, but to people hundreds of years from now they'll be strange trinkets with no obvious purpose. It would take a dedicated research effort to dig up old artifacts, painstakingly recover information from scraps of surviving books and begin to map out what our life was actually like. To me that implies a society rich enough to support an academic class meaning they've had to spend a fair while building their population and infrastructure base to get back to an early medieval level, at least.
 
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  • #32
Ryan_m_b said:
+1 to everything Mfb said. It's also worth considering how quickly our infrastructure decays without us to take care of it. Ever seen a house that's been abandoned for a few years? Damp, plants and animals fill it. Windows are broken, walls crack, ceilings sag. Hell take a walk around the countryside and eventually you'll find a farmhouse or barn that hasn't been used for decades, there's nothing left but brick and weeds. Books, electronics and everything else are going to ruin much faster in those conditions, exposed to wind and rain.

Sure there will be bits and pieces left, but to people hundreds of years from now they'll be strange trinkets with no obvious purpose. It would take a dedicated research effort to dig up old artifacts, painstakingly recover information from scraps of surviving books and begin to map out what our life was actually like. To me that implies a society rich enough to support an academic class meaning they've had to spend a fair while building their population and infrastructure base to get back to an early medieval level, at least.
So how long does it take to survivors to become some tribals again? How many generations? Could they worship technology of past like something supernatural without knowing what it used to be?
 
  • #33
Graw said:
So how long does it take to survivors to become some tribals again? How many generations? Could they worship technology of past like something supernatural without knowing what it used to be?

Well if they don't adopt some form of hunter gatherer or primitive (I.e not relying on technology) agriculture they'll die imminently. Learning how to do that is going to be painstaking, few professions teach you how to do things the old fashioned way because it's obsolete for a reason. Learning how to do simple things like manage crops without machines or pesticides, make rope and fabrics, forge simple tools would be painstaking to relearn. For the first few years they could perhaps get away with scavenging things before exposure to the environment ruins most of the left over stuff.

As for worshiping technology...who knows! The majority of it wouldn't work within a short amount of time (for some things days, others decades). Plenty of religions have creation myths featuring a more idealic past so it's certainly possible some sort of religious narrative will form regarding pre-fall culture.
 
  • #34
Ryan_m_b said:
Well if they don't adopt some form of hunter gatherer or primitive (I.e not relying on technology) agriculture they'll die imminently. Learning how to do that is going to be painstaking, few professions teach you how to do things the old fashioned way because it's obsolete for a reason. Learning how to do simple things like manage crops without machines or pesticides, make rope and fabrics, forge simple tools would be painstaking to relearn. For the first few years they could perhaps get away with scavenging things before exposure to the environment ruins most of the left over stuff.

As for worshiping technology...who knows! The majority of it wouldn't work within a short amount of time (for some things days, others decades). Plenty of religions have creation myths featuring a more idealic past so it's certainly possible some sort of religious narrative will form regarding pre-fall culture.
Allright that is one part done, for the other part of my question. How would advanced modern human race living on another planet change in 1000 years. Is there any way to make them not to change so much due to some strict rules etc. ? Their technology would get better but their civilization would change only slightly.
 
  • #35
Graw said:
Is it beliveable that humans lose their ability to read etc. after breeding of survivors for like 1000 years?

Of course. Can you read 1000 year old English? I have posted some below:

Ðá wæs on úhtan mid aérdæge Grendles gúðcræft gumum undyrne-þá wæs æfter wiste wóp up áhafen micel morgenswég. Maére þéoden æþeling aérgod unblíðe sæt·þolode ðrýðswýð þegnsorge dréah syðþan híe þæs láðan lást scéawedon, wergan gástes·wæs þæt gewin tó strang láð ond longsum.

A rough translation follows:

Monster Grendel's tastes are plainish.
For breakfast? Just a couple Danish.

Or this, a bit more than half as old.

I pray to God so save thy gentil cors,and eek thyne urynals and thy jurdones, thyn ypocras, and eek thy galiones, and every boyste ful of thy letuarie; God blesse hem, and oure lady Seinte Marie! So moot I theen, thou art a propre man, And lyk a prelat, by Seint Ronyan!
Seyde I nat wel? I kan nat speke in terme;but wel I woot thou doost myn herte to erme,that I almoost have caught a cardynacle. By corpus bones! but I have triacle, or elles a draughte of moyste and corny ale, or but I heere anon a myrie tale, Myn herte is lost for pitee of this mayde.
"Thou beel amy, thou Pardoner," he sayde,
"Telle us som myrthe or japes right anon."
"It shal be doon," quod he, "by Seint Ronyon!
 
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