Advanced dinosaur civilization

Are you proposing that nesting, herding, communication and transportation are not innate human instinctual drives? They seem to be universals in human activity.

I’d say civilization is the ability to boil water. That’s universal and not innate, and temporally covers everything from roasting a drum stick to powering a nuclear submarine.

So we’re back to the OP’s terminated clade?

Just how do you think civilization came about? First was a multi-continent-spanning tool-using species, that then developed civilizations at various loci. Not all development in one Lost Valley. A disaster might wipe out the civilization itself, but not the path to it. That’s too ridiculous a notion to credit.

Toba didn’t come close to wiping us out, bottleneck or not. We were already too dispersed for that to happen,

Stuff we can all tell by the abundant artefact evidence. So even those collapses weren’t happening in some Lost Valley fantasyland.

They would look like worked stone and we can see that.

Unless you’re postulating a civilization that never used stone tools which - yeah, going to need more than Just Asking Questions for that one, thanks.

No, thanks, the dinosauroid was fantasy in 1982, it’s still fantasy now.

Like I said to someone else - wood that they obtained, how?

Do you think Native Americans were processing their shelter materials with their teeth?

I don’t find it difficult at all. The Gobekli Tepe culture is not a civilization. We already covered that.

Not at all. Certainly there could have been some very smart dinos, smarter than ravens or parrots. But they didn’t have an “advanced civilization” as we know and define it. We have evidence of what appears to be dino "communities’ of a sort, there is no reason there could not have been very smart dinos, one that maybe even used simple tools. After all ravens and parrots are dinosaurs, and smarter than that is not impossible. A parrot can be as smart as a five yo human. So saying “human level” intelligence is ridiculous is wrong.

We can ridicule the idea of a “advanced dino civilization”, sure. But not a smart dino. We have smart dinos today.

That is a good question. Do we need cities? A written language? Domesticated animals? The wheel? Steam power? what?

Like what would happen on a island. Darwins finches took only 2 million years to evolve.

Parrots and ravens are dinos. True, their brains are not huge, but they are damn smart. Say we get a dino one step smarter than a parrot- one with a 12yo human int. They have a community, they store food, they use but not make simple tools, like sticks, rocks. We’d have no sign of that. And, by stretching we could call that a sort of proto civilization. But that is by no means the sort of advanced civilization the Op wanted. No tools, no plastics, no electricity, no cities, etc.

I re-read that thread, and I can’t see where lynne-42 said it wasn’t a civilization. She seemed to indicate that that was a interesting question, but not answered yet.

In fact many say it is:öbekli%20Tepe,as%20the%20“Fertile%20Crescent.”

In other words, Göbekli Tepe was not a settlement, but rather a sanctuary, and it was built by a civilization keen on providing skills and information to its inhabitants. In fact, the origins of the domesticated wheat that we consume today can be traced back to this exact region, referred to as the “Fertile Crescent.”

But again, this all comes down to “what defines a civilization”?

IMHO, Gobekli Tepe is not a true civilization, but I would agree with calling it a “proto-civilization”. So by this, no dinos never had a civilization.

Yes, and … no, but some kind of non-verbal recordkeeping, yes.

No, no, and definitely not.

@Pleonast I started a new thread in IMHO that’s similar to this thread. But it’s in IMHO so less “you’re wrong and here’s why” posts. I’d like your input. Thanks

I don’t think dinosaurs would need cities. If they were comfortable outdoors in herds/flocks, then they could live outdoors in herds/flocks. I’ve just recently visited the seabird colony at Bempton, with millions of bird/dinosaurs living in comfort on cliffs and small islands. They don’t need to build cities. But if they had some way of communicating with each other by extending their record-keeping into a physical, durable, transferrable medium, they could have a civilisation.
Even more so if they could use this medium for data processing. A million dinosaurs sharing stories, keeping records, charting their local resources and making communal decisions and future plans to alter their environment? Deff.

I said controlled fire, which includes the ability to boil water but is not as limited.

Scientists don’t spout glib phrases as a definition. They list a series of broad traits that need to be considered together. A civilization is not a thing, but more of a process that is composed of many smaller processes.

This is the wrong question. The correct question is “what is the likelihood that every shred of evidence for primates over the last 20 million years (your number) from everywhere in the world would be wiped out so completely that no pathway from, say, proconsul could ever be imagined?”

Remember that a vanished dinosaur civilization cannot be postulated on its own. If it goes, that means that every plant and animal on which it fed and its prey fed also vanished, and so did their ancestors and their ancestors and their ancestors back for millions of years, the entire ecosystem and bioscape and geology simply vanishing off the map, every bit of it.

I said earlier that talking about intelligent dinosaur civilizations is special pleading, and your entire post is a good example. Talking about evidence of the last step surviving is working backwards. All the steps must survive. The scientifically correct approach is to look at the actual evidence and determine what can be said from it. If nothing can be said, then say nothing. If your entire argument is made from a series of fantastically unlikely events that contradicts everything we know about the way the world works, then your argument is not science, but fictional speculation.

Boiling water is the application of a principle to a device or process. That’s technology. An activity that is not innate in animal populations like nesting and herding,

This is my point. Scientists no longer use terms like technology, which, as we’ve seen here, get people embroiled into definitional feuds. They prefer to use what boil down to a set of visual changes to the landscape that can be objectively observed and catalogued.

Do you think the OP really cares about such narrow definitions of civilization? Sure, working scientists need definitions that they can apply in practice. But if some version of a dino Gobekli Tepe were found, that would represent an absolutely incredible find, and likely require throwing out everything we think we know about how civilizations do form. No one, scientists especially, would care in the slightest if it didn’t strictly conform to what we know about human civilizations. Eventually a new scientific language would develop, and it would differ significantly from the current language.

You’re quite right. A large number of people posting in this thread care nothing at all about science. That’s why the rest of us are trying to give them some understanding of it and its importance.

There’s nothing scientific about stating definitively that civilization is an all or nothing thing which doesn’t admit of degrees, or even that there’s some non-arbitrary point on the continuum between microorganisms and a pan-galactic spacefaring civilization that objectively distinguishes between civilization and not-civilization.

Science isn’t some mindless process of naming and categorization. And while scientists generally do have specialized meanings for things, those same words may have less specific meanings in general use. It’s important to understand the context of a question and try to address that, while possibly also being helpful in moving the poster to using more careful language.

If someone posts that they have less “energy” after switching their diet entirely to Mountain Dew, it’s not helpful to point out that calorie for calorie, the energy content of sugar vs. other foods is the same. It just means the poster was not using energy in a scientific sense.

It’s even worse here, because we don’t have any broad understanding of civilization at all; we have just one data point, heavily biased by our capabilities and limitations as humans. Hell, most definitions include “human” as a prerequisite. The OP is obviously not looking for an answer of “No, because civilizations are human-only by definition”.

If you’re saying he wanted a scientific answer to a question that wasn’t based in science, we agree again.

I’ll never tire of quoting Feynman, so here he is on the difference between the names of things and the things themselves:

The next Monday, when the fathers were all back at work, we kids were playing in a field. One kid says to me, “See that bird? What kind of bird is that?” I said, “I haven’t the slightest idea what kind of a bird it is.” He says, “It’s a brown-throated thrush. Your father doesn’t teach you anything!” But it was the opposite. He had already taught me: “See that bird?” he says. “It’s a Spencer’s warbler.” (I knew he didn’t know the real name.) “Well, in Italian, it’s a Chutto Lapittida. In Portuguese, it’s a Bom da Peida. In Chinese, it’s a Chung-long-tah, and in Japanese, it’s a Katano Tekeda. You can know the name of that bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird. You’ll only know about humans in different places, and what they call the bird. So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing-that’s what counts.” (I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.)

That not everyone on this thread has the same ideas about what it means to have a civilization is an impediment to understanding, but it is not the difference between science and non-science. Clear naming is a side effect of performing science, but isn’t science itself.

Yes, but in this case, they are pointing at a squirrel, and asking what kind of bird it is.

At some point words either have meaning, or they don’t.

Could dinosaurs had some sort of complex tribal structure, even including complex communication of arbitrary concepts? I would bet not, but there isn’t evidence to definitively rule it out. There are interesting concepts to be explored there, though there isn’t enough record to have much of a definitive discussion either way.

But that’s not a civilization, a civilization does have criteria to it. And anything that meets even the barest criteria of a civilization is almost certainly ruled out by a complete lack of evidence that not only the civilization itself, but its precursors and its impact would leave.

We know that ALL of the then-exant non-avian dinosaur clades were terminated by the results of Chicxulub, so why do you find this unbelievable or unrealistic?

OUR civilization developed this way, but is this a necessary precursor for some other civilization?

Remember, humans spread around the globe mostly by walking; we evolved in a geologic era in which there were no vast ocean gaps between the continents we settled. Even the gap between Timor and Sahul (Greater Australia) was less than 60 miles at times. We can prove true long-distance seafaring, purposefully sailing to a place you couldn’t see from your starting place, only beginning with the Austronesian expansion ca. 3000 BC, by which time there were Sumerian city-states already several thousand years old.

Meanwhile, in the late Cretaceous period, India for example was out in the middle of the Tethys Ocean hundreds of miles from the nearest landmass; Australia and Antarctica were joined to each other, but not to anything else; Africa had separated from South America but wasn’t yet close to Eurasia. Any terrestrial lifeform would not be able to see there was any other place out there, so why would they have gone looking? HOW would they have gone looking, given what we know of the development of seafaring from island-hopping to long-distance voyaging?

Why would their tools have necessarily been stone?

That’s part of thinking about what a civilization not just like ours might look like: what makes stone tools a necessary step in their evolution? I don’t see any real path to, say, space-faring that doesn’t include stone tools, but is space-faring a necessary part of being a civilization? No.

Abundant artifact evidence in a very constrained geographic area in a time that is but a geological eye-blink separated from us. Everything we know about Easter Island civilization, e.g., is contained in 63 square miles and the last thousand years (maybe 1500, maybe). What is the likelihood that any given 63 square miles will survive for 65 million years?

Picked it up off the ground? Broke it off living trees? Pulled up saplings out of the ground? If you live in or near a woodland, there’s wood all around.

No, they were processing those materials with their hands. We already have evidence for dinosaurs that could grasp materials with their hands.

I think Gobekli Tepe does qualify as civilization, but if you don’t, then just move ahead to the first civilization you do recognize: Sumer, Mohenjo Daro, ancient Egypt, whatever. There was a point in human history where “civilization” was not a globe-spanning thing, but instead geographically confined to one or a handful of locations. If another asteroid came by and caused a Chicxulub-scale catastrophe during the Egyptian Old Kingdom, what is the likelihood that in 65 million years evidence would be found?

I don’t understand where you’re going with these statements. If human civilization had never developed at all, that doesn’t mean the fruits, berries, grains, nuts, seeds, roots, shellfish, mammoths, etc., etc., on which the various primate species have been feeding also vanished. Most of the ecosystems and bioscapes and geology in which we developed would have looked pretty much the same if we’d never existed at all, because it is only in the last ten or fifteen millennia that humans have made large-scale changes to our environment in ways that are unambiguously “us.”

No, all of the steps need not survive: the fossil record contains lots of gaps that will never be filled. (For example, South African caves are a major source for early hominid fossils, but the caves [only accumulated fossils during dry eras (U–Pb-dated flowstones restrict South African early hominin record to dry climate phases | Nature)] (probably paywalled PDF); the steps that happened during wet eras did not survive.) Even if all of the steps do survive, however, how many would be recognizably and unambiguously leading to dinosaur civilization before the last couple?

I posit that the OP is probably interested in exploring exactly those concepts, and what civilization-adjacent structures could be detected, or at least not ruled out. There are factual questions here even if the idea is a little fuzzy.

Civilization has criteria, but it’s not like it’s as fixed and narrow a concept as, say, a hydrogen atom. There is wiggle room. And there are criteria that, even if we want to preserve, we should consider generalizing. For instance, is a writing system strictly necessary? What if there was an entirely different method for preserving information in physical form? Or what if it was less necessary in the first place due to profoundly greater memory (for example)? How about agriculture? Agriculture might be simply impossible for other species, but other forms of high-output food production might be possible.

Because we know what the clades who terminated earlier than Chicxulub were like, and none of them were heading for intelligence.

I emphatically reject any notion of civilization that just magically appears without a long precursor stage as pure fantasy.

None of the continents you’ve just mentioned have any signs of dinosaur intelligence. I’m rejecting the idea that civilization would develop in just one spot on those continents without any precursors that cover the whole continent. If you’re saying the whole of India or Africa is your Lost Valley, then my point about zero evidence stands.

What else would they have been?
Wood? Naah, you can’t process wood to any degree without stone (or possibly shell, like on some Polynesian islands,but that still leaves traces)

No, across a whole continent, minimum. Else it’s just magical Lost Valley bullshit.

And processed with their teeth?

Are you fucking kidding me? Do you think Native Americans didn’t use tools?

Really? Where are this civilization’s houses?

Once again: The evidence would have been everywhere