Larry Klaes (email@example.com)
Wed, 07 Jul 1999 11:17:22 -0400
Feel free to draw your own conclusions as to what
might have happened to other civilizations on alien
worlds with their own comets and planetoids to
contend with during their histories. This could
be yet another reason why finding them via SETI
is not easy.
For related articles, see:
Chaos from Above [partial quote]
Did Asteroids and Comets Turn the Tides of Civilization?
The heart of humanity seems at times to have lost its cadence,
the rhythmic beat of history collapsing into impotent chaos.
Wars raged. Pestilence spread. Famine reigned. Death came
early and hard. Dynasties died, and civilization flickered.
Such a time came in the sixth century A.D. The Dark Ages
settled heavily over Europe. Rome had been beaten back from
its empire. Art and science stagnated. Even the sun turned its
back. "We marvel to see no shadows of our bodies at noon, to
feel the mighty vigor of the sun's heat wasted into feebleness,"
Italian historian Flavius Cassiodorus wrote at the time. "We have
summer without heat. The crops have been chilled by north
winds, (and) the rain is denied."
In China, "the stars were lost from view for three months." The
sun dimmed, the rain failed, and snow fell in the summertime.
Famine spread, and the emperor abandoned his capital amid
political and economic disasters.
Then came pestilence. The Justinian plague, named for a
Byzantine emperor, apparently began in central Asia, spread into
Egypt, and then swept across Europe. Hundreds of thousands
The world had gone to hell in a hurry, if the historical
accounts can be believed. But with neither evidence of
global disaster nor a viable cause, the records were widely
doubted by historians.
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