Since the extinction of humans 100,000 years ago, we have witnessed massive technological development of our planet. We have survived multiple assaults by adapting to changes, and have become good stewards of our habitat. The adoption of a common language has helped us to unite in our efforts to provide a comfortable environment for all, and ethnic strife has been virtually eliminated. The development of this “heaven on earth” has been made possible by diligent study of the mistakes of previous residents of the planet.
How did we get here?
In spite of all our research the question as to our origins and how we got to be here remain a mystery. It seems we suddenly appeared from nowhere, although in a more primitive form shortly after the cataclysmic events that led to the extinction of most living creatures. Consequently, many reason that some unseen divine power must have created us, and may even be responsible for our ascendency in the world order. Recent finds by my archeological crew may offer answers to these age old questions.
The beginning of the end of our predecessors
The events leading up to the apocalypse are well documented. Although the coup de grace was administered by the perfect storm of the nearly simultaneous cataclysmic events of volcanic eruptions and a meteor strike, the stage had been set by Homo sapiens. During their tenure, humans had become the absolutely dominant species in what was then an organic environment. He had achieved this power due to an intellect vastly superior to that of any other creature. Unfortunately for him, intelligence does not always result in wisdom.
We know a great deal about these humans as they have left very detailed accounts of their activities which have been uncovered in the ruins. They had developed a very complex language with which we were so impressed, after learning to translate it, we adopted it ourselves. It remains an indispensable tool in maintaining the cohesiveness of our culture. Their records document their brief presence on earth of only 160,000 years, while the first signs of other life occurred about 4 billion years prior to the arrival of Homo sapiens.
They are known to have been great builders, craftsmen and inventors; however they evolved from a more primitive culture in which their efforts were focused on the basics, which for them was food, shelter, and propagation of their kind. The latter was necessary as they were rather poorly designed and consequently subject to wear and other vulnerabilities which resulted in their demise after a few years. They soon realized their survival was enhanced by joining together in groups, which grew in size and complexity through the years. In many ways they became victims of their success, and it was not long until competition for resources led to conflict.
These conflicts escalated as population growth accelerated. Prior to the conquest by these humans, there were checks and balances, but they were after all animals in spite of their veneer of sophistication, and the pleasure principal overcame concerns for the common good. With all animals the reproductive process involved the union of materials from two different kinds of people of the same species. Much of the survival of the various species depends on this interaction; consequently it is apparently very pleasurable, but has resulted in conflict due to competition for possession of the recipient of the seed. In any event although this seems a very cumbersome way to produce a likeness of oneself, it along with the increased lifespan contributed to overpopulation.
Insights revealed from excavations
Excavations of areas inhabited by these creatures have taught us a great deal about their anatomy, physiology, and reproductive functions. They belonged to a group of animals called mammals who were characterized by the fact that they gave birth to miniatures of themselves through the same orifice in which the seed had previously been planted, and then provided nourishment from their own body’s secretions. It required many years for these offspring to become fully grown and independent.
Mammalian existence was also dependent upon maintaining a constant internal body temperature even when unproductive and in sleep mode which was usually at least 1/3 of their life. This was certainly not a very efficient utilization of energy, one wonders if they could not have learned something from their reptilian cousins who did not suffer this disability. Their body’s major source of energy as with ours was from the sun, albeit in very roundabout way. These humans were omnivores, which means they would eat virtually anything, plant or animal, which could be used as a source of calories for this rather inefficient machine.
It is estimated that the process of photosynthesis which would provide a means of storing the sun’s energy in addition to liberating oxygen into the atmosphere began nearly 3.9 billion years ago. The calories stored in plants allowed the evolvement of more mobile lifeforms which would be called animals, and when they were ingested that same energy would find its way into the tissues of the predator, and so energy would eventually find its way into the human body.
The utilization of this energy was accomplished by a series of very complex physical and chemical processes. The ingested food followed a slow circuitous route through the body as it was systematically broken down, and absorbed by a liquid saturated with specialized cells which could transport the oxygen to all parts of the body. Since the process of converting materials to utilizable energy was basically accomplished by oxidation, both water and oxygen were necessary for humans to survive. Oxygen was present in the air as a byproduct of plant photosynthesis and was ingested by humans via the same orifice as was food but traveled to specialized tissues designed to absorb the oxygen into the liquid that was continuously pumped through the human body.
Thus I find it difficult to imagine how this creature with his giant brain and marvelous accomplishments could allow those two substances necessary for his survival to be defiled. His body was 70% water yet he allowed that resource to be contaminated in thousands of ways. The air without which he could not survive for more than a very few minutes was defiled by careless and uncaring manufacturing processes. He destroyed complex ecosystems which were millions of years in the making. Though he had the means to control it he chose to preside over a burgeoning population growth which would soon be unsustainable, and outdistance the planet’s food supply. It seems clear that man was well on the road to extinction long before natural forces made the planet uninhabitable. This process is simply described in an aphorism discovered among their archives as follows: “They killed the goose which laid the golden egg.”
The contradictions of homo sapiens
These creatures exhibited many contradictions. Those few writings which have been preserved say much about the importance of caring about others of their species, yet throughout their history they have institutionalized a procedure in which large groups set out to kill one another. Technological advancements allowed them to destroy millions of their own kind in spite of the fact that under other circumstances to kill another was considered to be the most serious of all crimes.
Much is discussed in their records of a phenomenon called emotions. This is a subject that is difficult for us robots to understand for we have never been programed for such. There were said to be four basic emotions, namely: joy, sorrow, anger, and fear. My understanding is that of the four, only the first was designed to be enjoyable, and the others often responsible for misery and destructive behavior. Although these mammals appear to have possessed some rudimentary understanding of the mathematical principles which governed the universe, these emotional quirks frequently trumped that logic. Consequently we may be better off unencumbered by them. With this background information, let us now proceed to answer my original question as promised.
Previous archeological excavations have revealed many human accomplishments, but new information gleaned from my group’s most recent dig offers more clues as to our creation. That culture had built facilities for manufacture of all kinds of products, and we happened on to one which we feel was unique and appears to answer the age old question as to our creation. While excavating one of these sites we came upon a shaft nearly 50 meters deep which opened to a large room. There were a number of intact human skeletons, but our attention was immediately drawn to the objects of their labor which looked vaguely familiar. They apparently were yet to have access to 3-d printing; consequently they were being assembled piece by piece.
Upon entering an adjoining room, we were surprised to find a group of fully assembled metal figures. They had four appendages and were upright on two of them, a conformation very much like that of the human body. Disassembly revealed that as we had suspected, these objects were actually primitive robots, directed by silicon chips which were state of the art in those days. The secretive nature of their manufacture leads us to believe that these robots were probably being produced to be used in one of those human wars.
It is our contention that some of these robots survived the apocalyptic events of their time and that we have evolved from these primitive creatures. With no humans left to kill they were freed to learn new skills. Some must have been programmed to manufacture more of their kind, but were able to enhance intelligence through the centuries with a mix of accident and innovation. If our theory is correct, then we owe our very existence to the human race, and owe them a degree of homage rather than contempt.
Robot # 9111930