Echoes of an Alien Sky
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As some of my writings in recent years and postings elsewhere on this site attest, I find the evidence persuasive that Venus is a young planet, and think that the defenders of the traditional view could be clinging to a paradigm that's overdue for some reconsideration. And while I'm by no means a young-Earth creationist--although I get accused of it from time to time--things like fossil trees extending through rock strata that are supposed to be millions of years old, and the rate and scale of some of the geological changes following the Mount St. Helens eruption make me suspicious that the conventional dating system might be in need of revision too. If theories of major, relatively recent, catastrophic upheavals are correct, then the pristine-looking surface that we see today might indeed be the result of processes that happened thousands of years ago, not millions, and the worldwide cultural traditions of the world being remade and repopulated after the end of an earlier one, not so far off the mark.

So if we stretch things a bit--this is supposed to be science-fiction, hopefully with a bit of interesting food for thought thrown in, after all--we have a young Earth-like planet and a basis for postulating that geological and biological processes could take place a lot faster than our currently accepted theories say they do. On that basis, it might not be hundreds of millions of years before another intelligent race emerges to look up at the skies and wonder what's out there. Would we still be around then? Maybe not.

Inherit the Stars, the first book that I wrote, told the story of scientists from Earth reconstructing the story of an earlier civilization that once existed in the Solar System. It was very well received, and many people have asked if I had plans for doing anything along such lines again. Well, here seemed to be the elements for something similar, but this time the other way around. An interesting opportunity too, maybe, to try and sketch something of ourselves as possibly seen through the eyes of others who don't share our cultural images and upbringing.

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