3
$\begingroup$

I want a post apocalyptic earth setting, many thousands of years in the future where civilization has no ability to create electronics. I looked into emps, gamma rays, and solar bursts but nothing seems to be lasting. I would like the apocalypse to have permanently set us back to the dark ages and even mutated some species. I’m not sure what would be scientifically plausible.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It wouldn't be scientifically plausible. If one can make light bulbs one can also make vacuum tubes. So what? (And please, "dark ages". You mean you don't want steam engines and electric telegraphy? That's quite a bit harder than no solid state electronics.) $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 11 at 16:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As an alternative to scientific reasons, would you be willing to consider social or religious reasons? $\endgroup$ – We are Monica. Sep 11 at 16:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A short-lived show called Revolution did this via runaway nanite that actively prevented electrical conduction. $\endgroup$ – 458 Sep 11 at 16:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AlexP: Well, the lights back then weren't particularly bright by modern standards... can we compromise on the Dim Ages? $\endgroup$ – nzaman Sep 11 at 17:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The Greatwinter series by Sean McMullen had orbiting microwave satellites that would detect and zap electrical devices on the earth's surface. In theory one could build a semiconductor fab underground, but no-one had ever quite managed to put together a sufficient technology base to get the whole enterprise started. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Sep 11 at 18:37
3
$\begingroup$

Humanity is not as smart as it was.

Homo sapiens has existed as a species for 300,000 years. It took 290,000 years before members of our species domesticated the animals we like to eat, and another 5000 before anyone made things out of metal. There were not technological innovations for a very long time.

Maybe something happened 10,000 years ago to our species. Genes for creativity and invention spread through populations. Where did those genes come from? In any case, humankind acquired powers it did not have before. Our species took over the world and made it ours.

After the apocalypse, those genes were lost and the ability to innovate with them. Homo sapiens was more the creature it was 200,000 years ago - social, clever, a tool maker, but not to the same degree. Another 200,000 years of rolling the dice with the genome will have to go by before the intelligence and creativity that humanity lost will evolve again.

Or maybe the Nephelim will return?

Genesis 6:1

when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting idea, but I wonder if this tribal collection of unintelligent beings could truly be called a "civilization", or if they'd even be considered homo sapiens at that point. Not necessarily a dealbreaker, but it might be an issue if the OP specifically wants a human civilization without electronics. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Wang Sep 11 at 18:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NuclearWang have a look at "Riddley Walker", which covers this particular idea quite nicely. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Sep 11 at 18:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.