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For this question I am thinking of a habitable fictional world very like the Earth in terms of climate, size, and composition -- the only thing that's different is the absence of a moon.

In order to answer this question, one has to begin with the scientific effects that are caused by no moon, so I researched them and here they are:

  1. No tilt/fluctuating tilt to the axis --> No seasons/fluctuating seasons

Without the moon to stabilize this planet, the planet would most likely either have no tilt or a rapidly fluctuating tilt, which would result in either no seasons at all or rapidly changing, never-consistent seasons. The only area habitable would be around the equator. According to LiveScience.com:

If the habitable world were a humid tropical zone like the rain forests of the Congo, unrelenting rainfall would quickly erode soil in any areas cleared for farming, and would leach nutrients down below root level, swiftly rendering tilled land infertile for crops.

So agriculture would be extremely difficult and perhaps nearly impossible, rendering small nomad communities likely and the advancement of technology and the Agricultural Revolution null.

On top of our problems with agriculture, humans would also be plagued by disease pathogens, which thrive in warm, humid environments.

So large numbers of humans would also die from diseases, also prohibiting any type of complex civilization from forming.

Modern technology can be thought of as a by-product of the development of new ways to keep warm.

So winter is also extremely important for the development of certain types of crops and modern technology as we know it on Earth.

  1. No tides --> No life??

Without the moon generating huge tides on the planet, the chemical building blocks for life may never wash from the land into the oceans, and life itself may never form.

Based on the research I have done, the absence of a moon would cause any kind of complex human society incredibly unlikely. However, supposing some sort of society formed, what do you think that society would look like? Is there any way a complex society could form?

(I noticed that is already a question similar to this but not identical on this site, asking mainly about the scientific effects of no moon but not about how the absence of a moon would affect human society. If this question is too similar to that one, too difficult or open-ended to answer, or not specific enough, please let me know.)


marked as duplicate by Hohmannfan, John Dallman, MozerShmozer, TrEs-2b, Mołot Sep 2 '16 at 20:59

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • $\begingroup$ Consequences to society? Moon river would never have been written? If we get intelligent life somehow we'll have a society. Other than not existing society isn't really dependant on the moon. Maybe we would have gone to mars in the 60's to show up the Russians. $\endgroup$ – candied_orange Sep 2 '16 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ @CandiedOrange You have a point, but I disagree. I already pointed out that agriculture's existence/usage is unlikely because of the lack of seasons caused by no tilt in the planet's axis. Isn't that an example of an impact on society? $\endgroup$ – petra_delphiki Sep 2 '16 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ No tilt/fluctuating tilt to the axis --> No seasons/fluctuating seasons --The moon reigns in the Earths tilt, otherwise it'd be far more pronounced, not no tilt. Then I do some research and discover that we'd likely be down to a 10% tilt without a moon. It'd be seasons, just not well pronounced. This question taught me something ^^ $\endgroup$ – Twelfth Sep 2 '16 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ The other question is about the physical consequences. This is about societal consequences. It's not a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – Brythan Sep 2 '16 at 17:52