# Is it possible that we could have built a quantum computer 50,000 years ago? [closed]

We took only ~10,000 years from stone age to quantum computer. The Homo sapiens sapiens was appeared 200,000 years ago. Maybe we could have had a world war that killed almost everyone up to 20 times. So I think it is possible that long, long time ago we entered the digital age and built a quantum computer. But a war wiped out almost everything.

Is it possible that we built a quantum computer 50,000 years ago?

If it is possible for a species like humans to develop faster or that ancient humans had developed such technology in our timeline with the archaeological evidence we have?

For example, The ancient Chinese (Terracotta Army) has a chrome plating on their weapon. Chromate oxidization is an advanced technique and there are only two ways to achieve it. Chemical chrome plating and chromium electroplating. The latter was developed in the twentieth century; Germany and the U.S. both claimed patent rights for the process in 1937 and 1950, respectively.

## closed as too broad by Secespitus, L.Dutch♦, Ash, Frostfyre, AifySep 13 '17 at 19:13

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• ...I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. Would you mind editing your question to clarify? Also, this isn't a site for asking for opinions: asking "what do you guys think?" will likely result in your question being closed as too opinion-based. – F1Krazy Sep 13 '17 at 10:51
• The stone age ended in the old world about 4 to 9 thousand years ago. The stone age began about 3 million years ago. You see, once man invented agriculture and metallurgy the social, cultural and technical development was very rapid; but man surely took his time to invent agriculture and metallurgy. No, there was no previous civilisation, except in fantastic films and novels. We would most certainly have found its traces. It's not possible to find remains of stone age culture and miss a technological civilisation. But it works find in a fantastic film or novel. – AlexP Sep 13 '17 at 10:57
• Do you want to know if it is possible for a species like humans to develop faster or if it is possible that ancient humans had developed such technology in our timeline with the archeological evidence we have? – Raditz_35 Sep 13 '17 at 11:00
• Basically you are stating that we could have developed up to the state where we were able to wipe out humanity, but a few humans survived and started anew in the Stone Age. This happened roughly 20 times. And you are wondering whether a previous civilization on Earth could have built a quantum computer. Is that about right? I don't understand what you mean with the archaeologocial evidence. As far as I know there is no evidence of 20 previous civilizations, so why would certain archaeological evidence point towards quantum computers. – Secespitus Sep 13 '17 at 11:12
• What would be left of a civilization founded in dinosaur times?worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/12564/… – Vashu Sep 13 '17 at 11:24

Nope. A society like that would have left visible traces. If it eradicated itself so completely that no traces remain, there would have been no humans left, so one could'nt talk about a 'we' anymore.

Humans? No, most likely not. Unless you give an explanation for that in your story, like some kind of giant conspiracy.

But one could invent a kind of intelligent being different to humans that once ruled Earth but wiped itself out rather... thoroughly. So only a few traces in a desolate location remain.

To put it bluntly, no. There is absolutely no archaeological evidence whatsoever that ancient humans ever developed anything close to a quantum computer.

Our modern society has drastically altered the shape of our landscape. We've drilled tunnels through kilometres of rock, drained entire lakes and rivers and created new ones, reclaimed large swathes of land from the ocean, and covered even larger swathes in asphalt and concrete.

If a society like ours had developed in the distant past, there is absolutely zero chance that it would not have left a trace. Even if some world-encompassing war had wiped that civilization off the face of the earth, it could not have completely erased all traces of their activity. Not to mention that the war itself would have left traces.

As for whether humanity could have developed into its current state sooner, the likely answer is yes, but it's far too broad a question for me to really be any more specific than that.

• 'Absolutely zero chance' is a bold claim to omniscience – Callum Bradbury Sep 13 '17 at 11:49
• @CallumBradbury: Really? Can you please indicate a plausible scenario where a previous technological civilisation somehow managed to erase itself completely from the geological record? For example, how come we didn't find those nice sweet Arabian oil deposits depleted? How come the gold reserves in Australia were still there waiting for us? Or the coal measures of Poland? – AlexP Sep 13 '17 at 11:58
• @AlexP a concerted effort by a civilization far more advanced than we are, to restore the planet to its former glory. If you think that's impossible, that's ok, the internet would seem impossible to people 1000 years ago. – Callum Bradbury Sep 13 '17 at 12:04
• An advanced civilization doesn't have to be a big one. Perhaps there were less than a million of them in only a few cities. – fredsbend Sep 13 '17 at 19:06

Anything is possible. Instead of them being wiped out by a great war, their quantum computer could have predicted what the eventual outcome of their technological improvements would be, and they could have decided to restore the Earth back to its former glory using their advanced equipment, and then dispose of all their technology by launching it into the sun, before returning to their hunter-gatherer lifestyles.

Perhaps the computer that convinced them to do this, was not destroyed, and was placed on the moon instead, and watched over the humans for the next couple of thousand years, to ensure they didn't entirely collapse whilst regaining their place in the natural world - this could be where the myths of God came from.

N     N    O
NN    N  O   O
N N   N  O   O
N  N  N  O   O
N   N N  O   O
N    NN  O   O
N     N    O


Humans are estimated to have arrived into America and Oceania less than 13.000 years ago; in some cases way later.

Agriculture and cattle raising are estimated to have begun about that 15.000. That not only means growing crops and animals, but changing them (using the means available at the time) to make them more useful to humans.

Also, some theories posit that agriculture invention was spurred because the biggest mammals disappeared at that time, it has been speculated that by overhunting.

How do we know that? Because of archeological findings. We have no human remains in America before 13.000 years ago, no evidence of domesticated animals or plants before that.

So:

• it is not that America became depopulated and repopulated 13.000 years ago. It was not populated before.

• it is not that agriculture was "a lost art". It simply did not exist, because there are no older remains.

We still have not, 17.000 years later, a fully functional quantum computer. The idea that some people had access to quantum technology but did not know how to reach America or Oceania, or how to grow food, is naive at best. Worse, a hunter-gatherer society cannot support a high density of population, so it simply lacks the surplus population needed for individuals to specialize and provide any kind of complex technology.

There is no archaeological evidence of an ancient, advanced civilization on Earth - human or otherwise. So, the real answer is "no."

But, that said, we could presumably find something we missed, buried under the ice in Antarctica.

Or we could discover that we came here from another planet (or, at least, "some of us" did) but that no real advanced civilization was created here.

Plenty of ways to write this into a fictional history; but real history supports no such possibility.