Ice age Eurasia was not a human world. Cave bears and the Upper Paleolithic:
The longest war ever fought by humans was not fought against other humans, but against another species -- Ursus spelaeus, the Cave Bear.
Unlike human beings, cave bears probably could not have survived elsewhere ... The caves of ice age Eurasia were their world, and they spent enough time in these shelters that the walls of caves have a distinctive sheen that is called "Bärenschliffe"
The "Bärenschliffe" are smooth, polished and often shining surfaces, thought to be caused by passing bears, rubbing their fur along the walls. These surfaces do not only occur in narrow passages, where the bear would come into contact with the walls, but also at corners or rocks in wider passages.
For thousands of years in cultures all over the world the magic mushroom or psilocybe cubensis has been used by humans.
It is possible the psilocybe mushrooms evolved their ability to interface with animal consciousness to give them a unique look at all the information their brains typically disregard. The mushroom can inspire higher thought and evolution.
What if - hear me out on this - what if
it is possible the mushroom originated somewhere else in the universe forming symbiotic relationships with other species. Species all over the universe may find common ground in this higher consciousness symbiotically obtained from the same mushrooms. Maybe these alien species leave behind spores all over the universe, or perhaps the spores traverse space themselves.
Always Coming Home by Ursula Le Guin is an
archaeology of the future. This is an excellent review.
It’s a compendium of poems, linguistic studies, personal narrative and religious observations (with an original cosmology) about the Kesh, a society in far-future California living a kind of new Bronze Age utopia.
Anyway, much poetry.
And buried right in the middle of this book is the revelation that the Earth is also populated by a network of post-singularity artificial intelligences, Yaivkach, the City of Mind:
Some eleven thousand sites all over the planet were occupied by independent, self-contained, self-regulating communities of cybernetic devices or beings -- computers with mechanical extensions. This network of intercommunicating centers formed a single entity, the City of Mind. ... It appears that an ever-increasing number were located on other planets or bodies of the solar system, in satellites, or in probes voyaging in deep space.
Its observable activity was entirely related to the collection, storage, and collation of data
Which is what it does.
They seem not to have interfered in any way with any other species.
There’s a kind of information exchange, mediated by special sites called Exchanges.
Le Guin has put the chapter about the City of Mind online. It’s short and an interesting read, one view of what it might be to cohabit our planet with an intelligence that no longer cares about us. Here: Yaivkach: The City of Mind.
Going through some of my old notes, I found this paragraph from the Extended Phenotype by Richard Dawkins:
Janzen (1977) faces up to the same difficulty, suggesting that a clone of dandelions should be regarded as one 'evolutionary individual' (Harper's genet), equivalent to a single tree although spread out along the ground rather than raised up on the air on a trunk, and although divided up into separate physical 'plants' (Harper's remets). According to this view, there may be as few as four individual dandelions competing with each other for the territory of the whole of North America.