Antediluvian civilization refers to the people that lived in the time prior to the Great Deluge.
Evil of Mankind
According to the Bible, fallen Angels, ("the Sons of God" Gen. 6:2), had relations with human women, giving birth to giants: "the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."(Gen. 6:4)
Besides their powerful, super-human rulers, Antediluvian civilizations were wicked and violent (Gen. 6:5). This leads us to believe that they were not struggling to survive, rather they were basking in excess; they could afford to become corrupt because of the surplus of resources.
Level of technology
Antediluvian civilization must have commanded techniques of shipbuilding and naval architecture on a par with the highest technologies of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Only with such technology could one man, with his three sons, have built anything as massive, and as eminently seaworthy, as Noah's Ark.
Surprisingly, the level of technology of antediluvian civilization knows no limit, except the limits that physical laws set. Conventional theory states any civilization earlier than modern civilization must leave traces on the land on which it stood. But antediluvian civilization must have stood on precambrian rock, that is, deep to the entire geological column. The reason: the Great Flood laid down all the geological layers. So violent was it that it surely destroyed every artifact of human kind, except one vessel, about 515 feet long, built to proportions that struck the best balance among the competing concerns of strength, stability, and sea-kindliness.
Shane Johnson, in Ice: The Greatest Truths Hide in the Deepest Shadows, developed, for this novel, a theory of how antediluvian civilization could increase in technology without practical limit and still remain undetectable. One must surely expect great advancement by remembering that men lived 900 years on average, and had at least 1,656 years (per the Masoretic Text of the Bible; see the Annals of Noah in Genesis chapter 5) to advance their technology before the Flood. Possibly the antediluvians did not have a unified civilization, and did not share many technological elements, especially those useful for making weapons. Or perhaps the antediluvians organized central governments, and eventually one central government. In the Johnson version, that government fails completely, and the civilization lapses into anarchy and chaos.
Nevertheless, Johnson reminds his readers that in 1500 years (from the Fall of Rome to Project Apollo), modern humankind, limited though the human life span was, advanced from the total post-Roman desuetude to developing telecommunications and sending crews to the Moon. Given a life span of 1000 years, Johnson speculates that antediluvian civilization could easily have placed a working base on the Moon, achieved total gravity manipulation, and built a surveillance network under which no activity could escape official notice (so long as anyone was still paying attention!). He also speculated on bases on Mars and even a now-destroyed planet of which the asteroid belt would constitute the remains. That no survivors have since tried to reach Earth since then, Johnson attributes to outbreaks of mutiny and mutual murder on every one of these bases, upon the sickening realization that the Earth has suffered the ultimate destructive event. (Mr. Johnson clearly did not know about the Hydroplate Theory. Else he would never have speculated about a planet once orbiting in the space the asteroid belt now occupies. Johnson did, however, correctly predict that the dwarf planet Pluto did not exist before the Flood.)
The current development of cloud storage and streaming technology suggests a further reason why none of the literature, art, music, or cinema of the antediluvian period survives. An event as violent as the Flood surely was, would have utterly destroyed the infrastructure that supports these technologies, and every byte of information they held.
Worse than the physical destruction, were the deaths of the inventors and maintainers of the technology this civilization once commanded. Johnson illustrates that point simply. His lead character, Astronaut Gary Lucas, points to his wristwatch to show his fellow astronaut how a society can lose its technology from a violent-enough event:
|“||I use this [wristwatch] every day. But if you asked me to make one, or even to tell you how to make one, I couldn't do it.||”|
The legendary kingdom of Atlantis may have existed during this period.
- Cf. Protector, a "Known Space" novel by Larry Niven. In it, Niven proposed a progenitor civilization for human beings. Family leaders in that civilization fought bitter and never-ending feuds and kept military technology top-secret or closer. This had the result of constant war. Niven speculated that human beings, with their ability to co-operate and forge long-standing alliances, could eventually defeat their progenitors in war, should the two civilizations ever come in contact.