If life on Earth was wiped out and we were left with just rats, nettles and cockroaches, it would take less than 10m years for a new ecosystem as rich and complex as our current one to evolve. Throughout the tropics, rats the size of orangutans would swing from the branches of nettles the size of banyans. Polar rats in their thick white fur would hunt giant, scuttling, antifreeze-filled cockroaches across the pack ice.
But if our culture was wiped out, leaving only the opinions of Jeremy Clarkson, Germaine Greer, and Osama bin Laden, a new one, just as rich,…
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