They suggest that the size and location of an asteroid belt [...] may determine whether complex life will evolve on an Earth-like planet.
Solar System – A group of celestial bodies comprising the Sun and the large number of bodies that are bound gravitationally to the Sun and revolve in approximately elliptical orbits around it…
Planetary system – … A system of planets and other bodies, such as comets and meteroids, that orbits a star. The Sun and its planetary system together comprise the solar system.
The Aztecs used wheels in children’s toys (such as small wheeled dogs made of pottery or occasionally obsidian) yet never considered using wheels for transport technology!
that measurement technique could only be performed in the tropics*
There might be the remains of an entire civilization down there under the ice. They might even have achieved space flight; there are obvious reasons why they might have avoided those parts of the world ruled by monsters. I particularly favor the idea when I'm in a SFnal mood that the asteroid strike was an attempt at asteroid mining which went horribly wrong...
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