PDA

View Full Version : Animals Intelligance



bossman20081
2004-Jul-29, 01:08 AM
I know we are always talking and debating about intelligent life on other planets, but what if some animals on earth evolved to be as smart as humans are? Say dolphins intelligance leveled off with humans, how would we react to this? Would we accept them as equals or what? Of course this would take a thousands of years so we would have plenty of time to get use to it. If it happened once it could happen again...

Tom2Mars
2004-Jul-29, 01:18 AM
I've seen some really smart animals, and some not so smart people. And what's odd is that I have seen a lot of pretty smart people who can't seem to handle other smart people, or even some good new ideas.


Would we accept them as equals or what? Of course this would take a thousands of years so we would have plenty of time to get use to it.
I think some people are having a difficult getting used to it now, with each other. I don't think they will react too well if animals started showing them up. Hmmm, now I'm beginning to ramble...

Bossman! I think this is going to be a highly debated topic, interesting!

ASEI
2004-Jul-29, 03:06 AM
To be accepted as equals, they would have to demonstrate some considerable capability. Not just being able to poke the right button to get a treat, but actual communication on a higher language level would be necessary. It would also help if their demonstrated skills were useful to us. If that dolphin can program a wireless network driver, then there would be no problem accepting it as an equal - people would want to hire them. :lol:

GOURDHEAD
2004-Jul-29, 07:27 PM
The chief problem will be defining "equal" or "equivalence". In a broad general sense I think we would accept them. Scorekeeping at the level of smallest details in search of equality would no doubt occur and be very difficult to solve or resolve.

The near term source of this problem will be the genetically engineered hybrids that nature unaided by its human component would not have generated whether they be marine mammals designed to aid us in deep sea exploration or critters fitted with balloon like appendages capable of hovering high in the atmosphere of any planet with one--especially the gas giants and venus.

eburacum45
2004-Jul-29, 09:57 PM
I think we may be able to determine the combination of genetic characteristics that could allow some, or many of the higher mammals to develop language abilities comparable to our own.


This is the sort of possibility described here;
http://www.orionsarm.com/clades/Sapientchimps.html
http://www.orionsarm.com/clades/Enhanced_Dolphins.html

In fact once these animals have access to language, I suspect they will be more readily perceived as intelligent in themselves, even without genetic enhancement of their learning and cognitive abilities.

bossman20081
2004-Jul-30, 08:25 AM
the main reason I asked this question is because humans cant get along with themselves, so how will we get along with another species? They will want all the same rights we have, but will we give it to them?

String Fan
2004-Jul-30, 09:02 AM
If a species of animal were to display even 75% of the intelligence of our stupidest specimen, then I imagine that they would feel pretty agrieved at being left off the 'opposable thumb' shortlist. We as humans, have the physical abilities to make ANYTHING that we need. It's just that we fail to always make just things.

blueshift
2004-Jul-31, 02:44 PM
If you pick up Marc Hauser's book "Wild Minds" you can get a sense to the limits and extents of animal intelligence...He made an exhaustive study and did some
very thorough experiements concerning how humans and animals think and perceive..

One of the interesting areas of study concerns counting..From experiments and the
interpretation of their results, it appears that all species can count and must do so to survive..Humans learn to count after just 4 days of life by recognizing a violation
of quantitative expectencies..Lions roar out of sequence to disguise their numbers
to distant prides..

Ants can be fooled with flashlights, mistaking them for the Sun and sending them on discourse as their shadows no longer move with the rythmn that daytime hours
provide.

Birds tap into the Earth's magnetic field and can read positions of the Sun and the stars to navigate. Surround them in a room with a magnetic field and a few lights
to pose as different Suns and they will become disorientated..

Humans can tap into the magnetic field as well. While blindfolded and taken on
journeys we can find our way back. But blindfolded and strapped with a magnetic fields around our heads brings a disorientation.

There is a trade off between what we know and what they do. Therefore, we are on an
equal basis with them..They have no need for money and government. We do.

blueshift

Cambo
2004-Aug-01, 02:32 AM
Interesting ideas blueshift.
Makes me think about what is intelligence.
Find it hard to believe "Humans learn to count after just 4 days of life by recognizing a violation of quantitative expectencies.."
or is it I don't understand what you mean?
Having had a 4 day old in my family, she definitely didn't show any signs of the potential she grew in to at 4 days.

Josh
2004-Aug-01, 06:01 AM
I'm really quite eager to get into this topic, but for now I'll just let all the aussies know that on channel 7 tonight @ 6:30 is The World Around Us and it's specifically looking at animal intelligence. After that I hope to post something more.

For now I'll say that i think there are other extremely intelligent animals out there - like dolphins - and I see no reason why intelligence should be the benchmark for treating other species equally.

blueshift
2004-Aug-02, 03:49 AM
Cambo,

When I first read it the first time myself I made an inner sarcastic reply,
"Gee, I know some people I work with in their 50s and they still can't count!"

The experiment goes like this:

" An experimenter shows an infant either one, two, or three Mickey Mouse
dolls on a stage, as well as a screen moving up and down. Test trials start once the
infant is bored, looking away from the stage. In the 'expected' test ( 1+1=2), an infant watches as an experimenter lowers one Mickey Mouse doll onto an empty
stage. A screen is then placed in front of Mickey. The experimenter then shows another Mickey and places it behind the screen. With the screen removed, the infant sees 2 Mickeys on stage as expected. No magic. In the 'unexpected' test the infant sees the same sequence of actions with one exception-a bit of backstage
magic. When the experimenter removes the screen, the infant sees either one
( i.e. 1+1=1) or three ( i.e. 1+1=3 ). Although their jaws don't drop, 5 month olds consistently look longer when the outcome is one or three Mickeys instead of two.
And precisely the same kind of result emerges from an experiment involving subtraction instead of addition."

That's a direct quote from Marc Hauser's "Wild Minds", page 52. Karen Wynn performed the experiments in 1992..Actual counting with numbers as symbols for quantities does not start until the second year of life. They start stabbing at answers and recounting when you ask them "how many cookies?" Three- and- a half to four year olds answer without recounting and only give the final count term,
giving us the signal they understand "cardinality"-the idea that the last term signifies the total number counted..

Now this lets you know how badly the memory banks of a 55 year old needs oiling.
I do know that ONE of the species counts after 4 days. I just forgot which one...
Maybe ants. I'll find it later.

blueshift

ASEI
2004-Aug-02, 04:24 AM
Well, then there is the matter of the usefullness of intelligence. After all, if a frog can do the counting trick faster, it certainly cannot build shelters or factories. So far as I know, we are the only ones to build computers or aircraft. Even supposing a dolphin species or something actually is capable of processsing or learning faster or at a younger age, you don't see them pointing periscopes out of the water.

Tom2Mars
2004-Aug-02, 02:06 PM
ASEI, re-
Well, then there is the matter of the usefullness of intelligence. ... So far as I know, we are the only ones to build computers or aircraft.

True ASEI, but I worry about our perception of usefullness. We are the only species that can build thermonuclear weapons, and enough of them, to erase our existence. Although, I wonder about the goats and sheep too. They will eat the plants down to the roots to the point where things won't grow back, so no more food supply for them. :P

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-02, 03:42 PM
...I worry about our perception of usefullness. We are the only species that can build thermonuclear weapons, and enough of them, to erase our existence. Although, I wonder about the goats and sheep too. They will eat the plants down to the roots to the point where things won't grow back, so no more food supply for them.

As we grow more aware of and more accurately assess the properties of the universe including emphasis on our locality and its dangers and opportunities, we will possess a longer range view over ever larger sets of parameters and influences as well as how they are coupled. This will ensure that we live long and prosper by having learned to maintain the balance between resources and population densities of ourselves and the sheep and goats. We must not leave it to the sheep and goats and those of kindred mind sets.

Josh
2004-Aug-02, 11:51 PM
Don't you think though, Gourdhead, that a lot of human activity is in the goat/sheep mindset? Look at the amount of habitat destruction and rate of extinction of other animals caused by us.

zephyr46
2004-Aug-03, 01:21 AM
Thanks for the heads up Josh. I caught the end of it. I think the beavers stole the show.

I think when we find animals painting in caves, they'll be in trouble. It's ok for an elephant or gorilla to paint to save it's species, but us humans get pretty cruel when we feel threatened.

I remember in first year pyschology the lecturer used to rave on why animals were inferior to us, yet in the same sentence, would outline a conversation held over the internet with a gorilla.

The issue that always strikes me is the frog in the saucepan. Will global deforestation force some animals to evolve or is it the water boiling to slow for them to notice?

Humanity conquired the fears of the wild with concepts of god and new technologies born of science, to the point where we talk about artificial intelligence and virtual organisms, the "random data", in I Robot. We are surrounded
by humans, yet we crave attention from another species. Our inherent ability to annoy and deny each other the feelings we need.

This sort of disatisfaction with each other, I feel, drives us to build zoos, to try and teach gorillas and chimpanzees to talk to us in our own langauge and to search out intelligence life out there.

When it comes down to real concerns though, we are blind to the complexity of animal communication, which has evolved over the same if not longer period of time that humans have, and still maintains other speicies.

In killing our fear of nature, we may have left the canary behind as we continue to destroy the habitat of all the life in the Universe that we know of.

So in the intelligence stakes, every other kingdom on the tree of life seems to be winning hands down in the sustainability stakes, but this is not the intelligence we seek. What then is this higher intelligence?

The intelligence to stop us? The intelligence to save us? Or perhaps the intelligence to say "wow, we really like what you've done with the place, so why are you mob so lonely here?"

ASEI
2004-Aug-03, 04:00 AM
<Standard disaffected anti-human stuff>
The intelligence to stop us? The intelligence to save us? Or perhaps the intelligence to say "wow, we really like what you&#39;ve done with the place, so why are you mob so lonely here?"


The intellegence to be useful to us in any way would be a start. Come on, you know what we mean when we speak of intellegence. There is a VAST difference in capability between humans and animals. The Saturn V rocket proves as much. It may be only due to some very slight differences in our brain metabolism or something, but you have to admit, we have the best abstract reasoning, the best toolmaking capabilities, the best social cohesivenes, philosophy, communication, ect of any other species that we know of by an enourmous margin. If we could artificially get them to match that, then it would be earth shattering. But I don&#39;t expect to find it occuring naturally, because so far the dolphins haven&#39;t been invading our beaches with hovercraft, and there are no notable gorilla physics professors.

zephyr46
2004-Aug-03, 06:17 AM
<Standard drone stuff, anthropocentrism>

Yeah, just like those Albatross, and their drift nets killing hundreds of people.

Or the Whales, eating whole fish stocks depleting earth’s resources faster than they can replenish

ASEI, when was the last time you saw a Saturn V ?

Sorry man, I don&#39;t beleive Hype. Yes, some of humanity is pretty impressive, but ASEI, you sound dangerously uncritical.

Lomitus
2004-Aug-03, 08:20 PM
Hi All,
This is a subject near and dear to my heart, so I just gotta add my &#036;.02 worth here...

Now first I have to agree with those who have already said, why do they have to be considered by us as intelligent to be considered equals. Humankind has adopted this attitude over the span of our time that if we&#39;re superiour to something, we have the right to control and manipulate it for our own benifit. How much damage have we as human&#39;s caused to other species, as well as our enviroment and our planet with this attitude? Why does "our" evaluation of a species intellect have to determine our amount of love and respect for that species?

Ansi said, "The intellegence to be useful to us in any way would be a start" and " It would also help if their demonstrated skills were useful to us"...why??? Why does something have to useful to -us- to be of value? Isn&#39;t it enough that something simply exists to have it&#39;s own purpose? Yes, humankind has achieved some impressive achievments due to our techinical skills, but does this make us "superiour" to other forms a life, let alone give us the right to impose our own values on them? More over, what have we done -for- them for us to be worthy in their eyes? Humankind has indeed achieved many great things, but we&#39;ve also achieved great atrocities as well...no whale, dolphine, wolf, deer or other mammel of this planet has ever come close to destroying the planet (along with every other species on it) as we have with our great engineering skills.

Now back to the idea of animal intelligence...all and all I have to question "scientific" proof here again (sorry...it&#39;s my nature). Let&#39;s take my dogs for example (my wife and I have 3). Now each of them knows between 15 to 30 of my commands..."sit", "stay", "come here", "outside", "next commercial" (err...don&#39;t ask), etc., etc.. Comparativly, I only know maybe 8 to 10 at most of their "commands"..."I&#39;m hungry", "I want outside", "I want attention", "I want to play", etc....makes me wonder who&#39;s actually smarter&#33; The fact that they know more of my commands then I do of theirs suggests at the very least their better and faster at learning that I am&#33; LOL&#33; Now in fairness to myself and my dogs, I do usually have a good idea of whats on their mind. :) I&#39;ve grown up with dogs and have always considered them to be smart and have a "soul" if you will...I&#39;ve never looked down on dogs (or most other species) because I thought I was superiour. As a results, I have a pretty good understanding of how they do in fact communicate...you not only have to listen, but you have to watch and pay attention as well. I know when my dogs are happy, when their sad, when their concerned about me, etc., simply by the way the present themselves. From the tone of their barks, I can tell when their playing, when their frustrated or when someone is messing around outside the house. In addition, as an observer, I&#39;ve seen my dogs do things that I find as really amazing...sometimes even simple things. When ever my 3 year old Chow/Elkhound mix hears the National Geographic theme for instance, she runs in front of the TV and sits there and literally watches the show with us&#33; Our Golden Retriever mix who passed away last year once pulled a corn cob out of the trash and was laying on it with her tail wagging when I got home like nothing was wrong...she had done something she wasn&#39;t supposed to and was literally -lieing- to me about it&#33; There are so many situations such as these that I&#39;ve encountered over the years, I could probably fill a book&#33; And these were just dogs I grew up and lived with&#33; Lets look at other species...dolphins and certainly whales have much larger brains then we do as humans (and we don&#39;t even use most of our brains according to medical research&#33;). Could this not indicate that there is at least a potential for superiour intellect even if they don&#39;t show it by our standards? We tend to evaluate our intellect as a species by our achievments, but is this really indicative of how smart we are? Lets take dolphins for example...they swim, they play, the mate, they eat, they raise their young and generally speaking, their at peace...they don&#39;t have wars, they don&#39;t have to worry about paying this months bills, they don&#39;t have to worry about being to work on time, they don&#39;t get frustrated if the cable goes out.....I dunno about most people, but that doesn&#39;t sound like such a bad life to me&#33; Maybe it takes a superiour intelligence to know how to simply enjoy life. :) How do we know that we&#39;re smarter then they are anyways simply because they don&#39;t relate to us on -our- level? I would also like very much to add that dolphins don&#39;t have hands&#33; No their not going to be able to "build things" the way they do, but with that in mind, why would they need to? A dolphin or a whale doesn&#39;t really -need- skyscrapers or nuclear power plants in order to be happy so even if they had the techincal abilities and physical prowess of say a "aposable thumb", would this mean they need to start building things to be happy? We as humans build things we need because we are able to, but we also build -a lot- of things we -don&#39;t- need....my house is filled with things that I don&#39;t really need. Many of the things are "modern convieniences" and many of them simply make me happy, but I don&#39;t "need" them in order to be happy let alone survive. We build things because we can, but does this mean we are any happier let alone smarter? Does this mean that dolphins are less intelligent then we are because their smart enough -not- to build things to excess and use up the planets resources? Maybe the fact that dolphins have learned to be happy and survive without the use of cell phones means their perhaps a little smarter then we are&#33; LOL&#33; Also in regards to the dolphin pushing the correct button with his nose....hey...at least he/she gets a fish out of it&#33; What do we get besides a good giggle and some scientific data? Now granted, I&#39;m not all that fond of fish, but if say, someone were to offer me a Hostess Ho-Ho or a Klondike bar, you betcha I&#39;d puch that button a few times with my nose&#33; LOL&#33;&#33;&#33; What would -you- do for a Klondike bar? Hehehehe....


On the issue of communication...
Now lets be honest here...with all of our wonderous achievments, we humans often have trouble communicating with each other even when we speak the same language&#33; I challenge anyone on this board to tell me that they&#39;ve -never- met a person who has misunderstood something they have said. Now if you take a person who speaks nothing but English and put them in a room with a person who speaks nothing but Chinese without an interpretter, in the course of time (years) yes they will find common references and learn to communicate with each other, but it&#39;s not going to be easy to say the least&#33; Now this is two members of the same species who simply speak different languages...of course it&#39;s going to be more difficult to communicate with a different species...especially if we try to make them communicate with us. I&#39;ve had a long time interest in "whale song" both as a person who apreciates whales and as a musician. I discovered many years ago that with an electric guitar and a few effects, I can mimic (pretty closely) the sound of humpback whales. I&#39;ve often wondered if given time and the proper access to whales, if I could perhaps learn -their- language....it would be a facinating experiment to say the least. Language occurs on -many- levels...look at some of the problems that occur on the internet (such as those between Dave Mitsky and myself) when you remove everything but the words. Language is also conveyed in tone, body language (including facial expression), etc.. There are certainly things we take for granted, until you remove them and the result can be much less then effective (and again my apologies go out to Mr. Mitsky). In many animals even things such as smell may come into play...certainly something that we as humans arn&#39;t all that capable of. We as humans take communication for granted...it&#39;s easy to do. We&#39;re raised with communication from the moment we&#39;re born, we&#39;re submerged in it by the media, many of us are almost surgically attached to our cell phones, etc.. But how many of us really understand communication? It&#39;s a -very- complex issue even amoungst ourselves. Perhaps in order to communicate with other species, we should get past ideas such as "what do they have to offer to us" and work more on issues such as "Hi...how are you today?"

I recently read an article (sorry, I forget where) that in a nut shell said that if we&#39;re going to try and communicate with other species from other worlds, that perhaps a good place to start would be right here in our own back yard. Human&#39;s until recently have had this underlying thought that when we meet other intelligent species that they may look similar to us. This is very probably -not- the case. If you look at the wide diversity of life on this planet then consider what other kind of life could be "out there" it really boggels the mind. Take the concept of the late Dr. Carl Sagan&#39;s "Floaters" for example...how would we as humans attempt to communicate with such a species? Maybe a species that is technologically more advanced then we are will have developed a "universal translater"....or even have discovered the "babble fish", but until then we had better be prepaired to learn to work with other species on their level and not expect them to be able...or want... to communicate with us on ours. There are many animals that -are- intelligent here on our own world...whether that intelligence is equal to our own and whether they have something to offer us is irrelivant. It&#39;s how we get along with them and how we treat each other that counts and this is something that we have to learn before we head to the stars. If we as humans can&#39;t learn to respect and apreciate the life forms of our own world, it unlikely that we will have any respect for those of others regardless of whether their smarter or we are.

Mother nature and the planet provided a very natural balance to things long before we were around. Things progressed as they should without our intervention and life as a whole was probably quite happy about it. After man came around though, things started to go a little haywire...at first we were in harmony with our surroundings, but we got pushy...we started taking more then we needed and developed the idea that it was some how our divine right to do so. Maybe instead of trying to decide if other species are intelligent and have something to offer us, we should take a few steps back and try and see how we look thru -their- eyes...I wonder if we would find ourselves worthy?


Are animals intelligent...yes, most certainly and they deserve our respect regardless of how we view their intelligence or compair it to our own&#33; If we as humans are going to consider ourselves superiour, then perhaps we should also acknowledge the responsibilities that go with that superiority. Maybe we should start taking better care of our planet and -all- of it&#39;s various forms of life and instead of being so judgmental (myself included) perhaps we should simply learn to co-exist in harmony for the benefit of all.

As always, please forgive my spelling, typing, grammer and my unusual ability to ramble endlessly&#33; :D

I wish everyone bright blessings and gentle breezes,
Jim


"Wonderous is our great blue ship that sails around the mighty sun and joy to everyone who rides along..." - Jeff Lynn

Tom2Mars
2004-Aug-04, 03:38 AM
Lomitus1, re- the dolphins-
Maybe it takes a superiour intelligence to know how to simply enjoy life.

I believe it has been proven that they were originally land mammals and by choice/opportunity, moved back into the sea. They still have vestigial feet tucked inside their speed-enhancing, thermally-efficient skins.

bossman20081
2004-Aug-04, 06:54 AM
Maybe we should define, or I should say scale intelligence- any ideas on how to do that?

String Fan
2004-Aug-04, 07:08 AM
Give them a spelling test?

bossman20081
2004-Aug-04, 08:33 AM
Why didnt I think of that...

astromark
2004-Aug-05, 01:17 PM
If I could. I would like to point out that building shelter, or aircraft are hardly a mesure of intelagance.. Ants build shelters, so too bee&#39;s. and beavers and many birds. Please note also that birds don&#39;t need to build air craft.
My point is this. We should not mesure other spiecies intelagance by mesuring them against our acomplishments. We build cars that can speed about the countryside, but then we let them travel in oposite directions within feet of each other. dumb. We sent people to the moon and back befor we put wheels on bagage. Dumb. You get the idea. We are not so smart. We seem to spend a lot of effort trieing to find ways to exterminate our selves. One more point, I once saw that people were judged by there IQ ( intelagence Quota.) So try this. Give that IQ test to a Bornio Jungle worrior. He wont evan be able to read it. but he can live in the jungle.. you cant. whoes a cleaver man then... well it a&#39;nt me.
Dolphins and wales comunicate across many kilometers. we dont without the need of much technoligy. In order for a spieciese to build technoligy it must firt need it. they dont. we do. coments ?....

astromark
2004-Aug-05, 01:20 PM
No. to the spelling test.... although I need it.

ASEI
2004-Aug-05, 02:44 PM
shelter, or aircraft are hardly a mesure of intelagance.. Ants build shelters, so too bee&#39;s. and beavers and many birds. Please note also that birds don&#39;t need to build air craft.

Sure it is. An animal built shelter is an instinctive thing. Animals couldn&#39;t engineer, they couldn&#39;t write or read if they wanted to. Art, literature, plays, humanities, these things are beyond them. Humans can design things.

They can be thrown into situations that their instincts have no idea how to deal with, and they can use their minds to design tools and social arrangements to deal with them. Humans can use their tools and devices to explore and exploit regions and resources that their natural resources and instincts would not allow them to even reach. No animal that we know of is capable of design, of constructing something to reach a goal that would be beyond its usual reach. If an ant or a beaver wanted to fly, it wouldn&#39;t be capable of building a means of doing so.

What we have in terms of intelligence is pretty distinct and obvious. Denying it because you want to make a political/social point is silly.


We should not mesure other spiecies intelagance by mesuring them against our acomplishments

Results talk. What good is intelligence if it results in nothing?


We build cars that can speed about the countryside, but then we let them travel in oposite directions within feet of each other. dumb. We sent people to the moon and back befor we put wheels on bagage. Dumb.

And how would you suggest allowing two-directional travel along a road? The fact that we sent anything anywhere outside the atmosphere says something. Nothing else has made it into space. No other life on earth (besides the Russian space fungus) has managed to live there.


Dolphins and wales comunicate across many kilometers. we dont without the need of much technoligy. In order for a spieciese to build technoligy it must firt need it. they dont. we do. coments ?....

Again, they don&#39;t "need" it the same way we don&#39;t "need" global trade networks or modern medicine. A lot of the things we "don&#39;t need" end up being essential to our quality of life and survivability. But suppose a dolphin wanted to communicate to the other side of the world instantaneously. He couldn&#39;t do it. He wouldn&#39;t know how. Evolution gave many animals many things. We don&#39;t need to wait millions of years for it to give us something - we can make it for ourselves.

jitte
2004-Aug-05, 06:04 PM
Sorry this isn&#39;t well thought out (and hope it doesn&#39;t sound stupid), but nobody seems to have taken environmental factors into account.

Edit: Nevermind, it was stupid.

Soultra
2004-Aug-06, 03:35 AM
Originally posted by ASEI@Aug 5 2004, 02:44 PM
But suppose a dolphin wanted to communicate to the other side of the world instantaneously. He couldn&#39;t do it. He wouldn&#39;t know how.


My question is, do they even know it exists?
Another "side" to the world that is...

Take a fish out of water and what does it have?

Micro to macro is all it is...you cannot add or subtract apples from oranges...
So I don&#39;t know why you all are trying to do so here?? :blink:

bossman20081
2004-Aug-06, 04:22 AM
Soultra, I dont think I understand how your post is suppose to contribute to the question.

Tom2Mars
2004-Aug-06, 04:49 AM
Hey ASEI&#33;
He couldn&#39;t do it. He wouldn&#39;t know how.

You referred to the dolohin as a "He", not an "it".

C&#39;mon, you do respect them, don&#39;t you&#33; :D

Tinaa
2004-Aug-06, 05:07 AM
Perhaps whales are communicating the secrets of the universe across the great oceans and we humans are too stupid to understand.

bossman20081
2004-Aug-06, 05:58 AM
Right under our noses&#33; How dare they&#33;

Lomitus
2004-Aug-06, 07:18 AM
Howdy all....another &#036;.02 worth here...

While I&#39;m not sure this applies to dolphins communicating across the planet or to whales communicating the secrets of the universe, I thought it was an interesting and relevent point to this thread. In "Cosmos" episode 11 "The Persistance of Memory", Dr. Carl Sagan talks about how once not too long ago, whales -were- able to communicate over very great distances (sorry, I forget exact numbers here), but in this last century their communication has been virtually cut off...because of man and all his great achievments (in this case boat and ship motors). As I said in my first post on this topic while man has indeed made some great achievments, we&#39;ve also commited some incredible atrocities to go with them....this is certainly one of them. More then this, using the blue whales as an example...here we have a species that is much grander then ourselves and look what our great intelligence, technologies and superiour attitude has done to them...driven them to the brink of extinction. Is this the act of a truly superiour species? Should we one day find that whales are as intelligent as we are, or at least have the capability (assuming their not), how do we make up for this? Would a simple "I&#39;m sorry for trying to commit genicide" be sufficiant? What should be our punishment? To address the original question in this thread of "what if some animals on earth evolved to be as smart as humans are? Say dolphins intelligance leveled off with humans, how would we react to this? Would we accept them as equals or what?", perhaps what should be asked is "how would they react to us" and "would they ever consider us as equals?"...it&#39;s a scary thought considering how we intelligent humans have treated them. Perhaps they&#39;ll be more understanding...or at least more forgiving then we have been.

ANSI...you should not so easily count out instinct...we have them too but our intellect has allowed us to not rely on them. I would like to point out that where you said, "Humans can use their tools and devices to explore and exploit regions and resources..." think about how many people have also died doing so. No beaver has ever died trying to reach the top of mount everest, no ant has ever died trying to dive to the bottom of an ocean and certainly no dolphin has ever been lost in a space shuttle disaster. Yes, intellect is a wonderful thing for us...it&#39;s what allows us (humans) as a species to survive...without it we&#39;d be at the bottom of the food chain. If you take away our tools and toys, we&#39;re actually pretty helpless creatures to be sure. Place a hunter in the forest with only a knife or even a sword against a sizeable male buck and my money&#39;s on the buck&#33; For most people today, if you take away projectile weapons (such as shotguns and even 200lb bows) and a large number of us would not survive in the wild. How many of us really would even know what kind of fruits and berries are eatable in the wild? Further in regards to this statement, one of the key problems with human intellect and your statement is the word "exploit". This comes back to the presumption that since we -consider- ourselves superiour, we have the right to do as we please to whatever we please however we see fit....this is a -very dangerous- line of thought. Through our ability to exploit our enviroment and our surroundings, with all of our great intelligence, how much damage have we caused....and are still causing? This isn&#39;t a political or social statement, it&#39;s a fact....we -have- to learn to respect our planet and the other species on it, regardless of our evaluation of intelligence if -we- are to survive. We have created many modern wonders, television, the internet, microwave ovens, cell phones, yadda yadda yadaa that we have become quite dependant on. These devices are mostly powered by electricity generated in large part by coal burning facitities that pollute the air we breath and rape the planet we live on. We also generate power with nuclear power facilities...you don&#39;t even want to go there&#33; We build hydro-electric dams to change that course of rivers...take a look at what happens to the surrounding areas. We do have viable and safe sollutions to all of this that are enviroment friendly...solar power and wind farms just to name two, but where is our great intelligence when it comes to developing these resources? If humankind can split the atom, why the devil can&#39;t we harness the power of the sun? The tech all ready exists. With all of mans grate achievments and intellect, humankind as a whole is still very short sited and -very- arogant as a species. Instead of patting our selves on the back and telling ourselves how great we are because of what we&#39;ve achieved, we should be looking to the future and using our intellect to determine whats the best way to put the achievments to use to ensure the continuation of our species...as well as those that share the planet with us.

As far as a political statment goes, in regards to our own country, I have to question how "smart" we actually are when we elect leaders to our country who want to drill for oil in Nature Preserves instead of putting forth the proper efforts to develope safe and enviromentally friendly alternative power sources...all for the sake of money and greed. With all of our great intelligence as a species, we have a horrible problem with greed....everybody wants "more"....faster internet, cell phones to use while their away from their phone, faster computers, bigger SUV&#39;s (with better gas milage), bigger TV&#39;s, louder stereos, newer houses, etc., etc., etc.. Why is it, with all our intellect we can not over come this basic instinct for "more"? Now for this at least, I do have a the start of a sollution...with the United States at least, we should outlaw campain contributions and "lobbying" of our political leaders. Our leaders should be elected based on their merrits and their ability to do the job and their opinions should not be allowed to be swayed by those that can line their pockets the most. Enviromental issues -are- important......extremely important if our species is to survive. These are not problems for future generations to have to deal with...if we&#39;re not very careful, there may not be many more future generations to fix the problems we&#39;ve created with all of our intellect&#33; We need to learn how to not only stop, but avoid things like wars intead of starting them. We need leaders who are "diplomatic"...and this is a very good point here....if we can&#39;t be diplomatic with so called "lower species" of this planet and learn to protect and respect them, how can we ever hope to save ourselves and respect each other? To key to much of this is to eliminate the greed factor...get rid of the money that sways the opinions (often in the wrong direction) of those that make the decisions.

I honestly don&#39;t think that it&#39;s nesaccary for "us" to have to evaluate "them". While I&#39;m not christian and certainly don&#39;t hold with most christian beliefs, I do believe the idea before we judge others (in this case animals and other life forms on this planet...as well as other planets to come) we should first judge ourselves. Yea, as I&#39;ve said, we&#39;ve done some great things, but we&#39;ve also done and continue to do some -very- bad things as well. If a higher intelligence or higher power were to "judge us", I wonder what would their judgement be and would we be found worthy of survival? No other species of this planet other then humans have hunted other species to extinction...and then called it "sport". No other species of this planet has excelled the way we do in the destruction of our own planet. What -are- we supposed to do when all of our natural resources are gone and our atmosphere is polluted beyond breathing? Just go and take someone elses planet away from them? Why with all of this grate intelligence that we supposedly possess do we seem to be unable to solve these problems before we create them?

I also do not believe that we need to see other species as being "intelligent" in order for those species to have value, to be apreciated or at the very least, deserve our respect. Perhaps what we should do is this...if we are going to consider ourselves to be superiour, then we should also acknowledge the responsibility we have as well. If we are the "smartest things on the planet" then don&#39;t we have a duty to protect -everyone- and use our intellect to ensure that all of us, big and small, survive? Perhaps it&#39;s simply my non-christian beliefs (again I&#39;m eclectic pagan) that allows me to believe that -all- life is sacred and that everything has a right to survive. I also think it is quite wrong to let our love or respect for a living thing be based on our assessment of it&#39;s intelligence compaired with our own.

I could go on and on with this again, but I&#39;ve already written another small book here :D. I&#39;m obviously an advocate for animals...I simply love -critters- (as well as plants, trees and the Earth itself). When I look into the eyes of my dogs and cats, there&#39;s someone in there looking back at me. They -are- intelligent, even if that intelligence differs from my own...but much more importantly they have the ability to love (far more then many humans I&#39;ve known). From the times I&#39;ve been horseback riding, I can tell you horses are smart in their own right and each has their own seperate personality. I&#39;ve had the wonderous pleasure and great honour of being able to swim with a dolphin...her name was Maya. I don&#39;t know if she was "smarter" then me but I can tell you that looking in her eye&#39;s, I -know- there&#39;s more in there then just animal instinct. We as humans have our intellect, but there are far more important things on Earth, let alone our there in the cosmos, and maybe these creatures can help to remind us of that...that alone is reason enough to value their presence. Instead of trying to evalute them, perhaps we should simply rejoice in their diversity, admire their natural abilities and maybe even try to learn a thing or two from them :).

I wish you all bright blessings and gentle breezes,
Jim



BTW...if spelling is proof of someones intelligence, I must be one of the stupidest people on Earth....ain&#39;t ignorance bliss :lol:

ASEI
2004-Aug-06, 12:06 PM
(in this case boat and ship motors). As I said in my first post on this topic while man has indeed made some great achievments, we&#39;ve also commited some incredible atrocities to go with them....
Travelling across the ocean&#33; How dare we&#33;&#33;


simple "I&#39;m sorry for trying to commit genicide" be sufficiant? What should be our punishment?
Most countries that don&#39;t depend on whales for food and oil don&#39;t whale. At one time they were the only source we knew of. Petroleum was nasty smelly stuff that bubbled up on bad property. They were just one other animal we depended on for food/products. A little hard to farm, so it wasn&#39;t as if we could create a sustainable source.


think about how many people have also died doing so. It is true that when we enter environments where our instincts are useless (such as space), we may be clumsy before we know what we are doing. Are you suggesting that that is an excuse to douse ambition and refrain from exploration?

It&#39;s not that I don&#39;t appreciate other animals. I just feel that mankinds first loyalty should be to mankind, just as a person&#39;s first loyalty should be to his family and country. It shouldn&#39;t prevent him from helping others or acting humane, but he should place the welfare of himself and other human beings before other species. These days, we have the luxury of conservation because we don&#39;t need the animals that we would have hunted to extinction in the past. However, I wouldn&#39;t complain if a country needed to continue hunting something, even to extinction, if it was to feed it&#39;s people.
For example, in Africa wars are regularly fought by one side burning the farmland and denying food to the other to break their will to resist. I heard of one instance where an environmental group was accosting a group of starving refugees, who were driven into a mountain, because they were hunting and eating gorrillas (gorillas being one of the only large animals present). Under my philosophy, those refugees need to look out for number one first before they have time to make such luxurious decisions as whether or not to conserve, and those environmentalists need to be smacked.

Tinaa
2004-Aug-06, 03:56 PM
Needless to say I think we must protect the animals. Mankind may be smarter but we certainly are not better. Taking care of the animals is part of taking care of Earth. Protect the gorillas, there are plenty of people.

Tom2Mars
2004-Aug-06, 06:08 PM
lomitus1, re-
While I&#39;m not sure this applies to dolphins communicating across the planet or to whales communicating the secrets of the universe...(everything in-between)...admire their natural abilities and maybe even try to learn a thing or two from them.

Hey&#33;&#33; I was going to say that&#33;

ASEI, re-
However, I wouldn&#39;t complain if a country needed to continue hunting something, even to extinction, if it was to feed it&#39;s people.

Then what? Hunting something to extinction will not solve the problem of needing a sustainable food source. Better to solve the problem with the long-term view in mind.

And the "smarter" ones on the planet should certainly be capable of helping the desperate ones solve their food problems. Or, we will repeat what happened on Easter Island, on a planetary scale. :P

Burp...

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-06, 06:48 PM
As far as a political statment goes, in regards to our own country, I have to question how "smart" we actually are when we elect leaders to our country who want to drill for oil in Nature Preserves instead of putting forth the proper efforts to develope safe and enviromentally friendly alternative power sources...all for the sake of money and greed.

Could you be impuning motives beyond your accurate acquisition of supporting data? Are you convinced that we could not apply our technology to extract petroleum from areas of the earth we have designated as nature preserves without significantly polluting the site?

The development of alternative energy sources is a must if we are to survive without catastrophic consequences; however, we will need fossil fuels to achieve that development. Surely the profit motive plays a part in the production of more fossil fuels and we are well compensated by the many benefits that would not otherwixe be available to us.

Most members of the current biota survive by consuming one another. Prior to the rise of this particular species of primate to dominance, there were both non-biological and biological agents that "pruned the herd". I admit we sometimes take pruning to extremes and its usually due to our being slow learners as opposed to malice of forethought. It is our curiosity that has gotten us the progress to where we are and it also causes us to make some mistakes which it could help us to correct.


More than this, using the blue whales as an example...here we have a species that is much grander than ourselves and look what our great intelligence, technologies and superiour attitude has done to them...driven them to the brink of extinction. Is this the act of a truly superior species? Should we one day find that whales are as intelligent as we are, or at least have the capability (assuming their not), how do we make up for this? Would a simple "I&#39;m sorry for trying to commit genicide" be sufficient?* What should be our punishment?

By what criteria are they grander than ourselves? The fact that there are those among us capable of predicting their likely future (although they themselves are not) and willing to take heroic measures to help them and, other species in danger of extinction, avoid that fate is at least worthy of note. We are not omniscient, merely thoughtful and compasionate; may we remain so and get better at it as days go by. The fact that they are facing extinction and we are less in danger suggests we may be superior in some respects (better able to survive the current environment); especially since we have sufficient compassion to try to help them.

Thoughtful contemplation is more likely to improve the situation than hyper-emotionalism leading to anger and frustration.

ASEI
2004-Aug-06, 09:15 PM
And the "smarter" ones on the planet should certainly be capable of helping the desperate ones solve their food problems. Or, we will repeat what happened on Easter Island, on a planetary scale.*

Oh we are more than capable of feeding the world with the excess we dispose of here in the US. The problem is usually one of distribution, especially if there are hostile warlords or governments in our way.

Soultra
2004-Aug-07, 03:04 AM
Originally posted by bossman20081@Aug 6 2004, 04:22 AM
Soultra, I dont think I understand how your post is suppose to contribute to the question.
I&#39;m simply stating that in order for an animal to realize that there is something greater than they...they would have to be able to realize this. Which I guess is what makes us different form other species correct?

So take the perception of one and try to apply it on a different scale and you would get their view point. Without knowing the way they perceive their realities, we cannot judge their intelligence based by our standards. It just wouldn&#39;t apply.

(did this make more sense? I apologize, my writing is sometimes off... :ph34r: )

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 04:47 AM
Humans are the only animal that will protect the Earth from the next, inevitable, asteroid impact extinction event, which could easily kill all the dolphins, whales and gorillas, as well as 90% of the other species, and 99.99% of the individual life entities on the planet. Or maybe all life.

Humans are the only animal that will protect the Earth from the next, inevitable, big climate change—whether it’s glaciation or global warming—whether caused by humans, the sun, orbital mechanics or anything else. Such an event could easily kill half the species on Earth, and, as an extreme, all life on Earth.

Humans are the only animal that will protect the Earth from increasing solar luminosity or other unpleasant nearby cosmic events.

Humans are the only species that will seed life on other worlds and be sure it stays.

Humans are the only creatures that will leave a record of our existence, and the existence of our fellow creatures, of our world, our experiences, our thoughts and feelings for some other entity to find and know us by in a billion years.

If humans disappeared from Earth, what would be the point? A place hardly exists if it’s not observed. All the animals, rocks and water would do their thing; nothing would notice or care, except for a few animals for a few days. When the stage was struck in a 100 million or billion years; nothing at all would be remembered. It might as well never have been.

Humans are the only ones who could defeat that total oblivion. As far as we know humans are the most important entities in the universe. We have an obligation to try to protect Earth, and life, to remember the past, and to provide memories for the future. We are the only ones who can do this, which is partially why the needs of other life on Earth, and all aspects of Earth are subservient to our needs. We are the guardians and the memory.

zephyr46
2004-Aug-07, 05:05 AM
Bobunf
You may be right, at the moment, we may acheive some or all of those potentials, we haven&#39;t yet.

It is also worth mentioning, that the Aborigines of Australia use a mainly Oral Culture to record thier history and law, the bark and rock paintings and sand designs worked to compliment that, the maintainance of knowlege and history was thus done through stories, song, dance and art. I guess that is the story for most of human civilisation. They now make the next transition to the internet, they, we adapt. I mentioned in an early post the case of the gorrila online.

I think some of the more interesting aspects of animal intelligience are social behaviours of elephants, like the drinking order at water holes, youngest and oldest, then females and males last.

And as far as art, if you consider music, in particular song, many speices leave us for dead, particularly birds, again, the artisictic aspect, I think the whales take it to the next level. In Australia, there are two migratory routes, down the West and East coast, the interesting thing is, the seperate groups of whales, traded whale song.

In Archatecture, the Bower Bird decorates the bower with blue white and shiny objects. Again, in the sustainability stakes, termites build mounds orintated in a north south direction, with an advanced system of ventilation that maintains a temperature year round, as do bush turkeys.

As for practical, useful activities to humans, dolphins have some place in the American navy I beilieve, placing/detecting mines?

Dogs, can smell drugs/bombs and warn us, somthing that technology is only now becoming able to.

And horses, before the car, these four legged animals helped us quite a bit, as they do now in some developing countries, as to Oxen. There is a story in Australian folklore about a donkey in Galipoli (world war 2) that was used for carrying dead and wounded soldiers along the cliffs, when the medic who normally lead the dokey was shot, the donkey remembered the way. Not an uncommon story with pets finding thier way home over great distances.

I think, as the only speicies with an opposable thumb, it is a little unfair and indeed ignorant to judge every other creature by our abilities. We wouldn&#39;t compare to the octupus, for example or bats were they to do the same.

I think the really interesting area, for me with animal intelligence is primates. We can teach a vocabulary of signs to chimpanzees and gorillas, and that vocabulary increases each generation, but, we still cannot have a three way conversation between the three spieices. That would be a great step in cross speicies communication. They (chimps and gorillas) don&#39;t seem to mind having a pet kitten around, so why won&#39;t they talk to each other? :)

And, wonder if anyone can enlighten me, was is a dog or a chimp that was the first living being to return from space?

Lomitus
2004-Aug-07, 06:11 AM
Hehehe...I just love "stirring the pot"...
Ok... gonna take these one at a time here.

Ansi...my issue isn&#39;t with those that have hunted for food because they needed it. Take tbe Native Americans for example, they only took what they -needed- and they had very great respect for the creatures that sustained them. My issue is with those that hunt and kill needlessly (i.e. sport hunters). While I don&#39;t have any "facts" to back this up, I honestly don&#39;t think that too many animals on this planet have been hunted to extiction (or close to it) out of -need-...what possible need could there ever been to have hunted Bald Eagles???? Whales are not the -only- species I was reffering to or that humans have adversly effected...we&#39;ve slaughtered many species wholesale for no other purpose then "entertainment" and "recreation"....this is -wrong-.

I&#39;m going to quote myself here for a moment..."simple "I&#39;m sorry for trying to commit genicide" be sufficiant? What should be our punishment?". Again, this does not refer to just whales. I seem to recall that there is a trial going on overseas right now of a former Yugoslav President who is accused of variour war crimes, including attempted genicide. Now I will admit that I do not draw a distinction between human life and other forms of life on this planet...again I believe that all life is sacred. To me, I don&#39;t understand why commiting genicide against -humans- is so wrong, but commiting genicide against a non-human species is so much easier for people to accept. To me, killing is -wrong-...wiping out an entire species (human or otherwise) is a horrible atrocity...period.

Also, as I said (and I thought clearly) before, if human kind is to survive we need to respect the other forms of life on this planet and the planet itself. You stated " I just feel that mankinds first loyalty should be to mankind" and "he should place the welfare of himself and other human beings before other species". Maybe this is one of the problems with our species...selfishness. Again your statement suggests an heir of presumptousness that man kind has the right to do whatever we please and again look at the damage we&#39;ve caused with this line of thinking. -If- mankind is so great and so smart and so superiour, then why can&#39;t we -learn- to treat ourselves, our planet and those that share it better? Lets look at the rain forests for a minute. Many rain forests across the globe have been and continue to be clear cut and burned by local people to use the land for farming etc.. To those people they are taking care of themselves...this is their livelyhood and I sympathize with them, however in the process their also destroying -many- forms of life as well as that lifes habitat. More importantly, their upsetting the delicate balance of this planets ecology. Does their immidiate need to provide for their familys give them the right to endanger us all? I&#39;d have to say a firm -NO- to this. The needs of the many out way the needs of the few. Perhaps the line of thought here should be "look out for ones own self and ones species as long as it doesn&#39;t harm anyone...or anything else".

"Travelling across the ocean&#33; How dare we&#33;&#33;"...ok...tell me honestly...how would you feel if your source of communication to your family and friends was cut off virtually completely simply because another species felt the need to "move around" in a less then considerate way? Thats exactly what we&#39;re talking about here...being considerate to other species. If a fundamental way of life is simply cut off...a way you&#39;ve known for a very very long time simply because someone else can&#39;t be considerate, would you not be angered by this? Would it not disturb your way of life? Let me use another of my famous analogies here....say you have new neighbors that play their stereo all night and day...you can&#39;t sleep, you can&#39;t talk to your family members and you can&#39;t get away from it. Add to this that these people somehow, by their own reasoning think they have the -right- to do this because they think their some how better then you or that your some how inferiour to them. Now as human&#39;s the first thing you would do is call the cops and complain right? You&#39;d want -something- done about this menace to restore your peace and your way of living. It&#39;s wrong isn&#39;t it. This is exactly what we&#39;ve done to the whales.

Also I would like to add that I would never detour efforts such as space travel. It is our ability to endear and overcome that allows us to achieve the great things that we have. However we must not allow ourselves as a species to become "cocky" because of our achievments and I sincerly believe that we must use these achievments as well as our intelligence to the benifit of all.

Gourdhead...
"By what criteria are they grander than ourselves? The fact that there are those among us capable of predicting their likely future (although they themselves are not) and willing to take heroic measures to help them and, other species in danger of extinction, avoid that fate is at least worthy of note. We are not omniscient, merely thoughtful and compasionate; may we remain so and get better at it as days go by". Ok, first and foremost, thankyou for pointing some of this out. As grim as the situation is, you are correct that there are -many- good souls that are trying to help and providing truly heroic efforts indeed and I agree that it is quite worthy of note...and I sincerly apolgize for not having said something earlier&#33; None of my statements were meant to belittle these people at all. I think my point was, if we are so great and smart, the need to save these creatures should not have happened in the first place. The easiest way to "fix" a problem is to not create the problem at all. With that said, I would also like to add that first there is no real proof for or against the idea of them knowing what is happening to them....they may very well know their possible fate better then we do. As to the issue of them being grander then ourselves, I will begrudginly admit this is probably more of a personal statement however I honestly think that if I ever witnessed a pod of whales...particularly of blue or humpback, that I would feel very small and insignifigent while amounst these great beasts. I have no doubt that I would also be very guilt striken considering what humans have done to the wonderful, beautiful and peaceful creatures.

Also, on the issue of fossil fuels...I agree that for the moment they -are- needed, but what I&#39;m saying here is simply that more effort needs to be put into developing alternative power sources and this effort isn&#39;t readily put forth or encouraged by our current leaders...particularly when one of the presidents families financial interests is oil (you think Bush is loosin money from these gas prices? Think again&#33;). As far as extracting oil from Nature preserves...I think they -must- be left alone...thats why their preserves in the first place. Forgive me but I&#39;m going to use another anology here...if you take a stone and throw it into a calm pool of water, it will create ripples in that water. Yes, the water will eventually come to be still again, but the stone is still underneath...the pool of water has been forever changed. What I&#39;m saying is that there must be ways of living in harmony with the land and better ways of creating energy and we really need to explore those ways with a great deal more zest and vigor. People such as many of our current "leaders" are not going to be inclined to agressivly pursue these issues as long as they have people from the oil and coal industries (amounst others) slipping them cash for the weight of their opinions.

Soultra...
"I&#39;m simply stating that in order for an animal to realize that there is something greater than they...they would have to be able to realize this. Which I guess is what makes us different form other species correct?" The question here is "would -we- realize it or even acknowledge it if we did?". Ok...I&#39;m not talking indiviuals here, I&#39;m talking our society as a whole....we still have the terrible tendancy to fear that which we do not understand. There is also still a belief that if we were to meet an extraterrestrial intelligence (who, if their here, is surely of greater intelligence then we are), especially if that ET was signifigantly different from us, that there would be folks that would want to "disect them and see what makes them work" or simply kill or destroy them before they have the chance to do the same to us. This is one reason why movies such as "Independance Day" and the "Alien(s)" series of flicks, etc., are so popular...they play on our irrational fears and show humans in triumph over such hostile advesaries. I would also like to very much add that again we really don&#39;t know that other species of this planet don&#39;t have "self awareness". Simply because they don&#39;t demonstrate it to us doesn&#39;t mean the trait doesn&#39;t exist...at least at some level. Take dogs for example and the infamous "pack mentality". Now my own personal views on this aside, through contest, play, and whatever methods come into this, each dog in a pack -knows- its place...they may occasionally need to be reminded, but each member of the pack knows the order of the pack. This applies to the way dogs relate with humans too. People who successfully raise dogs understand this as a method of training (i.e. learning). A person who is afraid of dogs is not going to have any success at training a dog because that animal will always be challanging them for "power" and the top dog position....dogs very much also understand respect and that respect is something that has to be earned (something we as humans often tend to forget).

Tom2Mars...
"Better to solve the problem with the long-term view in mind." My point exactly&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33; Ok... one of them at least&#33; LOL&#33; I really think there is this mentality amoung many people that it&#39;s better...or at least more economical, to try and aproach things from a live in the moment point of view without looking at the whole big picture. This is something I"ve encountered -many- times at different companies I&#39;ve worked for. A wonderful example is a nationwide autoparts retailer I once worked for...the store I worked in had perpetual problems with the air conditioning. The AC units themselves were old, poorly maintained and under-powered for the size of our store...needless to say they were frequently breaking down. Now instead of replacing the old broken down units with modern ones that would have worked trouble free for years to come, the company chose to simply repair the old ones whenever they broke down at a cost that, over time, became signifigantly more then a new unit would have cost. Instead of paying &#036;20,000 upfront to do the job right, the company chose to spend &#036;1500 here, &#036;3000 there, etc., not to mention the lost revenues whenever we had to close the store because it got literally so hot that cans of freon starting bursting on the shelves...all because it looked better on the books for the short term. Very bad thinking and investing indeed. If we must put a value on other species, perhaps we should look at it like this....instead of worrying about what they have to offer us now, maybe we should do our best to preserve all the life on our planet for the future...who knows maybe dolphins or whales or even ants will hold the key to cures for cancer&#33; Perhaps a plant species that is currently being wiped out in a rain forest could hold the remidy for AIDS patients. If we -must- put a value on other forms of life on our planet, then maybe this is a good way to start.

Tinaa...
"Needless to say I think we must protect the animals. Mankind may be smarter but we certainly are not better. Taking care of the animals is part of taking care of Earth. Protect the gorillas, there are plenty of people." I raise my glass to you my friend...here here&#33; I would like to expand that a little...no other species, exect for -possibly- the dinosaurs have even come remotly close to over-populating the planet as we have. As smart as we supposedly are, why do we have so much of a problem limiting our familys to two or three children? Again we really need to look at the big picture here and figure out a way to do something about it...and soon. I also whole-heartedly agree with your statement that we may be smarter, but we&#39;re certainly not better...that was another one of my points as well. As I said before, there are far greater things on this planet, not to mention in this universe far more important the intelligence.

Alrighty, that does it for me for the evening. My wifes sister is coming in from New York City tomorrow (first time we&#39;ve seen her in almost 2 years) and we have a big day planned.

Bright Blessings & Gentle Breezes,
Jim

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 07:05 AM
"Australian folklore about a donkey in Galipoli (world war 2)"

The landing at Galipoli was during World War Two. Turkey played no part in the Second World War.

Tom2Mars
2004-Aug-07, 07:23 AM
Zephyr, re-
And, wonder if anyone can enlighten me, was is a dog or a chimp that was the first living being to return from space?

Laika, the dog was the first animal in space, but did not return... :(

Laika in Space (http://www.kyvl.org/html/kids/p4_use/ForReal_Test/laika.html)

The chimp Ham was next, and did return. Ham lived to the ripe old age of 41 and died a couple of years ago:)

lomitus1, thanks for the comments&#33; And, re-
The AC units themselves were old, poorly maintained and under-powered for the size of our store...needless to say they were frequently breaking down.

The most recent building I&#39;ve built uses an AC unit that is 6 times smaller than a conventional structure the same size would use. I&#39;m adding a couple of extra features that will make it possible to Air Condition the building with a unit that is 8 times smaller than conventional. Construction costs are lower, and the structure exceeds building codes.

And, I know you mention your spelling ceativity, that&#39;s OK, but you might try to spell ASEI&#39;s name with A-S-E-I since it looks like you will probably be referring to him on a regular basis. ;)

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 07:26 AM
Jim,

“I honestly don&#39;t think that too many animals on this planet have been hunted to extiction (sic).”

I can’t imagine on what basis you form this opinion. It seems quite likely that mammoths, and many other large manuals, were pushed to extinction by the Native Americans who arrived on the North and South American continents with the technology of the Clovis and Folsom fluted pro-jectile point. We know they hunted mammoth from the blades using this technology found in the bones of the fossils, and then the mammoths disappeared.

Not exactly cause and effect, but a believable scenario—maybe even an hypothesis--with lots of evidence supporting it. The First Americans may have taken only “what they –needed;” and they may have “had very great respect for the creatures that sustained them,” but that really can’t be known—there are no written records and deciphering the meanings of 10,000 year old petro-glyphs is far beyond our abilities. And they did, apparently, push these animals to extinction anyway.

I think the contribution of sports hunting to extinction is about zero. Hunters don’t want to deal with creatures that are so rare you can hardly find any. Today they deal primarily with deer and elk, nuisance animals who are very far from extinction.

Forget “Lo, the poor Indian.”

Bob

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 07:51 AM
Jim,

“I will admit that I do not draw a distinction between human life and other forms of life on this planet”

This can’t be true. You must eat something that’s killed by you or someone for your consumption. You must feed your kids. You don’t use antibiotics? What do you do if you have termites? A wasp’s nest? Scorpions? A million cockroaches? What do you use for clothing, bedding and writing materials?

“I believe that all life is sacred”

Does this come from some serious religious or moral philosophy, or is this just off the cuff—a throw away line for effect? Which philosophy?

Or, maybe, quit pulling my leg for dramatic effect.

Bob

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 07:53 AM
Jim,

“the delicate balance of this planets ecology”

Why do you think the planet’s ecology is delicate? Just in the last three million years we’ve been through about twenty glaciations, which make anything people have done look awfully benign—tens of millions of square kilometers of land sterilized by ice and desert—for a hundred thousand years at a time. There have been impacts destroying 10, 50, 70, 90 percent of all species; enormous volcanic eruptions; huge climate swings over a period of a few centuries; continents separating and crashing into each other; and lots of other unpleasant things.

The Earth has had a very violent past, and will have a very violent future. Life has survived and flourished; life is not delicate; it’s really tough.

Forget the delicate balance.

Bob

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 08:06 AM
Jim,

“how would you feel if your source of communication to your family and friends was cut off virtually completely simply because another species felt the need to ’move around’ in a less then considerate way?”

Doesn’t one have to weigh the value of whales maybe communicating something (mating calls, greetings, or profound philosophy) against the value of having fast and cheap ocean transport? I think we understand that whale song conveys a fairly limited amount of data; that no new understandings of the universe are being developed.

Life is full of trade offs. I might not like radio waves zipping through me all the time, but that&#39;s just tough. Maybe this one isn’t such a bad deal. Would you rather whales make noises that might communicate something, or cheap food for poor people?

Bob

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 08:13 AM
Jim,

“there is no real proof for or against the idea of them knowing what is happening to them....they may very well know their possible fate better then we do.”

You’re kidding? Right?

“I would also be very guilt striken (sic) considering what humans have done to the wonderful, beautiful and peaceful creatures.”

Peaceful? What about the millions of living shrimp these guys eat all the time? If I were a shrimp, I sure would appreciate a lot fewer whales. Imagine, being eaten alive. People have never done that to whales.

Lo, the poor shrimp. Forget the whale.

Bob

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 08:30 AM
Jim,

I think the pool of water is OK with the extra rock in it. It could have been a kilometer wide meteor, or a big volcano. The pool should be grateful it’s only a little rock.

When we need the fuel, we’ll get it; and very quickly.

Why is it that alternatives fuels are always things that are really expensive, don’t work very well, or smell awful; like solar, wind or biomass. Why not nuclear which is cheap, works great, and doesn’t smell bad; also safe and non-polluting.

You frequently ascribe motives to political leaders. How do you know what’s in their heads. I don’t think you do. The rule is: the motives of political leaders are unknowable and irrelevant.

I don’t think that motives are unknowable is really in doubt. Lots of times we don’t know our own mo-tives. Freud wrote a lot about that. As for being irrelevant; if a political leader follows a good course of action, who cares why? If he follows a bad course of action, even if his motives are the most admirable ever; it’s still a bad course of action.

Keep that in mind for the future. In others words, don&#39;t forget this one.

Bob

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 08:51 AM
Jim,

“we still have the terrible tendancy (sic) to fear that which we do not understand.”

Why is this a terrible thing? If I don’t understand a noise my car makes, it scares me. Is the thing going fall apart; a tire roll off when I’m going down the freeway? Fear and caution in the presence of the un-known are good things, that have served us well--and every other species including dogs.

“maybe we should do our best to preserve all the life on our planet for the future”

You can’t. There’s so much of it and life is continuously evolving. Preserving genetic diversity is a really good idea, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t touch anything. Cures for cancer or AIDS aren’t coming from dolphins, whales or ants; but if any benefit is derived from nature, it will come from lowly plants, bacteria and viruses. Does that mean we do away with dolphins, whales and ants?

Forget that idea.

Bob

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 09:17 AM
Jim,

“no other species, exect (sic) for -possibly- the dinosaurs have even come remotly (sic) close to over-populating the planet as we have. As smart as we supposedly are, why do we have so much of a problem limiting our familys (sic) to two or three children?

On what basis is the planet overpopulated? As population density has increased over the last 1500 centuries, people have gotten healthier, wealthier, wiser and freer. Today, people have longer life expectancies than ever before; there is so much food nearly half the world is overweight. People have more goods and serv-ices, communications and transportation available to them than ever before. Literacy rates are the highest ever; more books are produced than at any time in history; and there are vast new artistic arenas such as movies and the internet. More music is heard by more people than ever before. More people live under representative democracies than ever before.

Where’s the evidence for overpopulation?

In February of 2003 the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat released the 2002 revision of the World Population Prospects; which showed an estimated human population of 8.9 billion by the year 2050. This is two billion less than the eleven billion the UN was predicting last year; let alone the thirteen billion they had been predicting a decade earlier. That’s a decline of a third of a billion people every year for the last twelve years.

They predict declines in human population after 2050 in spite of rising life expectancies. If current trends in declining fertility continue, the human species will be extinct before the end of the millenium.

Forget that idea.

Bob

ASEI
2004-Aug-07, 01:58 PM
Did jim delete all his posts or something?

Bobunf
2004-Aug-07, 03:32 PM
"Did jim delete all his posts or something?"

No. I just made multiple small replies to his one very long post.

Bob

bossman20081
2004-Aug-08, 04:30 AM
Bobunf-
How does that not prove that the earth is not overpopulated? And while half the population is overweight, the other half are starving (maybe exaggerated a little bit). Predictions really dont mean anything. You never know what happens until it does. You yourself said that they could be wrong. The reason its a bad thing that were scared of something that we dont understand is that it causes us to make irrational, uninformed, and dangerous decisions. Like building the nuclear bomb. We built it because we didnt know if the Axis powers had built one. And about that whale eating the shrimp, thats called the food chain. I believe hes not talking about killing something for food, thats nature, I think hes talking about killing for enertainment and profit. (by the way, I thought whales eat krill?) About the communication of whales, your are aware that most of them are endangered right? And most ocean travel isnt food, its goods being shipped to other countries. Life is delicate and strong. Take for instance the warming of the oceans, just a couple degrees and millions of fish are dead.Just a couple more things; just because you eat an animal doesnt mean that you think your better, its just nature. And mammoths were killed off because they couldnt adapt to hotter temperatures quick enough.Rare animals are being hunted a lot more than you think. The rarer the item, the more its worth.

Bobunf
2004-Aug-08, 07:06 AM
“How does that not prove that the earth is not overpopulated?”

Well, if everything is great and getting better, what suggests overpopulation? Or suggests a problem? How does the problem manifest itself in some objective measure?

I don’t think starvation, to the extremely limited extent this occurs today, is a consequence of lack of food, but, rather, lack of effective political leadership. Our species has room for improvement in this department. The people who aren’t overweight are mostly those who don’t have the genetic predisposition to eat too much.

“Predictions really dont (sic) mean anything.”

That would surprise actuaries and casino owners.

“You never know what happens until it does.”

But one can make some awfully good guesses.

“The reason its a bad thing that were (sic) scared of something that we dont (sic) understand is that it causes us to make irrational, uninformed, and dangerous decisions.

Frequently we have to make decisions about things that we don’t understand. That’s not irrationality, it’s necessity. By definition such decision making is uninformed, and frequently it’s less dangerous to make decisions, even with imperfect knowledge, rather than suffer paralysis.

We make better decisions with perfect knowledge, but almost always we make decisions with imperfect knowledge. But fear, leading to caution, in the face of uncertainly is really desirable. If you’re uncertain what will happen when you set off that powder keg, fear leading to extra precautions is a really a fine thing. Lots of stuff we don’t understand is really dangerous; lack of fear in such situations is self destructive; and a little, or a lot, crazy.

“Like building the nuclear bomb.”

There’s an awful lot of people who would disagree with you about that, including nearly all of the 500,000 Americans who participated in the invasion of Okinawa, and nearly all of the millions of Americans who would have participated in the invasion of Japan in 1946. American and British motives for the atomic program did not depend solely on an assessment of German progress, but also aimed at winning the war in a less costly fashion than required by conventional weapons.

Bobunf
2004-Aug-08, 07:11 AM
“hes (sic) not talking about killing something for food”

I think his words were, “I will admit that I do not draw a distinction between human life and other forms of life on this planet…I believe that all life is sacred”

Where does this leave room for harvesting the wheat or slaughtering the cattle?

“hes (sic) talking about killing for enertainment (sic) and profit”

The farmer harvests the wheat for profit, the butcher slaughters the cattle for profit, the fisherman catches the fish for profit, the grocery man conspires with all of these people to enrich them for their lethal activi-ties for his own profit. Where do you get your food from?

As for the food chain, what do you do, and what does he do, for clothes? Bedding? Reading and writing materials? Furniture? Nearly all of which comes from plants and animals that have been killed for profit; and not even to be eaten. Lots of this stuff, probably including the chair you’re sitting on is sent on ships that interfere with the whales&#39; communication.

What’s the value of your chair, and everybody else’s furniture, food, bedding, clothing, books, papers, computers, etc.etc. as opposed to whale communication?
Remember that life is full of trade offs.

By the way, krill is a kind of shrimp.

As for killing for entertainment, I presume this means hunting for sport. I think this affects primarily nuisance animals like deer and elk. In any case, the number of species threatened by hunting for sport could only be a tiny handful, if any. Do you have any reliable quantitative evidence indicating this is any kind of significant issue?

Bobunf
2004-Aug-08, 07:15 AM
“just a couple degrees and millions of fish are dead”

The warmer the water the greater the variety of species, the greater the genetic diversity, the greater the volume and mass of life—holding the quantity of nutrients constant. The temperature produces the huge variety of tropical fish. The same is true on land—holding the amount of water constant. The higher tem-perature is what produces rain forests (formerly known as jungles) in tropical climates with their great vari-ety of species, and huge volume of life.

This direct relationship between variety and quantity of life and temperature holds to the limits of the envi-ronments on Earth. There’s no leveling off, or reversal, as one travels to warmer and warmer climates, but a continuing increase in the robustness of all kinds of life, both plant and animal.

This suggests that the Earth is too cold for life. Or, to put it less dramatically, the optimum temperature for life is higher than the mean temperature of Earth, which makes sense since Earth has been cooling for tens of millions of years.

Rather than “just a couple degrees and millions of fish are dead” the more complex and accurate scenario is that a change in climate causes an adjustment in the eco-system. Some species will suffer, some will die off completely, others will flourish, and, over geologic time, entirely new species will arise. Whether the net change produces an increase or decrease in the variety and quantity of life depends on the direction of the change in temperature. And the relationship is direct. Perhaps tens of millions of new fish of different species.

Maybe such dislocations and adjustments, which have been taking place for about four billion years, are not a cause for celebration, but they don’t call for a dirge either.

Lomitus
2004-Aug-09, 05:21 AM
My total apologies to ASEI on the mis-spell of his name on that one post...was typing at 3 a.m. (again) and had a total brain-fart there....no offence was intended. Even with my bad spelling and typos, I usually try and double check stuff like that, but I missed it completely (was also in a hurry to get to bed with the sis-in-law coming in the next day so I didn&#39;t really read the post over to check for stuff like that).

Unfortunatly, late night is about the only time I&#39;ve really had for the most part to keep up on the forums (here at UT and elsewhere) and I&#39;m usually pretty wiped out when I&#39;m reading and posting...I&#39;m bound to miss stuff like that from time to time so -please- don&#39;t anyone take it personally. Stuff like that is usually sleep deprivation combined with my natural poor typing and spelling skills...I never mean it as derogatory to anyone.

Niters All&#33;
Bright Blessings,
Jim

zephyr46
2004-Aug-09, 06:01 AM
Bobunf, well spotted, so you heard about the donkey?

Yes, folklore, I don&#39;t usally buy into it myself, by some do, for varying reasons.

I forgot to mention sheep dogs, but I&#39;m sure the argument is again that it is purely instinctual, so what is intelligience if not instinctual?

Another story I saw a couple of years ago was an African cow herder, and instead of dog, he had an elephant, a female at that, the cows (who were apparently matriarchal) reckognised her as the matriarch. So She followed the dude, and the cows followed the elephant&#33; It was one of the most brilliant things I have ever seen, oh and the shots of a mother elephant pulling her baby out of the mud.

Elephants and gorillas are the two species I really feel for. It is only their usefulness to us that keeps them alive today. In India, massive deforestation takes place for Tea plantations, tigers fall foul of human survival and profits heres two. Central Africa was the second highest deforestation after the Amazon in 2000, and the elephants that had lost their habitat were being shot because they were a danger to the locals. They wern&#39;t even being shot for their Ivory, they were being shot for being homeless&#33;

I have just seen a movie called Instinct (1999) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0128278/), while fictional, it is a cross between gorillas in the mist, one flew over the cuckoos nest and Phenomena. Heart warming and fuzzy.

It is a story (fictional) about an anthropologist who lives with a group of gorillas for two years and is then arrested for murder.

The story follows the approach and counselling of a counsellor who is trying to understand his motives.

The scenes that pricked my attention was the mother gorilla grooming and protecting her baby and the silverback accepting the human into the group.

If you&#39;ve seen gorillas in the mist, you can guess why he murdered some humans.

Anyways, My interest in the subject of intelligince still rests on the interpretations and bias we have, the idea is incomplete and ill conceived.

jitte
2004-Aug-09, 06:57 PM
Koko, a gorilla, has used sign language to tell her handlers that she had toothache – and has had the tooth extracted.

Koko used the American Sign Language gesture for pain and pointed to her mouth, prompting treatment involving 12 specialists, including three dentists.

Her handlers said that Koko, a 300-plus-pound ape who has mastered more than 1,000 signs, began telling her handlers at the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California, she was in pain.

They constructed a pain chart, offering Koko a scale from one to 10. When Koko started pointing to nine or 10 too often, a dental appointment was made.

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3317059

Tom2Mars
2004-Aug-09, 07:16 PM
jitte, That&#39;s a great story about Koko&#33;

I use to play online chess with Koko. I didn&#39;t mind being beaten all the time, but when I heard that jokes were being made behind my back to the other gorillas with regards to my openings and pawn strategy, I called it quits. :P

jitte
2004-Aug-09, 07:57 PM
That&#39;s pretty funny, Tom2Mars. :)

I&#39;m into Othello and usually play Zebra Othello, it&#39;s the #3 ranked program in the world.

http://www.radagast.se/othello/zebra.html

Tom2Mars
2004-Aug-10, 01:32 AM
jitte,

re- Zebra Othello- Now you&#39;ve given me another reason to get &#39;Soft Windows" for my Mac, although the chess game that came with it is sufficient to beat the heck out of me if I move the difficulty bar up.

Keeping in topic, I guess game playing would be another sign of intelligence in animals. I noticed that last week, Ky the killer whale played a game of "Toss The Trainer" and didn&#39;t hurt the trainer at all.

10 points to the killer whale&#33; ;)

bossman20081
2004-Aug-19, 10:04 PM
No one ever did make any suggestions as to how we would scale intelligence, any suggestions?

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-20, 12:21 PM
No one ever did make any suggestions as to how we would scale intelligence, any suggestions?

We may wish to concentrate on the technological competence component of intelligence with levels asociated with:

1. Extragalactic observations
2. Space travel
3. Colonization within their stellar system
4. Interstellar exploration
5. Planetary modification, building, moving
6. Stellar relocation
7. Galactic configuration control
8. Black hole disassembly
9. Galactic groups through galactic supercluster configuration control
10. Management of cosmological expansion

bossman20081
2004-Aug-20, 09:12 PM
Just a couple things Gourdhead, what if they have no interest in space travel? And correct me if Im wrong, but we fall under none of them except maybe space travel, in which we have gone no farther than the moon, unless your counting probes in which case Im not.

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-21, 01:32 PM
what if they have no interest in space travel? And correct me if Im wrong, but we fall under none of them except maybe space travel,

Twould be a pity; they won&#39;t last long against the many tricks the universe can mindlessly play. Your assessment of our competence is accurate.

Here (http://hometown.aol.com/malcolmbmcneill/InterstellarTransportationExplo.html) is an operational concept to get us moving in the right direction.

ASEI
2004-Aug-22, 03:12 AM
9. Galactic groups through galactic supercluster configuration control
10. Management of cosmological expansion

How do you know half these things are even possible, or desirable for intelligent life to do? It seems people have a lot of ridiculously ingrained assumptions about (literally) inconceivably advanced civilizations.

Why would I, as a super-intelligent alien, want or need to manipulate a galactic supercluster? Where would I find the energy, or the 1/entropy to do it? In fact, considering that we understand nothing of what would power or what form the capability to do such things would take, and nothing about the environment of intelligence capable of comprehending or weilding that sort of thing, how can we assume anything about the motivation of such civilizations and the path their abilities would take? How do we know they would want to develop capabilities of doing stuff like that?

bossman20081
2004-Aug-22, 03:19 AM
Yes, that is what Im saing, which is why it is so hard to scale intelligence.

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-23, 01:08 PM
How do you know half these things are even possible, or desirable for intelligent life to do? It seems people have a lot of ridiculously ingrained assumptions about (literally) inconceivably advanced civilizations.

Incurable optimism makes them possible. They are desirable in order to avoid extreme vacuums or extreme densities less we (or they) intervene. We are becoming an "inconceivably advanced civilization" and unless the universe acts soon it won&#39;t be able to terminate us.

We can move stars by using robots capable of emplacing reflectors for each sufficiently near the hemisphere in the direction we wish to move it (converting the star into an ion rocket engine). Gravitational coupling will bring along its gas giants and other planets. If we can move star systems, by synchronizing the movement of stars, we can move a galaxy (I hope the black hole of each can be brought along via gravitational coupling). By synchronously moving galaxies we can change the configuration of clusters as well as move them. Thus we can proceed up the scale as far as we wish as time permits. Our current level of technology is capable of doing this today, except for black hole unzipping; however, I hope we can improve it by several orders of magnitude.

aries_4_5_48
2004-Aug-23, 07:18 PM
....words fail me in trying to express how much more optimistic I am after reading many of these posts. Human beings are not only intelligent, but they define intelligence and that eliminates even the most remote possibility that our intelligence might in actuality be a pseudo-intelligence. That other intelligent entities beyond our ability to even conceive could exist. I had visions of a 1.5 meter X 2.25 meter pulsating snowflake that communicated by thought transference and had come into existence almost simultaneously with the birth of the Universe. I also envisioned asking Visitor Sf what were some of the basics in defining intelligent life On Planet Snowball:
1) the ability to learn from the past
2) the ability to behave collectively in ways that ensure long term survival
3) to have learned to avoid self-destruction
4) the ability to anticipate and avoid natural disasters
5) the ability to intentionally and thoughtfully alter its environment and live
sustainably within it
6) the ability to not only produce exceptional individuals, but for the species
as a whole to move &#39;forward&#39;
I smiled and said thanks, and then explained how Earthlings define intelligence, primarily through technology, and I was grateful to be able to enlighten a fellow member of the Universe and I know Sf was glad too...... :blink:

"With human intellect, the whole seems to be less than the sum of the parts." D. Grinspoon :o

bossman20081
2004-Aug-23, 11:17 PM
Yeah Aries, I think that would work except we really dont qualify for it....

I dunno, does that mean were not intelligent?

Heres a couple I thought of that I think a somewhat intelligent species (like us) would need. This is in addition to Aries post:

1 To have created a language or a standard form of communication
2 To prepare for the future (storing food, education, etc. etc)
3.....Ill get back to you on that....

aries_4_5_48
2004-Aug-24, 01:55 AM
....this is the picture as I see it. There is only one known fact regarding life in the Universe. It has occurred once. As to intelligence, it means many different things to different people. One basic definition is: the ability to process information. That encompasses a very broad range. (bacteria process information, ie. temp, salinity, etc.) Arthur C. Clark states a theory that machine &#39;intelligence&#39; is the only true intelligence that exists. And that humans sole purpose in the &#39;scheme of things&#39; is to develop those machines who will eventually replace them.(not as far fetched as it might initially sound) My personal belief is that we don&#39;t if there is a Universal Intelligence Scale, and if there is where would we be ranked? Don&#39;t you think it would be in our best interest, and display a degree of intelligence at the same time to assume that our ability to &#39;create interesting gizmos&#39; compared to the degree of advancement in other areas is certainly no reason to act as if we are the measure of All Things. What do you think? <_<

"Live where you are. Be prepared for anything." K-Pax :ph34r:

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-24, 12:59 PM
Don&#39;t you think it would be in our best interest, and display a degree of intelligence at the same time to assume that our ability to &#39;create interesting gizmos&#39; compared to the degree of advancement in other areas is certainly no reason to act as if we are the measure of All Things. What do you think?

Although I&#39;m not sure what "the measure of all things" means, the way to look at this is in terms of our survival. When dealing with the set of tricks the universe can play, the definition of eminent must include a much larger lead time than otherwise. It&#39;s more a case of allowing us to have any place as opposed to having a prominent place in the universe. The pressing need is to ensure that no one in the future has to watch helplessly while the universe mercilessly does in her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as well as those of her dearest friends and acquaintences and the entire human species. We must posture ourselves to keep the unavoidable losses to a minimum.

xXxDarkSkyNitexzxXx
2004-Aug-24, 02:07 PM
i think this is likely to happen. If this really happesn i hope it does not occurs like wad it happen on the movie &#39;&#39;planet of the apes&#39;&#39; maybe we can live in harmony with them maybe they know about space too we can discuss each others point of view and learn more things

aries_4_5_48
2004-Aug-24, 05:28 PM
....by &#39;measure of all things&#39; I was referring to the &#39;rating&#39; of other intelligence. The implications being self-evident. Regarding &#39;tech&#39; advancements for preservation and continuing existence of Earthlings, advancement of knowledge, systems to improve conditions on the planet for all, it has unlimited potential. It is the &#39;prostitution&#39; aspects that are troublesome to me. Is there a rational limit to the number of functions of a cell phone, compared to channeling those same energies and resources into more &#39;productive&#39;, meaningful areas? (opinion) :huh:

"The Earth provides enough for everyman&#39;s needs, but not everyman&#39;s greed." M. Gandhi :)

Bobunf
2004-Aug-25, 02:13 AM
Aries, you said, “Is there a rational limit to the number of functions of a cell phone, compared to channeling those same energies and resources into more &#39;productive&#39;, meaningful areas?”

It seems to me that one of the most productive and meaningful things that humans do is to com-municate with each other. The energies and other resources used by cell phones are very minis-cule compared to traveling to see another person by airplane, automobile, train, bus, or bicycle. Even walking is probably more resource intensive given the required food, footwear, and path maintenance. Television, movies, even radio use much more in the way of resources.

Writing and mailing a letter is much more resource intense than communicating by cell phone.

What would be more productive and meaningful than human communication?

Not that I would advocate devoting all of our resources to manufacture and maintenance of cell phones and giving up on personal visits, movies and books.

As for “prostitution,” I’ve never been a prohibitionist.

Bob

aries_4_5_48
2004-Aug-25, 03:28 AM
....your point is very nicely made and acknowledged. Obviously, value judgements are in the &#39;eye&#39; of the beholder, and every eye &#39;sees&#39; through a slightly different lens. Let us hope that does not change. Your post does bring up an interesting question, at least in my mind, and the question is: people who study human communication say that(my figures are &#39;rough approximations&#39; from memory): body language=55%; tone of voice=25%; actual content=20% regarding how we actually convey our &#39;meaning&#39;. Assuming this is true, it would seem that either some adjustment regarding the way we convey meaning has emerged(replace body-language) or that communicating itself has taken on another meaning. The only &#39;problem&#39; I have with c-phones is the fact that, if someone wants or needs to have a telephone conversation in public, why must I be subjected to it. If I wanted to be involved in c-phone conversations I&#39;d have one.(also, I&#39;m sorry but everytime I hear a little tune or see a vibration and someone immediately reach for their phone, it reminds of a lab rat trained to react to a given stimuli. No offense to anyone, that&#39;s what I see....... :blink: )

Careful what you invent, it may end up inventing you..... :unsure: