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Author Topic:   Evolution and intelligence
JoG
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 5 (23300)
11-19-2002 8:32 PM


My friend and I got into a huge arguement regarding Evolution and intelligence. He is convinced somehow that evolution's ultimate goal is to develop intelligent life and that if the dinosaurs' lived long enough they would have develop high level intelligense.. I beg to differ. First evolution should not be personified into some force with a conscious drive to make intelligent life. Second, Intelligence is just one option out of endless amount of options that are capable through the process of evolution. If you added up all the insects plants and animals existing on the planet from the 1st day till now you would see that intelligence occured like .00000000001 % of the time. Thirdly,humans are built perfectly for manipulating our enviroment. We have hands with useable fingers, allowing us to make tools, etc. No other animal can use their body in such ways. And it is proven that using and making tools was the first step towards man developing the level of intelligence we see today. I just want to hear what some other intelligent people have to say on the subject.

[This message has been edited by JoG, 11-19-2002]


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Minnemooseus, posted 11-20-2002 12:25 AM JoG has not yet responded
 Message 5 by Peter, posted 11-25-2002 8:05 AM JoG has not yet responded

  
Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3725
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 2 of 5 (23318)
11-20-2002 12:25 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by JoG
11-19-2002 8:32 PM


quote:
My friend and I got into a huge arguement regarding Evolution and intelligence. He is convinced somehow that evolution's ultimate goal is to develop intelligent life...

Perhaps from some theistic evolution perspective, but not from the purely scientific perspective.

quote:
...and that if the dinosaurs' lived long enough they would have develop high level intelligense.

I think that could have been the case. As I recall, Kenneth Miller proposed in Finding Darwin's God, that had evolution history followed a different path, a dinosaur decendent might have been the creation "in God's image".

quote:
I beg to differ. First evolution should not be personified into some force with a conscious drive to make intelligent life. Second, Intelligence is just one option out of endless amount of options that are capable through the process of evolution.

Sure, I agree.

quote:
If you added up all the insects plants and animals existing on the planet from the 1st day till now you would see that intelligence occured like .00000000001 % of the time.

You seem to be saying that intelligence is a yes or no thing. Rather, I certainly think it comes in degrees.

quote:
Thirdly,humans are built perfectly for manipulating our enviroment. We have hands with useable fingers, allowing us to make tools, etc. No other animal can use their body in such ways. And it is proven that using and making tools was the first step towards man developing the level of intelligence we see today.

But who knows what evolutionary development might have happened to the dinosaurs, had they been given many more millions of years.

quote:
I just want to hear what some other intelligent people have to say on the subject.

Oops, sorry. You've just heard from the flaming liberal loony Moose. Maybe Gene has a better response

Moose

"Scientists say that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but they are wrong. Stupidity is the most abundant element in the universe" (or something like that) - Frank Zappa


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by JoG, posted 11-19-2002 8:32 PM JoG has not yet responded

    
JoG
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 5 (23326)
11-20-2002 1:45 AM


In my understanding the dinosaurs were perfect the way they were. That perfection was their strength and killing power. They would never have developed higher level intelligence unless they physically changed into a form that could manipulate the enviroment, like a human. I see no evidence why after nearly 200million years dinosaurs would have taken such a drastic change, physically or mentally. The only thing that wiped out this perfect creature was 3 mile wide hunk of rock traveling 100000 miles/ hour.
Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Quetzal, posted 11-20-2002 4:24 AM JoG has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4044 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 4 of 5 (23335)
11-20-2002 4:24 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by JoG
11-20-2002 1:45 AM


Hi JoeG: That's not entirely accurate. You can't really say any organism is "perfect the way they were", including dinosaurs. They were mainifestly the dominant life-form on the planet for 150 million years or so, but they suffered the same kinds of population and species level extinctions that modern organisms do - meaning the "winning" lineages (those that were more or less adapted to their particular environments) survived, the "losers" didn't. Species of dinos came and went just like modern organisms. In addition, overall dino diversity appears to have been fading even before the Alvarez event that did in the remaining populations. One study I read showed (and I apologize that I don't have it under my fingers at the moment) showed on the order of 30 species of ceratopsids, for instance, about 10 million years pre-Alvarez, but only 11 at the boundary.

Speculation about what the dinos MIGHT have become if the remainder hadn't been wiped out is pretty pointless, except to say there was nothing preventing some smallish species lineage from ultimately developing recognizable intelligence - just like there was no particular reason why it should have (any more than there was a particular reason why mammals should have spawned a lineage that ultimately led to humans). The variables involved boggle the mind, honestly - but it could have happened. After all, the dinos radiated into just about every available niche, including the sea and the air, with lots of neat innovations to see them through.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by JoG, posted 11-20-2002 1:45 AM JoG has not yet responded

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 2095 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 5 of 5 (24188)
11-25-2002 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by JoG
11-19-2002 8:32 PM


Surley 'intelligence' (whatever that is) is just another trait
that has a survival impact.

If you are a particularly puny creature with limited resilience
(like humans) then you are only going to survive if you can compensate
for your inadequecies via manipulation of your environment.

Dinosaurs may have had some species that fell into this category ...
so who knows ... we know nothing about dinosuar behaviour (alhtough
there are some educated guesses) so we cannot comment on their
intelligence levels.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by JoG, posted 11-19-2002 8:32 PM JoG has not yet responded

    
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