In many ways, daulphins are the Humans of the sea world in terms of intelligence, absolutely.
But I meant genotypes outside the hominid branch. Like bears for example. Bears, in comparison to Apes, would have made great Ewoks here on earth ;)
We accept the transitional process of Evolution to be tributary of random factors like mutation, isolation, climate adaptive strategies, all random, yet with a purpose, which assign survival advantages to it's recipients. We saw what happened to the hominid....us.
Just based on probabilities, applying the same rules, though I don't have a study to substantiate it mathematically, we should, randomly speaking, have seen at least one other type of Wookie or Rodian (a little Star Wars humour here ;) ) pop up somewhere on this good earth?
Of several observations, I wondered about that in particular.
however, early hominids developped exclusively in East Africa, leaving tremendous space elsewhere for this scenario to take place with other genotypes. Based on the same exact random rules.
Geographically, we can see how there would have been space of it to happen. Africa was not "more special" to the point of being the only environment capable of producing at least, semi-intelligent types, like Homo Habilis or "Handy Man", first one with the Broca area developped enough for speach.
Eventually, once say "Intelligent species" A, meet "Intelligent species" B, you can let nature take it's course and allow the fittest one to survive. Again, under the rules of random factors tributary to evolution, laws of probabilities could have easily provided this scenerio under those rules. We find this in areas not pertaining to the characteristic of intelligence. For example, Ants and Bees. One aerial, one ground. They developped similar forms of collective intelligence, yet, are not directly part of the same transitional anscestral branch, thought they are both hymenoptera in origins. But conditions, genetic, dietary, climatic and otherwise, made it possible, since we're dealing with the same random rules, to produce more then one dimorphic queen-worker based colony types among social insects. This is perfectly natural of course. Which naturally raises the question, if this is true in some many other examples for so many other characterics, why doesnt' the rule apply to a more "developped intelligence" similar to ours in other species. Why don't we have a Star Wars planet? ;) I wish I had a study showning the probalistic mathematical impossibility of the random occurence, but I don't. Therefore, I raise o question, which isn't even rally an hypothesis. But if the basis of that question have any validity, it raises more questions. Don't you find? And I'm not even trying to make assumptions. I'm just saying if I we're a biology student, I'd look for a paper on the subject, if I couldn't find any, I'd consider writing a thesis on the question.
This message has been edited by ausar_maat, 10-07-2005 01:40 PM
This message has been edited by ausar_maat, 10-07-2005 01:43 PM
This message has been edited by ausar_maat, 10-07-2005 01:45 PM
touché for the bears, I actually hesitated before posting the bear example ;)
but my point remains a valid observation.
as for bees and ants, I wasn't comparing them to us. But to each other, to establish that similar characteristics, even complex ones like queen-worker dimorphism among these social insects, can be reproduced based on those same rules of random factors causing evolution in species. Why not this characteristic: "intelligence" in the more human sense of it.
Because communication techniques are being developped as we speak and significant progress has been made to discipher daulphan language. That's why I said they are like humans of the sea. But do you see the specificness of my observation?
quote:There is a good deal of argument about how inevitable intelligence like ours is or is not. The reason for some argument is that we do not know enough to judge the probabilities. You don't know if it was "easy" or not.
yet similar conditions apply for other species to have done so, randomely.
I mean, how "easy" was it for those hymenopta to develop toward the queen-worker dimorphic colonies we see today? Not to mention that in the case of "warrior ants", they have not evolved one bit in the last 100 million years, somehow escaping evolution (no real point intended with this observation though).
I said ants and bees, but I can go on to other insects. Their level of social organisation is extremely advanced and complex. Much more so then many mammal social types. Then many many many many of them in fact. Yet, it's there, it happened, randomely, and more then once.
yet for intelligence, even on a more basic level as with the homo habilis, our first "speaking" and "tool" using late cousin, it's a not go. No randomness there. Not possible. Even though the same rules apply then for the development of other characteristics. I mean, it's a little "easy" to just say that we don't know how "easy" it was for it to happen, don't you find?
Sure, we also use intelligence to explore space, design aircraft, etc. But our ability to use intelligence in that way is mainly a side effect of a social adaptation.
As far as the bees and ants I wasn't responding to you actually if you follow the thread carefully.
As for the above statement, this is my point to begin with. If I didn't see our intelligence as an adaptive strategy resulting from our social interactions, I wouldn't have a basis for arguing the development of intelligence in other species. If you carefully read back what I said, that much is evident.
So I don't see your point? At least not in reference to mine..
btw, when you mentionned rats, you don't know how right you are. Because rats, are just about the only mammals with a prefrontal cortex like the primates, those highly connected with cognitive associated to social behavior, and non-motor faculties,and would facilite the developement of intelligence on our level. Although other species could have developped a prefrontal cortex, randomly, eventually, for exactly the same or because of other factors, causing, eventually, by pure hazard, that kind of mutation. A neuroscientist or paleoneurologist may proove me wrong here, but the more exclusive neocortex in mammals in general, which also allows for this social behavior to occur, would be enough to set this mutation off in other species. But rats, yeah, the relationship is even easier to establish since they're about the only other mammals with a prefrontal cortex like the primates.
Homo Erectus spreads around the world. In Europe / Asia it adapts to the colder climate and eventual Ice ages and becomes Neandertals. In Africa, a different group of Homo Erectus adapts and becomes Cro-Mag. Both groups exist in their seperate areas for a while, eventually Cro-Mag ventures out and spreads into Neander territory. For a while both groups exist across that range.
(btw, I can't speak for or on behalf of ID since I'm not familiar with it, I just bought Darwin's Black Box and haven't read it yet ;) )
Back to our program, That's the way Natural Historians explain this collage of Fossil foundings. It's not necessarelly dealing with the biological factors per say. Because saying an Erectus group became Neanths because of isolation during the Ice Age is highly plausible, but then again, Inuits have been in the cold for a period as long as the period leading up to the timetables crossing between the appearance of Neaths alongside the Herectus, yet Inuits are still looking just like they did when they left Mongolia. In other words, your example works, yes, but it's pure speculation it seems. A nice collage.
Bipedalism has some advantages. The ability to carry children, food or tools while travelling is a big one. Reduction of exposure to sunlight is another one. Increased line of sight over tall grasses for example. Ability to reach things in branches.