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Author Topic:   What type of biological life will more than likely be found on other planets?
jar
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Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 102 of 178 (670941)
08-21-2012 9:23 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by Dogmafood
08-21-2012 7:37 AM


Re: Accumulated Intelligence
Sorry but I still don't see how evolution can accumulate intelligence.

I'm not at all sure that the level of human intelligence is unique on this planet, but it is an outlier.

More intelligence does not always mean a bigger niche. Elephants do not have a bigger niche than antelopes.

Squid do not have a bigger niche than sharks.

Bonobos do not have a bigger niche than grasshoppers.

I agree that it is certainly possible that given enough time some level of intelligence might evolve, but human like technology is very, very, very unlikely and that technology is not solely a matter of intelligence as I have said many times before. An equal or even greater level of intelligence would not result in human like technology if the critter does not live on the surface of its planet, have a method of manipulating objects AND stumble upon and adopt our concept of technology and knowledge transfer.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 103 of 178 (670942)
08-21-2012 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by Straggler
08-21-2012 8:07 AM


Re: Accumulated Intelligence
But none of that is relevant to the topic even if true.

The topic is "What type of biological life will more than likely be found on other planets?"


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Straggler, posted 08-21-2012 8:07 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 105 of 178 (670946)
08-21-2012 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 101 by Blue Jay
08-21-2012 9:22 AM


Re: Rare sapience
Great, because I really think the issue is communication rather than a major disagreement. Maybe these small steps will help.

Do you agree that in that sample only one line of critters has developed "Human Like Technology"?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 9:22 AM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 9:41 AM jar has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 109 of 178 (670951)
08-21-2012 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by Blue Jay
08-21-2012 9:40 AM


Re: Accumulated Intelligence
I disagree but let's leave it until we go through the step by step effort because again, I think it is more an issue of communication.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 9:40 AM Blue Jay has taken no action

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 111 of 178 (670953)
08-21-2012 9:56 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by Blue Jay
08-21-2012 9:41 AM


Re: Rare sapience
Do you agree that there are other intelligent critters such as the cephalopods, elephants, crows and ravens and several of the other primates?

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 9:41 AM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 113 of 178 (670955)
08-21-2012 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by Blue Jay
08-21-2012 9:58 AM


Re: Rare sapience
Do you agree that humans were able to expand their territory due to a very few technological advances, specifically domestication of fire and clothing and the fact that they were omnivores?

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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 Message 112 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 9:58 AM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 115 of 178 (670961)
08-21-2012 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by Blue Jay
08-21-2012 10:56 AM


Re: Rare sapience
Could hominids have expanded into ice age areas without clothing or fire?

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 125 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 1:22 PM jar has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 118 of 178 (670974)
08-21-2012 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by New Cat's Eye
08-21-2012 11:55 AM


Re: Rare sapience
We'll get to that.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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 Message 116 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 11:55 AM New Cat's Eye has seen this message

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jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 121 of 178 (670984)
08-21-2012 12:32 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by Straggler
08-21-2012 12:27 PM


Re: Rare sapience
Because I choose to do it step by step.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 127 of 178 (670997)
08-21-2012 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by Blue Jay
08-21-2012 1:22 PM


Re: Rare sapience
Really?

So do you think humans could have survived in Siberia without fire or clothes?

Other species have, for example mammoths did well from arctic conditions to equatorial jungles, but the reason was unrelated to intelligence but rather fat and hair.

Is it not human technology that allowed modern humans (Sapiens and Neanderthal as well as a few other candidate) to expand into climates like the arctic or ice age Europe, Asia and North America?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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 Message 125 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 1:22 PM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 130 of 178 (671006)
08-21-2012 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by Blue Jay
08-21-2012 2:13 PM


Re: Rare sapience
But Ice Age does not mean tropical.

But the expansion into North and Central America definitely depended on clothing and fire.

And I agree that human expansion was the result of human technology, but that human technology is not just the result of intelligence.

That's why I want to move slowly so that we don't end up running in circles.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 2:13 PM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 4:30 PM jar has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 133 of 178 (671022)
08-21-2012 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by Blue Jay
08-21-2012 4:30 PM


Re: Rare sapience
Sure, but again, it is still only marginally relevant to the point I am trying to make, so please humor me and walk along slowly.

As I mentioned several times, human expansion was the result of human technology, but that human technology is not just the result of intelligence.

There are other species that developed intelligence, perhaps even more intelligence than humans, but did not develop the culture of transfer of technology and knowledge over generations and outside of the immediate group or tribe.

That last paragraph I think is the key.

It's possible based on what little I've learned that some cephalopods may well be as intelligent, maybe even more intelligent than humans, be more dextrous, able to solve problems, but because they have very short lives and live in the water, web almost certain to never develop anything like the culture of technology and knowledge accumulation and transfer common to humans.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 4:30 PM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 134 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 11:22 PM jar has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 137 of 178 (671087)
08-22-2012 9:11 AM
Reply to: Message 134 by Blue Jay
08-21-2012 11:22 PM


Re: Rare sapience
And this is why going slow is necessary.

But, I'm perfectly willing to grant that technological development is also strongly limited by the environment, and that land is a better habitat for technology than sea. But, I'm not sure what the point is: even on land, only the one species with the highest intelligence was able to develop technology. So, clearly, intelligence is the real limiting factor here.

Is intelligence the limiting?

Are humans more intelligent than elephants or cephalopods. Or do we simply have more knowledge?

Is the limiting factor intelligence or rather a combination of traits?

Intelligence makes it possible for us to invent new technologies to deal with new challenges in new environments. That's how humans have adapted to every environment on the planet.

Yes but I believe that is grossly over simplified and gives a far too much credit to intelligence and not enough credit to the specific inventions and other factors I mentioned.

I'm sorry: I don't buy this. I'll grant that cephalopods are very intelligent, but there's no evidence that their cognitive abilities are comparable to ours.

We do not have a good way of measuring intelligence. We can test knowledge, skills and learning, problem solving but how do you test intelligence?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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 Message 134 by Blue Jay, posted 08-21-2012 11:22 PM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 141 by Blue Jay, posted 08-22-2012 11:09 AM jar has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 143 of 178 (671117)
08-22-2012 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 141 by Blue Jay
08-22-2012 11:09 AM


Re: Rare sapience
My position is that human success cannot be chalked up to a single factor. There is no "magical tool" that we have that explains all of our success. There is no specific anatomical adaptation that explains all of our success. We succeeded in different environments for different reasons.

So, regional success can be chalked up to specific inventions and innovations, like clothing, fire, stone tools, hunting tactics, discovery of new food sources, etc. But, global success cannot be explained by specific inventions. Rather, global success is explained by the underlying process of repeatedly and flexibly adapting to the challenges of each new environment with new inventions and innovations. I attribute this adaptability to human intelligence.

As I said, way up thread, I don't think our positions are all that far apart.

While our success cannot be explained by any one or any small group of factors, the failure of other critters can be explained, and that I believe is far more important than our success when considering what we are likely to find on other planets.

Human technology could not have developed without certain other factors, for example living on the surface of a planet where fire is possible, having one or more limbs not devoted to locomotion and the capability to manipulate complex objects, living long enough to accumulate large amounts of knowledge, a method of transferring that knowledge other than just person to person, being mobile and having a long enough protected childhood to learn how to learn.

A cephalopod like sea critter could not do what humans did regardless of how intelligent they become since they don't live long enough, nor could an oyster. It's unlikely an elephant (including mammoths and other similar critters) could do it but they come the closest outside the primates even though the elephant does have many of the basic requirements just as long protected childhood and a prehensile limb not devoted to locomotion.

My point is that it is NOT just intelligence that led to human success but rather a whole group of fortuitous things and that it is very unlikely that we would expect to find anything like humans anywhere.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Blue Jay, posted 08-22-2012 11:09 AM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by Blue Jay, posted 08-22-2012 12:49 PM jar has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33890
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 148 of 178 (671139)
08-22-2012 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by Blue Jay
08-22-2012 12:49 PM


Re: Rare sapience
As a further illustration of this, take the elephant. As you mentioned, the elephant lives on land, has a long lifespan, a prehensile limb, a complex social life and extensive parental care. Clearly, giving all these attributes to an intelligent animal isn't enough to generate tool-making behavior.

Exactly. However taking any one or more of those attributes away does make it nearly impossible to develop anything like human technology.

There is yet another attribute I believe is essential and that is "need."

You mention writing Science Fiction which reminded me of a story outline I was working on, oh about forty years or so ago.

The question I had was "What would a species that was naturally telepathic, could teleport and use telekinesis and had a group consciousness be like? Would they ever develop anything like human technology?" The more I thought about it the less likely it seemed they would have any technology to the extent we might not even recognize them as intelligent.

Since language is never more than an approximation of either thought or experience, if a species could transmit the actual experience, why would they develop a lower content medium?

If they could simply go where the weather was nice or the food was available why develop shelters or clothing or agriculture?

In your example you mention technology allowing humans to go to differing climates, but it can be equally valid to say that going to different climates created a need that drove the technology.

Going back to the hypothetical mental critters, with teleportation it is easier to go to where a desired item is than to bring that item to you and so trade would be unlikely to develop, and trade played a big part in building a culture of technology and knowledge transfer in humans.

Remember, I'm not questioning how we arrived at any insights but rather what is likely that we will find in alien life forms.

My point is that it is NOT just intelligence that led to human success but rather a whole group of fortuitous things and that it is very unlikely that we would expect to find anything like humans anywhere.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by Blue Jay, posted 08-22-2012 12:49 PM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 149 by Dogmafood, posted 08-22-2012 4:39 PM jar has replied
 Message 152 by Blue Jay, posted 08-22-2012 5:56 PM jar has replied

  
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