originally posted by: VoidHawk
originally posted by: smithjustinb
Intelligent life may not be prevalent. There is only one species on Earth capable of doing anything like this. There are millions of species on
Earth that aren't and have no desire to do this. We're unique on this planet. Who's to say we're not unique among others?
Monkeys have recently been found to be using tools, some have been found making things such as umbrellas, how long before they're talking?
We're discovering whales and dolphins are highly intelligent, maybe in a few thousand years they too will be talking.
We are not unique on this earth, we just have a little head start.
That's a very good point on other intelligent species on earth. Whale and Dolphin speech is completely alien to us, but we do know it has a high
degree of complexity and they do have names for each other. Having a name and using a name with others shows a high degree of sentience.
On tool use, Dolphins and Whales are not blessed with hands or prehensile appendages. I've always wondered what tools they might have developed if
they had been blessed with manual dexterity. Even with their physical limitations, some dolphins have been found to make use of a tool, a conch shell
gripped in their mouth, to scoop up small fish. They then drop the shell near the shallow ocean bottom and eat the fish as they swim out. This
behavior has actually spread to other dolphins in the region where the behavior was discovered, and is still spreading, which seems to indicate the
ability to teach others in the technique.
Also, look at how short a time, in the scheme of things, Homo Sapiens have been around. We coexisted for a time with the Neanderthals, a second
intelligent, tool using species. We may have been two branches of the same tree, but we were distinct evolutionary outgrowths of that tree. Evidence
seems to mount that Homo Sapiens contributed greatly to the demise of the Neanderthals. They aren't gone because they failed to adapt to the ecology
of Earth, they died because they couldn't adapt to us.
If natural disaster had wiped out our ancestors in the infancy of our species, it's very likely Neanderthals would have evolved as a species and as a
culture in much the same way we did. Even if the timescale were different, it doesn't matter.
How many other co-evolutionary species exhibiting the potential to rival us might we have snuffed out before they could be established? How many
intelligent species might evolve on Earth, over time, if we were to suddenly vanish?
We like to believe we are unique, but there is the likelihood we are not unique, in potential, over the entire timeline of habitability on our planet,
let alone the Galaxy and the Universe.
edit on 28-7-2014 by Totemic because: Links
edit on 28-7-2014 by Totemic because: