It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

A Single Planet of the Apes? Why intelligence may be rare in the universe

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 29 2008 @ 12:48 PM
link   

Dr. Charley Lineweaver, from Australian National University, has a pessimistic view on SETI. On a lecture (check the slides, PDF), he remembers that there’s no clear evidence that there’s anything like an “evolutionary trend” towards intelligence like ours. Assuming that intelligent life will eventually arise in any ecosystem is what Lineweaver calls the “Planet of the Apes Hypothesis”, and he doesn’t find it very reasonable:

“Independent experiments in evolution have been conducted on Earth over the past 200 million years. The names of the individual experiments are South America, Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, India, North America”.

In none of these isolated ecosystems a different species of intelligent animal anywhere similar to us arose, Lineweaver points. If our species suddenly disappeared from Earth, nothing guarantees that another species would fill our civilized niche, not even apes dedicated to hide the Statue of Liberty. No Planet of the Apes besides ours...(continued)


SOURCE




posted on May, 6 2008 @ 12:57 AM
link   
I'm not sure there's intelligent life on THIS planet.



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 11:11 PM
link   
The question of intelligence is certainly very interesting. In a way, intelligence, even on our planet, doesn't really fit into the big picture. It's not that it isn't good or bad, it's just the question of necessity. Why intelligence? What is it that requires so much brain power? Insects and animals are doing just fine with what brains they have - why more?

Not to mention all the questions there are about the mind - about what the thought is, dreams, psychology etc.

I guess life could be fairly common in the universe, the question is more likely if there are other intelligences out there...



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 04:20 AM
link   
This is a great point and definitely worth more consideration!!

I once had to write a paper for school about Drake's Equation vs. The Fermi Paradox and the best conclusion I could come up with was that the 'fraction with intelligent life' variable is the big wet blanket when it comes to our hopes of finding ET somewhere out there in the final frontier.

The main problem is this: Everything we know about life, nature, ecology, evolution comes back to one important factor: balance.

Sure some animals reach the top of the food chain and some plants thrive over others but there is a very universal, deliberate harmony to the entire system that allows it to function that way in the first place.

Fire-making, God-fearing, self-aware Humans are the first creatures on Earth to ever come along and screw the whole thing up. We have conquered nature itself, and because of that we are the most "unnatural" things it has ever produced. Since that implies we shouldn't even exist in the first place - it might just mean we are a very VERY rare exception!



One of the main arguments in the Fermi Paradox is that, even at today's technology, a space-faring civilization shouldn't require more than 25 million years to colonize the galaxy. Compared to the age of the Milky Way (at least 7 billion years), this number is very small - so someone definitely should've done it by now...

But here's the thing: using the only planet we know to have life as a model, it took 4 1/2 billion years for the intelligent, space-faring kind to develop - 4.5 billion compared to 7-10 billion is no longer insignificant, so this fact suddenly becomes a very viable solution to the whole Fermi problem.

Another thing to consider is how many random sequences of events there are that contributed to our evolution. Look at dolphins - they're pretty smart, but they don't have hands - how were they supposed to learn to use tools, let alone build radio-telescopes? What if the dinosaurs had never become extinct - would we have even emerged? Maybe a stegosaurus would've taken our place - but there sure have been a LOT of complex multi-celled organisms before us that never managed to invent the space shuttle...



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 06:21 AM
link   
The real problem I have with making assumptions that there is precious little, if any, in the way of intelligent life out there is that we don't have much to base it on.

We haven't seen much of the universe. We haven't detected too much in the way of exoplanets. For all we know there could be entire galaxies out there that are all but devoid of life of any kind and then others that are the exact opposite.

Quite simply, the data isn't in yet. Not by a long shot. And for those who proclaim that there is no intelligent life beyond our planet I ask you one favor...

Go check. I won't wait up



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 06:33 AM
link   
reply to post by uv777bk
 


I am with you on this one. It seems to be pretty arrogant when people dismiss the possibility of life in the universe based off of observations on Earth. If you lived your entire life in your bathroom completely isolated, I don't think you could make accurate assumption about the rest of your neighborhood, much less the rest of the world. We have only witnessed a tiny fraction of what goes on in the universe, yet we are pretty confident that we know it all? Even though our scientists change their minds on what is right and true every 10 years or so.

I don't know if SETI will ever find anything, but I don't think we can dismiss life in the universe based off of our own limited view of things.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 06:39 AM
link   

The TimesApril 28, 2008

Swimming orang-utans’ spearfishing exploits amaze the wildlife experts

Orang-utans have confounded naturalists by learning to swim across rivers and to fish with sticks.

Naturalists were shocked to see the apes swim across a river to gain access to some of their favourite fruits at a conservation refuge on Kaja island in Borneo. Orang-utans were previously thought to be non-swimmers. The wildlife experts were equally surprised to see an orang-utan pick up a tree branch and stun a fish before eating it. Other apes introduced to the island were seen trying to spear fish with sticks after watching fishermen using rods. The naturalists also noted that the apes quickly worked out that it was even easier to steal fish from unattended lines used by the humans on the island. The unexpected behaviour has been captured in photographs published in the book Thinkers of the Jungle — the Orang-utan Report, by Gerd Schuster, Willie Smits and Jay Ullal, of the Borneo Orang-utan Survival Association. The pictures are thought to be the first to show an orang-utan using a tool for hunting. The apes live in Borneo and Sumatra and are regarded by some as second only to humans in intelligence. They are threatened with extinction as their habitats diminish.
www.timesonline.co.uk...



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 07:05 AM
link   

Originally posted by Karlhungis
It seems to be pretty arrogant when people dismiss the possibility of life in the universe based off of observations on Earth.


What about the reverse of that scenario? How about those that insist other life in the universe must be much more advanced than us; based on our behaviours? I find that deferential in the extreme. Personally, I hope the reality falls somewhere in the middle.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 07:07 AM
link   
reply to post by MrPenny
 


I agree. I think people are making very large assumptions off of very little information, relatively speaking.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 11:11 AM
link   

Originally posted by Karlhungis
It seems to be pretty arrogant when people dismiss the possibility of life in the universe based off of observations on Earth...


No one is disputing life in the universe. What is being said here is that we should not assume that every eco-system produces intelligent life.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 05:40 PM
link   
Maybe we should also add that not every life form in the universe evolve as fast (or slow) as we did. Perhaps we are the most technologically developed civilization - the point is that we don't know anything yet.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 05:43 PM
link   
reply to post by Karras
 


I've tried to make that point before. We may be the pinnacle civilization in the universe. There is squat to compare us to.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 06:08 PM
link   
"Independent experiments in evolution have been conducted on Earth over the past 200 million years. The names of the individual experiments are South America, Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, India, North America”.

It is an error to assume that the people who lived in these areas were "isolated". They seem to have had a common visitor, as the very real archeological record shows.
ancient visitors

It seems that there are many folks who feel insecure at the thought that there are other humans in the universe. Doesn't it make sense that some of them are more advanced in many ways than we are, as well as that there are those who are not?

While you all are doing your math, throw in the question of chances of this little spec we call Earth being the only place in the whole infinite usniverse to have life in the various forms we have as well as this insane species of humans.

I have doubts as to our scientists ability to determine whether or not there are other habitable planets out there. If you look at those pictures of earth taken from many miles up, you cannot tell that there are buildings and cities here.



posted on May, 8 2008 @ 07:20 AM
link   

Originally posted by OhZone
It is an error to assume that the people who lived in these areas were "isolated"...


He is not talking about the humans that settled those lands. He is talking about them as closed eco-systems that did not develop intelligent life on par with humans.




top topics



 
2

log in

join