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What Is Intelligent Life?

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posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 11:47 PM
Let's say hypothetically we travel to a planet that is abundant with life. This life resembles life like ours with animals roaming the planet.

Now what would be considered intelligent life?

Birds? Dogs? Cats? Worms? and et cetera.

I've been thinking about this for a while, I would like to know what is classified as intelligent life aside from humans...

What animals on earth are considered intelligent besides humans?


posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 12:24 AM
Intelligent life has to be perceived by that species. For example do apes consider us more intelligent than them? Probably not, they just look at us as another species of animals because they dont understand intelligence as we understand. They dont know anything about human creations such as cars, planes, spacecraft, TV, Internet etc. They may see some of these things but they dont associate these things as being created by humans.

Similarly, animals have their own level of intelligence. Those animals who use tools must have a superior feeling compared to others.

If we look at the universe, then there may be highly advanced civilizations that may find our intelligence primitive.

Inteligence is a word created by man for his own convinence and we use it a barometer of our success and failure

[edit on 18-2-2009 by sunny_2008ny]

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 12:29 AM
reply to post by MitchMagic

My thoughts on the matter are that something reaches sentience when it begins to question it's place in the universe. The moment that A species begins to explore it's surroundings in order to uncover more details about itself, and everything surrounding it.

By that reasoning, humans are (so far) the only "intelligent life" on Earth, if you can call these destructive, polluting mostrosoties "intelligent"...

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 12:40 AM
Depends on your definition of intelligent life. Animals learn, use tools, show the use of reasoning skills, build homes, etc. The only thing I am aware of that we do that we know for a fact that no other species on earth does is build machines. We can't know if any other species questions it's place on earth or questions why it exists. We can't know what goes on inside their minds.

Some would say that a dog is nowhere near as intelligent as a human. My husband put some carpet on a piece of plywood for our dogs crate earlier today since the plastic tray that came with it has been broken into pieces and I swear that dog got excited when he saw it, knew it was for him and knew my husband had put it together for him. The way he was behaving it seemed like he was trying to show my husband that he liked it and was trying to say thank you. Now some people would say that I just imagined the meaning behind my dog's actions, but I know what I saw and my dog showed intelligence and joy.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 01:00 AM
I think the most intelligent life is looked over by many every day--plants. Humans? We're not intelligent, we just like to think we are because our egos are elusive.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 01:12 AM
I agree that the way humans use the word "intelligent" is incredibly self centered. More like us? More intelligent. Less like us? Less intelligent.

Never once do we question whether a species that is capable of incredible technological achievement, but also seems bound and determined to foolishly drive itself to extinction by refusing to recognize the limits imposed by nature to its excesses, should be called truly intelligent. It seems to me the bottom line of "intelligence" should be not foolishly orchestrating ones own demise.

The way we currently use the word, only our species will ever meet the requirement for "intelligence" here on Earth. And thats the way we want it. That way we can continue our disregard for all other living things, and keep pretending that this world is our to plunder, rather than care for.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 01:31 AM
reply to post by Jenna

Agreed. My two Jack-Russels likewise "communicate" with the human members of my family. They call my father if the gate is left open by standing and barking at the front door, etc...

What i meant to imply is that Homo-sapiens are likely the only forms of life on thes pale blue dot that actually have a DESIRE to discover the unknown. A dog would be content knowing that it got fed every day; it wouldn't want to find out where the food came from, and then try go to the factory, and generally EXPLORE...

Not to say that other tool-using life-forms on earth are intrinsicaly unintelligent, only that they lack the curiosity and drive to explore the unknown.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 01:39 AM
Bacteria is intelligent life.
The person over the road from me, playing the drums, is not intelligent life.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 07:27 AM
reply to post by Havoc40k

Possibly. There just is no way for us to know with any certainty if they desire to explore or discover the unknown.

posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 12:05 PM
many many experiments have been done on intelligence in humans and other animals.

what sets us apart? we are the only species capable of abstract thought. We are the only species capable of thinking in the 3rd, 4th or even 5th person ( one of the reasons shakespeare is so revered his work demonstrates thinking like this).

Not even our closest relatives (other primates) can think in a 3rd person perspective yet an 18 month old human baby can. Quite amazing

Invention is another aspect other species lack. So when we talk about intelligent life we're really talking about technological intelligence like us. Sentient self aware beings capable of abstract thought & invention.

[edit on 20-2-2009 by yeti101]

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