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Why are we the only intelligent species?

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posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 02:43 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


It's only legitimate if we specify that we are looking ONLY at HUMAN intelligence. When we test other species, we are testing to see how much HUMAN intelligence they possess. That's all.

But the only intelligence we can be sure of is human. Intelligence is the essential human quality.


It seems that you still don't 'get' the idea that all we can test is human intelligence and that is not relevant to other species of animals. ONLY if they could write their own tests could we make any sort of comparison, and perhaps not even then.

With respect, I think I get these ideas pretty well, perhaps better than some of you who are arguing against me. Of course all we can test is human intelligence. That is because (to repeat myself) intelligence is a human quality. What is presented as evidence as intelligence in other animals – the supposed use of complex language by dolphins, problem-solving ability in certain birds, the use of found objects as tools, etc. – are all aspects of human intelligence. There is no evidence for any form of intelligence that humans do not possess, nor could there ever be, because (third time of asking) intelligence is the defining human quality.


You are using the ideas of intelligence and technology almost interchangeably, as if the level of technological advancement of a species is the indicator of intelligence.

It is. I don't think you quite got what I was driving at in the chimp example, though.


What? That's anthropomorphizing to the extreme! Truth is, we don't know what they're thinking and it's arrogant to think we do!

Dr. Scamandrius prescribes a humour supplement.



edit on 1/3/11 by Astyanax because: I had to renew the prescription.




posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 03:03 AM
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reply to post by Pimander
 



The puzzled rock hunters sent their find to the Charles Fort Society, who specialize in investigating things out of the ordinary.

And who were generally keen to make things seem out of the ordinary even when they were not. In fact that was their raison d'être. Notice my use of the past tense. The Charles Fort Society (an institution, by the way, that was scorned by Fort himself) disbanded in 1959. It was resurrected as The International Fortean Organization, as gullible a bunch of space cadets as you could possibly hope to find.

Looks like a spark plug to me. Sorry and all that.


The following images are of objects found in Cretaceous rock. They are over 65 million years old - from dinosaur times. They look remarkably like technological artefacts.

But they are in fact concretions, created by the same vulcanic and erosive processes that make volcanic plugs.



Could geologists be wrong about what they are?

Nope.


Are you serious? You claim that they can't live in the same geographical location and then contradict yourself. To bite a dolphin a shark has to be in the same geographical location.

Sometimes they stray, like the minds of conspiracy theorists.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 03:22 AM
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I don't actually believe that you opening question is true, but have you considered that if there were more than one intelligent species , lets say two, we may just have reached this "point of critical mass" twice as fast and already have destroyed ourselves and the only planet we and all other "non-intelligent" life have at this stage!



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 03:34 AM
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We are not intelligent...
We are just arrogant.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 03:41 AM
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reply to post by halfmanhalfamazing
 

Nemmine. Sorry.



edit on 1/3/11 by Astyanax because: I couldnt' really be bothered.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 04:44 AM
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reply to post by Turq1
 


The only things you have and animals dont are evilness and ugliness, though the later one is irrelevant here. You may think of yourself as an "evolved" creature but you are far from that. Humans may have the ability to make and build but if these creations are more harmful than anything else, i consider them a failure and obsolete. The technology brings destruction and unbalance most of the time. The masses use it to "improve" (aka make it easier than it is already but not better..) their pathetic virtual and pointless lives although it is harmful to their surounding and to themselves! Intelligent species? no. Vicious, deceitful, lecherous and cowardly? yes.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 05:21 AM
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reply to post by halfmanhalfamazing
 


That was exactly my point!



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 05:34 PM
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reply to post by _damon
 


Thanks for your post but that's not really what I'm getting at.


Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Pimander
 

Anyway, the reason why we're the only intelligent species is that there is no room for two such on a planet. Madnessinmysoul explained earlier that evolution selects for survival, not intelligence. You are, I am sure, familiar with the concept of evolutionary niches, which species often compete to occupy. 'Intelligent species' looks like a pretty exclusive niche to me. Like the Highlander, there can be only one.

Consider that an intelligent, technological species will eventually occupy all environments (as man has done) and want to corner all the resources available. If there are two such species on the same planet, they must fight till one is eliminated. It is perhaps a blessing that the conflict, on Earth, took place at a time when the competitors, all members of the same biological genus, were relatively few in number and their technological abilities still primitive. Then again, that is probably how it had to be; the showdown must have been bound to take place sooner rather than later.

As to those who say dolphins, crows, chimps, etc. are intelligent, I say they may well be, but they are not as intelligent as you or I.


That's what I was thinking about. Perhaps it's inherent in natural development that species of similar intellect end up just eliminating the other. So there would be an explanation as to why there is one species with the abilities that we have.

It wouldn't be too hard to imagine that early in evolution, if there were two or more species with high/similar intellect or consciousness, it'd draw the attention of one of the species and naturally they'd want to eliminate the other. It's not like you'd find the concept of inter-species teamwork early in evolution. If that's correct one might imagine that it'd be natural for other planets with life to host one species that far surpass the rest as well.
edit on 1-3-2011 by Turq1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 05:57 PM
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When I see, hear and read about what we as a species do to each other, I have serious doubts as to how intelligent we actually are.

We are territorial and aggressive and we war with other; we have many religions and cultural differences that breed hate and intolerance. We kill out of pure rage or sometimes for fun; we are driven by greed and materialism
that exploits others.


We can send man into space (or the moon....debatable???) we can search the ocean depths, we can make machines to save labour and make life easier. We have achieved so much scientifically.

So why have we not yet worked out how to coexist with each other ?

I know what I want to say just having a problem expressing into words sometimes



take care all
res



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 11:07 PM
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reply to post by resistancia
 


When I see, hear and read about what we as a species do to each other, I have serious doubts as to how intelligent we actually are.

There's been a lot of this on the thread, especially over the last few posts. It's a bit simplistic, I'm afraid, and confuses intelligence with morality.

It is perfectly intelligent to kill someone who poses a threat to your life, your family, or your livelihood.

It is perfectly intelligent to take what you can from someone who cannot defend what they have.

It is perfectly intelligent to seek convenience and pleasure if the price for them is to be paid by others, not oneself.

It is perfectly intelligent to make hay while the sun shines and damn tomorrow to hell, for life is short and pointless, and tomorrow never comes.

There is nothing stupid about murder, theft, selfishness and exploitation, unless you believe that humanity is engaged in some long-term, purposeful cooperative project, which clearly we are not. These things are wicked, certainly, and they may be done in a foolish, obvious way that makes others turn against the doers, but they are not intrinsically stupid.

Wickedness and stupidity are not the same things.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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reply to post by Turq1
 


It wouldn't be too hard to imagine that early in evolution, if there were two or more species with high/similar intellect or consciousness, it'd draw the attention of one of the species and naturally they'd want to eliminate the other. It's not like you'd find the concept of inter-species teamwork early in evolution. If that's correct one might imagine that it'd be natural for other planets with life to host one species that far surpass the rest as well.

I agree. And to develop the argument one step farther, I believe that we will find, if we ever do become a starfaring species, that we shall have to face the problem of competition from other intelligent races once again, just as we did in our Palaeolithic past. I know people say any species scientifically advanced enough to get into space would be morally advanced too and therefore benign. I think this is wrong and so – as has been discussed on other threads here – does Stephen Hawking. He has warned that we should try to avoid discovery by intelligent alien species for fear of inviting an attack by them.

Wickedness is not stupidity; intelligence is not virtue. Beware the stars in the sky.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 11:21 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Thanks for making me very UNintelligent.

I obviously have nothing of value to contribute. Sorry I intruded on the thread.




moronic res



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 11:46 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

I believe it was Arthur C. Clarke who suggested any organism having developed technological institutions sufficient enough to travel across the universe would have also developed the means of exterminating itself.

Our notions of intelligence and anatomical conditions are so constrained by our own existence and evolution that I doubt any extraterrestial intelligence would in any way resemble human intelligence. In fact I can not envision a scenario where we would even recognize such alien beings as existing at all. They would have had to evolve the exact same mechanisms of survival and gene replication, contain the exact same genetic code, to possess any similarities of structure in what we would consider as a unit of natural selection. Though I guess it is plausible due to the abundance of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Phosphorous in the universe.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 01:35 AM
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reply to post by uva3021
 

Hmm. I was afraid that my last post might drag the thread off-topic, which I have no desire to do. Unfortunately, the temptation to reply is too great. I'll keep it as short as possible.

For reasons explained earlier, I think intelligence will always be known by us for what it is. Being intelligent, we cannot help but recognize a fellow mind. I believe there is a far greater danger of mistaking autonomous emergent processes for the work of intelligence (as creationists do, for example) than there is of the reverse.

Your argument pertains more to other life than to other intelligence. Certainly life in the galaxy may take such bizarre forms that we initially fail to recognize them as living. I am by no means convinced that the chemistry of life must be organic; even the definition of life will probably change once we have found some extraterrestrial examples of it to examine. And as long as the life shows no sign of intelligence, I agree that we may easily mistake it for non-life. But intelligence implies behaviour, and motivated behaviour is something we cannot, I believe, fail to recognize.



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