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World dominated by ants!

by I_am_learning
Tags: ants, dominated, world
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I_am_learning
#1
Jan2-13, 10:00 AM
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Humans don't have the best physical strength among other creatures in any field ( vision, smell, hearing, strength etc) But still humans are the most powerful of all the creatures. We can kill an elephant, flying birds or swimming whales if we desire to. So it appears that brain is all that matters.
So, how the world would be if ants had the same brain capacity as humans and humans had the brains like dogs. Would ants be able to reach the moon?
Has someone fictionalized this concept already and made movie or written a novel?
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phinds
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Jan2-13, 10:18 AM
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If unicorns existed, would their horns be more than one foot long?
Ryan_m_b
#3
Jan2-13, 10:26 AM
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Phinds has it right. There's no sensible avenue for speculation here. For science fiction there's scope for interesting stories exploring what a society of sentient, eusocial and polymorphic organisms would look like but there's nothing here to discuss.

I_am_learning
#4
Jan2-13, 10:29 AM
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World dominated by ants!

Quote Quote by phinds View Post
If unicorns existed, would their horns be more than one foot long?
Not all but few females can grow horns that long. :).
I_am_learning
#5
Jan2-13, 10:41 AM
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Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
Phinds has it right. There's no sensible avenue for speculation here. For science fiction there's scope for interesting stories exploring what a society of sentient, eusocial and polymorphic organisms would look like but there's nothing here to discuss.
Hmm!
If all the humans were magically transformed into ants tomorrow but brain strength and memory remained unchanged, and all the previous man-made things vanished, will humans (now ants) be able to redo all those things?
The question basically is - can all our present technologies (weapons, electrics, vehicles, spaceships) scaled down to ants size?
Vanadium 50
#6
Jan2-13, 10:47 AM
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Them! Them!
phinds
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Jan2-13, 11:10 AM
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Quote Quote by I_am_learning View Post
Hmm!
If all the humans were magically transformed into ants tomorrow but brain strength and memory remained unchanged, and all the previous man-made things vanished, will humans (now ants) be able to redo all those things?
The question basically is - can all our present technologies (weapons, electrics, vehicles, spaceships) scaled down to ants size?
Once again, if you are going to allow for magic in your premise, then your results are meaningless. Make up ANYTHING you like and it follows logically from a false premise.
I_am_learning
#8
Jan2-13, 11:25 AM
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Quote Quote by phinds View Post
Once again, if you are going to allow for magic in your premise, then your results are meaningless. Make up ANYTHING you like and it follows logically from a false premise.
OK, then answer only:
Can all technologies be scaled down?
jim mcnamara
#9
Jan2-13, 11:54 AM
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The ants already won the title of dominant:

Hölldobler and Wilson (1990), estimate up to 1/3 (33%) of the
terrestrial animal biomass (not including aquatic animals, or
terrestrial and aquatic flowering plants and microorganisms)
ants and termites.

Hölldobler, Bert, and E. O. Wilson. 1990. 'The Ants'. Harvard University Press.
phinds
#10
Jan2-13, 11:58 AM
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Quote Quote by I_am_learning View Post
OK, then answer only:
Can all technologies be scaled down?
Probably some could, some couldn't. Most significant modern stuff runs on electronics. If it COULD be scales down further, don't you reckon it would have already been done?

This thread is a waste of time.
jtbell
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Jan2-13, 01:03 PM
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Quote Quote by I_am_learning View Post
Has someone fictionalized this concept already and made movie or written a novel?
Although this predates even my time, something similar (except for size) was a cliché of early pulp-magazine science fiction (say 1930s-1940s). Isaac Asimov wrote a short-short story as a "take-off" of it. It was about a young science fiction fan, one of whose relatives disapproved of his tastes, and constantly urged him to stop reading the stuff and "face reality." One afternoon he fell asleep, into a dream in which multiple giant clones of this relative were advancing on him, shaking their fingers and admonishing him, "Eddie, you must face reality!" He realized he was dreaming and had to wake up quickly, otherwise he would suffer the worst science-fiction doom of all:

Spoiler
He would be trapped, trapped in a world of giant aunts!


[added] I forgot to mention the title of the story: "Dreamworld", first published in a magazine in 1955 and reprinted in some Asimov anthologies including Opus 100 which is probably where I first read it.
Drakkith
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Jan2-13, 01:55 PM
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Oh god JT, I gave a huge groan when I read your spoiler...
Ryan_m_b
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Jan2-13, 02:05 PM
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Quote Quote by Drakkith View Post
Oh god JT, I gave a huge groan when I read your spoiler...
Same
Jimmy Snyder
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Jan2-13, 05:17 PM
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There is a kind of nuclear weapon, called a neutron bomb, that supposedly kills people without damaging buildings. Cockroaches can survive anything. So if we use these weapons to wipe ourselves out, some alien archaeologists are going to visit this planet and be totally confused by what they see.
Redbelly98
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Jan2-13, 06:11 PM
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Quote Quote by Jimmy Snyder View Post
There is a kind of nuclear weapon, called a neutron bomb, that supposedly kills people without damaging buildings. Cockroaches can survive anything. So if we use these weapons to wipe ourselves out, some alien archaeologists are going to visit this planet and be totally confused by what they see.
There's nothing more fun than a well planned practical joke, especially when it involves alien archaeologists. Let's do this!
BobG
#16
Jan4-13, 08:50 AM
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Quote Quote by I_am_learning View Post
So, how the world would be if ants had the same brain capacity as humans and humans had the brains like dogs. Would ants be able to reach the moon?
Has someone fictionalized this concept already and made movie or written a novel?
Yes, they have. One of the major problems would be that ants are slow typists, which would severely limit their use of computers. In fact, an ant doesn't have enough mass to push down one of the letter keys even if they throw their entire body onto the key. They have to deposit grains of sand, one by one, until the mass is eventually sufficient to depress the key.

But, they'd be able to make do using the tools available to them.

The Program
cephron
#17
Jan10-13, 12:00 PM
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I wonder if your super-brain ants would still have trouble manipulating fire and metals.

Any given tool is derived from previous generation tools and the toolmaker's natural ability, all the way back to first generation tools which were derived from the toolmaker's ability and whatever was just lying around.

With few previous generations of tools, humans can build a forge, a bellows, an anvil of sorts, and dig ore. I must admit I'm not especially familiar with all the neolithic methods of making fire, but apparently we could do that, too. We now have all the ingredients to start making metal tools, from whence come the beginnings of combustion engines, vehicles, spaceships, etc.

But how would even a swarm of perfectly cooperating ants get as far as making a metal rod?
I feel like they'd have to go about it in a completely different way than us. Or more generally: if the ants started with tools that could effectively move large objects for them, then perhaps with brainpower alone they could still be all set. But if they begin with no tools for effectively moving large objects, how do they get the first one?
Vierstein
#18
Feb6-13, 06:43 PM
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I believe there is a link between us being able to do stuff with our hands and our brains evolving because of it. And people in the field probably know thats the way it happened (maybe).

Mathematics started out with somebody drawing a stick through dirt. You would have to give Ants more than just man sized brains (capacitywise). You would have to give them hands and whatnot. At what point do you stop calling them ants and antfaced tiny humans?


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