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Chaos or reason

  1. Feb 16, 2005 #1
    It occured to me that people seem to be the only things that reason, or make sense of the universe to some practical end, and perhaps other life on earth to lesser extents. So why reason? In the end after we have developed everything to develop, every technology and every form of thought, in the end we will still be the only reasoning creatures in the universe. //the universe will still be mathematical, unreasoning and stoic, for eternity. So after all these development we will make someday, we will reach a plateau whereupon there could be no further development.

    So why do we reason?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2005 #2
    Reason would develop for a lot of reasons.

    1.Figuring out how to get more, or figuring out how to feed the older child, now that the new child needs all the breast milk.

    2. Figuring out how to live, in the face of horrific grief, a the loss of a child, or children, or family.

    3. Figuring out how to successfully hide from predators, or predatory social situations, while protecting vocal young, that can't run fast enough to get away on their own.

    4. Figuring out how to save some extra foodstuffs, so that one could stay hidden until a predator gives up.

    5. Figuring out how to save and trade, items to augment diet.

    6. Figuring out how to reliably trade, and with whom to trade.

    7. Figuring out which sacrifices are necessary, to prolong the most life.
  4. Feb 20, 2005 #3
    but why only people.
  5. Feb 21, 2005 #4
    Intelligence seldom has direct, short-term survival advantage. It would be a long, arduous trek for a species to become conscious.

    Or, we were created in God's image.

  6. Feb 23, 2005 #5
    Why would it be a long arduous trek for another animal to develope "intelligence", they have been around way before us humans, then why haven't they developed "intelligence". If "intelligence" was such a wonderful thing that helped us survive better, then why haven't other animals developed that "intelligence" also.

    The reasons that Dayle Record I believe are invalid, some of them only developed since we had this "gift" of "intelligence" ,or reason, and others animals do anyway. So either animals also have reason or those are not valid reasons.

    Mentat, "intelligence" since that is the word you chose rarely has direct, or indirect, long term survival advantages. Other animals live on pure instinct, therefore, humans have deduced that they have no intelligence and/or reason. Reason is not essential to survival at all, or other animals would have already evolved such an attribute. All reason does is make life physically easier and to an extent mentally easier. I believe we reason because we have not evolved fully as we should. If we had, reason would have disappeared from our population, due to natural selection. We, as humans, have rid ourselves of natural selection because we insist on keeping the weak alive instead of being killed by a predator. With no natural selection, humans can not evolve physically, and without being physically evolved, we can never reach full mental evolution.
  7. Feb 23, 2005 #6


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    I think that at least for large land animals, some form of what we significantly call manipulation would be a necessary adjunct of intelligence. I think it is important that at least occasional upright stance evolved in the austropithecans before the enlargement of the brain evolved.

    If you look at all the other large land creatures, you see that none of them has even one limb reliably free, except the kangaroos, and they are handicapped by their more inefficient bearing and rearing of their young.
  8. Feb 25, 2005 #7


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    Well, I disagree: Evolution is a matter of contingency (chance caught on the wing). They didn't develop it because they weren't lucky like us.
  9. Feb 26, 2005 #8
    That was the point. Intelligence doesn't help you survive better until it has a chance to evolve into full-blown, technology-producing, civilization-building, niche-creating intelligence, and that takes a long time. Along the way, there is little (if any) advantage to the precursors of such abilities, and so intelligence should indeed be rare...aside from which, if two intelligent species evolved, they would inevitably face-off, and so there would still only be one in the end.

    I don't like this point. What makes you think intelligence and reasoning ability aren't "instinct"? Where do you draw the line between an ability that one is born with and an instinct?

    Well, I'm there's a lot of speculation and assumption involved here...let's just say I agree that reason isn't essential to survival and that that was my original point: other animals haven't evolved reasoning ability because there is no survival advantage or selection pressure toward it.
  10. Apr 14, 2005 #9
    It seems to me that the capacity to reason is little more than a side-effect of intelligence. Clever animals can problem-solve and manipulate their environment, but they don't justify or moralize the way that we do. So, doesn't it just seem like our ability/compulsion to reason (justify, moralize,explain,understand) is just baggage brought on by excess brain, compunded by the development of highly vocal and social societies?

    Excuse me if I'm off the mark, but this just seems to be what Union was trying to get at, what with the "making sense of the universe" thing.

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