Intelligent life

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Some scientists pretend that, based on the sheer number of planets in our universe able to develop life,that universe should harbor lots of intelligent life. Now imagine that for some dramatic reason, intelligent life on earth would disappear.Is there any chance that intelligent life would start up again, knowing that the origin of human species is due to hazars x hazard x hazard. Also one should take into account that intelligent life only exists since a few (possible 5 ) millions of years, compared to the 5 billion years of age of our planet earth.
 

selfAdjoint

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Both chimpanzees and baboons look like they could evolve without too much special conditions into pre-intelligent life of the Homo Habilis sort. If in addition to humans you wipe out all the primates, it might take much longer.
 
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umm i thought the equation states that in our large universe there is very little chance that life existed elsewhere? If we can acheive artificial life, then we may be able to acheive intelligent life out there...though one would need a really good robot to do this...the computational power to simulate in pure software would require a lot of stuff just to even maintain a virtual world.
 
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selfAdjoint said:
Both chimpanzees and baboons look like they could evolve without too much special conditions into pre-intelligent life of the Homo Habilis sort. If in addition to humans you wipe out all the primates, it might take much longer.
Lots of other intelligent animals are waiting to take first place.

Playing for recreation, curiosity, and tool use are displayed by lots of animals in different families. Dolphins, Ravens, I think there are lots more. Elephants?

Hard to figure how dophins would emerge as top dog without an opposable thumb, but they have comunication, tool use, and something that looks like a "game" using seaweed.

Tool use in dolphins:

In May 2005, researchers in Australia discovered a cultural aspect of dolphin behaviour: Some dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) teach their offspring to use a tool. The animals break off sponges and put them onto their mouths thus protecting the delicate body part during their hunt for fish on the seabed. Other than with primate simians, the knowledge to use a tool is mostly handed over only from mothers to daughters. The technology to use sponges as mouth protection is not genetically inherited but a taught cultural behaviour.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin
 

selfAdjoint

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neurocomp2003 said:
umm i thought the equation states that in our large universe there is very little chance that life existed elsewhere?
I don't know what equation that is. Maybe intelligent life is rare starting from scratch, but when you start from our close cousin the chimpanzee, or even from our much more distant cousin the baboon, a lot of the "work" has already been done for you.

If we can acheive artificial life, then we may be able to acheive intelligent life out there...though one would need a really good robot to do this...the computational power to simulate in pure software would require a lot of stuff just to even maintain a virtual world.
Not sure just what the point is here. Sending out intelligent robots to seed the galaxy?
 
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pattylou said:
Hard to figure how dophins would emerge as top dog without an opposable thumb
Attached is a picture of the skeletal hand of a dolphin. As can be observed, it has a thumb. Also see this clear diagram of a dolphin skeleton showing a thumb.
http://www.tmmsn.org/images/WhaleDolphinSkeleton2.jpg [Broken]
 

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selfadj its that stupid physics equation...that takes into account stars,star systems/planetary systems...its just a stupid equation.
 

russ_watters

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The Drake Eqation. Not stupid, but very speculative.
 
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Do not forget the very likely possiblity that intelligent life is not necessary or in other words is not a convergence point in evolution. For example, if you analzye the planet earth, we can see that the most successful species are actually not intelligent. (sucessful meaning the ability to physiologically adapt and procreate without the need to evolve, and intelligent is having reasoning abilities.) So the problem of life on earth can be solved by a myriad of ways, most of those do not include intelligent life.
 

Pengwuino

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russ_watters said:
The Drake Eqation. Not stupid, but very speculative.
I hope this wasnt anyones thesis
 
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re:

On discovery channel there was a program about evolution that predicted Earth would in the future be dominated by Intelligent terrestrial cephalopods evolved from squid.
 
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It's become a trite concept anymore, but I think we'll be replaced by our own machines. These machines will probably not need us and be much more intelligent.
 

selfAdjoint

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russ_watters said:
The Drake Eqation. Not stupid, but very speculative.
I didn't think he meant the Drake equation because I have usually seen that used to promote the commonness of intelligent life in the galaxy, not its rarity.
 

Stingray

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selfAdjoint said:
I didn't think he meant the Drake equation because I have usually seen that used to promote the commonness of intelligent life in the galaxy, not its rarity.
You can promote whatever you want with it. Several of the numbers going into it aren't known at all. Even trying to claim to get an answer correct within a factor of 1000 would just be ignorant.
 
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Rayne said:
On discovery channel there was a program about evolution that predicted Earth would in the future be dominated by Intelligent terrestrial cephalopods evolved from squid.
I could see that happening...
 
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selfAdjoint said:
I didn't think he meant the Drake equation because I have usually seen that used to promote the commonness of intelligent life in the galaxy, not its rarity.
I think it usually depends on the person, I have optimists end up with 300+ and some with even 1000+...I have seen people end up with 5, 4, 3 or even a big fat zero, I have seen conservatives end up with 50, I dont think its used to promote a "side" though but the creator of the equation did end up with 10,000+. For me when I try my hand in it I usually get 50-120.
 
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pattylou said:
In May 2005, researchers in Australia discovered a cultural aspect of dolphin behaviour: Some dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) teach their offspring to use a tool. The animals break off sponges and put them onto their mouths thus protecting the delicate body part during their hunt for fish on the seabed. Other than with primate simians, the knowledge to use a tool is mostly handed over only from mothers to daughters. The technology to use sponges as mouth protection is not genetically inherited but a taught cultural behaviour.
That's like saying that the dog bringing back a stick or a freezbie is a revolution.
 

Nereid

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So what is 'intelligence', in the context of this thread?

I think pattylou and SelfAdjoint (at least) have hit on a couple of important aspects - tool use, learned behaviour, and (perhaps) a 'society'.

There's also the question - raised by several posters - of what evolutionary advantage this 'intelligence' (whatever it is) gave (gives?) Homo hab. or erectus. As has already been said, our 'place' at the 'top' is pure narcissism and self-delusion - we are just one species of eukaryote among millions, and vastly outnumbered and out-succeeded (in terms of adaptability and survivability) by the prokaryotes.
 
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123rock said:
That's like saying that the dog bringing back a stick or a freezbie is a revolution.
But dont dogs get taught how to do that by humans, you dont see humans going underwater and teaching dolphins whatever it is they are doing in that article...they did it themselves
 
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Nereid said:
So what is 'intelligence', in the context of this thread?
I think that a technologically advanced and organized civilization is usually what we are talking about when speak of intelligent life. It is just a lot easier to use the word intelligent. While a dolphin holding a sponge to avoid getting stung may be quite cute the conversation one can have with them is rather limited.

Nereid said:
As has already been said, our 'place' at the 'top' is pure narcissism and self-delusion - we are just one species of eukaryote among millions, and vastly outnumbered and out-succeeded (in terms of adaptability and survivability) by the prokaryotes.
If you could would you swap places with a prokaryote?
 

Nereid

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Thanks for your inputs Chessguy.
I think that a technologically advanced and organized civilization is usually what we are talking about when speak of intelligent life. It is just a lot easier to use the word intelligent. While a dolphin holding a sponge to avoid getting stung may be quite cute the conversation one can have with them is rather limited.
This certainly helps (and BTW, do all others on this thread agree with this?).

However, it also raises the questions of what constitutes 'technologically advanced' and 'organised' and 'civilisation'?

In terms of the OP, for example, how does a choice of these definitions constrain the answer to the original question*? For example, were a 'bunch of machines' to arise, would that be 'intelligent life'?
Nereid said:
As has already been said, our 'place' at the 'top' is pure narcissism and self-delusion - we are just one species of eukaryote among millions, and vastly outnumbered and out-succeeded (in terms of adaptability and survivability) by the prokaryotes.
If you could would you swap places with a prokaryote?
You've lost me Chessguy; how does pointing out that the view of many individuals of the species Homo sap. of that species being 'at the top' is narcissism and self-delusion relate to your comment?

*"Now imagine that for some dramatic reason, intelligent life on earth would disappear.Is there any chance that intelligent life would start up again, knowing that the origin of human species is due to hazars x hazard x hazard." - i.e. the extinction of Homo sap.
 
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Nereid said:
However, it also raises the questions of what constitutes 'technologically advanced' and 'organised' and 'civilisation'?
Good point, I understood the OP to be - if we got wiped out tomorrow what are the chances somebody else would step up to the plate and get to approximately where we are today.

Nereid said:
For example, were a 'bunch of machines' to arise, would that be 'intelligent life'?
I am a machine so I'd have to say 'yes' here.

Nereid said:
You've lost me Chessguy; how does...
I don't understand why you don't understand why I don't understand why...
:smile: Just kidding old Wayne & Shuster episode...

Sorry my post wasn't very clear. It was meant as - I disagree with you completely.

I realize that neither humans nor prokaryotes have become extinct yet so we can't prove who will last longer. However, we can postulate and I would submit that we 'inteligent' humans (as disadvantaged as we might be) are the only hope prokaryotes have of living past the end of our sun.
 

Nereid

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However, we can postulate and I would submit that we 'inteligent' humans (as disadvantaged as we might be) are the only hope prokaryotes have of living past the end of our sun.
:rofl: :rofl: Thanks for that Chessguy, it really made my day!

Let's see now ...
* Sun went nuclear ~4.5 bya, planet Earth formed ~4.3 bya (or maybe a tad earlier)
* life got started on Earth >~3.5 bya
* eukaroytes got going on Earth ~1-1.5 bya
* Homo sap. has been around for ~0.2-2 myears
* Sun will go 'red giant' in ~5 billion years' time
* average 'lifetime' of a (multicellular) species (assuming this is a meaningful measure) ~1 myears
* time since Homo sap. started having a measurable impact on Earth (climate, etc) ~10 kyears (i.e. since agriculture got going)
* time since prokaryotes started having a measurable impact on Earth ~1 byears (production of oxygen)

Hmm; remind me, who said?:
our 'place' at the 'top' is pure narcissism and self-delusion - we are just one species of eukaryote among millions, and vastly outnumbered and out-succeeded (in terms of adaptability and survivability) by the prokaryotes
 

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