jonnobody

Evolution

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Looked at from the point of view of the evolutionary tree it appears that humans are an aberration. ie a departure from the norm 1. The rest of the tree - natural world - is quite self contained and self sufficient without the existence of humans. 2. If you describe humans as 'super-primates' there are no other branches of the tree which have produced a 'super bird', super fish' or 'super insect'  with self consciousness and an ability to use tools and weapons to destroy every other branch of that tree (although ' super bug ' comes to mind - lurking somewhere in the DNA of some life-form and ready to annihlate all of us). 3. We're the only life -form which destroys and pollutes its own habitat . I might be wrong on that last one so let me know . . . . .

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40 minutes ago, jonnobody said:

 If you describe humans as 'super-primates' there are no other branches of the tree which have produced a 'super bird', super fish' or 'super insect'  with self consciousness and an ability to use tools and weapons to destroy every other branch of that tree (although ' super bug ' comes to mind - lurking somewhere in the DNA of some life-form and ready to annihlate all of us).

Have you studied the mechanisms involved? When you use the word "super", aren't you referring to high intelligence? 

Birds give up every milligram they can afford in order to fly. Everything that goes into making a big enough brain for super intelligence is going to add weight. Birds can't even afford the extra muscles for SWALLOWING, so they've adapted a method of picking water up in their mouths and then moving their heads up quickly to let gravity force it down their throats. 

Same deal with the other creatures, if they start evolving bigger brains they lose much of what makes them a fish or a bug. Humans have the brains but we lack a lot of other abilities fish and bugs have. We started out as fish like all vertebrates, but eventually intelligence was selected for and we added to that with our cooperative minds, our opposable thumbs, our tool-use, and our detailed communication. We do some detrimental things to our environment (and no, we aren't alone in that), but we're also the only creatures who have the capability of leaving the planet. No other species has access to the energy to overcome planetary gravity.

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2 hours ago, Phi for All said:

Have you studied the mechanisms involved? When you use the word "super", aren't you referring to high intelligence? 

Birds give up every milligram they can afford in order to fly. Everything that goes into making a big enough brain for super intelligence is going to add weight. Birds can't even afford the extra muscles for SWALLOWING, so they've adapted a method of picking water up in their mouths and then moving their heads up quickly to let gravity force it down their throats. 

Same deal with the other creatures, if they start evolving bigger brains they lose much of what makes them a fish or a bug. Humans have the brains but we lack a lot of other abilities fish and bugs have. We started out as fish like all vertebrates, but eventually intelligence was selected for and we added to that with our cooperative minds, our opposable thumbs, our tool-use, and our detailed communication. We do some detrimental things to our environment (and no, we aren't alone in that), but we're also the only creatures who have the capability of leaving the planet. No other species has access to the energy to overcome planetary gravity.

 

I'm going to be the devil's advocate here, some birds, quite possibly a great many, are very intelligent, some actually talk, others even use tools. Fish called mormyrids have a bigger brain to body mass than humans and they use electrical fields as a form of echolocation and at least appear to be quite intelligent. I think that the human body plan contributed at least much as large brains to our exceptional use of tools. Not sure if any arthropods show much in the way of intelligence but certain spiders can be shown to plan ahead and change their plans in mid execution if the prey they are trying to catch change the circumstances.   This is especially impressive considering they can lose sight of their prey, in this case other spiders, yet they remember the plan with almost no real brain... 

I think that soon what constitutes intelligence will be seen as human centric as a IQ test that caters to only a certain group. 

We humans are definitely not the only species can have a negative impact on the environment but we seem to be the only one who knows it and still does it anyway... 

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