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Which is the most 'intelligent' animal, in your opinion?

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See with their taste buds? Did I miss something?

Oh, haha, earlier I was talking to someone else about the amazing feats that our brain was capable of in adapting and acclaimating to new systems.

 

Researchers have used a pad to place on a blind person's tonque and using tiny impulses on the taste buds acting as "radar" the blind person learned to see and could reach out and grab door knobs, coke cans, etc.

 

The point being that our brains can do far more than what it was genetically predisposed to do.

 

The brain develops in a set way, each persons brain (barring abnormalities or mutations) develops in a bilateraly symetric way to correspond with the operation and controll of different parts of the body.

Yeh...the brain is acclaimating to the feedback circuits it is experiencing. If what you were saying was true than people wouldn't be able to learn to control prothetics, or the example I just gave about seeing with taste buds....

 

Also prostetics are built in the image of already existing human limbs, we can learn to use them because they are copy of our natural limbs.

 

The prosthetics don't have muscles and hardly resemble a human limb. It once again is all about acclaimating to the feedback provided by the prosthetic. And AGAIN the taste bud thing, along with other interesting feats the previous guy pointed out would not be possible if what you are saying is accurate.

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Oh, haha, earlier I was talking to someone else about the amazing feats that our brain was capable of in adapting and acclaimating to new systems.

 

Researchers have used a pad to place on a blind person's tonque and using tiny impulses on the taste buds acting as "radar" the blind person learned to see and could reach out and grab door knobs, coke cans, etc.

 

The point being that our brains can do far more than what it was genetically predisposed to do.

 

 

Yeh...the brain is acclaimating to the feedback circuits it is experiencing. If what you were saying was true than people wouldn't be able to learn to control prothetics, or the example I just gave about seeing with taste buds....

 

 

 

The prosthetics don't have muscles and hardly resemble a human limb. It once again is all about acclaimating to the feedback provided by the prosthetic. And AGAIN the taste bud thing, along with other interesting feats the previous guy pointed out would not be possible if what you are saying is accurate.

 

 

The cultural primitive could be viewed in a different light looking at organ function and structure of say the brain of a human being totally the product of his or her life span in relation to the environment but such is simply not true. Yes many things happen to have cells that would be say brain cells, but that does not mean we can teach a ferret to play football or sing opera. Also this basically ignores even why a brain of a human for instance like so many other aspects of biology even has to have difference, I mean why does a human brain have different areas with different function? I mean this intrinsic variation exists in many species the same as some species having claws and us having I guess finger nails or what not. Then also why can brain damage cause specific medical conditions overall, such as a tumor on the pituitary gland for instance. I mean our closest living ancestors have a very similar biology which is also evident in the fact that we share around 2% genetic variation from them, which I think this number is now less then 2% from study or floats around 1.7% anymore. The problem as I see it is why then cant an chimp go an get a job as a ceo the same as a person, because it has dumb neurons and our exactly copies of such neurons are just some how different?

 

I mean you state that a human could take the place of an octopus for instance in regards to its physiology with our brain, and even if we could do that for instance, this still does not denote that how the human managed to muster controlling eight feet for instance at once means that it would be the same as how the octopus would do such. I mean we can teach some other organisms to do basic arithmetic and even communicate, but it does not mean they are doing it in a human fashion.

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I am not really sure what you are saying.

 

I couldn't tell if you agreed or not with the sensing organs of species being more or less specialized or if the brains of the species were better at abstracting the data?

 

The brain is not a processor really after all, its a block of memory with more or less memory capacity, and effeciency in creating accurate associations.

 

So, a bear can't smell better or an eagle can't see better because their brain was more "intelligent" at seeing or smelling. The sensing organ could provide better data for the brain to store associatively for later prediction making.

 

Actually parts of the brain are concerned with processing senses and the size and efficiency of these parts are part of the equation determining an animal's sensory acumen.

 

For example, in animals with good senses of smell, like cats, the olfactory bulb is much larger than in animals with poorer senses of smell, like primates. You can even see this in the Order Primates itself. Lemurs have larger olfactory bulbs than apes, and likewise better smell.

 

The superior intellect we developed apparently alleviated the need for such sensitive sensing organs.

 

Our ancestors probably never had super-sensitive sense organs. Humans and primates in general have excellent vision as far as animals go, though, and can see all three primary colors of light, something most animals can't.

 

The loss of the sense of smell is a progressive thing in primate evolution going back to the earliest anthropoids in the Oligocene.

 

Our ancestors lost their whiskers for probably the same reason they lost their sense of smell: they just weren't that useful for finding fruit in trees. Other than that our sense of touch isn't appreciably worse than your typical mammal.

 

You can't really link the absence of hyper-senses in humans to our 'superior intellect.' The preference for clear, color vision at the expense of other senses is a primitive primate feature.

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Oh, haha, earlier I was talking to someone else about the amazing feats that our brain was capable of in adapting and acclaimating to new systems.

 

Researchers have used a pad to place on a blind person's tonque and using tiny impulses on the taste buds acting as "radar" the blind person learned to see and could reach out and grab door knobs, coke cans, etc.

 

The point being that our brains can do far more than what it was genetically predisposed to do.

 

 

Yeh...the brain is acclaimating to the feedback circuits it is experiencing. If what you were saying was true than people wouldn't be able to learn to control prothetics, or the example I just gave about seeing with taste buds....

 

 

 

The prosthetics don't have muscles and hardly resemble a human limb. It once again is all about acclaimating to the feedback provided by the prosthetic. And AGAIN the taste bud thing, along with other interesting feats the previous guy pointed out would not be possible if what you are saying is accurate.

 

 

Actually, the prosthetics resemble a human limb much more than they do an octopus limb. An octopus limb is not supported by bone and potentially has an infinite number of points of articulation. A human limb has a very finite number of points of articulation.

 

And I'm a woman, by the way. :)

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Oh, haha, earlier I was talking to someone else about the amazing feats that our brain was capable of in adapting and acclaimating to new systems.

 

Researchers have used a pad to place on a blind person's tonque and using tiny impulses on the taste buds acting as "radar" the blind person learned to see and could reach out and grab door knobs, coke cans, etc.

 

The point being that our brains can do far more than what it was genetically predisposed to do.

 

I'd like to see some documentation on this. Also from your description it sounds more like they found a way to "sense" something rather than "see" There is a significant different, if you face your tonge in a certain direction feel a sensation, and have been told the apparatus is supposed to allow you to sense objects then yeah you'll beable to do that without genetic predetermination. Using limbs is entirly different.

 

 

Yeh...the brain is acclaimating to the feedback circuits it is experiencing. If what you were saying was true than people wouldn't be able to learn to control prothetics, or the example I just gave about seeing with taste buds....

 

Some of it is acclamation, some of it is genetic predisposition. After all something has to exist geneticaly to tell the nerves from the eyes and ears to link to certain sections of the brain, and what would be the purpose of predesignated locations unless the cells were already partly specialized for that task?

 

The prosthetics don't have muscles and hardly resemble a human limb. It once again is all about acclaimating to the feedback provided by the prosthetic. And AGAIN the taste bud thing, along with other interesting feats the previous guy pointed out would not be possible if what you are saying is accurate.

 

Yes they require acclimation, but they are still designed for the purpose of imitating human limbs. Designed obvoiusly if it is a prostetic the designers would intend for it to be easy to adapt to. A number of tenticles is entirly different.

 

I have to point out that we are both making assumptions, thought they are all based on facts we can't possibly know what would happen untill we stick a human brain in an Octopus body and see what he can do.

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I guess I don't need to link the tongue thing.:)

 

I think we are getting away from the original idea of a person controlling more than 4 apendages.

 

I suppose that a millipede has some super awesome really amazing coordination center in its microscopic neural net brain:)

 

It really is all about throughput....there is no special processing activity, no way a brain knows what the source of the signal is, it just chugs along. Just like the octupus brain, our brain has no idea the number of apendages we have.

 

I don't know what else to say:confused:

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but that does not mean we can teach a ferret to play football or sing opera.

 

The problem as I see it is why then cant an chimp go an get a job as a ceo the same as a person, because it has dumb neurons and our exactly copies of such neurons are just some how different?

Huh? How is muscular feedback to a brain equivalent too a ferret playing football, or a chimpanzee becoming a ceo?

 

I kinda don't know where things are going here....

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Actually, the prosthetics resemble a human limb much more than they do an octopus limb. An octopus limb is not supported by bone and potentially has an infinite number of points of articulation. A human limb has a very finite number of points of articulation.

 

And I'm a woman, by the way. :)

 

Oops, Gal.:)

 

The prosthetics point, as well as the tongue point is that our brain learns to use things it wasn't predisposed to use. Further, I wasn't suggesting we attach tentacles to a person....I was explaining how a human could easily control 8 apendages given the time to develop the neural pathways and feedback circuitry.

 

The number of joints or articulation points isn't important, it comes down to how many muscles are connected to the brain; the brain doesn't control pivot points or joints, it controls muscles.

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Some of it is acclamation, some of it is genetic predisposition.

:-(

 

Once again.....if this is true a person couldn't learn to use things that they weren't born with...and that has been shown over and over again to be false.

 

A number of tenticles is entirly different.

Eh? Maybe from the beginning I wasn't clear....we aren't attaching tentacles to a person...we are attaching extra arms.

 

I have to point out that we are both making assumptions, thought they are all based on facts we can't possibly know what would happen untill we stick a human brain in an Octopus body and see what he can do.

I don't think it is an assumption that the brain's limitation is its throughput. The limit of its throughput is its frequency and memory capacity.

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I guess I don't need to link the tongue thing.:)

 

And since it appears that everyone is just going in circles and actually getting off the topic of can a human control more than 2 arms and 2 legs.....

 

I suppose that a millipede has some super awesome really amazing coordination center in its microscopic neural net brain:)

 

It really is all about throughput....there is no special processing activity, no way a brain knows what the source of the signal is, it just chugs along. Just like the octupus brain, our brain has no idea the number of apendages we have.

 

I don't know what else to say:confused:

 

The original topic wasn't "how many limbs can a human control" but "what are the most intelligent non-human animals", so I don't think we can be too faulted for getting sidetracked. :P

 

The example of the millipede just shows that having a brain that is 'intellectually sophisticated' isn't necessary to controlling ridiculous amounts of limbs. If anything it argues against your statement that humans could control more limbs than any other animal.

 

But if we might digress back to something like the original topic, here's a question that might be relevant. Just what makes a human 'intelligent'? If we can establish that, perhaps we can see why we classify animal A as more intelligent than animal B.

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:-(

 

Once again.....if this is true a person couldn't learn to use things that they weren't born with...and that has been shown over and over again to be false.

No they could but they would never be able to use them to their fullest potential. Thats what I'm trying to say. You assuming that genetic predispositions are automatically going to forbid that sort of change/adaptation phenomenon. They don't they have an entirely different purpose, but in theory they would make it difficult to fully acclimate.

Eh? Maybe from the beginning I wasn't clear....we aren't attaching tentacles to a person...we are attaching extra arms.

-_-

What is more difficult...coordinating 8 tentacles that wiggly around and grab things.

 

The coordination abilities of a human far surpass those of an octupus.

 

I don't think it is an assumption that the brain's limitation is its throughput. The limit of its throughput is its frequency and memory capacity.

Ok I'll try to find a link for this later, but there was an experiment that supports my point.

Ferrets were once used in a test where the nerves of the audio and visual sensory organs (eyes and ears) were switched destinations in the brain. Meaning the visual info was going to the audio processing and the audio was going to the visual processing. After some acclimation the ferrets were able to see, but not well. They only had worse vision than the a normal ferret. The brain is adaptable and plastic but it has limits based on its genetic and epigenetic specialization mechanisms, and the fact that nerve cells grow more slowly than other cells in the body, at some point they basically stop growing all together.

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The original topic wasn't "how many limbs can a human control" but "what are the most intelligent non-human animals", so I don't think we can be too faulted for getting sidetracked. :P

Yeh good point, its all my fault!:)

 

The example of the millipede just shows that having a brain that is 'intellectually sophisticated' isn't necessary to controlling ridiculous amounts of limbs. If anything it argues against your statement that humans could control more limbs than any other animal.

What?? No way, it argues with me! Others are suggesting there is something special about the animals that control multiple limbs....and that isn't true, just because we only have 4 doesn't mean that is all we can control...look at the millipede...its got "shit" for brains and can control bagillions;)

 

But if we might digress back to something like the original topic, here's a question that might be relevant. Just what makes a human 'intelligent'? If we can establish that, perhaps we can see why we classify animal A as more intelligent than animal B.

 

The best definition of intelligence I have ever read is the ability to make very accurate predictions.

 

A human is therefore the intellectual superior because of are amazing prediction capabilities. We can make such accurate predictions that we can manipulate our environments to such a greater extent too any other animal.

 

The answer to the original question isn't an animal that controls lots of legs (like the octupi person suggested) but one of the apes, chimp or gorilla (not sure which is the actually most intelligent but you get my meaning).

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You assuming that genetic predispositions are automatically going to forbid that sort of change/adaptation phenomenon.

I've actually been arguing agaisn't predisposition entirely....

 

Ok I'll try to find a link for this later, but there was an experiment that supports my point.

Ferrets were once used in a test where the nerves of the audio and visual sensory organs (eyes and ears) were switched destinations in the brain. Meaning the visual info was going to the audio processing and the audio was going to the visual processing. After some acclimation the ferrets were able to see, but not well. They only had worse vision than the a normal ferret. The brain is adaptable and plastic but it has limits based on its genetic and epigenetic specialization mechanisms, and the fact that nerve cells grow more slowly than other cells in the body, at some point they basically stop growing all together.

Right, but given equal time with swapped "sensing" as with proper sensing and the degeneration would be larger if not completely reduced.

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well, i think we went off on the appendage tanget because we were talking about different animal brains being optimized for different kinds of tasks, thus how can necessarily say that one animal's brain (and therefore it's intelligence?) can be called more advanced than another's? clearly some are more advanced, ie. insects (an individual insect) vs mammals, but you know what i mean. so we used appendages as an example - some of us saying that an octopus can handle it's 8 highly flexible limbs better than humans could. thus the debate. but it's probably good for someone to say that motor control probably does not equate with the usual definition of intelligence.

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I've actually been arguing agaisn't predisposition entirely....

What I meant was you seem to be saying there isn't any predisposition because your assuming that genetic predispositions are automatically going to forbid acclimation. Which they don't. They just limit it.

 

Right, but given equal time with swapped "sensing" as with proper sensing and the degeneration would be larger if not completely reduced.

Would you mind rephrasing that please? I think you might have mistyped something.

"the degeneration would be larger if not completely reduced" more detail would make this clearer. And simpler sentence structure.

 

it's probably good for someone to say that motor control probably does not equate with the usual definition of intelligence.

Right.

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Huh? How is muscular feedback to a brain equivalent too a ferret playing football, or a chimpanzee becoming a ceo?

 

I kinda don't know where things are going here....

 

Yes, but you cant just separate neurons into being exact copies of such specie to specie or for that matter neurons differ and work in conjunction with the rest of the organisms biology. Here for instance is an image of a such that is not human.

 

http://tolweb.org/accessory/Cephalopod_Brain_Terminology?acc_id=1944

 

Here is some stuff on a human brain, just an overview.

 

"Anatomically, the brain can be divided into three parts: the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain;[3] the forebrain includes the several lobes of the cerebral cortex that control higher functions, while the mid- and hindbrain are more involved with unconscious, autonomic functions. During encephalization, human brain mass increased beyond that of other species relative to body mass. This process was especially pronounced in the neocortex, a section of the brain involved with language and consciousness. The neocortex accounts for about 76% of the mass of the human brain;[4] with a neocortex much larger than other animals, humans enjoy unique mental capacities despite having a neuroarchitecture similar to that of more primitive species. Basic systems that alert humans to stimuli, sense events in the environment, and maintain homeostasis are similar to those of basic vertebrates. Human consciousness is founded upon the extended capacity of the modern neocortex, as well as the greatly developed structures of the brain stem."

 

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

 

Now I understand what you are saying, but even in blood cells you can find variation.

 

In relation to intelligence you have to define some absolute of what intelligence is and then make that the hallmark by which all life is judged by. In reality to life though I don’t think such a straight forward measurement can be conducted that basically is simply not existing in some state of fallacy overall. I mean you can say we are more intelligent then any kind of an insect, and I would agree with you, but that does not speak very much on the reality at hand. For instance why would the octopus for example have such a different structure when it comes to the application of a nervous system in its biology, do you think on the neuron level this difference might become apparent in some regard, such as maybe size of a neuron or how things may be wired?

 

I understand what you are saying about a caterpillar, but I think you are making mistake by simply subtracting the rest of the caterpillars biology in regards to simply looking at one aspect of its biology. Here is a link on the caterpillar and its uncomplicated biology as you would have it.

 

"Two specific aspects of the caterpillar's movement are being examined in detail: first, the research is trying to understand how crawling is controlled by the central nervous system and how it interacts with peripheral structures such as muscles and cuticles. Second, the unique ability of caterpillars to climb using curved hooks at the tips of the abdominal prolegs is being examined. This gripping is passive but very strong (similar to Velcro hooks) and can be actively released.

 

To examine these questions, Trimmer and his research team are using 3D kinematics, electromyography, hydraulic measurements, magnetic resonance imaging, 3D modeling and animation and biomaterials testing.

 

Caterpillars provide a useful survival model: They do not escape predators by running but instead use camouflage, chemical defenses and cryptic behavior. As a result, their movement crawling has evolved into a highly specialized form of locomotion which allows soft-bodied animals to crumple, compress and rotate body parts into confined three-dimensional structures such as tubes and branches.

 

Trimmer is working with Tufts colleagues across the University in physics, mathematics and mechanical engineering, and often employs undergraduate researchers as well. The majority of the knowledge about how humans move is based on research about creatures that walk, fly or swim using hard bones and exoskeletons (a hard outer structure that provides protection or support). By looking at soft bodied animals like the caterpillar, Trimmer can copy some of the unique ways in which they move.

 

This summer, the team will begin to design a physics-based computerized simulation model of the locomotion, and it hopes to have an operating prototype ready next year.

 

"We need to solve the artificial muscle problem first, currently there are no good soft actuators (motors) available," according to Trimmer.

 

"Professor Trimmer is a trailblazer in the field of biosystems and neural processes," said Susan Ernst, a biologist and dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. "His work could help scientists and engineers around the world navigate complex and even dangerous situations."

 

Trimmer who is from Leicestershire County, England, and has been at Tufts since 1990 has presented his work on the neural control of soft-bodied locomotion at several meetings over the past two years, including the British Biochemical Society, the East Coast Nerve Net meeting, the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, and the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology's annual meeting"

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040514032954.htm

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The thing which differentiates us from the rest of the animals is that we have a highly developed culture. So any animal which has a high culture will be the most intelligent one. A baby entering a new world does'nt know anything about General Relativity as Insane_alien said 'memes have to be taught'. It looks to me as if the genes lose control over the individual (not entirely though) after it has entered the new world. There is no gene that says go sky diving or play rugby. If genes don't make choices for us then there should be something else?

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The thing which differentiates us from the rest of the animals is that we have a highly developed culture. So any animal which has a high culture will be the most intelligent one. A baby entering a new world does'nt know anything about General Relativity as Insane_alien said 'memes have to be taught'. It looks to me as if the genes lose control over the individual (not entirely though) after it has entered the new world. There is no gene that says go sky diving or play rugby. If genes don't make choices for us then there should be something else?

 

Genes "set up" our bodies for us, and included in this "set up" is the capacity for change later in life, the capacity to learn new things.

 

It kind of brings up the question of whether or not we should consider learning capacity when it comes to intelligence, or just take the average? We've been talking about what humans are capable of when hooked up to various prosthetics, but would other animals display similar leaps and bounds if they were similarly augmented?

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Genes "set up" our bodies for us, and included in this "set up" is the capacity for change later in life, the capacity to learn new things.

 

Genes set up our bodies for themselves. Evolution is all about survival of the genes nor the individual or the species.

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Genes set up our bodies for themselves. Evolution is all about survival of the genes nor the individual or the species.

 

My apologies - I didn't mean to imply that our genes are looking out for us or something. It was just an easy way to phrase what I was trying to say.

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I think there is no absolute answer. Even base on the public usual definition of intelligence, though a bit blurred, I don't think human, which is generally considered as the highest intelligence possessing species on the earth, is the most intelligent species, of course, on the earth. What I considered is that different life forms have their own type of survival strategy(ies), take humn as an example, we develop technologies which greatly improve our live quality, which then somebody would think our such acts are expressions of our intelligence, while I'm afraid I have to oppose such allegation, due to that technologies we use is just one way which we use to improve our life, just like snails build their shell for protection. It is only difference in living method, but not intelligence.

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I think there is no absolute answer. Even base on the public usual definition of intelligence, though a bit blurred, I don't think human, which is generally considered as the highest intelligence possessing species on the earth, is the most intelligent species, of course, on the earth. What I considered is that different life forms have their own type of survival strategy(ies), take humn as an example, we develop technologies which greatly improve our live quality, which then somebody would think our such acts are expressions of our intelligence, while I'm afraid I have to oppose such allegation, due to that technologies we use is just one way which we use to improve our life, just like snails build their shell for protection. It is only difference in living method, but not intelligence.

 

Intelligence is the living method for humans. When a snail builds a shell, it doesn't build it using intelligence, it builds it like we do our teeth, by secreting a mineral matrix with specialized cells.

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I think there is no absolute answer. Even base on the public usual definition of intelligence, though a bit blurred, I don't think human, which is generally considered as the highest intelligence possessing species on the earth, is the most intelligent species, of course, on the earth.

 

There is no contest in determining the most intelligent species on the planet. The sheer fact that you and other humans can debate this topic is evidence enough.

 

What I considered is that different life forms have their own type of survival strategy(ies), take humn as an example, we develop technologies which greatly improve our live quality, which then somebody would think our such acts are expressions of our intelligence, while I'm afraid I have to oppose such allegation, due to that technologies we use is just one way which we use to improve our life, just like snails build their shell for protection. It is only difference in living method, but not intelligence.

 

How is building a shell or finding and crawling into a shell comparable to learning to manipulate matter and fields to create technology like we have?

 

Survival instinct and adaptability are not equivalent to intelligence.

 

It is always amusing to hear such comments as this, "humans wrongly consider themselves superior intellectually blah blah blah..." while humurous (douglas adams comes to mind..hitchhikers guide) in sci fi books it is ridiculous in scientific debate.

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