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The evolution of intelligent life

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The evolution of intelligent life
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SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Consider the length of our arms. Of all the lower animals, our arms are the only ones with the perfect ratio to pat ourselves on the back. While other animals may groom themselves, our fingers are subtle beyond their abilities with a dexterity bestowing on us a skill in preening far superior to other species' ken. The intricacies of our eyes are the best of all species to witness our own grandeur, and our noses are exceptional in all of Earth's history at smelling the heady scent of our own success. It is an indisputable fact that our throats are exquisitely tuned beyond all else in the singing of our own praises. Our ears are perfectly adapted to hear the lamentations of the species we dominate with sticks and cages. And of course our skin is the most sensitive of all mammals to basking in our glory.

Humans truly are exceptional.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:18 am
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Go look up the recent stories of a man-eating tiger in India that's been hunted for 8 months by dozens of trained hunters with rifles. They don't seem to have heard they have the advantage because they can't bloody catch it, it's killed more people in that time, and 2 hunters have been hospitalized after being mauled by the tiger.


This wondrous aside has an update:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-46081484

A tigress in India who is said to have killed 13 people has been shot dead after a major hunt, officials say.



13 - 1, I guess! ;)
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:09 am
joshuashrodePosts: 6Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:11 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Unfortunately I think you need to have the ratio reflect relative population. 7.6 billion vs. 2,500 tigers. A tiger would have to kill 3,040,000 people for every 1 that we kill. Now "that" would be a smart tiger.

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Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:56 am
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Game on!

Although I think current estimates put the wild tiger population of the world at over 4000, so that'll somewhat change the odds.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:34 am
joshuashrodePosts: 6Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:11 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Ahh see I was just counting the Bengal Tigers. Guess I was stereotyping the man eaters. It's my unconscious bias. Need reprogramming!

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Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:53 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

joshuashrode wrote:Ahh see I was just counting the Bengal Tigers. Guess I was stereotyping the man eaters. It's my unconscious bias. Need reprogramming!


Ahh it's alright, Bengals are probably worth 2 of those Siberian pussies! :lol:
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:43 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Greetings,


I missed responding to this.

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:The key difference is that we have opposable thumbs - we can touch each of our fingers with our thumb - other apes can't because they don't have this trait.

Other primates have opposable thumbs too.

You can divide primates into 4 groups based on opposability of thumbs:

Opposable - hominids like chimps and gorilla, cercopithecids, i.e. all the Old World monkeys like baboons
Pseudo-opposable - strepsirrhines like lemurs, and the cebidae new world monkeys like capuchins
Non-opposable - tarsiers and marmosets

And then there's gibbons, whose opposable thumbs are longer, comparatively, than our own. Bet that doesn't make them special, though! :D

Essentially all primates have opposable thumbs, and in fact, you can find this trait in other animals too, like phyllomedusa frogs, koalas, and opposums. An argument could even be made that birds have opposable digits on their feet, and this was true of many ancient theropods.

I thought that the term opposable thumbs referred to our ability to touch each of our fingers, in contrast to other apes and animals.

Am I incorrect in this? :oops:

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:38 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Dragan Glas wrote:I thought that the term opposable thumbs referred to our ability to touch each of our fingers, in contrast to other apes and animals.

Am I incorrect in this? :oops:



I'm not sure if there's some definition commonly used, but in primatology or whatever field dealing with primates, anatomy etc., the term 'opposable' there just means the thumb can move in the opposite direction to the fingers - the thumb opposes the force applied by the fingers thereby allowing a strong grip. Many animals have this trait; kind of essential for larger animals who climb trees without the use of sharp claws and momentum to ascend. I believe the trait for the muscles which allow for opposability of the interior digit actually evolved in dinosaurs, although I am not sure where it is seen other than in gene HACNS1.

I am not sure where the idea about being about to touch all one's fingers comes into this.

As far as I am aware, most primates can touch all their fingerpads with their thumbs, even if it's more due to their fingers' flexibility than their thumb's mobility. Some species which do a lot of swinging around on branches, like chimps, have evolved longer fingers yet retained short thumbs, so it's not really opposability that stops them, but that their wee little thumbs can't reach. :D

Either it's something I'm ignorant of even having studied comparative primate anatomy (wouldn't be the first such example!), or it's perhaps an urban myth?
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Last edited by Sparhafoc on Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:36 pm
joshuashrodePosts: 6Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:11 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Sparhafoc wrote:
joshuashrode wrote:Ahh see I was just counting the Bengal Tigers. Guess I was stereotyping the man eaters. It's my unconscious bias. Need reprogramming!


Ahh it's alright, Bengals are probably worth 2 of those Siberian pussies!
I think your ratio is reversed ;-)

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Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:43 pm
MyrtonosPosts: 86Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:23 am Gender: Male

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Entrances to termite mounds don't have any slogans, this includes things like "Termites of Africa Unite". Each Kangaroo may care about the interests of their own mob, but not about the interests of other mobs of complete strangers. No wolf alpha male or alpha female would bid to become the king of all wolves of, say, an area the size of wales.
And orangutan, similarly, might care about the interests of his/her band but not, say or all of the few thousand Orangutans on some Indonesian island.
In general, social animals are only guided by the interests of the group around them, not by anything close to an entire species. Only humans co-operate on a regular basis with complete strangers.
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:26 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Myrtonos wrote:Entrances to termite mounds don't have any slogans, this includes things like "Termites of Africa Unite".


Entrances to human homes don't have any scent trails passing detailed information on about events around the colony.


Myrtonos wrote:Each Kangaroo may care about the interests of their own mob, but not about the interests of other mobs of complete strangers.


Each human may care about the interests of their own mob, but not about the interests of other mobs of complete strangers.


Myrtonos wrote: No wolf alpha male or alpha female would bid to become the king of all wolves of, say, an area the size of wales.


Nor President, nor pilot, nor preacher, nor plumber, nor prancing pony. You'll also never see wolves nuking cities full of other wolves.


Myrtonos wrote: And orangutan, similarly, might care about the interests of his/her band but not, say or all of the few thousand Orangutans on some Indonesian island.


As reported in the Orangutan Times following an exhaustive study about what every orangutan thinks about all other orangutans.


Myrtonos wrote: In general, social animals are only guided by the interests of the group around them, not by anything close to an entire species.


In terms of co-operation by numbers, there are many species which vastly outclass humans.


Myrtonos wrote:Only humans co-operate on a regular basis with complete strangers.


Om Padme, Om Shiva!

Mantras aside, it's wrong as has already been explained to you in this thread, and ample evidence contradicting your over-confident declarations has already been provided and duly ignored a dozen times.


Now, let's address this amazing fact you've stumbled onto.

The depths you have plumbed, the wide horizons you have ventured, and the enlightenment you have attained have produced the stunning, paradigm-shifting, wholly subsuming conceptual framework of understanding which runs .. wolves aren't humans, kangaroos aren't humans, orangutan aren't humans, and termites aren't humans. Thing X is not thing Y.

Grand. Then there's a bit of a fudge.... let's call it a gaping hole in your logic, comprehension, and in there being any sense whatsoever to your insistence on these contorted and contrived non-arguments: human uber alles?

Oh wait, as a necessary corollary, humans aren't wolves, kangaroos, orangutan or termites.

D'oh! Curses you vile beasts... we will prove with logic yet that you are lower species, and we humans are oh so superior in ways you can't even imagine.... because you're not human! BwahAhahhaHAhahah
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:00 pm
joshuashrodePosts: 6Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:11 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Uh. I get your point but with 3 kids under 6, my house has many scent trails that convey all types of important information.

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Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:26 pm
joshuashrodePosts: 6Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:11 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Sparhafoc wrote:
Myrtonos wrote:Entrances to termite mounds don't have any slogans, this includes things like "Termites of Africa Unite".


Entrances to human homes don't have any scent trails passing detailed information on about events around the colony.


Myrtonos wrote:Each Kangaroo may care about the interests of their own mob, but not about the interests of other mobs of complete strangers.


Each human may care about the interests of their own mob, but not about the interests of other mobs of complete strangers.


Myrtonos wrote: No wolf alpha male or alpha female would bid to become the king of all wolves of, say, an area the size of wales.


Nor President, nor pilot, nor preacher, nor plumber, nor prancing pony. You'll also never see wolves nuking cities full of other wolves.


Myrtonos wrote: And orangutan, similarly, might care about the interests of his/her band but not, say or all of the few thousand Orangutans on some Indonesian island.


As reported in the Orangutan Times following an exhaustive study about what every orangutan thinks about all other orangutans.


Myrtonos wrote: In general, social animals are only guided by the interests of the group around them, not by anything close to an entire species.


In terms of co-operation by numbers, there are many species which vastly outclass humans.


Myrtonos wrote:Only humans co-operate on a regular basis with complete strangers.


Om Padme, Om Shiva!

Mantras aside, it's wrong as has already been explained to you in this thread, and ample evidence contradicting your over-confident declarations has already been provided and duly ignored a dozen times.


Now, let's address this amazing fact you've stumbled onto.

The depths you have plumbed, the wide horizons you have ventured, and the enlightenment you have attained have produced the stunning, paradigm-shifting, wholly subsuming conceptual framework of understanding which runs .. wolves aren't humans, kangaroos aren't humans, orangutan aren't humans, and termites aren't humans. Thing X is not thing Y.

Grand. Then there's a bit of a fudge.... let's call it a gaping hole in your logic, comprehension, and in there being any sense whatsoever to your insistence on these contorted and contrived non-arguments: human uber alles?

Oh wait, as a necessary corollary, humans aren't wolves, kangaroos, orangutan or termites.

D'oh! Curses you vile beasts... we will prove with logic yet that you are lower species, and we humans are oh so superior in ways you can't even imagine.... because you're not human! BwahAhahhaHAhahah
Silly argument to say that we're one kind and not another kind. We're all eukaryotes. We're all relatively equally evolved (just looking at the amount of time spent on reproduction and Gene transfer with modifications). Heck humans aren't even a stand-alone species. We're a host of organisms working together (mostly) to fend off entropy. We need gut bacteria and every cell has mitochondria which as you all know ain't human. The distinctions we draw between one species and another are useful in validating the theory of evolution and helping to predict what we haven't yet discovered. To say that one is better than another is just subjective drivel. All life (at the population level) is highly adapated to it's local environmental pressures and resources. Our "supremacy" is accidental. We didn't chose it so we shouldn't praise or punish ourselves. It's also convenient to ignore all the drawbacks of our large brains coupled to an amygdala and dependence on others from the very beginning. Drawbacks like war and torture and reality television and apathy born from historical disenfranchisement and a willful denial of the prisoner's dilemma and not to mention the vast sea of cognitive biases we're born with that makes reality a dimly seen thing...hence the joy we should feel at having developed the scientific method.

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Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:37 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

joshuashrode wrote:Uh. I get your point but with 3 kids under 6, my house has many scent trails that convey all types of important information.


:lol:
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:16 am
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

joshuashrode wrote:Silly argument to say that we're one kind and not another kind. We're all eukaryotes. We're all relatively equally evolved (just looking at the amount of time spent on reproduction and Gene transfer with modifications). Heck humans aren't even a stand-alone species. We're a host of organisms working together (mostly) to fend off entropy. We need gut bacteria and every cell has mitochondria which as you all know ain't human. The distinctions we draw between one species and another are useful in validating the theory of evolution and helping to predict what we haven't yet discovered. To say that one is better than another is just subjective drivel. All life (at the population level) is highly adapated to it's local environmental pressures and resources. Our "supremacy" is accidental. We didn't chose it so we shouldn't praise or punish ourselves. It's also convenient to ignore all the drawbacks of our large brains coupled to an amygdala and dependence on others from the very beginning. Drawbacks like war and torture and reality television and apathy born from historical disenfranchisement and a willful denial of the prisoner's dilemma and not to mention the vast sea of cognitive biases we're born with that makes reality a dimly seen thing...hence the joy we should feel at having developed the scientific method.



Right. Any quantification of the degree of evolution doesn't work in terms of species' comparison, because every single organism on this planet has the same depth of evolutionary history. We can quantify how genes or traits have evolved comparative to a fixed point, and when there's a shared common ancestor, the genes or traits shared by descendants can have changed at different rates.

But yeah, Myrtonos' only point through multiple threads is 'humans can do X, animals can do Y - let's use X and only X to judge which species is the best at X while waving away any talk of Y'.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:20 am
joshuashrodePosts: 6Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:11 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

Sparhafoc wrote:
joshuashrode wrote:Silly argument to say that we're one kind and not another kind. We're all eukaryotes. We're all relatively equally evolved (just looking at the amount of time spent on reproduction and Gene transfer with modifications). Heck humans aren't even a stand-alone species. We're a host of organisms working together (mostly) to fend off entropy. We need gut bacteria and every cell has mitochondria which as you all know ain't human. The distinctions we draw between one species and another are useful in validating the theory of evolution and helping to predict what we haven't yet discovered. To say that one is better than another is just subjective drivel. All life (at the population level) is highly adapated to it's local environmental pressures and resources. Our "supremacy" is accidental. We didn't chose it so we shouldn't praise or punish ourselves. It's also convenient to ignore all the drawbacks of our large brains coupled to an amygdala and dependence on others from the very beginning. Drawbacks like war and torture and reality television and apathy born from historical disenfranchisement and a willful denial of the prisoner's dilemma and not to mention the vast sea of cognitive biases we're born with that makes reality a dimly seen thing...hence the joy we should feel at having developed the scientific method.



Right. Any quantification of the degree of evolution doesn't work in terms of species' comparison, because every single organism on this planet has the same depth of evolutionary history. We can quantify how genes or traits have evolved comparative to a fixed point, and when there's a shared common ancestor, the genes or traits shared by descendants can have changed at different rates.

But yeah, Myrtonos' only point through multiple threads is 'humans can do X, animals can do Y - let's use X and only X to judge which species is the best at X while waving away any talk of Y'.
And ... Ya know, we're *ahem* animals too. Maybe he's angling to back door in some ID argument? Otherwise it's just a sloppy retelling (at best) of history coupled with unjustified cross species comparisons against criteria that we happen to excel at. Also, in response to one of his (?) comments, absolute brain size in Carnivora is directly correlated with problem solving ability. So yeah, sperm whales are good at mental type things . Imagine then processing power needed for both visual processing and echolocation of the cetacean variety. That not even considering how they communicate with each other. If you measure things with a human yardstick, it's not terribly surprising I'd we come out ahead. I will say that given the current biological landscape, we are the only species that is on the verge of creating artificial intelligence that can perhaps create an intelligence greater than itself. Evolutionarily speaking, this would mark the removal of the time constraints that has accompanied the evolution of animals (not so much bacteria). Especially large scale animals. Their time to evolve is governed by many things but the largest shared factor seems to be how long it takes them to reach reproductive age. Once we have general artificial intelligence, we will have the best of both worlds:. They incredibly fast reproductive rates seen in bacteria coupled to organisms of unimaginable complexity. Natural selection can be simulated or just have the organism update it's own code in response to it's local environment.

It's still evolution just at the speed of electrons vs. chemotaxis or osmosis or sodium potassium pumps. Maybe they'll be nice and let us along for the ride lol.

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Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:27 am
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: The evolution of intelligent life

joshuashrode wrote:And ... Ya know, we're *ahem* animals too.


And you can know that because humans taste like chicken....

I mean... so Ive heard. /shifty


joshuashrode wrote: Maybe he's angling to back door in some ID argument?


Some of his arguments in a thread about religion could easily have been construed as some kind of theistic angle, but he assures us that's not the case.


joshuashrode wrote: Otherwise it's just a sloppy retelling (at best) of history...


Entirely borrowed from Yuval Noah Harari's book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind


joshuashrode wrote: coupled with unjustified cross species comparisons against criteria that we happen to excel at.


Kangaroos can jump higher than us, but show me a kangaroo that jumped to the Moon!


joshuashrode wrote: Also, in response to one of his (?) comments, absolute brain size in Carnivora is directly correlated with problem solving ability. So yeah, sperm whales are good at mental type things . Imagine then processing power needed for both visual processing and echolocation of the cetacean variety. That not even considering how they communicate with each other.


Quite. The way other animals think is nearly entirely outside of our ken - who knows what mental feats they're capable of? Whales could be computing incredibly complex differential equations all day long for all we know. :lol:



joshuashrode wrote: If you measure things with a human yardstick, it's not terribly surprising I'd we come out ahead.


And that pretty much sums up the entire thread and a large part of the other one.


joshuashrode wrote: I will say that given the current biological landscape, we are the only species that is on the verge of creating artificial intelligence that can perhaps create an intelligence greater than itself. Evolutionarily speaking, this would mark the removal of the time constraints that has accompanied the evolution of animals (not so much bacteria). Especially large scale animals. Their time to evolve is governed by many things but the largest shared factor seems to be how long it takes them to reach reproductive age. Once we have general artificial intelligence, we will have the best of both worlds:. They incredibly fast reproductive rates seen in bacteria coupled to organisms of unimaginable complexity. Natural selection can be simulated or just have the organism update it's own code in response to it's local environment.


I've had many a fun conversation on this topic.

If you conceive of the universe as possessing a definable upper limit of information, then storing and processing this information appears to be one of the primal quantities of life. RNA started it off, DNA succeeded it building bodies able to process external information and navigate the world, DNA eventually built brains which could not only perform behaviors stored from the past (learned), but also allowed real-time information processing. Animals began signalling informational quantities via various strategies, from scent to sounds, even using words to indicate their mental states or convey emotional information. Humans made grammatical language, conveying even greater information about objects, places, times, and the relationships between all these quantities etc, then came math and writing and generational knowledge began to accrue until now, we appear to be ready to push that process to another step, and get rid of all those silly squishy biological bits slowing it all down and making it so darn inefficient.


joshuashrode wrote:It's still evolution just at the speed of electrons vs. chemotaxis or osmosis or sodium potassium pumps. Maybe they'll be nice and let us along for the ride lol.



Here's hoping for a Culture series (Iain M Banks) style super-intelligent AI sentient over-beings.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:14 pm
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