Rats or Roaches or…?

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This topic contains 53 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  jakelafort 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #32171

    Unseen
    Participant

    Pretty clearly, mankind will eventually make the planet unlivable for itself and many other species. Now, we can’t literally kill our planet. All we can do is f*ck up the environment that supports us and a lot of life. Not only that, the Earth will recover slowly, eventually. We do have some very hardy species even here on the surface. Roaches and rats seem to be survivors.

    If they do survive—and if they become the basis of the next stage in intelligent life—which one do you think it will be. Will the next intelligent creatures count insects or mammals as their progenitors?

    Or would you nominate some other beast as the great great grandfather of the intelligent life of the future?

    #32172

    Davis
    Participant

    I’m really not sure insects can grow large enough to have sufficient cranial capacity for intelligent life. I really think mammals would have a much better chance. Outside of mammals on the intelligence scale, a few tropical birds and octopuses show notable intelligence. Some mammal species meanwhile show high intelligence plus complex social dynamics not common among the octopus or parrot. Of course who knows…perhaps some remarkable adoption could happen and say ants, forms an intelligent species with a colony like culture. Would be pretty creatures for our tastes but sure would be interesting.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  Davis.
    #32174

    An ant structure and a human structure (La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona).

    #32175

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’m really not sure insects can grow large enough to have sufficient cranial capacity for intelligent life. I really think mammals would have a much better chance. Outside of mammals on the intelligence scale, a few tropical birds and octopuses show notable intelligence. Some mammal species meanwhile show high intelligence plus complex social dynamics not common among the octopus or parrot. Of course who knows…perhaps some remarkable adoption could happen and say ants, forms an intelligent species with a colony like culture. Would be pretty creatures for our tastes but sure would be interesting.

    The current roach body would be an evolutionary starting point. Currently, our planet can’t support terrestrial (as opposed to aquatic) creatures with exoskeletons much larger than some crabs, beetles, or spiders at most a pound or so, usually less. Much as we can trace ourselves back to fish and amphibians, the same would happen the second wave of intelligent life. In fact, it’s not inconceivable that the new intelligent life would have many physical characteristics similar to humans: bipedalism, opposable thunb, large brain, for example. Ditto for a mammalian restarting point.

    It’s not just tropical birds who exhibit intelligence. The corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, jackdaws, and others) are great problems solvers. They can talk, too, though perhaps not as well as the parrots.

    Speaking of parrots watch this bird freak out when the owner destroys his cage (skip ahead to about 1:00):

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #32177

    Unseen
    Participant

    How about a crow as smart as Archimedes?:

    #32178

    Unseen
    Participant

    An ant structure and a human structure (La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona).

    Interesting example of irrelevant accidental coincidence.

    #32179

    Unseen
    Participant

    Some mammal species meanwhile show high intelligence plus complex social dynamics not common among the octopus or parrot.

    Parrots are social animals. “Parrots are social creatures. They are flock animals, traveling and feeding together as a group. The majority of the activities in which they engage are done as a group. As prey animals, the health and integrity of the flock is essential to their ability to survive.” (source: https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/the-optimal-social-environment-for-your-parrot/#:~:text=Parrots%20are%20social%20creatures.,to%20their%20ability%20to%20survive.)

    Also, families of species can be flexible in terms of being social. Most cats are loners, but cheetahs have been seen hunting in small groups of two or three or sometimes more. And lions? Enough said.

    #32180

    _Robert_
    Participant

    What? You all never saw “Planet of the Apes”? If they manage to survive us- I would not doubt that they could take a similar path as we did.

    However there have been great periods of global warming before. What happened then is a clue as to which sorts of creatures will fare better than others. I don’t think urban adapted rats and roaches will do particularly well when we are gone.

    #32181

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’m not sure how they arrived at this scale. Often, they seem to be basing intelligence on the acuity of an animal’s sense. However, any scale that rates cats 10% sharper mentally than dogs is right on as far as I’m concerned. Your thoughts on some of the assessments are welcome…

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #32184

    I know several people with IQ’s over 150 and some over 160. On the Mensa tests those scores put people in the top 1% If octopuses can also be 50% above average then their top 1% would score about 110. That would make 1% of octopuses 10% smarter that your average person.

     

    #32185

    Unseen
    Participant

    I know several people with IQ’s over 150 and some over 160. On the Mensa tests those scores put people in the top 1% If octopuses can also be 50% above average then their top 1% would score about 110. That would make 1% of octopuses 10% smarter that your average person.

    And about 25% smarter than Trump’s “base.”

    #32186

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    According to Michael Tomasello, there isn’t so much a “ladder” of natural intelligence, but a “tree”.  Each animal is smart in its own way, adapted for its own environment.  So all the animal intelligences are different.

    An ant’s brain is 15% of its body weight.  They can pass the “white mark mirror test” – they can recognise themselves in the mirror.  This implies they can recognise others as others, and according to the theory, can take the perspective of other ants.  In turn, this would show that perspective taking is a fundamental part of cooperation.

    I think any new “super species” would have to be adaptable and intelligent.  Insects can’t grow very large in the current climate – but if the Earth warmed up, they could be 6 feet across again.

    #32187

    Davis
    Participant

    The largest insect to ever exist was 50cm (about 1.5 feet). It lived during exceptional circumstances. It had a tiny brain. It’s true that big brain doesn’t equal intelligence but it is true that for intelligence to emerge, a brain with a minimal number of neurons and extreme complexity is necessary. Insects could adapt in some exceptional way. So could octopuses. As could some birds. I would hedge my bets on mammals. It only took 65 million years for the tiniest rodent like animal to evolve into extremely diverse marine, land and terrestrial animals that came to dominate the planet, including several species of intelligent life.

    #32188

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think it comes down to the question, what made humans intelligent?  That probably doesn’t have a simple answer, and in addition, we’ll probably never know.

    As far as I know, the human brain expansion happened around 2 million years ago, with the advent of the genus Homo.  Cooperative breeding allows for a larger brain size, because the mother can have more than one child at a time, thereby allowing a longer growth time for infants.  Otherwise, there is a limit on the number of children a mother can have below which the species will die out.  But what drove a larger brain size is a mystery.  It seems to have come at the same time we moved onto the savannah.

    #32189

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Query whether Trump supporting breeders might ever produce intelligent offspring. Is mutation or genetic diversity insufficient to do so? In all of his travels Darwin may have never encountered such stagnation.

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