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View Diary: Why Not Engineer Animals with Human-level Consciousness? (143 comments)

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  •  I hope that was firmly tongue in cheek (in which (4+ / 0-)

    case it needs a /snark tag). Our ancestors couldn't rival our technology, either, but that doesn't say much, if anything, about whether there's any real difference between homo sap of 10,000 years ago and us. And better tool use is a positive definition from our point of view.

    half /snark

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:51:37 PM PDT

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    •  Our ancestors have been making fire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, Dragon5616

      since homo habilis.  No other animal does that.  No other animal can travel or communicate at the speeds our technology makes possible.  Human exceptionalism is just a fact, and any animal that disagrees is welcome to prove it.  And BTW, the very fact that we can debate the definition of intelligence is pretty solid evidence of that.  I don't know of a single animal intelligence expert who would argue that that level of conversation can occur in dolphin language.

      •  Unfortunately making fires has destroyed the earth (3+ / 0-)
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        marina, Dragon5616, Neuroptimalian

        You are looking at human "exceptionalism" from a human's perspective. We are extremely inefficient and wasteful as a species. The other species do not have to process their food nor do they have to kill other species in order to use their skins for warmth and protection.

        I would bet that if the US electrical grid went off line for a year over half the population would die - from hunger, cold or strife.

        You are defining intelligence as the ability to debate what is the definition of intelligence. Intelligence could also be the ability to accurately migrate over distances of thousands of miles without the use of technology.

        •  Actually we're the most efficient animal species. (2+ / 0-)
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          Dragon5616, FG

          Other animals have to undergo a mass-extinction and generations of genetic natural selection to adapt to new circumstances.  We just change our technology.

          I would bet that if the US electrical grid went off line for a year over half the population would die - from hunger, cold or strife.
          Yes, we're in a technological transition period.  Once the grid is largely solar and decentralized, that's not going to be an issue.
          Intelligence could also be the ability to accurately migrate over distances of thousands of miles without the use of technology.
          That's instinct.  Intelligence is the ability to behaviorally adapt to dynamic circumstances through forward thinking.
          •  Dinosaurs existed for 135 million years (4+ / 0-)

            How long has Homo sapiens (the intelligent homo) been around? About 1/4 million years of which only a few hundred years have seen us modifying the environment in any major way.

            We just change our technology.
            Yes. And maybe cause our own extinction. We are now starting to pay the external costs of the industrial revolution with global climate change.

            Do you think humans can deal with a 50 foot sea level rise without a massive die out from starvation and war?

            Intelligence is the ability to behaviorally adapt to dynamic circumstances through forward thinking.
            The basis of our intelligence is also "instinct" in that we are born with the genetic predispositions that underlay it. We are closer to the other animals than you appear to want to believe. We share 99% of our DNA with bonobos and chimpanzees.

            BTW, even octopi have shown forward thinking in problem solving skills. It's not unique to humans except in scale.

          •  Homo fabricans (3+ / 0-)

            is a comparatively short lived species; about 250k depending how you classify "human".  From a geologic and evolutionary perspective, that's a drop in the bucket.  It remains to be seen whether we'll make it through the next few centuries.  Who knows whether dolphins aren't having intricate discussions about philosophy and whatnot?

          •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
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            Claudius Bombarnac, marina
            Other animals have to undergo a mass-extinction and generations of genetic natural selection to adapt to new circumstances.
            Exactly. That's why you never see raccoons anymore. Or Norway rats. And it beautifully explains the sadly diminished range of the coyote, not to mention the failure of warm water jellies to move north, of barn owls to move into barns.
      •  I'm hoping you're not so hung on being ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac, marina

        an exceptional human that you doubt the existence of much more evolved "life' out there in the universe.  We're probably the equivalent of amoebas to them.

        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

        by Neuroptimalian on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 07:51:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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