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Other species to evolve our intellect?


EWright
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Does anyone believe that in another hundred million years or so, other species on our planet will evolve to our current level of intelligence and develop their own technologies... perhaps communicate in a common language we can share?

 

And if so, at that point would we continue to treat them like animals? Slaves? Food? Equals?

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Probability other species will attain sentience on Earth: 100% even if we manage to incinerate ourselves before then.

 

Probability "humans" will still exist as a recognizable species in 100m years: 0.0000000001% either because we incinerate ourselves, or we keep evolving, or God gets mad at us and decides to change his image so he can create another special creature "in his image" to be the center of attention in The Bible.

 

Cheers,

Buffy

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I've read an interesting piece by.. who was it... heck, slipped my mind.

 

Any case:

 

This guy/girl holds that Earth's got ONE shot at developing advanced intelligence like us. Here's the argument:

 

1) Oil is vital as a handy, concentrated energy source for the rapid development of the planet. Sure - we had Rome and the Egyptians, but their advancement was limited by, amongst others, fuel. They got to the war chariot stage, and never progressed beyond it.

2) In another twenty-odd years, humans will have used up all the oil.

3) In another two hundred years, we would have used up all the coal. Actually a lot quicker than that, 'cause the loss of oil will make us more dependent on coal.

4) In the event of humans dying off, exiting stage left, it will take a couple of million years for, say, animal X to evolve to the point where it could fill the human niche. It will find a world without oil. It might evolve to the Roman point of large beaurocracy and little technology. But it won't be able to cross the threshold into the space age/technological era that we take for granted. There'd be no oil.

5) Oil building up to levels usable by intelligent species takes much, much longer than the average lifespan of a species.

6) Eventually, once the oil has built up, history would have taken a turn for the worse for Earth - the Sun might have started bloating in its final throes. (I don't think the guy had the timing quite right with this one...)

 

Apart from point 6, it's an interesting argument. I think if we take a look at how long oil takes to form, there should be space for three or four successive intelligent spacefaring species, but the gaps between them will be huge - millions of years before the next species is capable of entering space while they wait for the oil. But I think chances for them evolving simultaneously is remote.

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I suspect that human beings will, somewhere and sometime in the near future, use biotechnology to artificially increase the language and general intelligence abilities of other species. In other words, talking pets for fun and profit. And that these artificially enhanced animals will be the source of great controversy.

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I think if we take a look at how long oil takes to form, there should be space for three or four successive intelligent spacefaring species, but the gaps between them will be huge - millions of years before the next species is capable of entering space while they wait for the oil.
Interesting thought that triggered two observations

a) If oil is not of biogenic origin then this isn't a problem. (Nods in direction of Russia and of Tommy Gold.)

:circle: We use oil because it is convenient. In its absence we may have discovered and developed methods for extracting fuels from biomass. We only need around a century of 'easy' fuel before we can move on to nuclear.

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Interesting thought that triggered two observations

a) If oil is not of biogenic origin then this isn't a problem. (Nods in direction of Russia and of Tommy Gold.)

:circle: We use oil because it is convenient. In its absence we may have discovered and developed methods for extracting fuels from biomass. We only need around a century of 'easy' fuel before we can move on to nuclear.

I agree, the person who came up with the above argument probably didn't keep all possible factors in mind. It is rather interesting to speculate, though.

 

Consider:

All the past civilizations reached a point from where there was no further 'upward' (for want of a better term) progress possible, due to energy constraints. The ancient Romans could not by any stretch of the imagination speculate about machines capable of propelling themselves over land, let alone fly. It was so far removed from their frame of reference as to be complete science fiction. We might conceivably have reached an upper limit to progress due to our being blinded by oil, energy in a neat, pumpable, storable format. Their might be energy in forms lying around us that we can't see, energy that we think is a dirty useless curiosity, same as the Romans did with petra oleum, or rock oil. If they unlocked the potential stored in oil, we might still be swearing allegiance to Rome, the eternal city. And killing people in circii. Haha. We have WWF!!!

 

Now imagine if we can tap some wellspring of free energy, where would that take civilization?

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