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  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    Interesting comment. But it does add the the point it is hard to predict what sort of behavior could be 'expected' as part of the evolutionary process - either because of the sheer magnitude of what is possible, or just because we have limited imagination

    I think I remember what you are talking about, and I think it was Niven's comments about Pierson's Puppeteers, a race that was always considered cowardly but that in one particularly dangerous instance revealed that its turning hiding when afraid was to enable a very strong and deadly kick from its third leg. They do appear in ringworld but also in several of the known space books (and yes, I consulted google to help refresh my memory)

    The part I'm most interested in is the connection between self-terminating intelligence and aggressive or paranoid behaviors. Or perhaps theologically - is it necessary for a species to survive crossing into the sort of capacity for self destruction like we have done to accept, adopt, and practice the sort of behaviors and attitudes that Christ taught (not to be confused with the sorts of behaviors and attitudes we often rationalize as compatible with what Christ taught)
    IIRC, there was something about how many herbivores are very aggressive toward "trespassers" whereas with carnivores, they would let you walk right past them -- as long as they aren't hungry.

    Leave a comment:


  • oxmixmudd
    replied
    Originally posted by Ronson View Post

    Even if nearby civilizations terminated themselves, one might think they left behind some evidence - like errant communications wandering around space. Which is why I don't think there is any older civilizations in our neighborhood. At the other end of the galaxy? Sure, but we'll never know.
    There are a bunch of caveats, but in terms of detecting other potential civilizations within a few hundred light years, AFAIK, we just are not there yet in terms of the sensitivity of the instruments required. Assuming they exist, they would have to be very advanced and capable of producing huge amounts of power to send out a signal we could 'hear'. Perhaps they could have detected us and sent out a focused and directed signal that would be powerful enough to detect? OTOH, a race that existed and terminated itself could be on such a disparate timeframe from us the signals are long gone past us, or again, just too far away for us to notice as the pass by. So even if intelligence evolves fairly often, unless they typically don't wipe themselves out and have endured long enough to be around when we are around, the chances of us knowing about them I would think are about 0.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ronson
    replied
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

    I'm not sure one can make pronouncements as to what intelligent life 'should be' based just on what we know about evolution right now. Whatever gives a species a survival advantage in their environment. On the Earth we have Turtles and Sharks and Bears and Lions. If the intelligence evolved in a hunting predator, I'd expect it to be far more aggressive than if it evolved in a more community oriented omnivore (like us) or herbivore (unless perhaps in some places plants are animate are aggressive). But I have wondered if what makes a species survive and thrive to the point they develop sentience and the capacity to invent and record their knowledge with limited power also can lead to its destruction with the massive power that technology can bring. That in our universe, the long term survival of an intelligent species is nearly 100% dependent upon its capacity to turn away from aggressive and paranoid behaviors.

    It could be not many make that turn and that most end up destroying themselves not too long after they harness the atom and the secrets of DNA and life and biology.
    Even if nearby civilizations terminated themselves, one might think they left behind some evidence - like errant communications wandering around space. Which is why I don't think there is any older civilizations in our neighborhood. At the other end of the galaxy? Sure, but we'll never know.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ronson
    replied
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    The part I'm most interested in is the connection between self-terminating intelligence and aggressive or paranoid behaviors. Or perhaps theologically - is it necessary for a species to survive crossing into the sort of capacity for self destruction like we have done to accept, adopt, and practice the sort of behaviors and attitudes that Christ taught (not to be confused with the sorts of behaviors and attitudes we often rationalize as compatible with what Christ taught)
    Tribalism may not be universal in social beings. Like the Borg, a race might just absorb potential enemies, so the tendency toward aggressive/paranoid self-terminating behavior isn't there.

    Leave a comment:


  • oxmixmudd
    replied
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    I can't remember the novel or author offhand (maybe Niven's Ringworld?) but the author noted that many of the most dangerous animals are herbivores like Cape Buffalo, Rhinos, Hippos, Elephants (more so when there were greater numbers) and the like.


    People are smart enough to avoid a cougar but often think nothing of walking up to a buffalo or moose for a closeup selfie -- often with tragic results. I mean everyone thinks how domesticated cows are but few would be stupid enough to climb into the ring with a male cow -- a bull.

    Interesting comment. But it does add the the point it is hard to predict what sort of behavior could be 'expected' as part of the evolutionary process - either because of the sheer magnitude of what is possible, or just because we have limited imagination

    I think I remember what you are talking about, and I think it was Niven's comments about Pierson's Puppeteers, a race that was always considered cowardly but that in one particularly dangerous instance revealed that its turning hiding when afraid was to enable a very strong and deadly kick from its third leg. They do appear in ringworld but also in several of the known space books (and yes, I consulted google to help refresh my memory)

    The part I'm most interested in is the connection between self-terminating intelligence and aggressive or paranoid behaviors. Or perhaps theologically - is it necessary for a species to survive crossing into the sort of capacity for self destruction like we have done to accept, adopt, and practice the sort of behaviors and attitudes that Christ taught (not to be confused with the sorts of behaviors and attitudes we often rationalize as compatible with what Christ taught)
    Last edited by oxmixmudd; 10-05-2021, 03:35 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

    I'm not sure one can make pronouncements as to what intelligent life 'should be' based just on what we know about evolution right now. Whatever gives a species a survival advantage in their environment. On the Earth we have Turtles and Sharks and Bears and Lions. If the intelligence evolved in a hunting predator, I'd expect it to be far more aggressive than if it evolved in a more community oriented omnivore (like us) or herbivore (unless perhaps in some places plants are animate are aggressive). But I have wondered if what makes a species survive and thrive to the point they develop sentience and the capacity to invent and record their knowledge with limited power also can lead to its destruction with the massive power that technology can bring. That in our universe, the long term survival of an intelligent species is nearly 100% dependent upon its capacity to turn away from aggressive and paranoid behaviors.

    It could be not many make that turn and that most end up destroying themselves not too long after they harness the atom and the secrets of DNA and life and biology.
    I can't remember the novel or author offhand (maybe Niven's Ringworld?) but the author noted that many of the most dangerous animals are herbivores like Cape Buffalo, Rhinos, Hippos, Elephants (more so when there were greater numbers) and the like.


    People are smart enough to avoid a cougar but often think nothing of walking up to a buffalo or moose for a closeup selfie -- often with tragic results. I mean everyone thinks how domesticated cows are but few would be stupid enough to climb into the ring with a male cow -- a bull.


    Leave a comment:


  • oxmixmudd
    replied
    Originally posted by Ronson View Post

    According to evolution, it should. Intelligent life should be curious or adventurous because those traits develop into intelligence. Complacence and lacking interest would not develop into intelligence.

    So I would expect intelligent life to be reaching out and looking to communicate, and it is telling that we find no evidence in our general neighborhood, we detect no such attempts. It suggests no intelligent life preceded us within detection. We're likely the oldest.
    I'm not sure one can make pronouncements as to what intelligent life 'should be' based just on what we know about evolution right now. Whatever gives a species a survival advantage in their environment. On the Earth we have Turtles and Sharks and Bears and Lions. If the intelligence evolved in a hunting predator, I'd expect it to be far more aggressive than if it evolved in a more community oriented omnivore (like us) or herbivore (unless perhaps in some places plants are animate are aggressive). But I have wondered if what makes a species survive and thrive to the point they develop sentience and the capacity to invent and record their knowledge with limited power also can lead to its destruction with the massive power that technology can bring. That in our universe, the long term survival of an intelligent species is nearly 100% dependent upon its capacity to turn away from aggressive and paranoid behaviors.

    It could be not many make that turn and that most end up destroying themselves not too long after they harness the atom and the secrets of DNA and life and biology.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ronson
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

    I think, too often, we look at "intelligent life" as being able to think or act like us. Star Trek always showed some interesting possibilities of what "intelligent life" might look like, much different than us.
    According to evolution, it should. Intelligent life should be curious or adventurous because those traits develop into intelligence. Complacence and lacking interest would not develop into intelligence.

    So I would expect intelligent life to be reaching out and looking to communicate, and it is telling that we find no evidence in our general neighborhood, we detect no such attempts. It suggests no intelligent life preceded us within detection. We're likely the oldest.

    Leave a comment:


  • oxmixmudd
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

    I think, too often, we look at "intelligent life" as being able to think or act like us. Star Trek always showed some interesting possibilities of what "intelligent life" might look like, much different than us.
    I agree. Its very hard not to anthrophomorphize ( is that a word?) Hypothetical beings 'out there' and I've enjoyed watching movies that try to crack that egg (e.g. Arrival)

    it is an interesting question: does there exist such a driver as convergent evolution when it comes to the development of intelligence. We could frame that theologically. Has God framed the universe in such a way that intelligence evolves 'in His image'

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

    I agree. I tend to believe it likely proof that life exists underground on Mars or in an underground sea on one of the gas giant moons may well appear in my lifetime. But intelligent life, that's a different question.

    I'm not sure i'd welcome finding out either. Though perhaps i could hope that if an intelligent species can survive the potential for self destruction that comes with the knowledge of how to build thermonuclear or more deadly devices, by the time such a species knows how to flit gracefully from star to star, they no longer have conquer and subjugate on their agenda.
    I think, too often, we look at "intelligent life" as being able to think or act like us. Star Trek always showed some interesting possibilities of what "intelligent life" might look like, much different than us.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    Given the numbers the probability of life evolving elsewhere seems high. The real question would be is there intelligent life out there.
    No, the REAL question would be is there intelligent life here on Tweb.

    Leave a comment:


  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

    I agree. I tend to believe it likely proof that life exists underground on Mars or in an underground sea on one of the gas giant moons may well appear in my lifetime. But intelligent life, that's a different question.

    I'm not sure i'd welcome finding out either. Though perhaps i could hope that if an intelligent species can survive the potential for self destruction that comes with the knowledge of how to build thermonuclear or more deadly devices, by the time such a species knows how to flit gracefully from star to star, they no longer have conquer and subjugate on their agenda.
    Paraphrasing, but someone once said he didn't know which was scarier... that we are all alone in the universe -- or that we aren't.

    Leave a comment:


  • oxmixmudd
    replied
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    Given the numbers the probability of life evolving elsewhere seems high. The real question would be is there intelligent life out there.
    I agree. I tend to believe it likely proof that life exists underground on Mars or in an underground sea on one of the gas giant moons may well appear in my lifetime. But intelligent life, that's a different question.

    I'm not sure i'd welcome finding out either. Though perhaps i could hope that if an intelligent species can survive the potential for self destruction that comes with the knowledge of how to build thermonuclear or more deadly devices, by the time such a species knows how to flit gracefully from star to star, they no longer have conquer and subjugate on their agenda.
    Last edited by oxmixmudd; 10-03-2021, 07:23 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post

    Ah, but my comment is not based on conservation. It is based on the shere improbability that life would be a unique construct based on how planets form and how life evolves. IOW, God does not appear to have made the universe so that life is so improbable that given its size and age our planet would be unique in that respect. Rocky planets in habitable zones with water are plentiful- perhaps as many as 1 for every 6 stars in that image. Indeed, there appear to be some fairly likely places for life on places other than the earth even in our own solar system.

    Sentience might be a different argument. But I spoke only of life in the general sense.
    Given the numbers the probability of life evolving elsewhere seems high. The real question would be is there intelligent life out there.

    Leave a comment:


  • oxmixmudd
    replied
    Originally posted by Ronson View Post

    Not really. Conservation is a manmade construct. If you look at the universe and think "so much wasted space if only earth has life" then you are thinking as a conservationist; that the rest of the universe is wasted somehow. If a single spirit is a million times more important than a million stars, to God, then nothing is wasted.
    Ah, but my comment is not based on conservation. It is based on the shere improbability that life would be a unique construct based on how planets form and how life evolves. IOW, God does not appear to have made the universe so that life is so improbable that given its size and age our planet would be unique in that respect. Rocky planets in habitable zones with water are plentiful- perhaps as many as 1 for every 6 stars in that image. Indeed, there appear to be some fairly likely places for life on places other than the earth even in our own solar system.

    Sentience might be a different argument. But I spoke only of life in the general sense.

    Leave a comment:

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