How smart are insects?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Xmo1, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    This is a terrible analogy.

    Athletes don't breed athletes.
    Athletes can mate with non-athletes.
    Athletes with broken feet can still breed.
    Athletes can stop being athletes.
    Non-athletes can decide to be athletes.
    And athletes with broken feet (heck, athletes with no legs!) are still athletes if they choose to be.

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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Sparta did. Communist Russia did.
    Indeed.
    Then they are no longer athletes.
    Indeed
    You missed the point.

    Natural selection does not care who gets to survive to breed. If you get to mate you have another generation of that species.

    I admire all people who participate in sports. I was one myself and used to train with the Dutch Olympic swimming team, until I broke my neck diving from the tower.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Oh my God, stop. You are completely mangling natural selection.

    Athlete is not a species. Athletes don't have to mate with other athletes to have viable offspring.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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  8. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    From Dr Kretitin Post 13
    & TimoJin Post 14
    The above questions would go away if mention were made of a technological culture instead of referring to intelligence.

    One could refer to the Denisovans & Neandertals having the potential to develop a technological culture.

    There would not be arguments about octopus intelligence. They seem to have the potential but are incredibly well adapted to their environment & thus had no evolutionary pressure to develop technology.
     
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  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Hm. Is sophistication of technology a good indicator of intelligence?

    It has yet to be demonstrated that technology is even an advantageous survival trait. The dinosaurs ruled the Earth more than five thousand times longer than Homo sapiens gadgetus has.

    Dinosaur. Heh. See what I did there?
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Can we say that the evolutionary process also refined bio-technology, such as found in the layered skin of a Cuttlefish, which cannot only produce every conceivable color but also has the ability to shape itself to its environment. Is shape-shifting a natural bio-technology?
    https://www.ted.com/talks/david_gallo_shows_underwater_astonishments

    or this amazing evolved technology;
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I would say no.

    I'd say any meaningful definition of technology includes
    a] it is external to the body (at least, originally. Technology can start out external and be inserted, but technology must needs be a distinct entity from the actual living biology), and

    b] it is modified by the user in some way (a found stick is not technology, although a sharpened stick is).
     
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Deleted for duplication
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, you are speaking from a perspective of of artificial technology.

    But if for sake of argument, I change perspective and consider the body of an organism a form of naturally developed technology, and a person's body genetically "invents" a more efficient way of doing things like developing wings in order to fly is that not an example of improved biological technology?

    I know we call it "evolution", but if we invent a more efficient wing for an aircraft, is that not also called the evolution of wing design? Can no parallels be drawn between the two models?
    Is an artificial leg a technological improvement of a biological leg or just an artificial replacement of a much more sophisticated biological technology?

    Can we not say that the cuttlefish has developed an exquisite skin technology for use as a survival mechanism.
    ( don't we use the term body mechanics to identify physical functions, regardless if they are natural or artificial?)

    p.s. many animals use artificial technology in their lives.
    A sea-otter dives to the ocean floor to find just the "right" size flat stone to use as an anvil and a suitable stone to use as the hammer for cracking shells. This is not finding, but selecting. Of course the purpose is to find stones which are just the right weight, so that the otter can stay afloat and not sink from the weight combined weight of the stones.
    Is there a difference between a carpenter selecting the right weight sledge-hammer to complete a task?

    Certain chimps, don't just find a stick, they find the right stick, then strip it of its leaves and thereby fashion a "probe" to catch termites . And some actually sharpen the stick to pierce deeply hidden grubs. And some also use hammer and anvil to crack hard shelled nuts. Technology?

    The humming bird has developed a long beak in order to drink honey deep inside certain flowers. So humans invented straws, big deal.

    Is the eye and the processing of data (wave-lengths) a naturally evolved technology for observing?

    Is there an objective functional difference between artificial technology and evolved natural technology? After all, most of our technology is based on biological examples.

    From Quora
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    A superfluous adjective. Technology is artificial.


    then you would be corrupting the very definition of technology.

    Here's what you're doing when you say you're "changing perspective":

    Life means living things. But if I "change perspective", and consider life as 'being inert and doing nothing but eroding', then rocks are living.
    Presto.

    Demonstrably false. 'Technology' is not an 'ability'.

    Technology is the tangible product of the application of an ability.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    From above,
    Let's first define what technology is.
    It's the ability to use knowledge to solve problems (or create tools).

    How does the body know what is happening to it and employs natural defenses, such as anti-bodies as tools to defend against say, bacteria in the blood?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yup. Still false, as shown.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Oh sure, draw all the analogies you want. But don't make the mistake of thinking that the analogy redefines the thing.

    Either way, an artificial leg is technology.

    No. A cuttlefish did not develop that technology. It did not solve any problem. All it did was preferentially survive.

    This was how I defined it, yes.
    An external thing.

    I submitted that the thing also needs to be modified to be qualify as technology. Without modification, it is just a tool.

    Yes.
    The carpenter's selection is not, itself, technology. The hammer, itself, which was built by someone, is the technology.

    Sure.
    A stripped stick is both
    - an external object, and
    - an object that been modified to suit its intended application.
    As per my qualifications.

    Invented. Big difference.

    No. Biology.
     
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry for late edit:
    How does the body know what is happening to it and employs natural defenses, such as anti-bodies as tools to defend against say, bacteria in the blood?
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    That's what biology does.
     
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    But it does equivocate the thing.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It obfuscates the thing.
    Like analogizing math and physics. Obfuscating the use of the word 'function'.

    We give words definitions for a reason. So that when two or more people are talking, they know they are talking about the same thing.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Don't get me wrong, it might make for an interesting discussion in a different context, but this thread is attempting to determine whether insects have intelligence. And it only confuses the issue by conflating biological processes with technology.

    To cut out the middle arguments, we would start looking for biological mechanisms and behaviors in insects - and in pretending they're technology, we would wrongly attribute them to acts of intelligence.
     
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    OK, point taken.
    What would you call termites actively and meticulously practicing indoor farming to feed hundreds of thousands of termites which might never see daylight? Or ants milking and actively herding aphids from leaf to leaf and defending the herd against other predators such as lady-bugs?

    I completely agree with the definition of artificially creating technologies, but most of these technologies were imitations of biologically created functional... ?????...survival techniques?

    p.s. I never mentioned "intelligence"
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017

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