What seperates man from anything else?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Mr. Hamtastic, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

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    Man vs Animal-What makes us so different?

    I ask not because I know, or even have a strong opinion that there really is anything, but because I have heard some weird ideas. Such as the ability to create and appreciate art, or having morality, or a social structure...

    Do those things really make man "superior"? Aren't there examples of animals which have these traits?

    For the future-Man vs Machine.

    Someone at some point is going to make a machine which is independent and "sentient". Someone, of course, will want to prevent it from having "rights". What defines something as having a right to such rights? Where is this line between man and sentient machine?
     
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    No one really knows.
     
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  5. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    Intelligence.
    I mean as far as intelligence goes, we are still light years ahead of the next most intelligent animal, the bonobo.
    And no, I wouldn't even think of saying that are intelligence makes us superior, it's just the one thing that separates us from all other animals.
     
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Even that is not sure, since Chimps have been proven better at some kinds of math and memorizing tasks, compared to a young human.
     
  8. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah, but they also retain the intelligence of a young child, much like our dogs, while they fully mature physically, remain 'juveniles' their whole life.

    So bonobos may be better at simple math and memorizing tasks than a human child, as that human grows up, his/her intelligence will grow as well, whereas the bonobos intellingence will plateau at around the equivalent age of a 5 year old child.
     
  9. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Even if that's a 100% true (See Spideys post), something similar can be said for any other animal.
    I'm sure frogs have some unique ability, or are better at some ability than any other animal.
    It doesn't say much at all. We're all pretty much the same.
     
  10. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not entirely sure if that's really us becoming more intelligent or if it's us becoming more in tune with our self-created environment (culture).
    In other words, you would suck at being a chimp as much as they would suck at being a human.
     
  11. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    -we use tools (very few other species do)
    -we learned agriculture (who else does)
    -we've built machines that can take us anywhere on the planet in a matter of hours
    -we have speech (very few others do)
    -we have the abilty to adapt better than any other animal (a lot of it is due to our intelligence)


    Wrong. I'm sure the pygmies and other very basically living tribes in Africa and South America would beg to differ.
    If chimps can learn to understand us, given our DNA is about 93% identical, we can understand their behavior too.
    Wait, do you mean 'be a chimp' or just 'be able to harmoniously live with a group of chimps'?

    I'm not trying to directly say that we are 'smarter' than other animals. I'm saying that human intelligence is what separates us from all the other animals.
    It's not a huge separation, just like the 93% likeness of human/chimp DNA isn't a huge separation, but it's enough.
     
  12. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

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    A side note: If intellect seperates us from animals, shouldn't humans of different intelligence be considered different? If intellect is our measuring stick, shouldn't Albert Einstein rule the world while Joebob Goatf*cker should be little more than a slave?

    If a bonobo is shown to be more intelligent than Joebob, should said bonobo be considered "more evolved"?

    By the way, how does one define intellect, anyway?
     
  13. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

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    mike-are you saying it is intellect or accomplishment that seperates us?

    ie-what use is agriculture to a carnivore? or to a creature which can eat grass and get sufficient nutrients from it? I mean, aren't accomplishments pretty species specific? We are much worse swimmers than dolphins, for example.
     
  14. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Actually a great number of species use tools to some extent.

    Ants.

    Ok, but this is just advanced toolmaking.

    Most animals have language though, although ours is obviously more complex than most if not all.

    I don't know about that. Are you forgetting about insects ?

    No, I mean be a chimp, as in to understand all facets of being a chimp.
    We're all different and yet we're all so much alike.

    Try 99.4%

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    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=92311

    I say it's mostly culture.
     
  15. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Bingo.
     
  16. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    No. And I've thought about that. I say no because we (at least I think) are talking about collective human intelligence. We all know that some are super smart and some are super stupid. I'm talking about the collective intelligence that you would find in the fat part of the bell curve.


    Collective intelligence.

    Collective intelligence.

    There isn't one certain way you can define it, but one way is; the ability to figure out and solve problems.

    Well they kinda go hand in hand. As our intelligence is what has allowed us to make some of those accomplishments.

    In comparison to what?


    True but look at it like this...
    while humans are much worse swimmers than dolphins, we humans can still swim and dolphins can't walk.
    But those aren't accomplisments that can be attributed to intelligence. That's all on evolution there.
     
  17. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Collective intelligence ?
    You have to explain that one..

    Also, IQ tests are devised for humans particularly. It's unfair to compare humans and other animals using a biased test.
    I'd say the ability to survive is a good general test of species intelligence. We still have to earn our wings on that one, as we haven't really been around that long, and we're already digging our own grave.
    In that respect, we might just be one of the stupidest species to ever walk this planet.
     
  18. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    Care to list them (specifically non-primates)?

    Ok, two species out of how many on this planet that do agriculture?


    Of which NO OTHER species on this planet are currently capable of accomplishing.

    This is what I'm saying. Humans are similar to other animals in soooo many ways, but humans are still more evolved and more intelligent than other animals and that's what separates us from them.


    Are you forgetting about arctic and antarctic tundras/eskimos?
    Show me an insect that can survive in climates like that.


    I thought that's what you meant. But it seems like a moot point for this discussion...meaning we can say that no animal knows what it's like to be another animal.


    D'OH. Thats' what I meant. But I remember it as 99.3%. Maybe thats' where I got the 93 from.
     
  19. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    I can get you the examples. But I'm a bit short on time here (previous engagement).
    But I think that what you are calling more evolved and intelligent is nothing more than culture.
    For example, there is no chance in hell that humans that have been raised in isolation from society could ever build a car within a good number of generations. It's knowledge passed on that makes us capable of these things, and that is culture at work.
     
  20. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    The average intelligence of a person. You take einstein's ability and the stupid person's mentality and average them out. And while that's not genius, it's intelligence enough to separate us.
    We could theoretically take the world's smartest chimp and the world's smartest child and put them head to head in an intelligence game, and I bet the child comes out on top. Same for the dumbest chimp vs. the dumbest human child.

    Never once mentioned IQ tests in this context.

    That's due to greed and us not getting along with one another. Has nothing to do with intelligence, just the improper use of it. I'd almost say we have too much ability to survive. That's why we are digging our own grave.


    Nope, just the most arrogant.
     
  21. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    And yet <insert predator or prey here> have their instincts to survive, and pass it along to their offspring. The trouble is, those animals really don't do anything more to survive or make their lives better from generation to generation.
    Take a pack of wolves. They hunt, they explore their territory, they eat they sleep they poop, they have more children. Their children will do the same EXACT thing that their parents do...they've been doing that for generations. Why haven't they progressed over the past 15,000 years like humans have?
     
  22. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Ok, last post (I'll address that previous one later).
    Humans come into this world rather stupid compared to other species. That is why humans have evolved storytelling i.e. the ability to pass on and understand retained knowledge in the form of language.
    So really.. it's our initial stupidity that separates us from other species

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  23. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    Which no other animal has?
    Animals come into this world just as stupid; they are born with instinct, not intelligence. There is a difference between the two.


    You mean our initial lack of instinct?
     

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