# What seperates man from anything else?

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

1. ### wise acreRegistered Senior Member

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We really don´t know how intelligent dolphins are, for example. Their brains to body ratio is similar to ours. They have a very different life, based on highly complex, intimate communication and perception. They are not as good at us at choosing the next number in a sequence and other IQ test type questions. But that is only one form of intelligence.

3. ### mikenosticStop pretending you're smart!Registered Senior Member

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Show me where I said dolphins weren't smart. Those little guys are damn smart.

5. ### SciencelovahRegistered Senior Member

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Man is animal, end of discussion.

No way

I agree with some other posters, the main thing that differs one from the other is intelligence. We can always make a list of what one can do that the other can't. For example, man has the ability to create artificial environment when natural environment doesn't support them.

7. ### wise acreRegistered Senior Member

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I meant that we cannot assume we are smarter than them. It seemed you were doing that.

Note how I began.

I obviously did not say you thought they weren't smart. Reading your post however it is clear you think bonoboes are smarter and that humans are way beyond both. I don't know how you can be sure bonoboes are smarter than dolphins. I am also making the more controversial suggestion that we do not know we are smarter than dolphins.

8. ### mikenosticStop pretending you're smart!Registered Senior Member

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I won't concede we are smarter than dolphins, but we are MUCH more capable than they are.
And yeah, it's kinda sortof difficult to gauge, but given our status on this planet, it's hard to say we're not the most intelligent.

Plus, here's a list of SEVERAL websites that also list intelligence
http://www.enotes.com/science-fact-finder/animal-world/besides-humans-which-animals-most-intelligent

Interesting comments on this article. Most of which parallel ours, but they seem to have a collective agreeance that humans are indeed the most intelligent.

An interesting point of view. Author seems to break it down quite nicely.
http://www.wonderquest.com/takeoff-smartest-animals-casey-at-the-bat.htm#smartest-animals

Really interesting article:
http://www.wonderquest.com/next-smartest.htm

9. ### Baron MaxRegistered Senior Member

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We're the only animal that willingly, intentionally, destroys it's own habitat as well as that of all the other animals, ...and then use our vocal abilities to try to make excuses for doing it.

Baron Max

10. ### -ND-Human PrototypeRegistered Senior Member

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Lol you guys are funny. The only difference is that we can think and they can't.

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Imagination.

12. ### EnmosValued Senior Member

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Look, I'll get you the examples if you want, but I feel they would be beside the point.
We are in disagreement that intelligence is what sets us apart from other animals, this, on my part, despite the fact that humans are obviously more intelligent (by our own definitions) than other animals.
I say by far the biggest difference between us and other animals is culture, not intelligence.
By the way, I was more or less joking in the post you replied to here

13. ### RomanBannedBanned

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The reasons for us being special are, largely, because we say we are. Everything else boils down to "humans are unique because they have humanness".

Look at all the "intelligences" listed here. We're really good at using sticks and talking about it?

14. ### swarmRegistered Senior Member

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The main thing which makes us different is our ability to think we are different.

15. ### Mr. Hamtasticwhackawhackado!Registered Senior Member

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I think I have to agree with Roman. It doesn't look like we have anything tangible, because we gave the definition for everything, rendering our declarations meaningless.

16. ### sniffyBannedBanned

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Sigh.

Given the right environmental circumstances and a certain amount of developmental time there is no reason on earth why some other creatures wouldn't evolve to be as intelligent as humans. Not the same as humans but certainly as intelligent. Or, consider this, even more intelligent.

I can imagine a whale would have the potential to evolve a far superior intelligence to that of humans.

17. ### Mr. Hamtasticwhackawhackado!Registered Senior Member

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Hamsters would rule the Universe.

18. ### mikenosticStop pretending you're smart!Registered Senior Member

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Well it's very hard to discern sarcasm through internet forum font. Haha.

Culture isn't what separates us from animals. Chimps and Gorillas have a social structure and culture (in their own way)
Killing one another for food and territory doesn't separate us. Rival chimp groups will fight just like gangs do, for food and territory. They will kill (and sometimes even eat) their own.

It is the combination of intelligence, total learning capacity/potential AND physical capability. Someone list an animal that does have all three of those together (you won't be able to).
Let's say dolphins were just as smart as us, yet they don't have our capability.
They do not have opposable digits to grab something and build something with it. They might have all the intelligence in the world to build something (a building or machine), but not the physical capability.
Great apes have the physical ability to build stuff like we do (they even have opposable toes...something I'd love to have), but their learning potential is not as high as ours; don't believe me? try to train a bunch of monkeys to build a car, or be part of a skyscraper construction crew. We've trained a chimp to go into space and have sent one, but chimps aren't intelligent enough at this point to figure out how to go into space themselves.

19. ### EnmosValued Senior Member

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Ok, so it appears we're kind of stuck.
The key, imo, is finding an unique property of humans, one that other animals do not possess.. not even in a lesser form.
If we can't find it we're just another animal.

"It is the combination of intelligence, total learning capacity/potential AND physical capability."
Those things alone won't cut it though. You need a culture for that, one that ensures that knowledge is kept, by teaching it to other members of the species.

Our achievements were only possible because of accumulated knowledge, and of course a system to store that knowledge.. spoken and written language.

Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
20. ### TnerbBannedBanned

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Animals are not able to think, humans are creatures of reason.

All this means is that is what animal and humane or rational and rationala or whatever IMO

Humans are the jungle critters and so r animals my question though is where animals belong, in this society
It confuses me.

21. ### mikenosticStop pretending you're smart!Registered Senior Member

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This is our @#$%#$% unique property! :splat:

And you'll notice the thread title, What separates man from anything else?
You'll also notice that the thread title does not say, What single unique property separates man from anything else?
Do you see it anywhere, because I don't.
Now in light of that, I feel that I did answer the question given the OP and the title of the thread. I'm sorry if it doesn't fit YOUR definition, but you're not the OP and you didn't ask the question. Just sayin'

Any other animal have a spoken AND written language? Didn't think so. That yet again falls on the combination of intelligence AND capability.

22. ### Mr. Hamtasticwhackawhackado!Registered Senior Member

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Let's say I built a robot, and I put into it a strong general AI. Is this "Machine Life" greater than man because it has the qualities you are talking about, and does everything better?

23. ### Mr. Hamtasticwhackawhackado!Registered Senior Member

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If those qualities make man... greater than animals, then doesn't it follow that the "best" of our species should be able to subjugate their "lesser" brethren in the same way man treats "animals"?