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Old 2020-05-09, 19:43   #1
MooMoo2
 
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Default If all species had the same intelligence as humans, what would the world be like?

Suppose it's 20,000 BC. The Neanderthals have become extinct, and there is no written language, no domesticated animals, no organized warfare, and no (or extremely few) humans in North or South America.

At this point, all species the size of an ant and larger gain the same intelligence as humans. What would the world have looked like today? Would humans still be the dominant species?

I don't see how plants or underwater species would be able to create industrial civilization, so the dominant species would almost certainly be one or more land animals. Many of them (like snails) don't have the body parts to easily use complex tools, so they can probably be eliminated as potential threats. Chimps and gorillas, though, would have the advantage of having our intelligence and opposable thumbs while being stronger than us. So will the world look like Planet of the Apes?
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Old 2020-05-09, 20:14   #2
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Originally Posted by MooMoo2 View Post
I don't see how plants or underwater species would be able to create industrial civilization
Sounds like a failure of imagination to me. Octopodes have excellent manipulative appendages, better than ours, and very good eyesight. They are already tool users. They are as comfortable above water as we are under it.

Anyway, it is not clear to me that an industrial civilization is the pinnacle of success just because we have developed one.

Personally I believe that the only reason that rodents aren't top species, in some sense, is because primates got there first. There is an excellent chance, IMO, that they will take over eventually.

I could make a strong case that the most successful species in recent history are a small number of grasses: specifically wheat, maize and rice. They have co-opted Homo sapiens into their reproductive strategy so that they now inhabit essentially everywhere which isn't covered in ice or sand for much of the year.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2020-05-09 at 20:17
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Old 2020-05-10, 01:02   #3
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Sounds like a failure of imagination to me. Octopodes have excellent manipulative appendages, better than ours, and very good eyesight. They are already tool users. They are as comfortable above water as we are under it.

Personally I believe that the only reason that rodents aren't top species, in some sense, is because primates got there first. There is an excellent chance, IMO, that they will take over eventually.
It's certainly possible for rodents to become top species, but I still don't see how any marine species can rise to the top of the food chain the way humans have done unless they can also survive out of the water for significant periods of time. You can't really do things like smelt metals underwater, let alone develop something resembling modern vehicles, weaponry, and communication systems. It's also far easier for land species to grab animals from the sea (i.e., bears catching salmon) than vice-versa.
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Old 2020-05-10, 01:57   #4
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Quote:
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You can't really do things like smelt metals underwater, let alone develop something resembling modern vehicles, weaponry, and communication systems.
Then it depends upon what you mean by "dominant species".

All the dolphins ever do is muck about in the water and have a good time. Perhaps they are the ones that have really figured things out. Those stupid humans are still of the mistaken belief that somehow technology is making their lives better. Haha, those stupid humans, what were they thinking. Stressing themselves out over stupid nonsense, instead of enjoying themselves.
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Old 2020-05-10, 07:50   #5
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It's also far easier for land species to grab animals from the sea (i.e., bears catching salmon) than vice-versa.



I'll address the technology aspect of your post later, after I've re-caffeinated.
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Old 2020-05-10, 19:13   #6
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
All the dolphins ever do is muck about in the water and have a good time. Perhaps they are the ones that have really figured things out. Those stupid humans are still of the mistaken belief that somehow technology is making their lives better. Haha, those stupid humans, what were they thinking. Stressing themselves out over stupid nonsense, instead of enjoying themselves.
The problem for the dolphins and the other non-human species is that we are busily using our oh-so-superior intelligence and the industrial technology it gave rise to to foul their habitat, not just our own.
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Old 2020-05-11, 01:35   #7
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The problem for the dolphins and the other non-human species is that we are busily using our oh-so-superior intelligence and the industrial technology it gave rise to to foul their habitat, not just our own.
The following The Far Side cartoon comes to mind...
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Old 2020-05-11, 16:40   #8
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The following The Far Side cartoon comes to mind...
LOL! Cockroaches basking in the radiation.
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Old 2020-05-11, 21:41   #9
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What if the rules were "First species to find and prove a million digit prime number wins" ? My guess -

Species: Possums
Time needed: 3,000 years
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Old 2020-05-11, 22:22   #10
ixfd64
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One thing for sure is that humans and cats would constantly be fighting for political power.
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Old 2020-05-11, 23:48   #11
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Quote:
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One thing for sure is that humans and cats would constantly be fighting for political power.
Maybe you didn't get the memo, but the cats already won that battle - they get us to do everything they want us to do, and get to enjoy being cats, which mostly means sleeping wherever they want, 18-20 hours a day. The few waking hours are spent prowling, yowling, eating, grooming and being stroked - but the latter only when they want it.

I kinda doubt they're interested in politics, they're not team players - the expression "herding cats" arose for a reason - and all that organizing, fundraising and lying-on-TV would interfere with sleeping. Why do all that work when you already got your human staff catering to your every want?

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-05-11 at 23:49
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