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Size vs intelligence

Indophile
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11/4/2011 2:57:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Is there a correlation?

I mean, is there a size limit for a lifeform to become intelligent. I somehow just can't imagine creatures that are very massive to develop intelligence and build civilizations.

Such a large size would mean having to feed most of the time, leaving very little time to actually do anything else.

Of course, I'm talking about Earth here, not some huge planet with unending resources.
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Indophile
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11/4/2011 3:14:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 3:07:21 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Having to eat all the time depends mainly on metabolism, not size.

Yes, but a large size would be indicative of a proportionately large eating time? Or are you saying that lifeforms can grow to a large size without eating for much of the time?
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Wnope
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11/4/2011 3:42:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You should rephrase your question:

Is there an upper bound to animal size which restricts intelligence?

I say that because any correlation can be poked through using examples like dolphins vs. crabs vs mice vs. dinosaurs vs. whales vs. elephants vs. termites....
Indophile
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11/4/2011 3:50:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 3:42:23 PM, Wnope wrote:
You should rephrase your question:

Is there an upper bound to animal size which restricts intelligence?

I say that because any correlation can be poked through using examples like dolphins vs. crabs vs mice vs. dinosaurs vs. whales vs. elephants vs. termites....

Well, ok.

So, is there an upper bound to an animals size which restricts intelligence?
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Ore_Ele
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11/4/2011 4:15:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 3:50:42 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2011 3:42:23 PM, Wnope wrote:
You should rephrase your question:

Is there an upper bound to animal size which restricts intelligence?

I say that because any correlation can be poked through using examples like dolphins vs. crabs vs mice vs. dinosaurs vs. whales vs. elephants vs. termites....

Well, ok.

So, is there an upper bound to an animals size which restricts intelligence?

Animals that eat the most are not always the biggest.

Example. Whales often go most of the year without eating before binging for a few months. And humming birds and shrews must eat more than their entire body weight every single day to stay alive. So I don't think that "size" will actually impose a solid limit (either upper or lower), apart from being too small may get to the point where there is not enough space for sufficient neuron transmitters.
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Ore_Ele
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11/4/2011 4:38:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 4:33:18 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 11/4/2011 4:13:08 PM, innomen wrote:
Wow, did i misinterpret this thread's title.

what did you think it meant?

"Size" as in, the size of your summer sausage.
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Ren
Posts: 7,102
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11/4/2011 6:23:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 2:57:02 PM, Indophile wrote:
Is there a correlation?

I mean, is there a size limit for a lifeform to become intelligent. I somehow just can't imagine creatures that are very massive to develop intelligence and build civilizations.

Such a large size would mean having to feed most of the time, leaving very little time to actually do anything else.

Of course, I'm talking about Earth here, not some huge planet with unending resources.

I doubt there's any correlation. We are not the largest animals, yet we are the most intelligent. However, the largest land animals (elephants) and sea animals (blue whales) are actually markedly intelligent.
Indophile
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11/4/2011 9:13:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 6:23:09 PM, Ren wrote:
At 11/4/2011 2:57:02 PM, Indophile wrote:
Is there a correlation?

I mean, is there a size limit for a lifeform to become intelligent. I somehow just can't imagine creatures that are very massive to develop intelligence and build civilizations.

Such a large size would mean having to feed most of the time, leaving very little time to actually do anything else.

Of course, I'm talking about Earth here, not some huge planet with unending resources.

I doubt there's any correlation. We are not the largest animals, yet we are the most intelligent. However, the largest land animals (elephants) and sea animals (blue whales) are actually markedly intelligent.

I was actually talking about intelligence in the sense that it can manipulate the environment and rise over instinct. I believe I mentioned building civilization type of intelligence.
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Ren
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11/4/2011 9:36:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 9:13:36 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2011 6:23:09 PM, Ren wrote:
At 11/4/2011 2:57:02 PM, Indophile wrote:
Is there a correlation?

I mean, is there a size limit for a lifeform to become intelligent. I somehow just can't imagine creatures that are very massive to develop intelligence and build civilizations.

Such a large size would mean having to feed most of the time, leaving very little time to actually do anything else.

Of course, I'm talking about Earth here, not some huge planet with unending resources.

I doubt there's any correlation. We are not the largest animals, yet we are the most intelligent. However, the largest land animals (elephants) and sea animals (blue whales) are actually markedly intelligent.

I was actually talking about intelligence in the sense that it can manipulate the environment and rise over instinct. I believe I mentioned building civilization type of intelligence.

Ohhh, I see, your main concern is the capacity to develop due to increased bodily maintenance.

I don't think that would make much of a difference aside from scale.

What I mean is that a larger animal will not necessarily take longer to eat an adequate quantity of food because they have proportionately larger body parts to help them get the job done, i.e., larger mouths, larger teeth, larger stomaches, etc.
RoyLatham
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11/5/2011 1:28:45 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Large creatures just need either large things to eat or lots of small things. Some whales just suck up krill. Also, some whales do not eat for the entire summer. Whale brains are a couple hundred pounds. One theory is that the high brain capacity is used for processing their "sonar" signals. It seems that intelligence wouldn't be a problem for a large creature.

There is a problem with structural limits imposed by the strength of bone. Creatures much larger than dinosaurs would have difficulty supporting themselves without bones breaking. Whale-sized creatures must be floating so they don't have to bear the weight on limbs.

Octopi are very intelligent. Maybe they could evolve into something capable of civilization building.
Indophile
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11/5/2011 11:22:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 9:36:33 PM, Ren wrote:
At 11/4/2011 9:13:36 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2011 6:23:09 PM, Ren wrote:
At 11/4/2011 2:57:02 PM, Indophile wrote:
Is there a correlation?

I mean, is there a size limit for a lifeform to become intelligent. I somehow just can't imagine creatures that are very massive to develop intelligence and build civilizations.

Such a large size would mean having to feed most of the time, leaving very little time to actually do anything else.

Of course, I'm talking about Earth here, not some huge planet with unending resources.

I doubt there's any correlation. We are not the largest animals, yet we are the most intelligent. However, the largest land animals (elephants) and sea animals (blue whales) are actually markedly intelligent.

I was actually talking about intelligence in the sense that it can manipulate the environment and rise over instinct. I believe I mentioned building civilization type of intelligence.

Ohhh, I see, your main concern is the capacity to develop due to increased bodily maintenance.

I don't think that would make much of a difference aside from scale.

What I mean is that a larger animal will not necessarily take longer to eat an adequate quantity of food because they have proportionately larger body parts to help them get the job done, i.e., larger mouths, larger teeth, larger stomaches, etc.

Wouldn't a large co-operative enterprise like building a civilization need many individuals?

Having so many individuals compete for earthly resources, especially when the individuals are so big, wouldn't there be an energy crisis?
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Indophile
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11/5/2011 11:24:29 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/5/2011 1:28:45 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
Large creatures just need either large things to eat or lots of small things. Some whales just suck up krill. Also, some whales do not eat for the entire summer. Whale brains are a couple hundred pounds. One theory is that the high brain capacity is used for processing their "sonar" signals. It seems that intelligence wouldn't be a problem for a large creature.

There is a problem with structural limits imposed by the strength of bone. Creatures much larger than dinosaurs would have difficulty supporting themselves without bones breaking. Whale-sized creatures must be floating so they don't have to bear the weight on limbs.

Octopi are very intelligent. Maybe they could evolve into something capable of civilization building.

I was talking about problems of finding energy sources for everybody by being so large. That's the only thing that limits living beings, I think.

Imagine whale sized creatures developing civilizations. Could the earth sustain such a civilization?
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SuperRobotWars
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11/5/2011 12:41:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/5/2011 11:24:29 AM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/5/2011 1:28:45 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
Large creatures just need either large things to eat or lots of small things. Some whales just suck up krill. Also, some whales do not eat for the entire summer. Whale brains are a couple hundred pounds. One theory is that the high brain capacity is used for processing their "sonar" signals. It seems that intelligence wouldn't be a problem for a large creature.

There is a problem with structural limits imposed by the strength of bone. Creatures much larger than dinosaurs would have difficulty supporting themselves without bones breaking. Whale-sized creatures must be floating so they don't have to bear the weight on limbs.

Octopi are very intelligent. Maybe they could evolve into something capable of civilization building.

I was talking about problems of finding energy sources for everybody by being so large. That's the only thing that limits living beings, I think.

Imagine whale sized creatures developing civilizations. Could the earth sustain such a civilization?

Depends on how they behave. Their rates of reproduction, metabolism, organisms necessary for their survival, as well as social and cultural conditioning [determining which way they view world]. Their civilization could work as long as they don't act overly much like modern homo sapiens.
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Cerebral_Narcissist
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11/5/2011 1:17:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 4:38:36 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/4/2011 4:33:18 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 11/4/2011 4:13:08 PM, innomen wrote:
Wow, did i misinterpret this thread's title.

what did you think it meant?

"Size" as in, the size of your summer sausage.

Yea I love a good barbecue, I always make sure to get my fill of wiener.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
nerdykiller
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11/6/2011 2:35:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/4/2011 9:13:36 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2011 6:23:09 PM, Ren wrote:
At 11/4/2011 2:57:02 PM, Indophile wrote:
Is there a correlation?

I mean, is there a size limit for a lifeform to become intelligent. I somehow just can't imagine creatures that are very massive to develop intelligence and build civilizations.

Such a large size would mean having to feed most of the time, leaving very little time to actually do anything else.

Of course, I'm talking about Earth here, not some huge planet with unending resources.

I doubt there's any correlation. We are not the largest animals, yet we are the most intelligent. However, the largest land animals (elephants) and sea animals (blue whales) are actually markedly intelligent.

I was actually talking about intelligence in the sense that it can manipulate the environment and rise over instinct. I believe I mentioned building civilization type of intelligence.

Are you asking this like the example of POLAR BEARS (size) to MONKEYs (brains)?
If thats the case then no matter how big you are or intelligent either way creatures will create their own way of life to be fruitful in this world. IF Size fights Intelligence it depends on the situation. No matter how smart you might be you are still gonna gt beat up. Its like a human fighting a bear, of course human is smarter, but if bear gets you then you dead.
Its all about the situation.
Ren
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11/6/2011 2:44:46 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/5/2011 11:22:26 AM, Indophile wrote:

Wouldn't a large co-operative enterprise like building a civilization need many individuals?

Having so many individuals compete for earthly resources, especially when the individuals are so big, wouldn't there be an energy crisis?

Oh, I see where you're going with this.

Well, see, I think that adaptation kind of works opposite of that.

What I mean is, animals evolve based on their surroundings. Therefore, it's technically impossible that an animal would evolve to become too large for the available resources on this planet.

But, the scenario that you're referring to isn't limited to size, in any case. It can also mainfest from magnitude, as well. Therefore, even if a civilization isn't large enough, if too many of them come about, the same energy crisis can result. It's something that some population theorists warn about.
Ore_Ele
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11/7/2011 11:38:36 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/5/2011 11:22:26 AM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2011 9:36:33 PM, Ren wrote:
At 11/4/2011 9:13:36 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/4/2011 6:23:09 PM, Ren wrote:
At 11/4/2011 2:57:02 PM, Indophile wrote:
Is there a correlation?

I mean, is there a size limit for a lifeform to become intelligent. I somehow just can't imagine creatures that are very massive to develop intelligence and build civilizations.

Such a large size would mean having to feed most of the time, leaving very little time to actually do anything else.

Of course, I'm talking about Earth here, not some huge planet with unending resources.

I doubt there's any correlation. We are not the largest animals, yet we are the most intelligent. However, the largest land animals (elephants) and sea animals (blue whales) are actually markedly intelligent.

I was actually talking about intelligence in the sense that it can manipulate the environment and rise over instinct. I believe I mentioned building civilization type of intelligence.

Ohhh, I see, your main concern is the capacity to develop due to increased bodily maintenance.

I don't think that would make much of a difference aside from scale.

What I mean is that a larger animal will not necessarily take longer to eat an adequate quantity of food because they have proportionately larger body parts to help them get the job done, i.e., larger mouths, larger teeth, larger stomaches, etc.

Wouldn't a large co-operative enterprise like building a civilization need many individuals?

Having so many individuals compete for earthly resources, especially when the individuals are so big, wouldn't there be an energy crisis?

Probably not at first. When humans were starting out with civilizations, the world population was only a few million, and the civilizations were only a few hundred thousand each. Since then, we've grown over 100 fold in population size, and will likely continue to about 10 billion. There seems to be no reason to think that an animal the size of a whale could not form mini-civilizations out of a few 100 and grow to fit the world sizes. It would obviously start out in the form of farming (trying to make an environment ideal for their food to grow), and go from there.
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RoyLatham
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11/7/2011 12:40:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I read that squid are the most successful species on earth. The total mass of squid is more than that of humans. Squid suffer no problem with energy shortages.

I doubt that humans will ever be severely limited by energy shortages. Solar power is unlimited, and in space it is 24/7. It's only a question of cost, and that seems to be to be solvable.

The evolutionary force behind developing intelligence and civilization is survival under a wide variety of difficult circumstances. Squid have been successful by finding an ecological niche that is large and not very challenging.
Indophile
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11/7/2011 3:27:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/7/2011 12:40:45 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
I read that squid are the most successful species on earth. The total mass of squid is more than that of humans. Squid suffer no problem with energy shortages.

I doubt that humans will ever be severely limited by energy shortages. Solar power is unlimited, and in space it is 24/7. It's only a question of cost, and that seems to be to be solvable.

The evolutionary force behind developing intelligence and civilization is survival under a wide variety of difficult circumstances. Squid have been successful by finding an ecological niche that is large and not very challenging.

But wouldn't you say that having a large size would be an evolutionary "dis"advantage to developing intelligence? Why use brains when you can just ignore enemies, or swat them away?

Wouldn't relatively smaller creatures necessarily be the ones to develop intelligence as a way to cope with their lack of physical abilities and strengths?
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Ore_Ele
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11/7/2011 3:35:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/7/2011 3:27:16 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 11/7/2011 12:40:45 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
I read that squid are the most successful species on earth. The total mass of squid is more than that of humans. Squid suffer no problem with energy shortages.

I doubt that humans will ever be severely limited by energy shortages. Solar power is unlimited, and in space it is 24/7. It's only a question of cost, and that seems to be to be solvable.

The evolutionary force behind developing intelligence and civilization is survival under a wide variety of difficult circumstances. Squid have been successful by finding an ecological niche that is large and not very challenging.

You might think so, but being small has the defensive advantage of being better at hiding.

But wouldn't you say that having a large size would be an evolutionary "dis"advantage to developing intelligence? Why use brains when you can just ignore enemies, or swat them away?

Wouldn't relatively smaller creatures necessarily be the ones to develop intelligence as a way to cope with their lack of physical abilities and strengths?
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Greyparrot
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11/7/2011 5:07:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I am suprised that no-one brought a smaller size leading to more opportunities for evolutionary mutation advancement with more units of life cycling.
Ore_Ele
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11/7/2011 5:33:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/7/2011 5:07:56 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
I am suprised that no-one brought a smaller size leading to more opportunities for evolutionary mutation advancement with more units of life cycling.

While true, that only means that they'll find their genetic niche faster, and can adapt faster, but if that niche is still not focused around intellegence, they aren't going to move to that direction.
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Greyparrot
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11/7/2011 5:35:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/7/2011 5:33:32 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:07:56 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
I am suprised that no-one brought a smaller size leading to more opportunities for evolutionary mutation advancement with more units of life cycling.

While true, that only means that they'll find their genetic niche faster, and can adapt faster, but if that niche is still not focused around intellegence, they aren't going to move to that direction.

That's a good point, evidence would suggest that physical limitations would spur intelligence- oh hairless ape.
Ore_Ele
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11/7/2011 6:59:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/7/2011 5:35:49 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:33:32 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:07:56 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
I am suprised that no-one brought a smaller size leading to more opportunities for evolutionary mutation advancement with more units of life cycling.

While true, that only means that they'll find their genetic niche faster, and can adapt faster, but if that niche is still not focused around intellegence, they aren't going to move to that direction.

That's a good point, evidence would suggest that physical limitations would spur intelligence- oh hairless ape.

But what is "physical limitations"? Surely, we appear weak next to large animals, but to a bunny rabbit, we appear pretty dang strong (this is totally setup for a monty python clip, feel free to use it). We also must ask, did we gain intelligence because we were weak? Or did we get weak because we were gaining intelligence?
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Ren
Posts: 7,102
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11/7/2011 7:26:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/7/2011 6:59:41 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:35:49 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:33:32 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:07:56 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
I am suprised that no-one brought a smaller size leading to more opportunities for evolutionary mutation advancement with more units of life cycling.

While true, that only means that they'll find their genetic niche faster, and can adapt faster, but if that niche is still not focused around intellegence, they aren't going to move to that direction.

That's a good point, evidence would suggest that physical limitations would spur intelligence- oh hairless ape.

But what is "physical limitations"? Surely, we appear weak next to large animals, but to a bunny rabbit, we appear pretty dang strong (this is totally setup for a monty python clip, feel free to use it). We also must ask, did we gain intelligence because we were weak? Or did we get weak because we were gaining intelligence?

But, you forget--though physically strong, we still have the where-with-all and intelligence to quote thy necessary holy scripture that enables us to use the proper holy grenade...
Ore_Ele
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11/7/2011 7:29:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/7/2011 7:26:13 PM, Ren wrote:
At 11/7/2011 6:59:41 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:35:49 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:33:32 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:07:56 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
I am suprised that no-one brought a smaller size leading to more opportunities for evolutionary mutation advancement with more units of life cycling.

While true, that only means that they'll find their genetic niche faster, and can adapt faster, but if that niche is still not focused around intellegence, they aren't going to move to that direction.

That's a good point, evidence would suggest that physical limitations would spur intelligence- oh hairless ape.

But what is "physical limitations"? Surely, we appear weak next to large animals, but to a bunny rabbit, we appear pretty dang strong (this is totally setup for a monty python clip, feel free to use it). We also must ask, did we gain intelligence because we were weak? Or did we get weak because we were gaining intelligence?

But, you forget--though physically strong, we still have the where-with-all and intelligence to quote thy necessary holy scripture that enables us to use the proper holy grenade...

Less, but we lack the intelligence to properly count.
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Indophile
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11/8/2011 10:36:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/7/2011 6:59:41 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:35:49 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:33:32 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/7/2011 5:07:56 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
I am suprised that no-one brought a smaller size leading to more opportunities for evolutionary mutation advancement with more units of life cycling.

While true, that only means that they'll find their genetic niche faster, and can adapt faster, but if that niche is still not focused around intellegence, they aren't going to move to that direction.

That's a good point, evidence would suggest that physical limitations would spur intelligence- oh hairless ape.

But what is "physical limitations"? Surely, we appear weak next to large animals, but to a bunny rabbit, we appear pretty dang strong (this is totally setup for a monty python clip, feel free to use it). We also must ask, did we gain intelligence because we were weak? Or did we get weak because we were gaining intelligence?

Physical limitations would mean not having great physical abilities, like strength, speed, etc.

A bunny rabbit may be weak, but it's fast.

I'd think we gained intelligence because we are neither strong enough to defend ourselves from predators, or fast enough to catch prey using just our physical abilities.
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