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Inheritors of the Earth?

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by NatGeo, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. NatGeo

    NatGeo kauai
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    Will probably update this with my thoughts when I can get them on the keyboard.

    Watching an old documentary called “The Future is Wild” got my mind going about sentient beings, what they are, and what can and will become of them.

    ----

    Right now there is only being that can think in the abstract: us. Humans are one of the only organisms which currently can think in the abstract. However, primates close to the genus Homo, like chimpanzees, are probably close enough that they could form a ‘culture’ if given the right place and right time.

    One could say another group that could be close to culture is the cephalopods. They already have very large brains for their size, surely for the fact that they have to manage all eight of their tentacles in unison and individually manage its chromatophores, like pixels on a computer. In all actuality, Cephalopods are one of the best contestants for civilization, albeit not in the near future. Cousteau wrote on one of his diving expeditions, in fact, that a colony of octopi had built houses. Interesting topic indeed.

    There are other animals, too, like dolphins, that have a bit less of a chance of becoming intelligent enough to think abstract. Many are extremely social. There are probably many animals that can be considered close to sentient, but do not have nearly have enough potential as cephalopods and primates.

    -----

    Intelligence , and also a change in world history as we know it, possibly could have happened in some surprisingly different ways and places if not for coincidence, in all actuality. Something like this is very interesting. Asides from that, there is also this by the same author and artist, who has a knack for this type of thing, saying what many have echoed before: if it weren’t for that darn meteor, Therapods could have gone somewhere with the intelligence they already had. However, it didn’t, so this will always be limited to speculation.

    However, there is almost a unanimous certainty that there is already intelligence, culture, even civilization somewhere out in the stars. Where, we don’t know, but it is probably out there. There are many ideas where, but that’s to be talked about later.

    -----

    Some food for thought there. What do you think, based on current factors today, and a little bit of speculation, could and possibly will be 'heirs to the Earth'?


    Also some links I found interesting:

    One on Cuttlefish
    This episode always gets me thinking, especially near the end.

    Discuss.
  2. Alan

    Alan

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    what the fuck is this thread supposed to be about

    edit: oh, if what UncleSame is saying is right (in response to me), the answer would be the meek.
  3. UncleSam

    UncleSam

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    I think the OP is asking "who do you think the next dominant species on earth will be/who will inherit the world from us" but it isn't really spelled out clearly.

    Also we can't possibly predict evolution other than that whatever replaces us (highly likely to be our own offspring anyway, just so evolved we don't recognize them as "human" anymore) is going to be stronger/smarter/<insert favorable trait here>.

    Maybe the OP could clarify?
  4. Morm

    Morm

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    Anything speculating the future or unknowns of life is pure arm waving and isn't worthwhile. You have no idea what pressures there are now or in the future. Take us for example- would ANYONE have predicted 1 million years ago that a giant headed, paedomorphic (30+ traits!), weak bodied ape would survive the onslaught of cats and other treats in Africa? It doesn't take more than ONE novel trait to be a riotous success, especially if that trait is for generalism and the environment changes.

    One thing that can be assured is that humanity is selecting for stupidity and poverty- families that are educated, competent and well to do have 1.5 kids or less on average whereas you get families with notably less to offer offering up more stupidity per capita.
  5. sonickid01

    sonickid01

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    Dolphins will be the next inheritors of the earth. They're already so damn intelligent to start with. They can survive meteors that impact land and wipe us out by hiding under the water. Then the bones in their fins enlarge and they move back to land as two legged fish looking things with no tails, like heads directly connected to legs.

    Or that was my nightmare from last tuesday, but I dunno.
  6. Professor Lamb

    Professor Lamb

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    I think that by the time humans are wiped out, the world will no longer be a place any living thing can live in. I mean, you have global warming already, and you can just imagine what other horrors are to come.
  7. Morm

    Morm

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    "Global warming" is a "horror"? You are so drastically misinformed about how climate change works it's frightening. Climate change has happened millions (if not billions) of times in the history of the Earth and it will keep happening. It's not a HUGE deal, things change, things die out, lie evolves to suit a new environment. Pretty simple.
  8. Eraddd

    Eraddd One Pixel
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    Quote for freaking truth. Global Warming is misrepresented in the media, especially with Al Gore's "We're all gonna fucking die because polar bears are dying." While it's true that we should not squander our natural resources, nor should we just keep on throwing pollutants into the air (assuming we do want to live on this Earth as long as possible), there are more compelling theories to suit the recent climate shifts. More likely is the fact that the Earth itself will undergo climate shift within itself due to the fluctuation of the electromagnetic radiation from the Sun itself. The rise in CO2 can be explained in the fact that as the Earth heats up, CO2 within the oceans is released, causing a rise in levels.
  9. Obsessed

    Obsessed

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    The correct answer is: cockroaches
  10. Morm

    Morm

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    roaches aren't as tough as everyone thinks. They can just survive higher doses of radiation than most animals. The ones I raised at one point were bitchier than the reptiles they fed!

    Eradd- you are also misinformed. The correct answer is that there is so much data, both known and unknown, that every model is so wrong that it's just silly.

    Edit: Also, with regards to chimps- there is a troop right now about 3 times the size of the others that does raids, annexes and cannibalizes those that get in their way. Their culture has been seen not only to be more violent, but also more possessive of items. Oh and Capuchin monkeys have a sense of economy.
  11. MrIndigo

    MrIndigo

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    @Morm: Can't cockroaches survive for 11 days or something without their head?
  12. Morm

    Morm

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    myth.

    Let me be more specific:

    [​IMG]

    Their CNS is vastly less centralized than ours. Without a head, they don't get sensory input- so while they can 'live', the are highly unlikely to. Their shelf life is how long it takes for them to consume their fat body (liver) and other bits, aka starve to death, and they may stumble around but have little coordination. It will mostly be an existence of clinging to shit. That is also assuming they don't bleed out haemolymph on the spot from their open circulatory system. You will notice that while their primary abdominal and thoracic ganglia are both larger than the supraoesophogeal ganglion (=brain) they serve different functions and aren't necessarily directly correlateable.

    As for vertebrates...

    A few cases have been observed of headless chickens doing quite well, like mike!
  13. NatGeo

    NatGeo kauai
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    Hm, I always thought that was true.

    I strongly believe in the cephalopods, if just for the fact that I was pretty much brainwashed by having that as my first impression of a possible future culture.

    Anyways, anyone read the article on Cuttlefish? Seems interesting enough how they acted.
  14. Professor Lamb

    Professor Lamb

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    Ah, thanks for that. Sorry, but the stuff I've been reading about global warming makes it look a lot more dangerous than how it really is I guess (Al Gore).
  15. Morm

    Morm

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    Cuttlefish live AT MOST like a year. Octopods live AT MOST about 2 years. Those are the two smartest ones...Cephalopods proper have existed (arguably) for ~510 million years and have done precisely fuck all to develop culture beyond chromatophores and some mildly interesting behavior. Cephalopods can solve problems, but there just isn't the pressure to develop smarts- they can easily live off their speed, strength and general deadlyness.

    They were certainly around in the Ordovician, by the way.
  16. Eraddd

    Eraddd One Pixel
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    I'm just throwing one of the theories out there. I'm not saying my model is necessarily right, but I would probably believe mine over Global Warming.

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