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Thread: Could we breed an animals as intelligent as human?

  1. #1 Could we breed an animals as intelligent as human? 
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    Is it possible to breed an animal as intelligent as human with help of genetic engineering or selection?
    For example,we could gradually increase size of brain and number of neurons in their brains.
    What kind of juridical regulations exist on this matter? I could imagine two variants: 1)A creature will be
    similar to a human an in this case an owner will have serious problem with police trying to explan what is it
    and where it came from.2)A creature will be similar to an animal and then it would be up to police to prove
    that this creature have intelligence comparable to that of human...


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    Probably, given enough time.


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    I agree... time is the key element. Moreover, the knowledge about our nervous system is not as complete as it must be, in order to achieve such results.
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    i think it would be easier to work the other way than to start from an animal and move towards a human intellegence. if instead we were to start with a human genome it would be rather unethical but far within our technical abilities to change the features of the resultant creature to be physically resembling a different animal than a human, yet retaining the mental capacities of a human.
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    Besides nature, we'd still have the nurture to accomplish. I don't know how that individual could grow to become a competent adult, not a screwed up freak.
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    There is a series of scifi books by David Brin, called the Uplift series, dealing with this. Humans modify both bottlenose dolphins and chimps, giving them intelligence. Then we are discovered by aliens. Aliens accord humans full galactic rights due solely to the fact that we had uplifted two other species.

    OK, that is fiction. However, there is no reason in theory why this would not be possible. Not breeding. It would be full genetic modification, with the insertion of genes for intelligence.
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    i think it would be easier to work the other way than to start from an animal and move towards a human intellegence
    I agree that it would be easier,but in the same time starting from animal and coming to concious creature would be much more interesting because it would prove or disprove evolution theory.I`m wondering why nobody started such experiments, for example on chimps, and didn`t try to use selection to make them more intelligent regardless of time it takes.Maybe it means nobody seriously believe in theory of evolution?Also my question was: what is juridical regulation of such questions?What tests creature should pass in order to classify as a human? And what if somebody whant to have intelligent creature as a pet?
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    I think that if we really wanted to copy our intelligence onto other species, it's not enough just making that species smarter, 'cause then we risk to get a mortal enemy instead of some 'slave' species. The species would also have to mimic our own biological behavior, eg. territorial behavior, pack behavior, dominanse behavior, verbal communication, that sort of thing. And right now, I don't think we have fully defined our own nature. The potential field of error is grossly vast, 'cause at this point we'd be 'designing' such a species in the blind.

    And besides, who says our intelligence is a superior one, worthy of copying onto other species?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    i think it would be easier to work the other way than to start from an animal and move towards a human intellegence
    I agree that it would be easier,but in the same time starting from animal and coming to concious creature would be much more interesting because it would prove or disprove evolution theory.I`m wondering why nobody started such experiments, for example on chimps, and didn`t try to use selection to make them more intelligent regardless of time it takes.Maybe it means nobody seriously believe in theory of evolution?Also my question was: what is juridical regulation of such questions?What tests creature should pass in order to classify as a human? And what if somebody whant to have intelligent creature as a pet?
    It wouldn't proove evolution because it's artificial selection. Evolution is natural selection. Additionally, nothing in science is ever prooved but ideas are refined, there is already substantial evidence available to support evolution that I personally (as well as Pope John Paul II...) accept it as the only explanation for the diversity of life.

    Saying nobody seriously believes in evolution is absurd.

    In order for a creature to classify as human it should be able to produce viable offspring with other humans. No matter how intelligent an animal you produced, it would never be able to do this due to vast genetic barriers.
    Last edited by spoonman; July 20th, 2011 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Typographical error
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    i think it would be easier to work the other way than to start from an animal and move towards a human intellegence
    I agree that it would be easier,but in the same time starting from animal and coming to concious creature would be much more interesting because it would prove or disprove evolution theory.I`m wondering why nobody started such experiments, for example on chimps, and didn`t try to use selection to make them more intelligent regardless of time it takes.
    (1) We didn't evolve from modern chimpanzees.
    (2) We're not entirely sure what happened in the 5-7 million years since our last common ancestor with chimpanzees that made us so smart to begin with.
    (3) It took 5-7 million years, from a starting point that is not 100 percent equivalent to modern chimpanzees. Sure, with artificial selection and complete knowledge of which traits to select for it might not take that long, but it would probably take many generations of selective breeding of an endangered species which, by the way, take 12 - 15 years to mature.
    (4) If artificial selection is all it takes to convince you that evolution is true, just go look at dogs. And cows. And pigs. And chickens. And corn. And....I think you catch my drift.
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    I think that artificial selection would reveal one important thing: Does conciosness depend on certain
    brain characteristics such as brain size and number of neurons in the brain and other physical neuronal
    characteristics.I guess if humans would breed a creature with brains not lesser to human in any physical
    parameter and this creature still would not be classified as human-like, than materialisic explanation
    of conciosness whould experience a serious flaw...
    Also I don`t see a principal difference between naturaland artificial selection.Artificial selection would be
    serious prove of the Darvinism.The most controversal point of Darvinism is evolution of human from
    monkey without any artificial help.I din`t tell that humans descended from the chimps.But darvinism
    still affirms they descended from monkeys.Therefore any monkey step by step could be converted to
    human.As I know chimps have brain 1/3 that of human.Dolphies have brains even larger than humans
    but still only 1/3 of neurons in their brain core from that of humans.
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    As mentioned before, there already are almost countless examples of artificial selection; think of any domesticated animal or crop. Each example shows that modification through is possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Therefore any monkey step by step could be converted to
    human.
    Any monkey? I don't think you see how evolution works, starting with a single species at a particular point in time, there is an established genetic framework that, in the next generation, will contain some mutations in genes that may be beneficial, redundant or harmful, this depends on what the gene is and the environment the species is in. It is likely that signifcantly beneficial mutations will be sustained throughout consequent generations. The point I'm making, is that the initial genetic framework of "any monkey" will be so significantly different from our own, that no matter how many steps you took, the resulting animal would never have a genotype similar enough to humans to enable inter-breeding; at best, it would become human-like in appearance and manner, but the underlying systematic ordering of genes would be distinct.
    We evolved from common ancestors of chimps, but in order to breed a chimp into a human, you would have to reverse its evolution exactly as it occured back to the last common ancestor, then take the exact same steps we took from this point to evolve into humans. As you can see, this is impossible.
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    There was a similar argument (in a way) with travel to another star. Someone suggested we should get the first spaceship under way as soon as possible (how?). My reply is that it would take the best part of 100,000 years to get to the nearest star using today's technology, but in 1000 years it would take mere decades. The first ship sent off today would be overtaken before it got a tiny fraction of the way.

    In the same way, if anyone tried, using today's technology to make an intelligent chimp by breeding, it would take maybe 1000 generations. Long before that was achieved, a future effort using advanced genetic manipulation would make our intelligent chimp much more quickly.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Artificial selection would be
    serious prove of the Darvinism.
    There's no 'would be' about it. It is evidence for evolution. Darwin used contemporary examples of artificial selection to back up theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    The most controversal point of Darvinism is evolution of human from
    monkey without any artificial help.
    Humans didn't evolve from monkeys, at least not directly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    I din`t tell that humans descended from the chimps.But darvinism
    still affirms they descended from monkeys.Therefore any monkey step by step could be converted to
    human.
    Nope. But that's not evidence against evolution, because the theory does not claim you can do this.

    With very careful artificial selection and lots of time, you might be able to produce a species with many characteristics similar to humans, but they wouldn't be humans. Partly because the species of monkey which gave rise to the first hominoids (which then gave rise to the apes which gave rise to humans) no longer exists and partly because it would be practically impossible to exactly replicate that evolutionary path even if they did still exist.
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    It wouldn't be difficult to breed another intelligent species. You would just need time, and a clear set of selection objectives.

    Since there wouldn't be any money in it, it will never happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    It wouldn't be difficult to breed another intelligent species. You would just need time, and a clear set of selection objectives.

    Since there wouldn't be any money in it, it will never happen.
    This reads as cynicism at first glance, but really it's a rather optimistic view of people. In my experience, they'll quite happily pour buckets of money into things with little realistic prospect of making a profit, usually because they just haven't really thought very hard about what they're doing... and being more optimistic, sometimes they'll do it because they believe there'll be a non-monetary profit. Example, €7.5 billion spent on the LHC.
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    The conflation between human intelligence and intelligent as a human is interesting. I think you could breed exceptionally smart animals but they'd likely be in the animals natural range. As an example, most long time pet owners recognize the range in cats(e.g, the cat that reliably plays catch) and dogs. To get more than their natural range would require introducing other genes from other animals. Not even sure we know enough about it anyhow, other than how to create a chimera. And lets say you developed a particularly intelligent dog. Much of that intelligent might be expressed in odd hard to recognize ways--for example a canine who was particularly good at recognizing patterns of smell.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; July 30th, 2011 at 11:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    It wouldn't be difficult to breed another intelligent species. You would just need time, and a clear set of selection objectives.

    Since there wouldn't be any money in it, it will never happen.
    This reads as cynicism at first glance, but really it's a rather optimistic view of people. In my experience, they'll quite happily pour buckets of money into things with little realistic prospect of making a profit, usually because they just haven't really thought very hard about what they're doing... and being more optimistic, sometimes they'll do it because they believe there'll be a non-monetary profit. Example, €7.5 billion spent on the LHC.
    fine.

    Give me funding and I will start the project.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The conflation between human intelligence and intelligent as a human is interesting. I think you could breed exceptionally smart animals but they'd likely be in the animals natural range. As an example, most long time pet owners recognize the range in cats(e.g, the cat that reliably plays catch) and dogs. To get more than their natural range would require introducing other genes from other animals. Not even sure we know enough about it anyhow, other than how to create a chimera. And lets say you developed a particularly intelligent dog. Much of that intelligent might be expressed in odd hard to recognize ways--for example a canine who was particularly good at recognizing patterns of smell.
    I think that there have been domesticated species that are far outside the range of any naturally occurring specimens. The record setting milk cow produced 23 gallons of milk per day for a year, which is far more than any calf could drink. Maize hardly even resembles its wild ancestor, teosinte.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I think that there have been domesticated species that are far outside the range of any naturally occurring specimens. The record setting milk cow produced 23 gallons of milk per day for a year, which is far more than any calf could drink. Maize hardly even resembles its wild ancestor, teosinte.
    Good points, neither is viable in the wild, nor is intelligence likely to be as simple a genetic change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    It wouldn't be difficult to breed another intelligent species. You would just need time, and a clear set of selection objectives.

    Since there wouldn't be any money in it, it will never happen.
    This reads as cynicism at first glance, but really it's a rather optimistic view of people. In my experience, they'll quite happily pour buckets of money into things with little realistic prospect of making a profit, usually because they just haven't really thought very hard about what they're doing... and being more optimistic, sometimes they'll do it because they believe there'll be a non-monetary profit. Example, €7.5 billion spent on the LHC.
    fine.

    Give me funding and I will start the project.
    Your stumbling block is the non-monetary profit bit. Get over that and I'll give you €20.
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    There's an easier way to breed animals with inteligence comparable to humans - have kids.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    It wouldn't be difficult to breed another intelligent species. You would just need time, and a clear set of selection objectives.

    Since there wouldn't be any money in it, it will never happen.
    This reads as cynicism at first glance, but really it's a rather optimistic view of people. In my experience, they'll quite happily pour buckets of money into things with little realistic prospect of making a profit, usually because they just haven't really thought very hard about what they're doing... and being more optimistic, sometimes they'll do it because they believe there'll be a non-monetary profit. Example, €7.5 billion spent on the LHC.
    fine.

    Give me funding and I will start the project.
    Your stumbling block is the non-monetary profit bit. Get over that and I'll give you €20.
    what the fuck does that mean.
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    "Planet of the Apes", maybe? Why not instead seek other life, perhaps sentient life, in the vastness of space? Better yet, improve the general level of intelligence of OUR species, it is a need which should be given top priority, to Prince's manner of thinking.
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    Seriously, some of the cetaceans, especially the Bottlenose Dolphin, is at least as intelligent as (if not more intelligent than) the human species. They already have a bigger brain than humans, encephalization quotient comes 2nd after humans, and are capable of empathy, humor, efficient communication, and self-consciousness.

    Where else do you want to find a non-human intelligent species?

    David Brin's idea of "uplifting" other potential species is intriguing, but I find it a bit arrogant (or "Human Chauvinistic"), provided that some of the target species are not even dumber than us.
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    Our intelligence is not from our brain morphology, but a product of hundreds of thousands of years of sociobiological evolution... We might be able to artificially produce an animal with the capabilities of acquiring similar intelligence (in N hundred thousand years), but there's a big gap between that and modern humans.

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    it is possible but it is deeply depend on charasteristic of nervous system ,intellegence neither is volume of brain nor social experince let`s cosider the human brain that each neuron has connection with at least 12 other neurons so you may assume the number of connections are important in intellegence well not completely because the mice brains that artificially altered in number of connections were even less intellegent that normal mice -the whales have the biggest brain among all of species but they are not the smartest because as brain gets bigger so body does and the number of neurons are required to control the specific number of body cells will increase -intellegent is combination of number of cells , number of connections among them ,the pattern according to that they are connectd(last discovery,different activity=different pattern) and most importantly the way that structure of it evolved (human brain evolved in a way to have more intricate structures to handle more complex body {vision}-the point is you can make a human more intellegent , you can make chimp smarter but you can not make every animal smart because of their brain structure) -the existance of complex sensory organs also plays important role in this field ,you know reptiles vision is different to mamals(weaker) so you can not expect your smart lizard to undrestand 3 dimensional structuers.it is intresting that most of animals (reptiles or birds)have brain *close* to us but using of it is limited to moving ,finding food ,.....i mean it doesn`t give them enough information neurologists say our brain is the only thing that is aware of existance of itself-by the way any change by human in any otherorganisms is part of evolution known as artificial selection e.g change in amount of fat in corns over generations ,enrich it to 15 percent(if it was happening by mutation its probability was leass than enough to happen in 50000 generation this happend in 50 generations)
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    Humans acquired intelligence (and other features such as menstruation and disproportionately large breasts) over evolutionary time. If you manage to take a look at the first chapter of Darwin's Origin of Species, he talks about humans modifying pigeons through breeding; he gets his ideas of natural and sexual selection from there. In the 1950's a Russian scientist, Dmitri Belyaev, who had been forced to leave Moscow after he rejected the soviet anti-Darwinian doctrine of Lysenkoism, set up a series of breeding experiments that ultimately resulted in the domestication of the silver fox. Belyaev selected baby foxes from each generation for tameness; the process ultimately took 50 years, but the tame foxes have baby foxes that are tame. Unlike their wild relatives, they have floppy ears and white spots, and bark like dogs. Doing the same with chips would be difficult - they have one child at a time rather than litters of several, and they take a much longer time to reach their sexual maturity. However, the highest observed IQs of chimpanzees are said to be around 85, which is only one standard deviation lower than the average IQ for humans and higher than the average for sub-Saharan Africans, according to research conducted by the Gates Foundation and other organizations (PLEASE don't read this as 'chimps are smarter than blacks' - the SMARTEST chimps are smarter than the average poorly nourished Sub-Saharan African - plenty of Africans have 150+ IQs). Current IVF technology could give us chimps that are smarter than their white Sub-Saharan African neighbors within a century. IVF isn't gene splicing - we've been doing it since the 1970's or earlier and we already use it extensively in agriculture.
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