Notices
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Is Intelligence Bad for a Species?

  1. #1 Is Intelligence Bad for a Species? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    4,316
    I Googled this question and didn't find a whole lot. Reddit had responses to a similar question and I'll quote this one:

    But you could argue its (intelligence) had alot of negative impacts for us as a species. Its caused us to disconnect ourselves from other organisms to the point where before darwin we didnt even consider ourselves to be animals. We also create societies with little concern for conservation and as a result are leading ourselves towards extinction. I just feel like if a species ultimate goal is to indefinitely survive, and seeing as we are the prime example of high intelligence in an organism, one could conclude that intelligence can be detrimental to the long term survival of a species
    Agree or disagree with the conclusion?

    Personally I agree with the respondent with regard to conservation, not to mention our destroying the planet and each other. Not sure how those would not be considered detrimental but I also don't know the future. Still I think intelligence may eventually get us off this rock to someplace where we can continue on as a species.


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,125
    Whether or not intelligence, in the long run, turns out to be a successful evolutionary stratagy has of yet to be determined. So far it has been successful towards furthering the survival of the series, but that's not a guarantee that it will continue to be so. Th eone advantage that intelligence has over other evolutionary strategies, is that most of the others are geared towards making the organism a better fit to the environment through physical changes in generation to generation. Intelligence allows man to adapt much quicker and without those slow physical changes.

    On the other hand, there is such a thing as being too successful, if a organism is too good at increasing its population, it risks overextending it resources. Something along this line can happen when you remove natural predators from an environment. It's prey, say an herd of elk, has a factor that limits it population removed, and the herd grows until it overgrazes it feeding grounds and the herd starts to starve.

    As far as getting off the planet goes, it's a bit of a race; Can we do it before we reach the tipping point where our consumption of resources reaches the point to where we don't have enough to make the push outward?


    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


    Edit/Delete Message
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    I Googled this question and didn't find a whole lot. Reddit had responses to a similar question and I'll quote this one:

    But you could argue its (intelligence) had alot of negative impacts for us as a species. Its caused us to disconnect ourselves from other organisms to the point where before darwin we didnt even consider ourselves to be animals. We also create societies with little concern for conservation and as a result are leading ourselves towards extinction. I just feel like if a species ultimate goal is to indefinitely survive, and seeing as we are the prime example of high intelligence in an organism, one could conclude that intelligence can be detrimental to the long term survival of a species
    agree or disagree with the conclusion?

    Personally I agree with the respondent with regard to conservation, not to mention our destroying the planet and each other. Not sure how those would not be considered detrimental but I also don't know the future. Still I think intelligence may eventually get us off this rock to someplace where we can continue on as a species.
    disagree
    intelligence observed in a swarm of grasshoppers:hey we running out of food, lets migraite to a new place, where there is food in abundance
    intelligence observed in the human population:hey we running out of recources, lets migraite to mars (where there is none)
    "the prime example of high intelligence in an organism": sure...
    I think there are plenty handles available to not run out of recources
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Bringing humans into it is kinda hacking the question.

    Well, we have examples of animals that evolved to be less intelligent. I think sometimes better than to pause and consider one's options, and perhaps try a novel solution; it is better to leap before looking, at what is most obvious.

    A contemplative rooster would watch the world pass him by.


    Janus I dig what you mean about super-evolution through intelligent adaptation. But non-physical adaptation needn't be "intelligent" if only in the mind. Cultural adaptation may be really "dumb" and unconscious, irrational, even dogmatic; yet it works. Example: everybody knows that garbage goes under the kitchen sink - nothing intelligent about that - and the unstated rule is an advantage to our species. Maybe because I do architecture I mean to create a world where people may stupidly sleepwalk through life and yet do okay. Maybe I'm on the side of "Caution: It's hot" labels on coffee-cup lids. But could you not imagine a dystopian future society so idiot-proof we become idiots, and (idiotically) continue to build upon it?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    Cultural adaptation may be really "dumb" and unconscious, irrational, even dogmatic; yet it works. Example: everybody knows that garbage goes under the kitchen sink - nothing intelligent about that - and the unstated rule is an advantage to our species. Maybe I'm on the side of "Caution: It's hot" labels on coffee-cup lids. But could you not imagine a dystopian future society so idiot-proof we become idiots, and (idiotically) continue to build upon it?
    it could be reasoned that putting the garbage in overhead cupboard eventually would lead to a more intelligent (sofisticated) human (temporarely demonstrating a bit less intelligent behavior)
    for that future society to arise, it requires a uniform adaptation, which to my opinion never will happen
    can you not buy a cup of coffee today without an explicit warning on the lid?
    the lawsuit settlement could have been: here is a dollar, get yourselve a cup of coffee, make sure its served twice as hot (grow yourselve some intelligence)
    is intelligence to be observed as an application of the brain?
    hm...i am hungry, i think i fancy a burger
    is a brain to be observed as a control organism for a billion or so body cells?
    hey dumbass,get us a burger,will you!
    consider following:
    the deheading of a chicken, for a brief moment of time the chicken will try fiercely to fly away (very intelligent behavior, though implementation timing a bit questionable)
    Q:where does the "run Forrest, run!" signal come from? some form of biological WIFI application?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scunthorpe, UK
    Posts
    11,179
    Quote Originally Posted by perdurat View Post
    it could be reasoned that putting the garbage in overhead cupboard eventually would lead to a more intelligent (sofisticated) human
    Really?
    And what is that reasoning?

    can you not buy a cup of coffee today without an explicit warning on the lid?
    USA != the world.

    the deheading of a chicken, for a brief moment of time the chicken will try fiercely to fly away (very intelligent behavior
    No.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by perdurat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    Cultural adaptation may be really "dumb" and unconscious, irrational, even dogmatic; yet it works. Example: everybody knows that garbage goes under the kitchen sink - nothing intelligent about that - and the unstated rule is an advantage to our species. Maybe I'm on the side of "Caution: It's hot" labels on coffee-cup lids. But could you not imagine a dystopian future society so idiot-proof we become idiots, and (idiotically) continue to build upon it?
    it could be reasoned that putting the garbage in overhead cupboard eventually would lead to a more intelligent (sofisticated) human (temporarely demonstrating a bit less intelligent behavior)
    for that future society to arise, it requires a uniform adaptation, which to my opinion never will happen
    can you not buy a cup of coffee today without an explicit warning on the lid?
    the lawsuit settlement could have been: here is a dollar, get yourselve a cup of coffee, make sure its served twice as hot (grow yourselve some intelligence)
    is intelligence to be observed as an application of the brain?
    hm...i am hungry, i think i fancy a burger
    is a brain to be observed as a control organism for a billion or so body cells?
    hey dumbass,get us a burger,will you!
    consider following:
    the deheading of a chicken, for a brief moment of time the chicken will try fiercely to fly away (very intelligent behavior, though implementation timing a bit questionable)
    Q:where does the "run Forrest, run!" signal come from? some form of biological WIFI application?
    None of that is actually relevant to the question posed by the original poster. Its rambling that shows little understanding of biology.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    None of that is actually relevant to the question posed by the original poster. Its rambling that shows little understanding of biology.
    The OP wasn't simply about biology.

    Quote Originally Posted by perdurat View Post
    (putting the garbage in overhead cupboard) requires a uniform adaptation, which to my opinion never will happen
    I think it can, in the same blind way biological evolution proceeds: Introduce a new "gene" governing recycling behaviour. Give consumers so much recyclables they can't possibly cram under the sink, then they establish (without any forethought) a recycling station elsewhere in the home. So your tipsy guests "just know" where to toss the bottlecaps. Eventually new homes are designed with this facility, like a new gene. Then reduce the landfill garbage to the point it's more easily kept along with the recyclables. The obsolete under-sink trash bin "gene" may then go to hell (where all junk genes go). We re-purpose the under-sink cabinet; it becomes a clean place we wouldn't dream of tossing filth into.

    On the other hand evolution of all kinds can drive us into corners. The convention of hot faucet on the left (or turn lever left for hot), established with zero planning, zero intelligence. Now we're no more able to change that than the direction of screw threads.



    The offtopic thing about chickens spazzing, I'll try: Chickens are normally predated by stealthy pouncers, some of which (like weasels) will gladly kill and kill beyond need. So it's better for the clutch as a whole if death raises a commotion. Alarmed, they scatter. Contrast prey animals that get singled out by predators driving through a herd (e.g. caribou). The wolves absolutely cease to be a threat once they've scored a catch, so it's better the downed caribou just gives up without a fuss; the herd resumes grazing while wolves proceed to eat it alive.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    None of that is actually relevant to the question posed by the original poster. Its rambling that shows little understanding of biology.
    I hereby confirm that i have red and understood your opinion about my level of understanding of:
    the English languageoor grammar,lots of spelling mistakes, in short poor
    biologyoor
    In that i hope you can acknowledge that repeating the same over and over again does not add quantity nor quality with regards to the exchange of thought
    the post was a reaction on the post of pong (part of his post was quoted)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    74
    [QUOTE=Dywyddyr;610035]
    Quote Originally Posted by perdurat View Post
    it could be reasoned that putting the garbage in overhead cupboard eventually would lead to a more intelligent (sofisticated) human
    Really?
    And what is that reasoning?
    mmh...
    "everybody knows that the garbage goes under the sink"
    it is an intelligent sollution solution in that it optimizes the volume required for a kitchen, the space below a sink cannot be utilized for shelving (because of requirement for drainage)
    "nothing intelligent about that"
    the contradiction here suggests (i think that is what pong meant) that intelligence needs a challenge (or the world becomes dull)
    the reply i gived (putting the garbage in overhead cupboard) would provide for that challenge, however it should make it clear that the proper selection of those challenges is as important as providing for them
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scunthorpe, UK
    Posts
    11,179
    Quote Originally Posted by perdurat View Post
    mmh...
    "everybody knows that the garbage goes under the sink"
    One more time: USA != the world.

    the reply i gived (putting the garbage in overhead cupboard) would provide for that challenge
    And also potentially cause more problems than it's worth.
    Still waiting for the "reasoned argument".
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,125
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Personally I agree with the respondent with regard to conservation, not to mention our destroying the planet and each other. Not sure how those would not be considered detrimental but I also don't know the future. Still I think intelligence may eventually get us off this rock to someplace where we can continue on as a species.
    "Conservation" is something only intelligent species engage in. There are plenty of examples of other species overpopulating an area and destroying it; we are the only species that (sometimes) makes decisions to NOT exploit an area for an abstract future benefit.

    In the end the only objective measure of a benefit to a species is the ability to reproduce successfully (i.e. the same criterion evolution uses.) And from that perspective intelligence has, so far, been a huge benefit to humanity. One could argue that if intelligence allows our species to grow to almost (but not quite) unsustainable levels, to the detriment of every other species, then that's the pinnacle of evolutionary success (if not the pinnacle of morality.)

    Personally I hope we, as a species, learn to limit our population growth so that we can achieve a steady-state, and sustainable, society. But that's a judgment based on my own morality, not on any objective criterion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    On the other hand evolution of all kinds can drive us into corners. The convention of hot faucet on the left (or turn lever left for hot), established with zero planning, zero intelligence. Now we're no more able to change that than the direction of screw threads.
    .
    the non zero intelligence should be found in that the right arm provides for a stronger pull than push force, the wrist for a stronger clockwise than anti clockwise force, safe condition (bolt tightened, cold water from fauced) is in favour of that force.counter clockwise screws are used to fasten rotary parts (so screw tightens when machine is used)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scunthorpe, UK
    Posts
    11,179
    Quote Originally Posted by perdurat View Post
    .counter clockwise screws are used to fasten rotary parts (so screw tightens when machine is used)
    Generally: no.
    Stop making sh*t up.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Quote Originally Posted by perdurat View Post
    "everybody knows that the garbage goes under the sink" ... "nothing intelligent about that"
    it is an intelligent sollution solution in that it optimizes the volume required for a kitchen, the space below a sink cannot be utilized for shelving (because of requirement for drainage)
    (North Americans) Putting garbage under the sink is not intelligent - it's traditional. They copy this behaviour from parents and others in their culture.

    My saying it's not-intelligent doesn't mean it's bad. Actually I reckon most cultural adaptations are better than we realize. I mean by "not intelligent" we don't think about it. Not having to think about something is good: remember your guest looking for the place to throw her bottlecap. Imagine she stumbles into your unlit bathroom - where's the lightswitch? Well, it's not "intelligence" that gropes her hand where the switch just happens to be, it's culture.

    Incidentally I must disagree with you about optimizing volumes in kitchen cabinetry. The space under a sink - crowded by pipes - is worst for large items like trash containers. Small shelves holding small items would better utilize that quirky area. My personal theory for why (North Americans) put trash under the sink is that, traditionally it was a dank and vermin-infested place anyway. But since cities have passed laws separating various recyclables including compostable food scraps, the traditional catch-all is replaced by more containers than will fit. For the moment people make do by a combination of tradition and ingenuity. My argument here is that what (North Americans) settle on will be a product of selection, found by trial and error. So it may be "good" but it won't be "intelligent".

    Incidentally cold-on-the-right evolved from the first running water being cold only. The (single) faucet was more often positioned for a right-handed majority, and soon builders and sink/faucet manufacturers adopted faucet-on-right as the standard. Later the additional hot water faucet could only fit on the left. Likewise when flexible sprayers for kitchen sinks appeared, the right-handed majority standardized them to that side of the sink, so that when soap dispensers arrived *later* they must take the opposite position.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    286
    If indefinite (up to the point at which the universe has next to no heat, and everything will die) survival of a species is the goal, then I can't imagine (damn, so limited in imagination) many other methods other than intelligence.
    Perhaps being a very basic and lucky species, something like a bacteria, able to drift through space without getting destroyed.
    If we're only taking species on earth and the goal is 'indefinite survival' then you need a species capable of predicting cataclysmic/destructive events in the universe and avoiding them.
    To my mind that is only possible with an intelligent species.
    I can never know I'm right, but I can know that I'm wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    If indefinite (up to the point at which the universe has next to no heat, and everything will die) survival of a species is the goal, then I can't imagine (damn, so limited in imagination) many other methods other than intelligence.
    Perhaps being a very basic and lucky species, something like a bacteria, able to drift through space without getting destroyed.
    If we're only taking species on earth and the goal is 'indefinite survival' then you need a species capable of predicting cataclysmic/destructive events in the universe and avoiding them.
    To my mind that is only possible with an intelligent species.
    we're not quite there yet
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    23
    IMO, I don't think intelligence is bad for a species. Not in itself.
    I think it is bad if responsibility isn't promoted as part of that and that culturally, we tend to assign responsibility rather than accept it personally.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: December 1st, 2013, 10:33 PM
  2. On going Intelligence. Based on Hereditary.Limited Pool of Intelligence.
    By westwind in forum Anthropology, Archaeology and Palaeontology
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: December 16th, 2012, 06:15 PM
  3. Mac did a bad, bad thing...hard drive problems
    By MacGyver1968 in forum Computer Science
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: December 13th, 2006, 05:54 PM
  4. Replies: 9
    Last Post: October 19th, 2006, 02:50 AM
  5. New Species?
    By Elbain in forum Biology
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: August 15th, 2005, 07:41 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •