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Thread: Intelligent Life in the depths of the ocean.

  1. #1 Intelligent Life in the depths of the ocean. 
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    As most of you know, the ocean depths have not been explored, millions of cubic kilometers of water that have never been seen by humans, yet contain vast amounts of life.

    Now could it be possible that a species have developed with intelligence comparable to us?

    I've been thinking about it, and it seams entirely plausible, the changes in pressure would most likely keep a species confined to a certain depth in the ocean, explaining why we would never see it coming up to the surface.

    Now deep ocean species have had a longer time to evolve then land dwelling creatures, and much more room to do it, with ocean covering 70% of the world’s surface, at an average depth of 3.7km.

    I doubt they will be as technology advanced as us, driving around in underwater cars and such. But they could have developed a sufficient form of communication between each other, and if we could ever meet them, we could have an actual conversation with one of these creatures.

    It's unlikely that two intelligent species could co-evolve, but if they were separated by an impassible geological barrier, in this case pressure, then it could be entirely possible.

    I've just been thinking about this idea and would like to know what other people thoughts are on it.


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I doubt the probability of this for the following reasons:

    1. Lack of sufficient food. The only food sources at depth are biological detritus falling from the surface layers, or chemically derived foodstock at black smoker vents. Both are very limited in quantity.
    2. Lack of energy sources. Again the only signifcant energy sources are mid-ocean ridge vulcanism. This is small compared with the solar input available at the surface.
    3. A technological civilisation, which is what you propose, would require manipulative appendages. That rules out anything other than giant squid. :wink:[/list]


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    3. A technological civilisation, which is what you propose, would require manipulative appendages. That rules out anything other than giant squid.
    I wasn't meaning a technological civilization, just an intelligent one, able to 'talk' to each other the way we do. And the giant squid is an excellent example with it's manipulative appendages. No studies have been done on the behavior of giant squids, for all we know they could be intelligent. Plus, there could be many more species that have yet to be discovered, who knows how many appendages they could have.

    Food and energy sources are basically the same thing, and I admit they would be limited, but there is lots of life around deep sea vents, and there seams to be enough for the marine life done there, like the giant squids.

    I'm not saying that there defiantly is, just that their could be.
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    I dont normally venture into this forum. i cannot argure for or against anything that well,

    especialy pseudoscience, as i can never find anything to disprove such arguments, and Ophiolite does a great job here, but if life can surive in the depths, they must surive some way.

    we dont fully understand the depths. what if intellagent life forms do exist,

    energy from chemical reactions? ultimiatly light is the source but perhaps "they" have found a way to use the elements of the depths?

    i try'd.
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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    Did you ever see the James Cameron movie The Abyss? This was a brilliant movie set in the very deepest parts of the ocean, an environment utterly unexplored by other movies. We got some very good exposition of the harsh realities of life at +1mile depths. The film also postulated a non-human intelligence living down there.

    Unfortunately the aliens at the bottom of the sea was a stupid idea that completely ruined a perfectly good "lets make a bottom of the sea" movie that had perfectly adequate thriller aspects of its own, and could have been entirely based on reality!
    "It is comparatively easy to make clever guesses; indeed there are theorems, like 'Goldbach's Theorem' which have never been proved and which any fool could have guessed." G.H. Hardy, Fourier Series, 1943
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodgod3rd
    but if life can surive in the depths, they must surive some way.

    we dont fully understand the depths. what if intellagent life forms do exist,

    energy from chemical reactions? ultimiatly light is the source but perhaps "they" have found a way to use the elements of the depths?
    Well, we do know life can survive down there, it has been found around thermal vents on the seabed.
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    Yes, but the source of energy down there is very small and cant keep a large population alive. So if it is a intelligent lifeform down there it isnt many of them.
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    I'm not sure there would be selective pressure in those conditions where increased intelligence would be something you'd expect. There's plenty of reasons why humans would evolve higher intelligence, but I am not sure I see the benefit of it in the depths of the ocean. There are energy costs as well, as intelligence increases, and energy would probably be at a premium in those conditions. I don't see it.
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    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    me neither, there r 2 known reasons for intelligence to evolve.
    Bieng hunter with weaker physiology
    Bieng hunter with weaker physiology
    humans are the first one
    squids/octopuses are the second, their evolution have thoe not came far enough to develop weapons and tools. but they are higly intelligent for their kind.

    And in the depth, there is neither one of them
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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  11. #10  
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    Intelligence may be an accident.

    If it is not an accident explain how it has taken so long for it to emerge to a significant degree only once.

    This may seem off topic, but if we are to contemplate the possibility of intelligent life in the depths of the oceans then we have to explore how and why intelligence emerged.
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  12. #11  
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    Ophiolite - i disagree with your statement that intelligence is an accident. Many creatures display varying degrees of intelligence, dolphines and dogs spring immediatly to mind. Intelligence usually comes with being a preditor of some sort and flavour - you have to be smarter with than your prey, which gives evolutionary pressure to smarter prey evolving and you get a "brain" war until other factors (like brain size, energy needed, birth troubles) start counting against you and an equilibrium results.

    What may be "unique" amoung man is our ability to slowly increase our intelligence. We stepped out of the game and made our own rules - and if any other creature has done the same in the past it has not left any trace of its actions.
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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    we developed a more advanced society wich allowed us to take care of each toher better and then we could spend more time and energy on the brain.
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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  14. #13  
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    I think it was because we learnt to tell stories personally zelos - it allowed us to keep a colelctive knowledge bank and grow it. Those stories, about ourselves and the world around us grew into our sciences, our philosophies and our religions - the things that define us.
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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  15. #14  
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    that isnt the reason y our intelligence came so far as we did
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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  16. #15  
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    and why not? I very persuasive case for that idea has been put forward as well - what other reasons do you have in mind?
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by river_rat
    Ophiolite - i disagree with your statement that intelligence is an accident. .
    River rat, as you get to know me you will find it pays to read my posts very carefully.

    I did not say intelligence was an accident.

    If we are to claim it is not an accident, then we have to address very carefully why we are, apparently, the first species with sufficient intelligence to develop complex culture, sophisticated communication skills, and an advanced technology. The apparent benefits of such intelligence have been around for two or three hundred million years, yet only once has evolution delivered it.

    That suggests the specific environment in which it can emerge is rare. Such rarity smacks of accidental character. Your accurate description of some of the aspects of that emergence are not sufficient to explain the emergence as anything other than chance. Indeed, by highlighting the desirability of intelligence they very much point to how difficult it must be to develop it to a human level.

    Stating that 'we stepped outside the game' smacks too much of a deus ex machina explanation: in short, it is not an explanation, but an excuse for the absence of one.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    I know you did not say that you believed intelligence was an accident, ophiolite. But you proposed that it may, and that is what i am questioning

    Lack of evidence of other "advanced" species, be it just cultural (the current theoretical flavour for neandathals for example) or technological is not evidence of lack. The idea that we are the only suffiently advanced species ever in the history of the planet to develop some level of sophisticated communication skill sounds too much like we are the crowning glory of evolution. Intelligence may be rare, but i doubt it has been a one shot event.

    I dont see how the ability to consciously affect our evolutionary path is the same argument as the standard deus ex. idea - could you explain that.
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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  19. #18  
    MDR
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    Ophiolite - Did you know that, recently, scientists have discovered certain species of fish that live in total darkness at incredible depths? I think, when pondering this question, one can't think three dimensionally. Neandertals and homo sapiens sapiens lived side by side for close to 200,000 years, above water. I think it's entirely possible that as life bagan under water, some life, intelligent, eventually, stayed under water.
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  20. #19  
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    MDR, even if it gets intelligent there is only one lifeform capable of that in the ocean, its the squids /octopus. And a underwater civilization wont go very far in its technological development
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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