Customer Discussions > Science forum

Why didn't the Dinosaurs evolve an Intelligence?


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 51-75 of 274 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 2:28:31 PM PST
Re The Weasel, above: I haven't seen that, but I certainly have seen what happens when I park my car under power lines favored by birds.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 3:25:48 PM PST
The Weasel says:
Robert A. Saunders says:
Re The Weasel, above: I haven't seen that, but I certainly have seen what happens when I park my car under power lines favored by birds.
***
Same thing. But much, much more colorful. And also caustic enough to eat the clear coat off your car if left on too long.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 4:22:36 AM PST
:)

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 5:51:50 AM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
Dinosaurs never died. They exist today in the RAS of the human brain.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 2:29:14 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
re: intelligence

There's no "evolutionary drive" towards intelligence. It's just one of many ways a species can respond to evolutionary pressures.

Dinosaurs ruled through epochs of tectonic stability, when most of the Earth's land mass was one huge continent. This favored physical specialization. Intelligence is generally a response to uncertain conditions, when the ability to "think on your feet" would be adaptive more than being optimized for one environment, one food source, limited set of dangers.

Absent Chicxulub hitting Earth, what would have driven dinosaurs toward intelligence is the period of tectonic activity we're now in, with active mountain building, continent shifting, vulcanism. The highly specialized dinosaurs would have died out with, most likely, therapods leading the way towards intelligence. And our ancestors would probably have remained small scavengers scuttling around in the undergrowth.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 2:31:45 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
re:suicide

Suicide is generally a phenomenon unheard of in hunting and gathering societies apart from individuals being in unbearable physical pain from injury or terminal disease. That's because life was continually meaningful, focused on finding food to stay alive, and small tribal societies constantly mediated social functions; no one was ever left alone with their thoughts--too busy.

"Idle hands are the Devil's tools."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 6:08:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2012 6:11:15 AM PST
Ehkzu,

Re: "There's no 'evolutionary drive' towards intelligence."

You're quite correct. Size and strength, adaptation, parasitism, mutualism, fecundity, socialization, intelligence... all are different means of specialization promoting survival. I think that if one came up with another, unanticipated such means, it might be breakthrough science or the basis for a best-selling novel.

But, I think you're limiting your thinking. It's not just the physical environment that drives evolution; change in prey animals as well as adaptations in competing species also drive evolution. I believe there's evidence that some therapods, notably the velociraptors, were pack hunters like wolves; I think this suggests an advanced form of intelligence. (Here's a link to a sketch of that speculation: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2011/mar/29/dinosaurs-behaviour-raptors-pack-hunters>)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 6:42:33 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 3, 2013 7:51:23 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 9:34:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2012 9:35:35 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 11:16:12 AM PST
Mohamed,
Introducing God into a topic that has perfectly natural explanations is not a technique employed by respected scientists because they don't need, and probably mostly don't want, to be deflected by supernatural explanations.

The more a scientist resorts to contemplation of the supernatural the more his ideas will be sidelined.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 11:29:42 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 2:01:03 PM PST
Just another hopelessly stupid question from the master of them.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 3:39:28 PM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
To be accepted as valid science your hypothesis must be repeated by others using the same techniques. What you proved in Montreal, Canada must be proven in Basel, Switzerland. Speculation is that--a fiction of the mind which has no basis in scientific thought.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 6:51:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2012 8:04:50 PM PST
DarthRad says:
Ehkzu:
re:suicide
Suicide is generally a phenomenon unheard of in hunting and gathering societies apart from individuals being in unbearable physical pain from injury or terminal disease. That's because life was continually meaningful, focused on finding food to stay alive, and small tribal societies constantly mediated social functions; no one was ever left alone with their thoughts--too busy.
-------------------------

More likely, hunter gatherer societies had no capacity for taking care of their disabled and very elderly and chronically ill. They lived on the edge of survival, and only the fittest and most reproductively fecund survived.

Moping around, being all depressed (which usually precedes any suicide attempts) would not be great survival behavior in a primitive society. If your own tribe didn't kick you out as being a totally worthless extra mouth to feed, that lurking lion would probably eat you while you were moping around contemplating the meaning of life.

Like many chronic diseases, asthma, juvenile diabetes, schizophrenia, depression, alcoholism, etc., which are based on varying degrees of genetic predisposition, modern medicine and the affluent modern society with vast surpluses of food and shelter resources have allowed people who are carriers of these traits to survive and propagate.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 7:55:36 PM PST
noman says:
Re: Suicide

***********
High adult mortality among Hiwi hunter-gatherers: Implications
for human evolution
Kim Hill*, A.M. Hurtado, R.S. Walker
Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Received 31 March 2006; accepted 29 November 2006
Abstract
Extant apes experience early sexual maturity and short life spans relative to modern humans. Both of these traits and others are linked by lifehistory
theory to mortality rates experienced at different ages by our hominin ancestors. However, currently there is a great deal of debate
concerning hominin mortality profiles at different periods of evolutionary history. Observed rates and causes of mortality in modern hunter-gatherers
may provide information about Upper Paleolithic mortality that can be compared to indirect evidence from the fossil record, yet little is published
about causes and rates of mortality in foraging societies around the world. To our knowledge, interview-based life tables for recent huntergatherers
are published for only four societies (Ache, Agta, Hadza, and Ju/'hoansi). Here, we present mortality data for a fifth group, the Hiwi
hunter-gatherers of Venezuela. The results show comparatively high death rates among the Hiwi and highlight differences in mortality rates
among hunter-gatherer societies. The high levels of conspecific violence and adult mortality in the Hiwi may better represent Paleolithic human
demographics than do the lower, disease-based death rates reported in the most frequently cited forager studies.
Journal of Human Evolution 52 (2007) 443e454

http://courses.washington.edu/evpsych/Hiwi-hunter-gatherers-JHE2007.pdf

*****************

"When dying is better than living: Female suicide among the Gainj of Papu New Guinea,"

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3773354?uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21101393651613

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 8:19:20 PM PST
A. Caplan says:
Mohamed F. El-Hewie says: Are you a respected scientist?
Do you think that blank declaration is scientifically rational?
>You certainly think that your blank decorations are rational. One does not have to be a "scientist" to understand and appreciate science. Some of us study science and scientific writings just for the heck of it. However, it means that we actually know about science.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 8:20:53 PM PST
A. Caplan says:
Mohamed F. El-Hewie says: Your Declaration that "No Evolutionary Drive Exists Towards Intelligence" is imposing.
>There is no scientific evidence that there is an evolutionary drive towards intelligence. That is a fact.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 9:34:05 PM PST
Re Caplan, above: I think that this merits qualification. Insofar as intelligence is an asset to survival and reproduction, one could reasonably say that there is in fact "an evolutionary drive towards intelligence."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 9:46:21 PM PST
I don't think there is an evolutionary drive toward any particular thing, but evolution can indeed grab whatever fortuitously comes along. IF intelligence arises (albeit unbidden), it will nonetheless be grabbed. As it actually has.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 10:05:13 PM PST
Re Walker, above: Exactly.

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 5:44:07 AM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
We get to the meaning of intelligence and it's effect upon survival. At a certain level, say primate or post-primate, "intelligence" is the ability to use tools to increase one's survival in a surrounding environment. Yet I wonder about the caves in early Europe where man painted art on the walls. Of what survival value was art to intelligence? Then fertility statuettes, what did early intelligence see in these? Intelligence as a means to survival also includes what seems superfluous behaviors. Aspects regimentation and socially-standardized criteria might not be of survival value.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 5:54:16 AM PST
Recent studies have shown that developmental brain disorders such as schizophrenia are caused by many different mutations, most of them rare and often de novo. This is because many different genes are involved in the development of the human brain, and reproductive fitness is often so adversely affected by the disease that they are not passed on.

This information is important because many people are still under the mistaken impression that we could somehow "eliminate" such disorders if we could keep people with them from reproducing.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 6:31:05 AM PST
A. Caplan,

Re: Mr. El-Hewie's "... imposing."

Let's broaden that to "There is no scientific evidence that there is an evolutionary drive toward _any_ specific adaptation."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 6:35:58 AM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
arpard fazakas----"This information is important because many people are still under the mistaken impression that we could somehow "eliminate" such disorders if we could keep people with them from reproducing."

North Carolina's forced-sterilization eugenics program didn't shut down until 1983 (?). Now the language has changed but the proponents of eugenics now want to manipulate the genome at specific sites. We can even reproduce dinosaurs theoretically. Some dinosaurs need to lay at rest.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 6:50:02 AM PST
I would differentiate between "traditional" or "classic" eugenics, which was based on unscientific assumptions, and modern concepts of gene therapy. Just because traditional eugenics turned out to be an abomination shouldn't keep us from using our hard-won understanding of human genetics to prevent and treat genetic diseases.
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  45
Total posts:  274
Initial post:  Nov 5, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 16, 2013

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 3 customers

Search Customer Discussions