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Human Intelligence-Are We Our Worst Enemy?


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#1    Lottie

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 11:25 PM

Debate Idea By Subby.

 Considering how intelligent humans are, we create technology, travel to other planets and are continuining to benefit from medical breakthroughs. We are also responsible for great evil. Terrorism, racism, nuclear weapons, violence and intolerance.

So we ask ourselves, Is human intelligence our biggest asset or our worst enemy?

This will be a formal, 1 vs 1 debate. Awaiting 2 debaters. Each member will post one introduction, five body posts and one conclusion. Remember to quote your sources, and keep the arguments civil and no flaming.

Any questions, feel free to send me a PM.   thumbsup.gif

Edited by Lottie, 09 March 2005 - 11:33 AM.


#2    Kryso

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 01:20 AM

I will debate FOR human intelligence being our biggest asset!


#3    Imagin

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:43 AM

ok then I will debate that human intelligence is our worst enemy.


#4    Lottie

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 11:32 AM

Fabulous! Thanks for getting involved guys.

Kryso is debating for.

Imagin is debating against.


The debate will consist of an introduction, 5 bodily posts showing countering of the opponent, good style, persuasive arguments and information relevant to the topic, and a conclusion. Remember to quote your sources, no flaming or offensive langauage.

I reckon this is going to be a very interesting debate! Good luck to both of you.

Any questions, I am just a PM away. thumbsup.gif

Edited by Lottie, 09 March 2005 - 11:36 AM.


#5    Kryso

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 01:45 PM

I will start this debate off.
I am FOR human intelligence.

Firstly I will go straight to the point: Humans have progressed considerably over the last few thousand years, enabling us to crawl out of caves and wooden huts and create towering structures and civilizations. We have, as a race, eradicated many diseases, and still strive to control others that are harmful to us. We have the aptitude to harness phenomenal powers - the wind, waves and that of the atom. We have the capacity to reach any part of our planet within hours, and even leave our own world and land on our satellite moon; even send probes to other worlds in our system. We even have the capability to predict weather patterns that affect us by having satellites spinning thousands of miles above us, held in our planetary grip - satellites that give us the ability to talk by means of different communication devices to anyone anywhere on the surface of our planet and beyond. Without doubt Humanity’s intelligence is growing at a rapid rate of speed. The achievements over the last century alone have been outstanding.

As stated in the clip below:

QUOTE
“As societies become increasingly technological, the demand for superior intelligence begins to exceed the supply, and the demand for sheer physical labour begins to decline Increased leisure, early retirement, and a lengthened life-span all raise the premium on intelligence for the social and moral well-being of society. With the eradication of malnutrition and infectious childhood diseases”

- The Limited Plasticity of Human Intelligence by Arthur R. Jensen. Originally published in The Eugenics Bulletin, fall 1982
Source of Information

This is just a quick opening, but I will leave you with just two websites. The first is the 100 Greatest inventions & Discoveries. The second is 20 of the Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century. Showing what mankind has achieved in such a short space of time.

100 Greatest Inventions & Discoveries
Top 20 Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century


#6    Imagin

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 05:01 AM

Let me just say you have some good supporting points.
Yes our vast intellect has brought us to live in a more technologically  advanced world.
But lets look at how we got to where we are today.  
We cleared the forests to make way for our city's.  
We've driven numerous species to extinction.
Factorys and cars continue to pump out more and more toxins into the atmosphere.  Which is proven to be what is affecting our climate.
We have as well used our creations against each other on various occasions.
The chlorine gas attacks of WW1, and the atomic  bombings of Japan in WW2,  (created by supposed geniuses).
There are new nuclear tensions growing around the world once again.
Would the world? Would we as a species, have been better off if we had stayed living in those caves?
Well at least we would not be facing this uncertain future that we face today.  

http://www.greenpeace.ca/e/index.php

Even in a country like Canada....

Nuclear Power: $38 billion Subsidy for an Energy Dead-end

All of Canada’s nuclear reactors are set to shut down in the next 15 years without major reconstruction expenditures. Canada’s nuclear industry is seeking federal and provincial government support for the $20 billion cost of these risky reactor reconstruction projects.
__________________________________________________

Toxic ship leaves Montreal for shipbreaking

For years, rich countries have been disposing of their old, obsolete ships in poorer countries, where they are broken up for scrap. The problem is that these ships contain huge amounts of toxic waste, and the poorer shipbreaking countries cannot afford to regulate or clean up the results of this messy process.
__________________________________________________

The Canadian seal hunt: no management and no plan

The Canadian seal hunt is the largest commercial hunt of any wild species in the world and this year will be one of the largest seal hunts in history. Greenpeace has released a report warning that the hunt has been poorly planned and managed by the Canadian government.
__________________________________________________

http://www.greenpeace.ca/e/feature/archive/index.php

In Japan

Save the dugong - stop the US airbase

The island of Okinawa, Japan has been called the "Galapagos of the East" because of the precious bio-diversity it supports, but it is also known as "the island of the base" because U.S. military bases occupy over 18 percent of the landmass. Now, another base is slated for construction, despite the irreparable damage it will cause to a critical marine area.

This base will destroy the habitat of sea life such as the gentle dugong - only 12 of which are confirmed to remain in Japanese waters. The UN Environment Programme has called for the creation of a marine reserve to protect the dugong. Instead the plan is to dynamite the reef and build the runway through it.
__________________________________________________

No cod? Blame the seals! Canada

As warnings from nature go they don't come much starker than the collapse of the cod fishery in Newfoundland due to overfishing. The cod, and thousands of jobs that depended on them, disappeared virtually overnight. Now because the cod stocks have failed to recover, seals are being blamed and hunted in record numbers.
__________________________________________________

http://www.greenpeace.org/international_en...paign_id=461050

Save deep sea life

Ancient forests in danger ... deep under the ocean.

Biologists estimate that somewhere between 500,000 and 5,000,000 marine species have yet to be discovered, some dating back to prehistoric times. But these very species are in serious danger from the world's most destructive fishing practice - bottom trawling - and we are campaigning to stop this destruction before it is too late. 62 percent of the surface of the globe is covered in waters over a kilometre in depth - this is truly the last undiscovered wilderness left on the planet.
__________________________________________________

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Science/Suzuki.../11/578121.html

Understanding diversity is the first step in protecting it

A massive deep-sea expedition in the North Atlantic recently uncovered hundreds of species of fish and squid, including several that appear to be new to science. The expedition made headlines, but some readers may have been left wondering, "So what?"

The two-month international expedition netted some 80,000 specimens from waters up to several kilometers deep. Scientists were thrilled with their discoveries, which included potentially several new species, along with a variety of observed strange phenomena, from reef-building cold-water coral, to rings of planktonic organisms more than 10 kilometres wide.  >>more click link above

I could go on and on...



#7    Kryso

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 01:42 PM

QUOTE
But lets look at how we got to where we are today.

We shall look closely...
QUOTE
We cleared the forests to make way for our city's.

Below is an extract taken from No. 1389: REGROWING OUR FORESTS by John H. Lienhard.Link
QUOTE
We've lost ground in the Pacific Northwest, but the supply of wood has almost doubled from Minnesota eastward. We're not logging less wood, but we're far smarter about how to log that wood. We're reforesting with faster growing trees, and we're managing more densely planted forests. We're also wasting far less wood.

As of all things, we needed time to understand our actions and the way we affect our surroundings. I believe we are becoming more aware of our impact and are now making huge leaps and bounds to rectify the damage we have caused.
QUOTE
We've driven numerous species to extinction.

Below is an extract taken from Biotech the Latest Defense in Animal-Extinction Fight Sharon Guynup National Geographic Today January 16, 2003Link
QUOTE
As Earth's wild places vanish and the numbers of animals facing extinction rises, the fight to save dwindling wildlife is expanding on a new front: in the laboratory. Researchers are adapting techniques like artificial insemination, cloning, in vitro fertilization and inter-species embryo transfer for use in threatened species.

Once again mankind realizes the full impact of our greed and wants, and is now using technology to the full; trying to bring back what we have destroyed.
QUOTE
Factorys and cars continue to pump out more and more toxins into the atmosphere. Which is proven to be what is affecting our climate.

Taken from: Climate Change: Action to Tackle Global WarmingLink
QUOTE
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, first signed in 1987, is a landmark in environmental policy-making because it was designed on the basis of scientific evidence, to prevent rather than cure a global problem. The Protocol controls both the production1 and consumption2 of the various ozone depleting substances. Shortly after the Protocol was adopted scientists established beyond reasonable doubt that CFCs and Halons, interacting with particular meteorological conditions that prevail over the Antarctic, had contributed to the ozone hole.
In 1990 at the second meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in London, the 80 countries present agreed that the production and consumption of CFCs and halons should be phased out by the year 2000 in developed countries. The London meeting also established a Multilateral Fund to provide financial assistance to developing countries to meet the cost of phase out.
The 1992 Meeting of the Parties in Copenhagen brought forward the phaseout dates to 1994 for halons and 1996 for the other chemicals already controlled by the Protocol and introduced controls for HCFCs. The Parties also agreed a freeze on the production and consumption of methyl bromide at 1991 levels from 1995, with an exemption for the amounts used for quarantine and pre-shipment fumigation's. A definition of essential uses was agreed and resolutions were adopted to encourage recovery, recycling, leakage control and the destruction of ozone depleting substances.
At the 1995 Meeting of the Parties in Vienna a phase out date of 2010 for the production and consumption of methyl bromide was introduced and tighter controls were agreed for HCFCs. Agreement was also reached on a phaseout date for CFCs and halons in developing countries of 2010.

Another good...Link
QUOTE
We have as well used our creations against each other on various occasions.

Like everything, there is always a few that will use something against others. Regardless of whether we live in caves or cities, mankind was savages in the sense of our brutality long before we started using technology. Sad to say now we have means to really do some major damage! But at the same time those technologies have been put to good use.
ESRF - The European Synchrotron Radiation FacilityLink
QUOTE
The ESRF is an outstanding example of European cooperation in science. Eighteen nations work together to use the extremely bright beams of light produced by the ESRF's high-performance storage ring to study a remarkably wide range of materials, from biomolecules to nanomagnets, from ancient Egyptian cosmetics to metallic foams.

Also Cancer Treatment with Radiation Therapy. Link
QUOTE
Radiation therapy is a very important tool in the fight against cancer and is used in the treatment of as many as 50% of all cancer patients. More than half a million cancer patients receive radiation therapy each year, either alone or in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy or other forms of cancer therapy. Other terms for radiation therapy include radiotherapy, x-ray therapy, electron beam therapy, cobalt therapy, or irradiation.

Even though science and technology gave us a powerful destructive weapon, it also gave us a weapon to fight diseases. And mankind has learnt the mistake of using something so destructive!
QUOTE
Would the world? Would we as a species, have been better off if we had stayed living in those caves?

Ageing through the Ages by W. J. MacLennan and W. I. SellersLink
QUOTE
Review of human remains in an early Bronze Age Austrian necropolis indicated a life exectancy of only 24 years

This site shows the drastic benefits of technology through the ages, raising life expectancy to staggering ages, considering what it was like simply a few hundred years ago!
QUOTE
Nuclear Power: $38 billion Subsidy for an Energy Dead-end

And money really isn’t the topic. There is a debate in Congress right now, because 30 billion is unaccounted for?
QUOTE
For years, rich countries have been disposing of their old, obsolete ships in poorer countries, where they are broken up for scrap. The problem is that these ships contain huge amounts of toxic waste, and the poorer shipbreaking countries cannot afford to regulate or clean up the results of this messy process.

Once again this is about money, with the smaller countries taking money to take this waste, and instead of using it to dispose of the waste they use it for other means!
QUOTE
Biologists estimate that somewhere between 500,000 and 5,000,000 marine species have yet to be discovered, some dating back to prehistoric times. But these very species are in serious danger from the world's most destructive fishing practice - bottom trawling - and we are campaigning to stop this destruction before it is too late. 62 percent of the surface of the globe is covered in waters over a kilometre in depth - this is truly the last undiscovered wilderness left on the planet.

Once again this is in a sense about technology, because we have the means with which to fish these areas without damaging the environment. But it also comes down to money, not advances in technology!
QUOTE
A massive deep-sea expedition in the North Atlantic recently uncovered hundreds of species of fish and squid, including several that appear to be new to science. The expedition made headlines, but some readers may have been left wondering, "So what?"
The two-month international expedition netted some 80,000 specimens from waters up to several kilometers deep. Scientists were thrilled with their discoveries, which included potentially several new species, along with a variety of observed strange phenomena, from reef-building cold-water coral, to rings of planktonic organisms more than 10 kilometres wide.

As you have stated, scientists were thrilled, because using the latest technologies have given the ability to discover these new things.

Edited by Kryso, 11 March 2005 - 01:45 PM.


#8    Imagin

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 06:34 AM

Ok now our species has existed for 200,000 years and in the past 1000 years yes our life expectancy increased one benefit of our medicine and technology.
Humans as race could live on almost forever if we would have stayed living in those caves waging war against other tribes with sticks and stones.
Now we plan on waging war against other countries with nuclear bombs.
As I said before humans  face a very uncertain future with mounting nuclear tensions around the world.  
The climate is changing and it is because of us.
All of our creations all of our accomplishments will have all be for nothing if we continue on path we are on today.


#9    Kryso

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 10:45 PM

QUOTE
Humans as race could live on almost forever if we would have stayed living in those caves waging war against other tribes with sticks and stones.


This is of course a possibility. But it would have been more likely that a simple virus could have eradicated the human race. With science/biology we have the ability to create vaccines and of course penicillin, antibiotics, anaesthesia, X-rays, kidney dialysis, artificial joints, prenatal care, pacemakers, transplants, inoculations including the polio vaccine, electronic diagnostic machinery, trauma centres and an emphasis on prevention all helped improve the duration and quality of life.

Yes we fought with sharpened sticks and chipped flint, and now we use the atoms power to cause havoc and destruction. But as we grow more aware (as we are now) we will once again move away from fighting and as our brains evolve more we will seek more enlightened things. And maybe the answer to all our problems is another great technological breakthrough that is just around the corner.

Mankind is always moving forward. My point is, as a species we have to continually move forward. Stagnation means an end to mankind - a species that stagnates and does nothing to improve itself is wiped away! We have evolved with powerful intellectual cerebral abilities and mankind can do nothing but move forward with advancements and understanding.  



#10    Imagin

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 04:30 AM

angry.gif ok sorry computer screw up.

I doubt that a virus would have led to our destruction, most of the ailments that we suffer from did not exist 2000 years ago or even 200 years ago.
The point that I have been trying  to make, is that our creations pose serious risk to us and our world.
The climate, animals, our enviroment, are all being affected by things of our creation.
True we are becoming more aware of what we are doing and our trying to fix some of what we have done.  In some cases its already too late, the damage has been done and is irreversible.  Numerous species are already extinct. We can not thicken the ozone layer, or stop the global warming affects which have occurred.  We can't refreeze the polar ice caps.
The kyoto accord could not even get the major pollution creating countries  like the usa and china to cut down.  They are not even interested in signing the accord.
I just think that by the time the world starts to really fully take responsibility for what we have done it will by to late.


#11    Kryso

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 06:16 PM

QUOTE
I doubt that a virus would have led to our destruction, most of the ailments that we suffer from did not exist 2000 years ago or even 200 years ago.


Most viruses have been around (or are a hybrid of another) forever. But it’s only with technology that we are able to understand and recognize them. Ancient civilizations believed them to be punishments form a particular god or from their ancestors. But with modern medicine we can cue - and in some cases - completely eradicate them.

QUOTE
The point that I have been trying to make, is that our creations pose serious risk to us and our world.


In some cases this is true! We have done some horrid, cataclysmic things to ourselves and our world. But for each terrible thing we have thousands of amazing, wonderful things to compensate.  

Professor Philip Stott, has some different views on global warming.
QUOTE
"In the last month alone, serious scientific studies have undermined the whole basis of these predictions, with the temperature over the oceans seen as exaggerated by up to 40% and the very relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature questioned."
Professor Stott said computer models presented various "stories" or scenarios and people should not see them as outcomes that were bound to happen.
"There are over 40 such stories; inevitably, of course, the media selects the very worst storyline," he said.
His concerns were echoed by Professor David Unwin, an environmental scientist at Birkbeck College, London. He said the IPCC was guilty of glossing over many of the uncertainties in climate science.
"These uncertainties are never really made explicit," he said. "The IPCC will give you error bars but there are huge uncertainties to do with the science that goes into the computer models that predict the future."
He said the models had progressively drawn back from the real doomsday scenarios of a few years ago as climate processes had become better understood and incorporated into calculations. "And in my view, and in the view of many other scientists, this refinement has a long way to go."

Source
This is not saying that I believe we haven’t got a problem, but like most things, it has been blown out of the water.
Some even believe that the worlds not warming up due to gasses, but because the worlds still warming back to its natural stage from the last ice age!
QUOTE
Global warming started long before the "Industrial Revolution" and the invention of the internal combustion engine. Global warming began 18,000 years ago as the earth started warming its way out of the Pleistocene Ice Age-- a time when much of North America, Europe, and Asia lay buried beneath great sheets of glacial ice.

Source

QUOTE
I just think that by the time the world starts to really fully take responsibility for what we have done it will by to late.


Most do realize what’s happening in the world and what effect we are having on our planet. But money is always getting in the way.
But I believe things can’t go on the way they are. We know what we are doing to our home planet and commonsense will prevail. You can only pollute your own drinking water for so long before you realize it tastes funny.



#12    Imagin

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 01:16 AM

I think that I will now argue....
that, what if anything is possible
We live in a very uncertain time the USA is building a missile defence shield over North America.  Russia is designing a missile capable of penetrating the defence shield.
China recently signed the anti cessation bill over Taiwan and North Korea.
recently as well China has said it has nukes.
Why do you think?.... would the USA build a missile defence shield if it weren't expecting one of its many foreign problems to become volatile.
I am just going to say what if the diplomacy fails.
All the things we have accomplished with our great intelligence will all be for nothing.
I am going to stick to whole staying in the caves idea.

Edited by Imagin, 16 April 2005 - 04:49 AM.


#13    Kryso

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 12:48 PM

QUOTE
Why do you think?.... would the USA build a missile defence shield if it weren't expecting one of its many foreign problems to become volatile.


The simple answer… Money! A lot of powerful people get a lot of money once the contracts are signed and arranged. War is mostly about money these days, and these sorts of people are the ones pulling all the strings.

We do live in an uncertain time, because regardless of our intelligence, economic situations or needs, mankind has always been fighting. Be it in fields outside caves, or in distant deserts and cities with fighter jets and missiles.
I’m not saying this is a good thing, but there are some points of human nature that doesn’t seem to change – greed, insecurities and hatred.
And yes, we have created abominations when it comes to warfare, but it has also made it possible to limit civilian casualties. Hundreds of years ago, even 50 years ago, when an army defeated an enemy all those in villages and towns were slaughtered, wiped-out. Now smart-bombs can be pinpointed to inches, using satellites to hit a direct object, resulting in less civilian casualties. And if others –apart from soldiers are hurt – then we see the images on the NEWS. We are becoming more aware that needless death is unacceptable. Maybe one day wars will be a thing of the past? Wars will be fought using cyberspace, computer simulations and casualties will be non-existent!

Technology has giving rise to wondrous creations, and simply wishing it all wiped away because of a few creations is preposterous. As my statement has already said, the few bad inventions are far outweighed by the millions of good ones - that change our life for the better, giving us better facilities to live healthier, longer lives.




#14    Imagin

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 02:09 AM

blush.gif sorry about taking so long to respond.
Kryso you argue a good point.
Yes we have created many good inventions, far more good ones than bad ones.
In the past 10,000 years we have come along way... with our inventions and improvements.  We have also made many serious mistakes along the way.
We came out of those caves, we struggled long and hard to get to where we are now.
Unfortunately we are still only a tribal society, and it will take much work to progress from here.
I wonder what if a rogue government or terrorist group use WMD's and start another world war.  Will all the good creations and progress be for nothing?
If there is a nuclear or chemical war and we get knocked back to the stone age.
Won't all the good thing's we have created and done be for nothing.

Edited by Imagin, 27 April 2005 - 02:59 AM.


#15    Kryso

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 12:57 PM

QUOTE
I wonder what if a rogue government or terrorist group use WMD's and start another world war. Will all the good creations and progress be for nothing?
If there is a nuclear or chemical war and we get knocked back to the stone age.
Won't all the good thing's we have created and done be for nothing.


The problem with mankind is we will probably always be fighting each other in one respect or another. That’s one ever-present conclusion to human nature.
It doesn’t seem to be the thinking of individuals. You ask any one person if war solves anything or gains anything that is worth the bloodshed and death, and 99% will say NO! And yet if you get a couple people together, a group, things change. A person on their own is intelligent and peaceful. You get a room full and things seem to change. Why? I can’t answer that.
We are complicated beings. But at the same time we are always trying to strive to better ourselves. We seek answers for questions that have always eluded us. We seek tranquility out of the chaos that is all around us. We seek to make a better world for ourselves and our children and our children’s children. But the ever present hatred and prejudice seems to be waiting in the wings.
I can’t say that mankind will not cause a huge catastrophic incident that will cause irreparable harm to ourselves and the planet we call home. But because that shadow is over us, does the mean we should stop trying? Stop trying to better ourselves? Stop trying to make things right on a global scale?
I have faith in mankind that we will prevail, and that a time in the not to distant future we will be able to put our weapons of war down and come to some mutual agreement, and this will be because we are ever moving forward. Our intelligence for doing what is right will win the day.  






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