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Matt Vinyl

Us Humans...

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Essentially, the video is irrelevant. But it made think (I admit, Friday night post-pub) how fascinating us humans are.

We create 4000 post long threads regarding saucepans, bowls, other parephernalia. And yet...

Erm, maybe ignore this thread I've theoretically been to Donteatus' BBQ. :-)

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Hiya Matt, did you get a "take out"?

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A couple. lol. :-) Well. Eight...

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Don't even get me started on the subject of "us humans". LOL

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YEah ! U.S. Humans specially, were the whole problem in the equation! :tu:

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Apologies for my er, rather drunken natterings. lol!

All the best, M.

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Hey! Don't knock the human race...

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I believe that humans are "special" in the universe.

Could humans have developed on other planets?

I find that very very, VERY unlikely. Humans are something that evolved on this planet. For there to be humans elsewhere in the universe, everything would have to be exactly like our planet.

For example, exactly one AU from a star, a star exactly one solar mass, exactly the same amount gases in the planets atmosphere as ours, a planet with exactly the same gravity as ours, one Moon which has exactly the same mass as ours, the major extinction events, and the list just keeps going on and on,...

The odds are staggering. Although its likely life exists elsewhere, but I find it hard to believe that they will look anything like humans.

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Here's some evidence as to why humans are unique...

We are the only species who are fully aware of their surroundings

We are the only species who are wiling to learn something through trial and error.

As the technology gets better the process accelerates to invent even better technology.

Eventually we will not be reliant on fossil fuels and invent inter-galactic spacecraft.

The sudden advances in nano-technology could kill two birds with one stone.

We have also got over the lack of fur from evolution by wearing clothing.

We can also practically eat anything and due to our awareness we can decide whether food is either good for your health or ethical.

We have also been called an apex predator and I can't see any evidence that contradicts this.

We can invent weapons that level the playing field and put us on top of the food chain.

We are the only species that talk with their vocal cords without nothing being repeated.

And I strongly suspect some of our more prominent traits muscled the Neanderthals out and caused their demise.

Edited by Walnut Whip

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Here's some evidence as to why humans are unique...

We are the only species who are fully aware of their surroundings

We are the only species who are wiling to learn something through trial and error.

As the technology gets better the process accelerates to invent even better technology.

Eventually we will not be reliant on fossil fuels and invent inter-galactic spacecraft.

The sudden advances in nano-technology could kill two birds with one stone.

We have also got over the lack of fur from evolution by wearing clothing.

We can also practically eat anything and due to our awareness we can decide whether food is either good for your health or ethical.

We have also been called an apex predator and I can't see any evidence that contradicts this.

We can invent weapons that level the playing field and put us on top of the food chain.

We are the only species that talk with their vocal cords without nothing being repeated.

And I strongly suspect some of our more prominent traits muscled the Neanderthals out and caused their demise.

...and our DNA has a large portion that has been called extra-terrestial in origin by the Human Genome Project.

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Here's some evidence as to why humans are unique...

We are the only species who are fully aware of their surroundings

Hmmm, how are you defining 'fully aware'? There are all kinds of animals that have superior senses and awareness; our vision is poor compared to most birds, our sense of smell is not even in the ballpark of a dog or a shark, etc.

We are the only species who are wiling to learn something through trial and error.

I think this is debatable. Crows and some primates can use tools, and that seems to be a process that is subject to trial and error. If you punish your dog for getting in the garbage, they can learn not to do it because of the response they get from their owner.

We can also practically eat anything and due to our awareness we can decide whether food is either good for your health or ethical.

There is no such thing as ethics for other animal species. Humans are one of the only species who has the luxury of leisure time in which to contemplate 'ethics' partly because for many of us our basic survival needs are easily taken care of and we are not constantly under threat of predation. Many animals must spend most of their time tending to their basic survival and reproductive needs, it's not 'unethical' for any animal to kill any other animal. If drinking water becomes scarce and the only way many people could obtain it is by taking it from other people I think you'd see ethics get swept away pretty quickly.

We have also been called an apex predator and I can't see any evidence that contradicts this.

True, but it's a little selective. Drop us in the middle of the ocean or the savannah or grizzly bear country with just the clothes on our back and we're definitely not an apex predator, we're more like 'lunch'.

We can invent weapons that level the playing field and put us on top of the food chain.

Yet some of the greatest human losses in history were caused by mere micro-organisms. I'm not disputing your main point, but all animal species are unique, amazingly so. Is our intelligence so much more unique than say a spider's webspinning ability?

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I believe that humans are "special" in the universe.

Could humans have developed on other planets?

I find that very very, VERY unlikely. Humans are something that evolved on this planet. For there to be humans elsewhere in the universe, everything would have to be exactly like our planet.

For example, exactly one AU from a star, a star exactly one solar mass, exactly the same amount gases in the planets atmosphere as ours, a planet with exactly the same gravity as ours, one Moon which has exactly the same mass as ours, the major extinction events, and the list just keeps going on and on,...

The odds are staggering. Although its likely life exists elsewhere, but I find it hard to believe that they will look anything like humans.

I do find it quite amusing that all this might well be taken as an argument for some kind of design in the evolutionary process, or even a designer God ....

it's a fascinating question, isn't it. Is it more likely that conditions being just right are the result of just the right coincidences having happened, and we're just the end result of a very long process of incredibly precise natural selection, or that there may have been some planning, and/or some direction, along the way? I wonder why so many see this as such an outlandish and absurd and preposterous and downright insane notion?

... and then, of course, if the latter insane and absurd suggestion was in fact the case, then why should we suppose that we are the specially Chosen ones, and this was the only planet on which such a thing may have been done? That would be remarkably arrogant, wouldn't it. Who knows, perhaps life might have been "promoted", if you like, or conditions adjusted so that they were just right, on many different planets ... ?

...but that's such an absurd and insane and downright running-round-in-circles-drooling-at-the-Mouth notion that no sane and rational person would possibly entertain it for a minute, isn't it.

:innocent:

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I do find it quite amusing that all this might well be taken as an argument for some kind of design in the evolutionary process, or even a designer God ....

it's a fascinating question, isn't it. Is it more likely that conditions being just right are the result of just the right coincidences having happened, and we're just the end result of a very long process of incredibly precise natural selection, or that there may have been some planning, and/or some direction, along the way? I wonder why so many see this as such an outlandish and absurd and preposterous and downright insane notion?

It is indeed without a doubt a fascinating question. I guess I don't see so many who see that as an insane or preposterous notion, as much as they note that people who say that the apparent design of life is evidence of some predetermined direction or purpose (usually by God) do not have that good of an argument to back up their claim. Snowflakes look remarkably designed, they are intricate and detailed, somewhat symmetrical, and unique, they're not just random amorphous blobs of frozen precipitation. But not many people go around saying that the science of crystallization is indicative of an overall direction or purpose.

... and then, of course, if the latter insane and absurd suggestion was in fact the case, then why should we suppose that we are the specially Chosen ones, and this was the only planet on which such a thing may have been done? That would be remarkably arrogant, wouldn't it. Who knows, perhaps life might have been "promoted", if you like, or conditions adjusted so that they were just right, on many different planets ... ?

...but that's such an absurd and insane and downright running-round-in-circles-drooling-at-the-Mouth notion that no sane and rational person would possibly entertain it for a minute, isn't it.

:innocent:

Agreed, no reason to assume we're specially 'chosen' anything. Perhaps life was 'promoted', don't know if we'll ever know for sure. If the promoter or director is God, there is no need at all to adjust conditions so they were 'just right', he would have just built whatever he needed in to the universe when he created it. If the promoters are some kind of extra-terrestrials, then why isn't it an issue that they then must have been the result of just the right coincidences? If their form of life can emerge from just the right coincidences, than why not us?

Fun thought-provoking stuff. Cool Lovecraft quote by the way also, 7.

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I'm not getting to grips with this multi-quoting malarkey!

Edited by Walnut Whip

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It is indeed without a doubt a fascinating question. I guess I don't see so many who see that as an insane or preposterous notion, as much as they note that people who say that the apparent design of life is evidence of some predetermined direction or purpose (usually by God) do not have that good of an argument to back up their claim. Snowflakes look remarkably designed, they are intricate and detailed, somewhat symmetrical, and unique, they're not just random amorphous blobs of frozen precipitation. But not many people go around saying that the science of crystallization is indicative of an overall direction or purpose.

Agreed, no reason to assume we're specially 'chosen' anything. Perhaps life was 'promoted', don't know if we'll ever know for sure. If the promoter or director is God, there is no need at all to adjust conditions so they were 'just right', he would have just built whatever he needed in to the universe when he created it. If the promoters are some kind of extra-terrestrials, then why isn't it an issue that they then must have been the result of just the right coincidences? If their form of life can emerge from just the right coincidences, than why not us?

Fun thought-provoking stuff. Cool Lovecraft quote by the way also, 7.

What if "God" (for the sake of argument) didn't so much as design everything from every leaf to every little bird to every one of us, but sort of set out the parameters and the rules by which the processes fo evolution happened, kind of setting out the basic principles and then left the Universe to get on by itself, while perhaps making sure that it didn't all go pear-shaped by keeping an eye on it and maybe giving the paramters a subtle nudge from time to time/ That needn't mean that evolution need be in opposition to the idea of some guiding intelligence at all.

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Hmmm, how are you defining 'fully aware'? There are all kinds of animals that have superior senses and awareness; our vision is poor compared to most birds, our sense of smell is not even in the ballpark of a dog or a shark, etc.

I think this is debatable. Crows and some primates can use tools, and that seems to be a process that is subject to trial and error. If you punish your dog for getting in the garbage, they can learn not to do it because of the response they get from their owner.

There is no such thing as ethics for other animal species. Humans are one of the only species who has the luxury of leisure time in which to contemplate 'ethics' partly because for many of us our basic survival needs are easily taken care of and we are not constantly under threat of predation. Many animals must spend most of their time tending to their basic survival and reproductive needs, it's not 'unethical' for any animal to kill any other animal. If drinking water becomes scarce and the only way many people could obtain it is by taking it from other people I think you'd see ethics get swept away pretty quickly.

True, but it's a little selective. Drop us in the middle of the ocean or the savannah or grizzly bear country with just the clothes on our back and we're definitely not an apex predator, we're more like 'lunch'.

Yet some of the greatest human losses in history were caused by mere micro-organisms. I'm not disputing your main point, but all animal species are unique, amazingly so. Is our intelligence so much more unique than say a spider's webspinning ability?

I wasn't really comparing our sense of smell or sight to put us on a pedestal above other species.How can I put this better? We tend to notice things which other animals take for granted or can't quite comprehend.I don't think any other species appreciates the fact we are living on a planet revolving around a sun like us humans.And they never will do until they get to our level of evolution.Thats my idea of self-awareness.

Your next point is absolutely true. This is why dogs are so easy to get trained not to do anything untoward. Usually treats and rewards are a good way to encourage them.

It's true that people do get complacent and take things for granted.They truly are comfortable in their own skin. Especially with all the creature comforts we have in the developed world. However some tribes especially in Amazonia have also got to attend to those same basic and reproductive needs which they're done with absolute ease. Btw the only people who go on about how ethical food is are tree huggers. That's true about the drinking water becoming scarce because we do tend to adopt a pack mentality when the going gets tough.But these natives have managed without these creature comforts and you don't see then tearing their throats out,because they are used to the status quo. A normal Joe would freak out if he's put in the same situation.

I don't think lions or bears would have any qualms having us for lunch. However you need to be pretty foolhardy to go un-armed there. Tbh there's a better chance of endemic carrying insects undermining our status as an apex predator.

Fair enough on your last point but it dosn't take much to destroy a spider's web.However it's strong enough to catch flies. That's one of the few things that's worthy in their insular world.

Edited by Walnut Whip

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What if "God" (for the sake of argument) didn't so much as design everything from every leaf to every little bird to every one of us, but sort of set out the parameters and the rules by which the processes fo evolution happened, kind of setting out the basic principles and then left the Universe to get on by itself, while perhaps making sure that it didn't all go pear-shaped by keeping an eye on it and maybe giving the paramters a subtle nudge from time to time.

Good questions and points. I think we're starting to butt against the traditional attributes of God though. If god is omniscient, then he can't help but know already when he set out the parameters and rules by which evolution happened what the results would be. I don't know if it's possible for God to ever just 'see what happens when I do this', he already knows. There is evidence that the Christian God as depicted by the Bible already knows how everything will turn out, Jesus will return, Rapture, etc, so I think he probably then knew how his general processes turned out, plus he is usually being depicted as existing 'outside of time'. He doesn't need to keep any eye on anything, he already knows, nothing is going to surprise him. Which is not to say that any of this is an absolute, there are obviously a lot of different conceptions of God.

That needn't mean that evolution need be in opposition to the idea of some guiding intelligence at all.

Agreed, and I agree that there are some extreme people who will say that it is in opposition and I likewise think they are wrong. The current issue as I see it is that there isn't anything right now to distinguish between evolution being guided and evolution not being guided, so there doesn't seem at this point anything to be gained by adding God or extraterrestrials to the equation, which might simply be explained by the natural processes of evolution itself.

An argument that I do think has some validity that I've seen suggested is that evolution is in opposition to a god that cares about his creation and the suffering of the creatures in it. If you believe in evolution and the scientific age of the earth, then in order to get humans, the point of God's creation, he set it up so that many animals are required to, usually very violently, kill and eat each other in order to survive, despite the imaginable suffering involved when multiplied over millions of years. There's no reason this is necessary, God is omnipotent and could have made it so that animals get sustenance from the sun or dirt or something inanimate. The alternative he has selected is one of the bloodiest imaginable, and tough to reconcile with some of his proposed characteristics. As your sig aptly points out, "Life is a hideous business".

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And ? Remember Space is Really ,Really Big !

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Here's some evidence as to why humans are unique...

We are the only species who are fully aware of their surroundings

We are the only species who are wiling to learn something through trial and error.

As the technology gets better the process accelerates to invent even better technology.

Eventually we will not be reliant on fossil fuels and invent inter-galactic spacecraft.

The sudden advances in nano-technology could kill two birds with one stone.

We have also got over the lack of fur from evolution by wearing clothing.

We can also practically eat anything and due to our awareness we can decide whether food is either good for your health or ethical.

We have also been called an apex predator and I can't see any evidence that contradicts this.

We can invent weapons that level the playing field and put us on top of the food chain.

We are the only species that talk with their vocal cords without nothing being repeated.

And I strongly suspect some of our more prominent traits muscled the Neanderthals out and caused their demise.

I feel that actually expresses the opposite of what I think you are trying to convey. You have listed many species that we competed against who never attained intelligence.

The only species you have listed that has achieved intelligence is us, and whilst you have a good list up there, we have had 50 billion species in our historical record. Also, only one species up there changed their environment to suit them, not adapt to their environment, and that is us.

Why did only one body shape achieve intelligence? You mention the Neanderthal up there whom I agree attained what we would call intelligence or self awareness - cave paintings, clothing and compassion. They are the same us us - Homo. Great Apes.

As such, why would alien life be different? How would proximity to a star, or atmosphere, or gravity change the requirements for intelligence? Would it not be more likely to consider that any planet where it is difficult for life to evolve is unlikely to achieve intelligence?

I strongly disagree that life would be in many different shapes and sizes. Not all shapes and sizes are conducive to an Industrial Revolution, no matter where you are. Leverage an manipulation are absolute musts. Other life is very highly likely to look quite familiar to us if we allow the rules of the Universe that shaped this planet to apply to the rest of the Universe.

When one stops guessing at to what might happen, and starts considering has happened, the options narrow down to an anthropomorphic design. It's just logical that other intelligent species are likely to be somewhat familiar.

We might only have a pool of one to evaluate life by, but consider, this planet has had at least 5 major extinction events. The planet has been "reset" several times, and Dinosaurs had much longer than us to get themselves together. Nothing has ever even come close to the achievements of man. We did not "do that" Nature did it for us. If Dinosaurs were alive today would we have intelligent dinosaurs? I see absolutely no reason why. This would just be a predators paradise.

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What if "God" (for the sake of argument) didn't so much as design everything from every leaf to every little bird to every one of us, but sort of set out the parameters and the rules by which the processes fo evolution happened, kind of setting out the basic principles and then left the Universe to get on by itself, while perhaps making sure that it didn't all go pear-shaped by keeping an eye on it and maybe giving the paramters a subtle nudge from time to time/ That needn't mean that evolution need be in opposition to the idea of some guiding intelligence at all.

The big bang indicates random particles coming together that reacted and initiated inflation. Would that be God shooting marbles?

God is not necessary for the creation of the Universe.

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This is so true psyche101 Theres more than meets the eye in this understanding our known universe. Afterall we made up the entire belief system that we use to teach all of our children to this day!

ITs time we start opening there minds to the potentials of the unlimited search for the next generation of seekers of knowledge ! :tsu:

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What if "God" (for the sake of argument) didn't so much as design everything from every leaf to every little bird to every one of us, but sort of set out the parameters and the rules by which the processes fo evolution happened, kind of setting out the basic principles and then left the Universe to get on by itself, while perhaps making sure that it didn't all go pear-shaped by keeping an eye on it and maybe giving the paramters a subtle nudge from time to time/ That needn't mean that evolution need be in opposition to the idea of some guiding intelligence at all.

Isn't "a subtle nudge" more along the lines of "not needed" and therefore more accurately described as "self assurance"?

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This is so true psyche101 Theres more than meets the eye in this understanding our known universe. Afterall we made up the entire belief system that we use to teach all of our children to this day!

ITs time we start opening there minds to the potentials of the unlimited search for the next generation of seekers of knowledge ! :tsu:

Hi D

Indeed, we should let our children stand on the shoulders of giants, and save them floundering in the quagmire that so many have already waded through.

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We think we are unique, therefore we are unique B)

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Of course everything I've said here could be meaningless...

Providing we made official alien contact.

Then our "unique" status will be serverly compromised.

Even if they can't or unable to talk it dosn't mean we've got an advantage.

It's all the other stuff they have that will put us down the pecking order.

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