LoP Guest Wrote: (09-01-2012 02:58 PM)
I do not understand why we people are THE only organism that is evolved.
Because the human species is not nearly as evolved as some of the other species.
There are millions of organisms, alot of them are much older then we are, why haven't They evolved like us?
Your question should be; "How long will it take for humans to catch up to some of the other species?"
Humans have not evolved past some of the most vile and degenerate aspects of their nature.
Dr. John Lilly is a neurophysiologist and an inventor who has spent most of his life studying the dichotomy between the human brain and the human mind, trying to determine whether a valid distinction can be made between the two. He has been fascinated by the question of what makes human beings human, what is the magical quality that sets us apart from other animals. He became interested in dolphins because their brains are comparable in size to ours (unlike the brains of the apes, which are much smaller.) In the mid-fifties he began dissecting dolphin brains in order to compare their structure to that of human brains, hoping to find some key differences which would explain the human's unique intellect. He didn't. Instead, he found that not only is the dolphin brain about 20% larger than the human brain, but it is just as complex and highly developed. The brain cells are densely packed and form just as many intricate interconnections.
Many researchers have mapped the brains of humans and various other animals. It turns out that the human brain and the brain of, say, a gorilla are almost the same in the areas that handle sensory information and body movement. The major difference is that in a human the "associational" areas of the brain, devoted to memory, language, and conscious thought, are much larger. The main difference between the human and dolphin brains is also in the associational areas. Only this time, it is the dolphin who has the advantage.
Scientists had long been aware of the large brains of the dolphins but had always assumed that they were of lower quality than human brains, and that in any case, the dolphin's larger body required a proportionately larger brain to control it. Lilly's discoveries showed these assumptions to be wrong. The error in the body size argument can also be seen by examining the brains of other animals. For example, the great white shark grows up to 25 feet in length and can weigh up to four tons, versus a dolphin's 300 or 400 pounds. Both shark and dolphin make their living by swimming around in the ocean catching fish. Yet the shark's brain is only a fraction the size of the dolphin's. The shark seems to be about as intelligent as a rat.
Lilly became intrigued by the possibility that dolphins are as intelligent as humans, or even more so. But since dolphins are so very different from us, this immediately raises the question of what exactly we mean by "intelligence." And that is very difficult to answer. "Intelligence" is one of those words like "love" which everyone uses and thinks they understand, but which nobody can define, much less measure quantitatively. The IQ tests that psychologists devise really measure nothing more than the ability to perform well on IQ tests. This happens to correlate reasonably well with a student's grade point average in school, but has little to do with the skills needed to succeed in life. It takes an entirely different sort of intelligence to write a symphony, run a business, repair a bicycle, or comfort a frightened child.
The Meaning of Intelligence
Our crude devices for measuring intelligence in ourselves must be totally inappropriate for a species as different from us as the dolphins. We tend to define intelligence in terms of our own capabilities, using a strange kind of circular logic. We begin with the assumption that we are intelligent and other animals are not. To try to explain this difference we look for skills which seem to be exclusively human. Tool-making and the use of language are usually named as such skills. "Aha," we think, "these are the signs of true intelligence." Then we look for these capabilities in other animals, and of course find none that can match us. Hence we conclude that they are less intelligent than we. By basing our measurement of animal intelligence on how closely they resemble humans, we naturally find ourselves at the top.
Of all the animals, we identify most closely with the apes mainly because they look more or less like us: they live on land, walk mainly on two legs, and have hands with which to manipulate things. Occasionally they even show some skill at using tools. For these reasons we usually consider the apes to be the next step down from us in intelligence, especially chimpanzees and gorillas. A lot of work has gone into attempts at teaching language to chimpanzees, but with very limited success. This is not too surprising, since a chimpanzee brain is only about 1/4 the size of an adult human brain. Even a human infant, at the stage of development at which language is learned, has a brain 2 or 3 times as large as a chimpanzee's.
By contrast, very little effort has been spent trying to communicate with the dolphins. This is probably because they are so alien to us that it is hard for us to imagine that they could be intelligent. But it is unreasonable to judge dolphins by human standards because the requirements for life in the sea versus life on the land are obviously very different. The dolphins have no need of clothing or shelter from the weather. They can swim thousands of miles in a few days and hence have no need for artificial means of transportation. They can easily catch fish wherever they go, so food is no problem. On the other hand, breathing is not an unconscious, automatic process for the dolphins as it is for us, since they must rise to the surface to get a fresh lung-full of air. Dolphins cannot sleep or lose consciousness for more than a few minutes at a time or they will drown. They are social animals, travelling in close-knit groups, but their society is not based on technology and specialization as ours is. Dolphins would get low marks on any intelligence test that emphasizes tool use because their bodies are not built for it. They have simple flippers in place of our dextrous little hands with opposable thumbs. But then, they have no need of tools.
Clearly, if we are to measure the intelligence of animals so unlike ourselves we need a more objective measuring rod. The physical size and complexity of the brain could well be such a measure. The problem is that so far nobody has proven that a larger brain necessarily indicates greater intelligence. We know that a gorilla has a larger brain than a muskrat and is also more intelligent (whatever that means.) A human has a still larger brain and is more intelligent than a gorilla. Now we find that dolphins have larger brains than humans. Does that mean they are more intelligent than humans, or does it just mean that an animal with a large brain can still be dumb? Despite John Lilly's work, most scientists are still waiting to be convinced of the dolphin's intelligence.
The belief in human superiority over all other animals is deeply ingrained. Scientists religiously avoid anthropomorphizing, or interpreting animal behavior in human terms. Lilly has pointed out that "zoomorphizing" in the case of large-brained animals can be just as misleading. It is certainly true that to some extent you see what you want to see, and if you insist on believing that dolphins are dumb animals, everything they do can be interpreted that way. Even scientists, whose business it is to be totally objective, are often blinded by their own hidden assumptions, egotism, or any number of typical human weaknesses. To overcome this prejudice it will be necessary to find something dolphins can do that will generally be regarded as proof of intelligence. In other words, we need to find some area where the dolphin's intellectual skills overlap with our own, however unfair that may be to the dolphin.
The Search for Non-Human Intelligence