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 What is the most advanced life form?
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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  07:32:43  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message
I'm currently in a discussion over on christianforums.com. The discussion started on ID and used the arch to show that Irreducibly complex does not mean that it also had to be intelligently designed. After a while the discussion shifted, to which creature is the most advanced.

Basically, there are two opposing camps.
1. Pittguy: who thinks that humans are the most advanced, because we are the most intelligent and therefore, the most advanced.
2. The rest: who argue that intelligence is only one way of measuring advancement and that other measures give other conclusions (for example, dolphins are more advanced because they have a very efficient, aerodynamic shape is just as valid to say).

I was wondering what you guys think. Basically I was hoping for a discussion which goes a little bit further than 'no, it's obvious that humans are more intelligent and you can't see that because you are an idiot' and comments along those lines.

Also, I know there is research being done on the streamline of fish and other natural phenomenon to give us solutions to engineering problems, but can't find any good links on it. Any suggestions?

Oh, for those interested in reading the discussion:
http://www.christianforums.com/t3052660-mhstandard-argument-for-irreducible-complexity.html
It's reasonably long and hasn't got much substance, but some parts are quite funny in my opinion.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-

Edited by - tomk80 on 06/16/2006 07:33:24

BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  07:54:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
For me its about survivability, humans would be near the top behind bacteria. Really though its the question that is the problem, it needs to be broken into, Advanced: in this way. Clearly the box fish is the most advanced with regard to hydrodynamics... but they sure do suck at making cars.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  08:17:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
"Advanced" implies a goal of some sort, and as we know, evolution has no goal; strives for nothing beyond adapting a species into an existing ecological niche. Thus, we are no more "advanced" than an amoeba, merely more complex to meet the requirements of our niche.

Tell 'em I said that the question is meaningless.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Gorgo
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USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  08:41:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Halle Berry.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  08:49:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
"Advanced" implies a goal of some sort, and as we know, evolution has no goal; strives for nothing beyond adapting a species into an existing ecological niche.


Wouldn't that be a goal? Survival? I would say that which survives best is more advanced.

And if that's how you would describe advanced, I would have to go with humans over bacteria. Humans have the ability to change their enviornment, not just to let their enviorment change them. If the earth was headed for a doomsday event, we have the ability to save it. Bacteria don't.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  08:57:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
However, if we couldn't save the earth, I bet the bacteria survive over humans.

And then from the surviving bacteria evolution will once again start.

So, I say the bacteria are the most advanced, because they can survive where we can't and they can be the building block for all other life forms on a planet.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Edited by - pleco on 06/16/2006 08:59:04
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  09:02:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
Sorry, I wasn't clear. When I say "Doomsday event", I mean everything dying. For example, if the sun were to turn into a red giant or the Earth was somehow knocked off it's orbit.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  09:02:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message
Let the ants try.... :D

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  09:04:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

Sorry, I wasn't clear. When I say "Doomsday event", I mean everything dying. For example, if the sun were to turn into a red giant or the Earth was somehow knocked off it's orbit.



Well, in that case I would say all life forms suck.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25971 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  10:01:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
If an "advanced" species is one which survives a long time, then given that
  • the median "lifespan" of species on Earth is ten million years, and
  • our species has been around for maybe 200,000 years,
then we've got a long way to go before we're even "above average," much less "advanced."

Hell, even Homo erectus has us beat by a factor of eight, so far.

And Ricky, every species changes its environment, simply through the act of metabolism. And even beavers make dramatic changes to their environment for a "purpose" (creating a safe home). What may be unique to humans is the ability to change our environment in ways that "transcend" instinctual drives.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  10:38:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Bacteria could conceivable survive the death of our star and lay dormant inside rocks waiting to splash down on Europa. They can survive a million things we cannot, not all of them but many...

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  10:49:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
I also think the most important 'advanced' ability is to recognise, predict and prevent envirnoment destructing forces, like the goofy but not impossible idea of deflecting an asteroid. Unfortunatly greed is a more powerful idea, which ends up trumping the previous.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  12:43:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
There are an infinite number of ways that species could be said to be more or less advanced. I agree with Filthy that the term is meaningless. The only thing that counts in nature and its process of evolution is survival. In that sense, every species now living could be (meaninglessly) said to be equally "advanced."

I, personally, think of species survival as the "goal" in evolution. But saying that nature has no goals is just as accurate. Goals are a human mental construct, and as such, we could not expect amoebae to have a formal goal.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2006 :  01:44:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message
This question is meaningful to the same extent that "Who is the world's best sportsman?" or "What is the best movie ever made?" are. There is no objective way to qualify the questions and you are left with a more-or-less arbitrary choice of "important" features required of the "winner". If you have any sort of emotional interest in the outcome, this choice will most of all probably reflect the outcome you desire. In other words, you start with a conclusion and then you cherry-pick your variables(s) so that they support the conclusion. As already pointed out, this is meaningless (apart from the entertainment value, of course).

Saying that:
quote:
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf
I also think the most important 'advanced' ability is to recognise, predict and prevent envirnoment destructing forces, like the goofy but not impossible idea of deflecting an asteroid. Unfortunatly greed is a more powerful idea, which ends up trumping the previous.

Let me paraphrase this a bit.
Measurement of "advancedness" score sheet:
Point 38: The ability to foresee probable far-in-the-future disasters - add 10 points.
Point 39: The inability to perform actions alleviating the effects of foreseen probable far-in-the-future disasters - subtract 50 points.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2006 :  02:24:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
The question is intrinsically flawed.

You will never find consensus on what constitutes an "advanced" life form.

The question only has meaning within the context you set for the definition of "advanced" in regard to life.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2006 :  06:47:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
To put it another way...

It is like asking who is the "best" person on the planet.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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