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Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:05 am
by Gloominary
If humans were to go extinct, what animal would be next in line to evolve big enough brains, with enough folds, to build a civilization...or something like it, high society and technology?
Obviously the most intelligent animals today are the candidates to become around and about as intelligent as, or more intelligent than we are now.
Off the top of my head, as far as humans can ascertain, the most intelligent vertebrates are mammals and birds, like other primates, elephants and cetaceans (dolphins, whales...), or parrots and corvids (crows, jays, magpies, ravens...).
The most intelligent arthropods are probably the social insects: ants, bees and termites.
The most intelligent mollusks are cephalopods: squid, octopi, cuttlefish.
Are humans a one off, or is it possible the aforementioned species could evolve to a point where they could produce something like a civilization, and if so, given their unique anatomy and socioneurology, how might such a civilization differ from ours?

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:09 am
by Zero_Sum
Humanity would destroy the entire planet on the way out the exit door therefore none.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:18 am
by Serendipper
Gloominary wrote:If humans were to go extinct, what animal would be next in line to evolve big enough brains, with enough folds, to build a civilization...or something like it, high society and technology?

Apes. The animal would need thumbs to use tools.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:36 pm
by Gloominary
Zero_Sum wrote:Humanity would destroy the entire planet on the way out the exit door therefore none.

Not necessarily if we killed ourselves with a super virus we concocted.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:39 pm
by Gloominary
Serendipper wrote:
Gloominary wrote:If humans were to go extinct, what animal would be next in line to evolve big enough brains, with enough folds, to build a civilization...or something like it, high society and technology?

Apes. The animal would need thumbs to use tools.

Why's that?
Elephants can use their trunks.
Crows and parrots can use their beaks, they've already been found fashioning simple tools in the wild.
Ants and bees already build amazing things, which may get even more sophisticated eons from now.
Octopi and squid can use their tentacles.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:40 pm
by Zero_Sum
Gloominary wrote:
Zero_Sum wrote:Humanity would destroy the entire planet on the way out the exit door therefore none.

Not necessarily if we killed ourselves with a super virus we concocted.

Which 500 plus nuclear plants around the world would go unattended.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:44 pm
by Gloominary
Zero_Sum wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
Zero_Sum wrote:Humanity would destroy the entire planet on the way out the exit door therefore none.

Not necessarily if we killed ourselves with a super virus we concocted.

Which 500 plus nuclear plants around the world would go unattended.

While that will devastate some regions of the world, many others will be fine.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:46 pm
by Zero_Sum
Gloominary wrote:While that will devastate some regions of the world, many others will be fine.


Not if it contaminates the oceans or much of the world's fresh water supplies.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:35 pm
by Gloominary
Zero_Sum wrote:
Gloominary wrote:While that will devastate some regions of the world, many others will be fine.


Not if it contaminates the oceans or much of the world's fresh water supplies.

I have to do more studying on this, but I'm sure some macroscopic life forms would survive.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:44 pm
by Arcturus Descending
All of the below...

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/anima ... mals-earth

It would take great mutual effort to perpetuate the world.
Individually and collectively, they all bring something to the table.

There is no *I* in team. :lol:

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:13 am
by Zero_Sum
Gloominary wrote:
Zero_Sum wrote:
Gloominary wrote:While that will devastate some regions of the world, many others will be fine.


Not if it contaminates the oceans or much of the world's fresh water supplies.

I have to do more studying on this, but I'm sure some macroscopic life forms would survive.

Yes please do. Most life depends on the oceans and fresh water including single cell life forms and micro organisms both being the basic building blocks of life as we know it on this planet.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:19 am
by Gloominary
Arcturus Descending wrote:All of the below...

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/anima ... mals-earth

It would take great mutual effort to perpetuate the world.
Individually and collectively, they all bring something to the table.

There is no *I* in team. :lol:

Yea maybe multiple sentient species from earth will build a civilzation together one day, that would make for some interesting science fiction.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:20 am
by Gloominary
Myself I think other than nonhuman primates, crows and magpies are the most likely to develop sufficient sentience to build a civilization, they're both extremely smart, social, and capable of making tools, without being taught by humans how to do so.
They're also capable of improving their designs, and passing this knowledge down to the next generation, perhaps inadvertently through mimicry, or perhaps advertently through mentoring, I don't think scientists know yet.
If they have a drive to impart knowledge and behavior patterns, then they have culture.

Crows have been observed holding funerals for their dead.
Magpies are one of the few non-mammalian animals to pass the 'mirror test', indicating a high degree of self-consciousness, a test the vast majority of mammals fail.
Also, I've noticed magpies don't seem to call or sing like other birds, they sound like they possess language.

Listen:



What would crow or magpie civilization look like?
Would they domesticate plants and other animals?
Since they have feathers, they may not need clothes.
Would they live in birdhouses of their own construction?
Would they practice medicine?
Would they fashion different implements for eating, drinking, writing and making war?
Would they have different professions?

Let's hope crows and magpies survive, and do a better job of things than us.
Parrots and elephants are also good candidates.

Altho the social insects don't seem to have anything like language or culture, or maybe they do and we just don't know enough about them yet, they're highly socially and materially organized and industrious.
Ants even have domestication, they care for other invertebrates so they can use them for various things.

As for dolphins and whales, I can't even imagine what a totally underwater civilization would look like, and while they're extremely smart and social, I don't think their mouths are equipped with the dexterity to fashion tools.
Water is very...watery, it doesn't seem to be conducive to structuring things the way land in air is.

While octopi and squid seem quite bright, especially their visual spatial intelligence, they don't seem very social, and civilization by definition requires a high degree of sociability, but I'm sure we still have a lot to learn about them.

As for cows and pigs, while they seem pretty smart, especially the latter, they're presently incapable of tool use.

Rodents don't seem that smart to me, but I'm no expert.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:16 am
by Zero_Sum
I'm still going with an extinction event of all life on the planet approach.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:46 am
by Gloominary
Zero_Sum wrote:I'm still going with an extinction event of all life on the planet approach.

I think a mass extinction event is very likely as well, but I'm hoping a few sentient species like crows and magpies will survive.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:43 am
by Zero_Sum
Gloominary wrote:
Zero_Sum wrote:I'm still going with an extinction event of all life on the planet approach.

I think a mass extinction event is very likely as well, but I'm hoping a few sentient species like crows and magpies will survive.

Let us all hope such a scenario can be avoided.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:44 am
by Gloominary
Zero_Sum wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
Zero_Sum wrote:I'm still going with an extinction event of all life on the planet approach.

I think a mass extinction event is very likely as well, but I'm hoping a few sentient species like crows and magpies will survive.

Let us all hope such a scenario can be avoided.

Yea, let's hope.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:28 pm
by Arcturus Descending
Gloominary wrote:


Water is very...watery, it doesn't seem to be conducive to structuring things the way land in air is.


What about a Tsunami though it is affected by other things? It is like a superstructure itself and I daresay that it does structure things or change the structure of things.

Let us not forget about the altruistic vampire bat. One never knows when blood is at its lowest. It too would have its place.
There is such a need for blood these days.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:00 pm
by Gloominary
Arcturus Descending wrote:Gloominary wrote:


Water is very...watery, it doesn't seem to be conducive to structuring things the way land in air is.


What about a Tsunami though it is affected by other things? It is like a superstructure itself and I daresay that it does structure things or change the structure of things.

Let us not forget about the altruistic vampire bat. One never knows when blood is at its lowest. It too would have its place.
There is such a need for blood these days.

While all things have structures, even air, perhaps even space, water is less structured, or at least less rigidly structured than land, and also has a way of undoing whatever solid structures you attempt to erect that air doesn't, so I'm not so sure an underwater civilization could ever arise, even if Dolphins were more intelligent and dexterous than they are today.
Water sort of blends everything together, where as civilization, at least as we know it, if not by definition, compartmentalizes.
Perhaps it is possible, but I think it'd be more challenging.
So much of civilization depends on fire, combustion, and you can't have fire in water, nor adhesives.

Re: Human Supersession

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:34 pm
by Serendipper
Gloominary wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
Gloominary wrote:If humans were to go extinct, what animal would be next in line to evolve big enough brains, with enough folds, to build a civilization...or something like it, high society and technology?

Apes. The animal would need thumbs to use tools.

Why's that?
Elephants can use their trunks.
Crows and parrots can use their beaks, they've already been found fashioning simple tools in the wild.
Ants and bees already build amazing things, which may get even more sophisticated eons from now.
Octopi and squid can use their tentacles.

Trunks are no good for writing and math wouldn't evolve because there are no fingers. Same with beaks. I can't see ants building "high society and technology" Octopi have to live in the water. There is not enough solar energy in water to allow farming to build societies. The best light for plants has trouble getting through the atmosphere, nevermind water.

E=hν is the energy that must be added to a physical/chemical system, typically through radiation, in order to cause a chemical reaction. In photochemistry, hν is used in chemical equations to signify the energy absorbed that causes photoionization or photodissociation. For example, frequency must be greater than 3000 terahertz to ionize nitrogen (N2) or greater than 1237 terahertz to dissociate oxygen (O2). Infrared radiation, frequency less than 430 terahertz, does not have enough energy to penetrate glass. Visible light, frequencies between 430 and 790 terahertz, has enough energy to cause photosynthesis. Ultraviolet radiation, frequencies greater than 790 terahertz, begins to damage DNA, causing sunburn and skin cancer. X-rays with frequencies greater than 30,000 terahertz have enough energy to penetrate your body but will also destroy your body unless the amount, the dosage, is minimal. https://ozonedepletiontheory.info/prima ... th-GG.html

So success or intelligence of a species depends on the energy delivered by its radiation source. I've read there are bacteria living off the radiation of elements deep in the ground, but because their energy is low, that's all they will ever be.

Shortly after coming out of the water, we evolved the ability to make use of UVB radiation to make vitamin D and the reptiles are totally dependent upon that high-energy light. It seems that coming out of the water allows for more harnessing of energy which allows for the development of high tech societies and maybe the light was the incentive to come out of the water. I can't picture high tech society in the dark ocean. They would need farms to feed their brains and provide the leisure time necessary to contemplate the irrelevancies of life which leads to science and art. They would never have cooking because: no fire would be discovered. So, no refinement of language around the fire while dinner is cooking while picking nits from each other's fur.