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Para-human intelligences

"What would happen if...?" has always been a staple of Science Fiction. What do you wonder about?

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Para-human intelligences

Postby Floridian Dream » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:18 pm

It would be arrogant of us to consider our species the only one on this planet that can communicate coherently and think. For millions of years, apes have been growing increasingly intelligent to a point where they've produced a being that can think, create, and understand the universe in an extremely profound way, and when we look to elephants, cephalopods, corvids, parrots, cichlids, and cetaceans, we find that there are plenty of other creatures doing the same thing, that intelligence has evolved more than once and in numerous distantly-related taxa. So what about sapience?

Who's to say sapient beings haven't evolved more than once on this planet, that there isn't another form of sapience incarnated in other biological taxa somewhere in the world? If such is the case, where could they be that we haven't found them yet? Or have we in our distant past? Could supposedly mythological entities such as Fauns, Kappas, Sheti snake brothers, Dirawong, and even Mermaids be historical evidence that Homo sapiens shares the Earth with intellectual siblings?

While we're at it, if so many species could evolve on the same planet at the same time, what's stopping such a thing from happening in other times, like the prehistoric past? Could life have suddenly sprang to the opportunity to evolve sapience just as soon as it had the means to? Could dinosaurs, dimetrodons, Dunkleosteus, or even dinocaridids pursued the path to sapience and made achievements relatable to our own? If so, where could they have gone to? Could their potential have been cut short by an extinction event, or perhaps their civilization met a premature demise prior to such an event? But if the fall of their civilization was not caused by an extinction event, then what? Or, what if they never truly did go extinct, but were advanced enough to have fled Earth from the approaching apocalypses to other worlds? Could there legacy live on in the stars, or perhaps prior to the extinction event they had evolved in ways that we either can not comprehend or deem possible?

Where could they be?… :?
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Re: Para-human intelligences

Postby Bmat » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:54 am

Welcome to Speculative Vision!

I agree that human intelligence probably should not be the only definition of intelligence.
It is intriguing to think of prior intelligent life on Earth who have fled to other celestial places. Some of my favorite sf involves the discovery, not necessarily on Earth, of a long vanished species.
I am also reminded of an sf story I read a while back where, if I remember correctly, a group of ants were placed in a safe structure where they had no predators but plenty of food, and when they were checked a good while later, they had made buildings or had other indications of what we would call a place made by intelligent beings.
And again, who is to say that building a structure such as humans do should be the indicator of intelligence. Ants and groundhogs, for example, have complex living quarters. Some termites build homes on the ground, bird nests can be complex considering that birds have no opposable thumbs.
Star Trek showed a number of beings who were intelligent but that humans did not recognize this for a while because the intelligence was different.
Is it that the human idea of intelligence is that humans record and learn and improve? What is intelligence?
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