[extropy-chat] Manifest Destiny for >H

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 10:04:30 UTC 2007

On 4/16/07, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> On the other hand, maybe there will be long, long periods of dynamic
> > equilibrium, evn between competing species grossly mismatched in
> > intelligence, such as humans and bacteria.
> That's because, in my view, human beings just got here. Another eye-
> blink from now, and just why will we or our >H successors permit
> anything to use valuable energy besides ourselves (themselves)?

I wouldn't write off bacteria as easily. By prevalence, total biomass,
hardiness and species longevity they far surpass humans. It's only in the
last century that we have really been able to fight them, and in the last
couple of decades we have fallen behind in that battle as they develop
resistance to antibiotics even while medical science advances in leaps and
bounds. Tigers are smarter, bigger and stronger than bacteria and we've
almost wiped them out without meaning to, while we haven't made much impact
on even the most pathogenic bacteria that we would dearly like to see
extinct. A planet-wide catastrophe of the sort that wiped out the dinosaurs
would not have much impact on bacteria, and it is even possible that
bacterial spores might travel through space and seed other planets. We are
very proud of our intelligence, but in the greater scheme of things, it
might turn out to be just an evolutionary dead end. Life took hold and
spread almost everywhere on the surface of the Earth over billions of years
without need of intelligence.

Stathis Papaioannou
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