[extropy-chat] Animals

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Feb 12 14:26:10 UTC 2004

On Wed, Feb 11, 2004 at 06:59:33PM -0800, Spike wrote:

> Here's a thought experiment: imagine suddenly removing
> all humans from earth but leaving it otherwise unharmed.
> Would not that open a huge ecological niche into which
> would rush some other beast?  Those who understand the
> mechanisms of evolution, would that cause evolutionary
> pressure for chimps, gorillas or bonobos to evolve sentience?  

It is not obvious humanity filled a niche. It took us quite a time, too.
It is not obvious any other species would make it, given half a gigayear
stage, and a few extinction events strewn in-between.

We might very well be a giant fluke. Fermi's paradoxon probably isn't.

> Or would it actually remove ecological pressure, since humans
> are actively selecting for intelligence in dogs, cats,
> and perhaps to some extent primates?

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
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