The multiple evolution of intelligence

nigelTheBold
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The multiple evolution of intelligence

There's a great article in Scientific American about the multiple intdependent evolution of intelligence.

Sample quote:

Paul Patten in the linked article wrote:

Even more amazingly, Clayton showed that the birds can anticipate unique future events. She allowed jays to observe others of their kind cache food and then permitted them to pilfer the caches. Later these birds cached their own food, either alone or in the presence of another jay. Birds that had acted as thieves took great precautions to conceal their food-caching activities when in the presence of another jay. Although the jays had experienced food theft only in the role of thief, they nonetheless were able to imagine themselves in the role of victim. The ability to recall specific episodes in the past and to predict future occurrences is known as mental time travel [see “Intelligence Evolved,” by Ursula Dicke and Gerhard Roth; Scientific American Mind, August/September 2008]. Before Clayton’s work, this cognitive ability was thought to be unique to humans.

Colour me unsurprised. I've seen other corvids (specifically ravens) act intelligently. Yet another way in which humans are not special.

The article isn't specifically about birds, though a lot is given over to them. It's a general article about how intelligence has evolved independently on several separate occasions. I guess this is a surprising find, even though we've witnessed intelligent behaviour is cephalopods, and we would've split from them long before growing a spine, let alone developing intelligence.

Very interesting read.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


HisWillness
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Eloise wrote:Oh hello, I

Eloise wrote:
Oh hello, I wasn't sure if we were coming back to this one, Will. Good to see.

That's my fault: I missed it when you responded.

Eloise wrote:
but also, I believe in God regardless that it's not a priority issue for me.

I guess I've been trying to figure out where God fits in. In our discussion, we have a universe that is and gives rise to "personality" or "intelligence" or any number of attributes that we use to describe living creatures. For me, that seems to be the complete picture.

Universe -> chemical evolution -> creatures (when viewed in forward-moving time)

Since you've said there's no extra to add on to the universe, there's no reason to put that as

Godly Universe -> chemical evolution -> creatures

if the idea "universe" is already assumed to be a template for personality (by way of "information&quotEye-wink.

Eloise wrote:
In this way it follows that the 4th force may yet mediate sense data just as is the case with electromagnetism. That isn't exactly arbitrary just of itself as it stands but, if you need it, I have offered further reason as to why a sense which would comprise the phenomenon of abstract reasoning needs to be mediated by gravity, such as it requires information encoded in the geometry of time, not just that of space.

But any sense would have to be mediated by all four forces, by virtue of existing within the universe. I'm still not sure why you're assigning electromagnetism to sense, and then gravity to intelligence (which is a sense?) when any sense must exist within an environment with four simultaneous forces.

Eloise wrote:
Of course it can be "just like the universe". But put it this way, "the universe" depersonalises what it is, as though we actually could claim those attributes which we group under the heading "personality" as exclusively human or biological, my point is to demonstrate that our basis for such a claim is not long for this world that the reasons we consider ourselves "persons" also apply to the universe as a whole.

We've already agreed that the universe is such that its nature is the source of personality. I'm still going to call it the universe, regardless of its nature.

Eloise wrote:
It's actually probably easier if I don't have to keep rushing to divulge the steps to that result anyway.

No, I think I'd still like to understand how you place a god (conceptually) in the universe. Gravitons, for example, are the kind of thing that one must accept as a kind of place-holder for mathematical understanding. If you have a God particle (other than the Higgs Boson, I guess), it's not like I wouldn't be accustomed to taking that kind of thing as a calculation convenience.

Eloise wrote:
[resemblance] To us; to put it in really simple terms.

But don't we resemble it?

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


Eloise
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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
but also, I believe in God regardless that it's not a priority issue for me.

I guess I've been trying to figure out where God fits in. In our discussion, we have a universe that is and gives rise to "personality" or "intelligence" or any number of attributes that we use to describe living creatures. For me, that seems to be the complete picture.

That's kind of the complete picture, but I think we need to fine tune our agreement on the concept of "giving rise to" if you're going to be satisfied with the description I'm giving you for God. That seems to be where our two sides aren't meeting exactly.

HisWillness wrote:

Universe -> chemical evolution -> creatures (when viewed in forward-moving time)

Since you've said there's no extra to add on to the universe, there's no reason to put that as

Godly Universe -> chemical evolution -> creatures

No there's nothing to add on, you're right, but as we've established, fairly well I'd say, there is something to take away. (ie motion in time, the exclusiveness of intelligence) with the result that rather than a linear formula for process you are left with sets in an inclusion map ~ universe ↪ creature  ; universe >= creature ~ with, basically, chemical evolution as the injective function.

 

HisWillness wrote:

But any sense would have to be mediated by all four forces, by virtue of existing within the universe. I'm still not sure why you're assigning electromagnetism to sense, and then gravity to intelligence (which is a sense?) when any sense must exist within an environment with four simultaneous forces.

Yeah, agreed that all forces are required essentially, my bad, suffice it to say I'm not meaning to propose that gravity is the be all of intelligence or personhood, only that it has a specific function in relation to those phenomena.

So the reason why I'm assigning electromagnetism to the ordinary senses is basically because those senses, as we know them, are attuned to macro phenomena, which is pretty much exclusively the doing of electromagnetic forces. For example, sight = the detection of reflected light; hearing = the detection of resonant excitations in the electromagnetic field; touch = detection of electromagnetic resistance between masses and so on.

So, first, assuming intelligence is also a sense, detecting data encoded in the real universe - then the attributes of intelligence (like prediction or the following of a logical process), must be given rise to by a local attendance of data (such an attendance is only possible at very small scales). To permit such an interaction we need a passage of data, from the real location, to which the sense can be attuned; in other words, a mediating force -> given the direction in time-space such a force would need to traverse (and the level on which it would need to interact to give rise to the variances and therefore be a strong force), gravity is the promising candidate.   

 

HisWillness wrote:

We've already agreed that the universe is such that its nature is the source of personality. I'm still going to call it the universe, regardless of its nature.

That's fine, as long as you understand that it is its nature which motivates me to call it God.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
It's actually probably easier if I don't have to keep rushing to divulge the steps to that result anyway.

No, I think I'd still like to understand how you place a god (conceptually) in the universe. Gravitons, for example, are the kind of thing that one must accept as a kind of place-holder for mathematical understanding. If you have a God particle (other than the Higgs Boson, I guess), it's not like I wouldn't be accustomed to taking that kind of thing as a calculation convenience.

 

Well, it doesn't really offer a convenience to speak of in those terms, not that I am aware of anyway. How to address what the universe is, remains an open choice at my conclusion but it would pay to be consistent, I'm sure - ie you could not conclude -the universe and people- nor -God and subset- the consistent groupings would be Bob/God/SkyDaddy and people, or the universe and subset.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
[resemblance] To us; to put it in really simple terms.

But don't we resemble it?

That's the major condition that is imposed by the basics of all theism, yeah. The thing of it is, if we look at it's nature and see ourselves then there we have the condition satisfied, right? So the long and short of it is, does it look like us? If yes, then we obviously resemble it.

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