inevitable intelligence

Alex Duncan (
16 Nov 1995 14:21:22 GMT

In article <> H. M. Hubey, writes:

>What better adaptation than that of intelligence. It makes the
>animals infinitely adaptible to every kind of life, including
>that of space travel and life on other planets.

I agree with you that intelligence is a wonderful adaptation. That
doesn't mean it's a given that intelligence (of a human kind) will
evolve. I can think of all kinds of wonderful adaptations that haven't
evolved. It would be nice if I were immune to all infective organisms.
Somehow the fact that it would be a nice adaptation hasn't helped humans
evolve it. Simply because something might be useful doesn't mean
evolution is going to deal it to you.

As far as I can tell, your argument goes like this:

There is a planet with intelligent beings on it.

Therefore, it is a given that once life appeared on that planet,
intelligence would eventually evolve.

You're arguing from a sample of one. If we knew more about life on other
planets, and could see that on the majority of planets where life
evolved, intelligence also evolved, then you might have a case.

Alex Duncan
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1086