Martin Dann (
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 19:02:21 +0100

In article <53j1gc$>,
>Martin Dann ( wrote:
>: In article <53gai0$>,
>: >All three. As for evolution being "about survival rather than
>: >superiority", it is simple *results* that count in nature -- what
>: >survives (and therefore reproduces) is, by definition, something that
>: >out-competed (demonstrated "superiority" to) what *didn't* survive.
>: I can't disagree with that. The "superiority" I was referring to was
>: intellectual superiority. The reasons we humans think we are so damned
>: smart is because we are. My challenge is to the notion that smartness is
>: necessarily a "good thing" in evolutionary terms.
>How does the old joke go? -- Nature has come up with (X) designs of the
>wing, (Y) designs of the eye, but only *one* design of intelligence.
>Reason being, that intelligence has yet to be shown to have any survival
>value. (Something like that -- I only heard it once.)
>: There are species around which have been around longer than we have, and
>: will probably be here when we are long gone. And many of them have little
>: if any brain at all.
>Someone once said that intelligence is not the ability to solve problems,
>but the ability to *create* them. Yes, we may speculate that all manner
>of "simple" organism may "out-exist" us, but our ability to alter our
>environment, and the growing ability to alter ourselves will, I believe,
>prevail. Quite frankly, rats and cockroaches have *nothing* on us.

Except, IMO, a strong possibility that they will (as species) outlive us
all. The ability to alter our environment is a double edged sword
(deforestation, global warming etc).
>Space colonies, a terraformed Mars, entire sequences of DNA transformed
>into algorithms and living in "hardware worlds" -- where will it end?

In tears, as my mother used to say.
>Will it end?

To think it won't is the ultimate human arrogance!

Martin Dann