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Gen. Chat “Are humans superior to other species?” by nomad

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Lord_BullGod 23 months ago on 05/06/12
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Human beings DOCUMENT endangered species.

THINK ABOUT IT.
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Kumba 23 months ago on 05/06/12
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I think on the face value of it, humans are superior is exactly one way: We can improvise.

Most animals are born with built-in instincts. Baby deer can start walking within several minutes of birth, for example. A human baby usually doesn't start this feat until well into it's first or early second year. We are the weakest when we are young, and compared to an animal of the same age, we would be quite inferior. But once we reach late childhood (hell, probably a lot earlier than that), our brain's ability to find unique solutions to abstract problems really starts to kick into gear and we overcome the lack of built-in animal instincts fairly quickly.

The other thing is, animals are mostly bound by their environment. If the environment changes too quickly for a species to adapt, it dies off. Humans, on the other hand, usually force the environment to adapt to their needs. This one feature, I think, is going to be key to whatever the next cataclysmic event will be. Say a large asteroid smacks Earth and knocks off 95% of all life, including 98% of all humans. That remaining 2% will find a way to adapt by altering their environment (such as living underground). The only other alternative is extinction.


But beyond that, trying to compare our species to any other is really subjective. Are we truly superior to something like Bermuda grass? Bermuda grass can grow damn near anywhere and resists virtually all forms of herbicides that we can throw at it (with the exception of RoundUp).

How about bacteria?

And what if we are not alone out there in the universe? Are we superior to whatever may live beyond the confines of our world, be it sentient or non-sentient?

Questions like the OP tend to evoke more questions than it does answers. But then again, it is by asking questions that our species even got this far. One day, we'll find out.
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nategri 23 months ago on 05/06/12
Equipped: Clue Stick named "Some Sense"
Johnny Landmine said:
Wouldn't it be amazing if dolphins have some dolphin concept of "that guy sucks" and "that guy's rad?"


There's some evidence that dolphins kinda have names. It's called a 'signature whistle' and they use it to announce themselves.

Sometimes it's fun to imagine that dolphins actually are super, super smart... but we can't tell because of what amounts to a vast cultural difference.

In terms of survivability: horseshoe crabs have been around about half a billion fucking years -- think we can beat that?
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nomad 23 months ago on 05/06/12
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The question is entirely subjective if you start philosophizing about what is superior.

For instance, if a person lives 10 years and another lives 100, we can say the person who lived 100 years had the superior lifespan, but if we push a little further and say the person who lived 10 years experienced nothing but joy and the person who lived 100 years was chastised, beaten and lived a life of pure misery, we can argue the person who lived 10 years had the superior life.

If you push anything to a higher more abstract plane, any question becomes subjective.

You can argue living is better then death, but what if life is nothing but a dream and dying is realizing living was an illusion.

Breaks my brain.
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Deathwing 23 months ago on 05/06/12
Equipped: Sword named "NEEDS MORE DRAGONS"
Dude, the 60s had some cool philosophers who opened some great doorways with post-modern philosophy, but most people have moved beyond the "Everything is subjective, man" approach. Actually, no, they haven't. SOME interesting new philosophers have moved forward.

You can reason everything into being subjective if you want, just how Hegel could reason everything into an absurd system. But that's what's so interesting and amazing about the human mind--it can think in sundry ways and view reality through myriad lenses. But most importantly, it can interact with reality, no matter how feebly we understand it, and make decisions, statements, and judgements about said reailty. Sure it's fun to sit around all day and mentally masturbate about subjectivity, but art and philosophy has been doing it for a whole century and it's getting old. It's not helping anything anymore.

Over post-structuralism, y'all.
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Creepy Stalker 23 months ago on 05/06/12
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Great post.
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Deathwing 23 months ago on 05/06/12
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And I don't think anyone is going to argue that language is subjective at this point in human though. That's become obvious.
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Tulip O'Hare 23 months ago on 05/06/12
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Subjective question is subjective.
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Devil Fruit Bubble Tea 23 months ago on 05/06/12
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Any other species make copious amounts of bacon? Much less bacon leviathans?
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nategri 23 months ago on 05/06/12
Equipped: Clue Stick named "Some Sense"
Deathwing said:
You can reason everything into being subjective


Wait.. So... Are you saying that 'what is the best animal?' has an objective answer?

*raises eyebrow, folds hands*

Proceed.
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Johnny Landmine 23 months ago on 05/06/12
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nategri said:


Wait.. So... Are you saying that 'what is the best animal?' has an objective answer?

*raises eyebrow, folds hands*

Proceed.


"Johnny Landmine"

Moderator Andrew Says:

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Deathwing 23 months ago on 05/06/12
Equipped: Sword named "NEEDS MORE DRAGONS"
That's not what I said. I didn't even deal with a question like "what is the best ..." because a question like that is loaded with ambiguity on purpose. Instead I attacked the type of logic that wants to say subjectivity outweighs objectivity. If someone said: "Animal most proficient at survival" then I'd have something to go on/worth talking about. Instead we have an amorphous question as a basis for proving an amorphous "reality."
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Moonage Daydream 23 months ago on 05/07/12
Equipped: Link's Boomerang named "I wish I knew how to quit you"
Devil Fruit Bubble Tea said:
Any other species make copious amounts of bacon?


Did you ever think that maybe "being a source of bacon" is a long-term evolutionary defense mechanism?

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