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Heroes Community > Other Games Exist Too > Thread: Probability of Alien Civilizations?
Thread: Probability of Alien Civilizations? This thread is 4 pages long: 1 2 3 4 · «PREV / NEXT»
JollyJoker
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posted January 02, 2021 09:16 PM

Well. Google senescence. It's a genetical problem that means, once a male fertilizes eggs, he ages rapidly and dies, which means, since intelligence and knowledge is improving gradually, once that would be established, there wouldn't be a cure, so males reproducing would basically commit suicide. Obviously there is a drive to reproduce, so we are talking about severe problems here.

For females, yes, hormonal - but the problem is, 10.000-70.000 eggs. It's speculated that all these limitations are there in order to avoid overpopulation. If you'd be able to somehow avoid the hormonal drive to care for the eggs, you have the same problem as with males - species is endangered.

Make cephalopods mammals and things work. Problem is, all known mammals have lungs, none has gills. Must have a reason.

Underwater civ needs gills - or live in coastal regions which doesn't count, since amphibians would be better off there than pure gill breathers.

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artu
artu


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posted January 02, 2021 10:52 PM

JollyJoker said:
Problem is, all known mammals have lungs, none has gills. Must have a reason.

The first mammal specie (the common ancestor) had lungs. That would be the typical answer anyway, unless some mammals lost their lungs along the way and then they evolved once again independently, which would be extremely unlikely.
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JollyJoker
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posted January 02, 2021 11:27 PM

Well, the problem is that "mammal" has seemingly needed/necessary attributes  necessary for the improvement of the trait "intelligence" AND (logical AND) no gill breather is a mammal.

However, it seems Docodonta might have changed that. (Which means, it might have been possible, but didn't work, evolutionary.)

That doesn't mean it couldn't happen on another planet, though.

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Blizzardboy
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posted January 03, 2021 03:19 AM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 04:06, 03 Jan 2021.

@JJ

Quote:
Well, the problem is that "mammal" has seemingly needed/necessary attributes  necessary for the improvement of the trait "intelligence" AND (logical AND) no gill breather is a mammal.


I'm not following you.

That seems to be putting life in a pretty small box imo. What we call "intelligence" is a combination of thousands of different traits. On Earth, primates are the ones that accelerated to have the appropriate set of traits to build the complex civilization we have today, but that hardly means other planets have to follow the same pattern or a nearly identical pattern. As much variety of life as there is on Earth, it still barely scratches the surface with how many other combinations of traits could exist on other planets.
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JollyJoker
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posted January 03, 2021 09:59 AM

I'm not putting "life" into a small box here, but civilization-building-level intelligence, and one that's "understandable" for us (as opposed to the one described by Stanislaw Lem in his book "Solaris", for example).

This kind of intelligence to develop is certainly a process. On our planet this process took a couple million years and some evolutionary changes. For all we know, we are the first species in the history of our planet that took this kind of development. It is obvious that certain conditions are necessary so that this process of continued evolution to a developing of intelligence and brain growth can happen.

For one thing, just to start and add something not said, I'm sure it's necessary, that the being in question is omnivore. Why? Herbivores or carnivores are too specialized in their needs to survive. They can't just eat ANYthing, but need a special diet. That forces a specialized behaviour.
Also - predators. Too many of them, and there isn't enough food, so there is a fierce competition for it, making a civilization a difficult proposition. So for me it is likely, that if you want to have an alien predatory race, the predator would have to be a very distant ancestor in the evolution of that race. Along their evolution would have been a mutation to omnivore (maybe as a consequence of a prolonged meat scarcity), and then an evolution of the claws to something usable as digits (or maybe even the tail to a multi-porpose tool or something).

Mammal is necessary because of the low reproduction rate and the resulting and prolonged care for the offspring (which become valuable, other than when you lay dozens or thousands of eggs), which also means that the offspring is taught, and gradually not just general instinctive stuff, but also learned stuff.

A certain life span is necessary then, to not only enact and use what has been learned as a minor, but to have the time and the motivation to learn something over and above that. (A sizable part of the humans have that "adventurous gene"...)

There are not so many traits that count here, and intelligence isn't a combination of "thousands" of traits.

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Blizzardboy
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posted January 03, 2021 04:29 PM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 17:50, 03 Jan 2021.

You're just pointing out a bunch of things that are probably tendencies. The Earth by itself, even with millions of different species, isn't remotely comprehensive to the different possibilities. You can use the Earth to make an educated guess about how life would develop on another planet but they're not hard conclusions because the data just isn't there. The only life we can look at is life on Earth.

Like most of the more intelligent species on Earth are at least somewhat carnivorous, and that's not surprising because hunting other animals generally - definitely not always - requires more cognitive abilities than grazing and those traits and mutations would carry over, but it's not a rule, i.e. elephants. Animal matter contains certain micronutrients that are rarely found in plants but even a plant eater might regularly get those nutrients through bacteria-rich environments or incidental ingestion of insects. Elephants scavenge a wide enough range of food that they still have a more diverse diet than some omnivores, and frankly, a more diverse diet than humans during certain periods of history. It's not inconceivable (even if the odds are less than 1 in a billion) that in another 50 million years their distant descendants size will significantly reduce, maybe have longer lifespans, and a trunk that is even better at manual labor and construction and artwork. Their civilization might develop more slowly than humans but be more successful in the long-term. They might be much more pacifistic and start forming a global civilization very early in their history built on mutual cooperation, even in the stone age. Crime and long-lasting feuds might be inherently more rare for them. A lack of warfare and less edginess and ambition than primates might mean less rapid technological development at first, but then it could still speed up greatly after so many generations. They might leapfrog past things like colonialism and world wars and a cold war.

Animals that lay eggs tend to have larger or drastically larger sets of offspring, but that's just a generality and not a rule. Certain birds and reptiles don't have any more offspring than various mammals. We can observe these commonalities because all of these different egg-laying species eventually go back to a common set of ancestors, but on a different planet that wouldn't be the same common ancestors. It would be something else with a different series of traits.

And yes, "intelligence" is a combination of thousands of different factors that come together.
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JollyJoker
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posted January 03, 2021 05:50 PM

No, it's not. Evolution might be a lottery, but winners aren't drawn randomly. Mutations may happen randomly, but the drawn numbers have to prove themselves as superior, otherwise they will disappear again.
There are also no giant-steps. Things take time. "Intelligence" is first and foremost depending on the amount of work the brain has to perform. Nervous system, sensory input and so on. Which means, you need complex, advanced, highly developed lifeforms, so that they already have an "adequate brain". A simple organism can't suddenly become intelligent.

So it's a process, from one-cell to sufficiently complex organisms before "intelligent lifeforms" even become possible.

"More intelligence" as a mutation (as in bigger brain) is a possible mutation, but to be successful, the mutation must be advantageous. If it IS advantageous it will "conquer" the gene-pool, by increased procreating. Their offspring will better better equipped to handle life and so on.
So that means, higher intelligence needs a way to express itself into higher survivability, otherwise the mutation will disappear (no propagation).
Elephants are already highly intelligent. However - how would MORE intelligence lead to higher survivability? They'd need other mutations first to allow higher intelligence to suitably express itself. Also their feeding habits are ruinous for their food sources - they are a bit like locusts in that regard.

So you are just baselessly speculating. Not everything is possible, no matter the planet.

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Blizzardboy
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posted January 03, 2021 06:08 PM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 18:37, 03 Jan 2021.

Not everything is possible, but Earth by itself isn't enough data to see what could or couldn't happen.

Just a random example: let's say humanity kicks the bucket at some point from weaponized bioterrorism or something, and we fast forward 20 million years. Naturally occurring climate change causes aridity, which causes a mass reduction in elephant numbers (the descendants of elephants, since they wouldn't be the same at this point), this bottlenecks the population and causes certain adaptations to continue in the gene pool, enough to significantly change their feeding behavior, among other things.

This is a real life example because climate change and aridity is what caused our ancestors to shift from being arboreal to being on the ground. Without that change, evolution would have progressed differently.
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JollyJoker
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posted January 03, 2021 08:32 PM

That's what I say; before an increase of elephant intelligence would be advantageous, other mutations would have to take place.

On Earth life developed as it did, and it was our ancestor that fulfilled all conditions for more intelligence being advantageous FIRST. So we got first try.

Might have been different with a different climate, no asteroid impact 65 mio years ago - or an asteroid impact FIVE million years ago instead SIXTYfive million years ago. If we screw up I suppose that will do it for elephants as well - they are threatened anyway. The result might be a completely different kind of "animal" in a couple million years - after all, mammals diverged from birds and reptiles over 300 million years ago; who wants to say that they are the crown of creation (in terms of survivability and intelligence potential)?

On another planet thing might work out differently, but the rules of evolution will be the same. Mutation, and if advantageous increased propagation via normal procreation.

It's by the way interesting that it would seem that genetic changes will have more than one effect - a trade-off, if you want to. They dug out a couple of skeletons on some Danish graveyrads - in 2018, I think - and they found, many of the skeletons had a gene making them vulnerable for leprosy. Now, leprosy victims were basically shunned and kept from procreating, so that gene has disappeared from the gene-pool (that is pretty easy to understand) - however, it seems, that said gene made people more resistant against diabetes 1, multiple sklerosis and a third disease I can't remember (if you are interested, google Danish graveyard and leprosy).  

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JollyJoker
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posted January 03, 2021 10:02 PM
Edited by JollyJoker at 22:09, 03 Jan 2021.

EDIT: Ok, you deleted your post - fine.

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Celfious
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posted January 04, 2021 06:06 AM

But just on real talk that's what it is.


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Rimgrabber
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posted January 04, 2021 06:10 AM
Edited by Rimgrabber at 06:25, 04 Jan 2021.

Personally I think parrots, dolphins, elephants, and octopuses are going to have a deathmatch to decide who gets to take over the earth after we kill ourselves off. My money is on the octopus; give them a few million years and they'll be semi-terrestrial tool-using shape-shifting assassins of death.

On a more serious note, "civilization" as we understand it really isn't possible for aquatic animals because of the different physical limitations life in the water comes with. For example, fire and electricity would be completely out of the question for octopuses and cetaceans, even if they did evolve the dexterity (in the case of the cetaceans) or longevity (in the case of octopuses) to be able to figure it out hypothetically and be physically able to do it.

Another important piece of the puzzle is language, writing, and the ability to share complex knowledge, especially down through the generations. There's already evidence of complex language being present in many species of whales and dolphins, but they have the aforementioned dexterity problem that would prevent them from actually creating a system of writing. So, while they could perhaps learn to articulate complex knowledge, they would have no means of preserving it other than memory, which presents obvious problems for generational learning. However, if we disregard the technological aspect, one could argue that cetaceans have ALREADY achieved a form of nomadic civilization; the individual cultures vary from pod to pod, as I said before many species such as sperm whales have complex (although primitive) forms of language, etc.

Now, onto octopuses, they're presented with a somewhat opposite problem. They have no issues in the dexterity department, but part of the octopus lifecycle involves the parents dying before the new generation is born. This poses a massive problem because although octopi are dexterous enough and probably pattern-savvy enough to figure out a form of written communication, they would be unable to pass this knowledge along through the generations which almost makes civilization impossible by definition, especially since they have such short lifespans.

In conclusion: I have more important things to be doing but I decided to spend my time writing an essay about hypothetical animal civilizations on a forum of a dead video game series instead of sleeping. Why am I like this?
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http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=46284&pagenumber=1
^ Part 2 of my proposal for Heroes 8 (Part 3 coming soon)

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Blizzardboy
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posted January 24, 2021 12:35 AM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 00:57, 24 Jan 2021.

'Guns, Gems, and Steel: A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years' is a good book to read if people are interested in why some civilizations develop and other do not.

The thing is, there could be a lot of advantages to an aquatic civilization and you can build a pretty sophisticated society even with Stone Age technology, i.e. the Incans didn't yet have metalworking but they had a complex government.

An aquatic species might have a more versatile digestive system in a more plentiful environment than us and be less hampered by food supply or exposure to the weather We don't think about that much in our modern life but something that held humans and proto-humans back for literally tens of thousands of years was just having reliable, nutritious food. The agricultural revolution finally allowed the population to explode because it gave plenty of food, although the 'nutritious' aspect might be more questionable.

Also, getting around would probably be a lot easier in an aquatic environment. Which parts of humanity progressed technologically? Eurasia (and north Africa). The long stretch of land where all of the communication and trade and travel was able to happen. Put humans in an isolated environment in central Africa or in Siberia, and all that progress grinds to a halt. An aquatic species that populates oceans could sustain far larger populations early on and allow an explosion of trade and information being exchanged very early on. Basically like how ideas were able to easily travel around the Mediterranean, except much, much easier than that.

Using fire for working with materials and elements and eventually electricity and electronics would be a really big problem, but it just depends how limited the species is working outside of water.
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Had beans today.  The beans were good.  I wish they were always as good as they were today.  I like when beans are good.
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tSar-Ivor
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posted January 24, 2021 12:56 AM

We are also running on the impression that from an evolutionary perspective our technological advancements (not capabilities) are a boon.

It's one thing to be intelligent enough to build an aquatic civilisation and another to realise that it is not in your or your species' best interests.
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Blizzardboy
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posted January 24, 2021 01:02 AM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 01:06, 24 Jan 2021.

They're such different subjects it's hard to cross them over.

As a civilization becomes more advanced technologically, the 'weaker' members of the species are more able to survive and reproduce and live to an old age. It doesn't necessarily matter at that point anyway because once a civilization is sophisticated enough to understand and regulate its genetics it can take care of itself. It's in a post-evolution phase by that point and can be pro-active in its own health and well-being.
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Had beans today.  The beans were good.  I wish they were always as good as they were today.  I like when beans are good.
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artu
artu


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posted January 24, 2021 01:10 AM

@blizz
Guns,GEMS and Steel? Never heard of it, is it the sequel to Guns, Germs and Steel?
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Blizzardboy
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posted January 24, 2021 01:46 AM

It's like a more epic version of germs.
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tSar-Ivor
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posted January 24, 2021 07:35 AM
Edited by tSar-Ivor at 07:41, 24 Jan 2021.

Quote:
As a civilization becomes more advanced technologically, the 'weaker' members of the species are more able to survive and reproduce and live to an old age. It doesn't necessarily matter at that point anyway because once a civilization is sophisticated enough to understand and regulate its genetics it can take care of itself


Is that truly a 'good' thing? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I would disagree with the 'weak' being socially protected (how'd you judge that anyhow? We are so off the beaten path in taking matters into our own hands I suppose we've lost the way anyhow), what I am saying is that my own subjective sense of good/bad cannot be considered objective.

Anyone can haphazardly answer I suppose, I'd wager many people would live and die by their answer fervently believing in it (from fascists to tree huggers).

That said idk if the ability to determine our own future counts for anything, but I am certain humans have a way of screwing with providence unlike any other creature on earth.

If there are alien civilisations out there, regardless of the probability of it, I am willing to bet that they'll have a screw loose just like we do.
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CarolineJames
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posted February 10, 2021 01:22 PM
Edited by CarolineJames at 13:23, 10 Feb 2021.

Thank you for asking this question. According to me we have a very limited knowledge of our universe as we have explored only a few part of it. The Space is so large that it is almost scary to think that we are living alone. If you want to enquire about Android App Development, I can Help you with that.
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I am Caroline James Working as a Content Writer for 15 years. We are an Experienced Grocery App Development Company

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artu
artu


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posted February 10, 2021 04:08 PM

Lol, the bots are getting smarter each year. Feels funny to read them on such a thread.
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