how come other animals haven’t come to the same stage as consciousness as humans? Some animals have lived longer than humans did.

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how come other animals haven’t come to the same stage as consciousness as humans? Some animals have lived longer than humans did.

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13 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

There is no proper correlation between lifespan and consciousness, though consciousness is not something we’ve really been able to properly define or quantify in a way that allows us to identify it with certainty.

Consciousness appears to be an emergent property of sorts that stems from complexity of the nervous system, built on top of thought, emotion, prediction, and other mental faculties. These arise from the body plan and biology of the organism, not how long it happens to live.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is not a linear process towards a goal.

All animals are at the end desceded from a single ancestor. We have all had as much time to evolve as everyone else.

In fact if you compare animals that are shorter lived with less time between generations with longer lived animals, it could be argued that the short lived ones had more opportunity to evolve, but this is really not how it works.

Evolution is not goal driven. There is no such thing as more or less evolved.

Mutations happen more or less at random and are selected for if the give a benefit compared to what was before at the time when it happened.

Some traits and adaptations might be useful in some circumstance but not in others.

Being able to fly is certainly all sorts of useful, but there are flightless birds whose ancestors could fly and who evolution pushed away from that ability again.

As far as we know, human level intelligence is a trait that only evolved once and we don’t know how useful it is in the grand scheme of things for survival.

Asking why other animals haven’t developed human level intelligence yet is why other animals haven’t developed elephant like trunks yet or learned how to weave webs like spiders.

You can’t think of evolution going towards a goal like that.

A picture like the classic Descent of Man that shows a clear progression of more and more human like figures from ape to man suggests that this is a linear progression with a purpose towards a goal.

It is much more chaotic than that with each link in the chain branching of in other directions, but all the lines that went extinct aren’t shown.

It is much more comforting to think of ourselves as the pinnacle of creation rather than just a random one-off fluke freak of nature, but the truth is that we may be just that.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I reckon I’ll be long dead before anyone can answer this on reddit fully and correctly. It is a great question, though.

I would guess that at some point in our history as a species, there was some threat to our survival that demanded more sophisticated communication skills. Not just verbal communication. Also, the ability to correctly assume what others were thinking. Essentially, we, as a species, have little to offer in the way of survival (when compared to the other animals on this planet) aside from our ability to work together and plan.

My guess is that we were only slightly smarter than other primates for a long time and were forced into situations share we had to use our smarts to survive. Over time the more intelligent members survived longer than the dumber ones, and everything turned into what we see today.

We’ve now reached a point where the only barrier to procreation is to live long enough to reach puberty (and have parents/caregivers able to get us to that point). This is not necessarily a good thing if we’re trying to be the best, but here we are.

We’re doomed.

Anyway, what was the question again?

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s impossible to measure consciousness, and the fact that you believe there are stages of it? I think you’re conflating intelligence with consciousness, but you should reword this question either way.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The energy to power a human is considerably higher than a mammal of equal mass. The reason for this is how many calories the brain burns. So if you were to have a super intelligent and a dumb as rocks animals of the same size, all things being equal one would need way more calories to survive as your brain gets first billing on the food front. The smart animal would need to hunt more often and be more successful just to stay at the same population size as the dumb one. If we put an evolutionary pressure on both creatures like a famine, all the smart ones are going to die first.

The is an evolutionary anchor against intelligence.

Once intelligence has grown to the point where it is conscious and uses tools etc then they become super successful because they can change their environment to better suit their needs. But every step on that ‘ladder’ is a risk as keeping individuals alive is harder.

This implies that the road to human domination was pushed by an evolutionary advantage that overroad the increased calorific intake requirement.

The jury is still out on exactly what that reason was.

Anonymous 0 Comments

How do you know they haven’t?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Whales, dolphins and cuttlefish know what’s up, they just don’t have the thumbs to do anything about it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Simply because no other species has had the environmental pressure or the necessary mutations for consciousness to arise.

X species hasn’t become conscious because they didn’t need to, to survive.

Our relatively huge brains are very resource intensive and no other species has found benefit in this adaptation yet.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Beacause an antilope doesnt need to debate philosophy to see a lion running at it at mark 2

Anonymous 0 Comments

In a binary system there are four possible responses. Most are familiar with the first two:”yes”, “no”. The third response is called “bananas”. This would be the test that causes the simpler robots to “blow a gasket” when confronted with a paradox. True consciousness is said to be realized whenever the fourth response is first utilized by the individual’s own will.