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Humans vs Animals

Every creature from insects to lions knows about the delicate balance between nature and their lives. They respect the balance even when it means that others of their kind die. With the insects they only know what they are supposed to do and try only to survive. Now is how humans are reacting to the environment a way to survive? We are the most intellectually advanced creatures and yet we fail to honor and respect the balance. Why?

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    Mar 21 2014: I doubt insects and lions are equipped to consider this balance.

    suggest you are just observing that nature naturally reaches equilibrium.

    the population of a species won't exceed what it's food sources can support.

    most animals survive by eating other living things. It's a competitive world. So far humans have managed to become more productive generating food and overcoming natural threats. Hence the incredible population growth since the development of agriculture and other technologies.

    obviously our success and increasing consumption must have a limit and may already be unsustainable.

    we evolved to focus mostly on the short term and Satify our desires. Hopefully we evolve or develop enough insight and motivation to go address these issues..
    • Mar 23 2014: Well-said, except for using the word "evolution" without quotes.
      I was going to reply with my own dowubts: I don't think they know that balance very well. Elephants can easily outstrip their environment of food, as can moose or the wolves that hunt them.
      It seems to me that anything will do the same unless or until a competing or hunting animal or virus stops them.
      "We are the most intellectually advanced creatures and yet we fail to honor and respect the balance." We are intelligent, but that intelligence is often not-well-aimed, and most-often not not tempereed by anything resembling respect - not even respect for ourselves, ("favor," not respect), or our children.
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        Mar 24 2014: Guess we are still stuck somewhere between instinct and reason.

        at least we are aware of our weak points.

        I guess evolved has several connotations. I was using it in the biological sense not to indicate "progress".
        • Mar 25 2014: "Stuck between instinct and reason" - could be worse, I guess. They both seem helpful sometimes.

          I'd say we're barely aware of weak points. Maybe that's why we need other people, to see them, or to have them pointed-out, or to get help.

          I figured that's how you meant to use "evolve," but I've doubted it since reading Darwin On Trial.
  • Mar 25 2014: Wrong. Only humans know anything about this "balance". Other animals respect NOTHING. They merely take all they have the power to take and can't take any more. Their reach is limited, and the foolish think that makes them moral. All animals except humans always expand to the limits of their ability to exploit resources and resist the environment and competitors. Drop this silly superstition you have.
    • Mar 25 2014: I don't know who you are and I don't really care. I respect your opinion and I ask that you do the same. And lastly, I don't have to do anything you say so telling me over the internet to drop an opinion I have is something that I find outrageously pompous.
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    Mar 23 2014: Humans are animals.
  • Mar 25 2014: "Every creature from insects to lions knows about the delicate balance between nature and their lives."

    They do not! They will eat all the available food. They will reproduce until their numbers reach carrying capacity, then they die out from starvation, eventually reaching a balance of reproduction, starvation and predation. There is no intelligent plan based on knowledge.

    We, like the other animals, are more concerned with out own desires than that of the whole eco-system.

    If you really care so much for balance, then accept that problem is that there are too many people and use your own initiative to reduce the human population by 1.
    • Mar 25 2014: We are overwhelmed with calories. Let's reduce our over-indulgence first.
      • Mar 25 2014: We can make that choice. This makes us unique. All the other species will stuff themselves until the food is gone.
  • Mar 22 2014: Dakota,

    I believe your premise that every creature knows about the balance of nature. Look at the history of Idaho - The wolves were hunted to almost extinction and the deer population exploded to the point of many of the deer were starving to death. Nature balances nature by killing off the weak and the certain number of unlucky young.
    • Mar 23 2014: As an Idahoan i was aware of what happened to the deer and the wolves. I meant more about how Obey above put it with how come our intelligence is misguided and that we destroy the Earth to keep our population alive. However thank you, I appreciate not only your reference to my home but your opinion
    • Mar 25 2014: Those animals know NOTHING. They just hunt as much as they can.
      • Mar 25 2014: think that is what i wrote - 8>))
  • Mar 21 2014: Once Animals were having discussion on their own TEDANIMAL web site , and below is their transcript :

    Human Beings are actually degraded animals. They perceive that they are more intelligent but in reality they are not only morons but also idiots and big jokers.
  • Mar 21 2014: Ironic it is, but humans are the only forms of life that distinguish every other life form as "animal"
    which makes them the most discriminative creatures in existence today.

    Every life form in this world (excluding modern humans) relies on mother Earth to provide all the sources, of food, environment, entertainment, protection and further more.

    Therefore in respect to that approach those "animals" tend to be more aware of the natural system than humans can ever be.

    They understand laws.. such laws which are encoded into their genetic experiences.

    That every strength has a stronger, every smart can be outsmarted, and every birth will end back to Earth.
    That the most flawless system is a system that has been developed and patched through it's flaws the most... those little things such as flowers bloom so precisely measuring the time of day no man made technology today is able to calculate.

    The other law of nature humans cannot apprehend is the existence of life force. when George Lucas introduced the Jedi order he meant it to carry a deep message, the message meant that only when humans except the flaw of life will they be able to truly unite with more than their own body.

    The final law of nature is survival of the most balanced and not the fittest, .. in which all aspects prevail in a life form.
    beauty, simplicity, strength, wisdom.

    Life teaches us one simple outcome over the years.. that although evolution makes us advance each aspect one-at-a-time eventually all other aspects have to follow and a balance will be achieved this is known as "adverse mutation"
    • Mar 21 2014: You make great points and I like the Star Wars reference. My favorite thing was how you address the life form which encompasses beauty simplicity strength and wisdom.
    • Mar 25 2014: Juvenile nonsense. What planet to we rely on, Mars? Re rely on "mother" (silly concept) Earth as much as any other Earth species does. The other animal species understand NOTHING about "laws". They just lack the capacity we have. We merely do better what every other species does.

      Drop your superstitions.
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    Mar 19 2014: Animals have no concept whatsoever of a 'balance.' They do what their survival instincts drive them to do with no respect for other creatures. It sounds to me like your concept of zoology came from a folk song.
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      Mar 19 2014: I agree that animals don't have a sense of balance, but do try to be respectful in your replies.
    • Mar 21 2014: Human beings didn't knew about the dopamine . So , wasn't love existed , didn't human beings fell into love with each other or did the love came into existence with the discovery of dopamine?

      "They do what their survival instincts drive them to do with no respect for other creatures"

      Human beings too do the same, but the human beings justify them through logical or illogical , rational or irrational theories.
  • Mar 25 2014: "We are the most intellectually advanced creatures and yet we fail to honor and respect the balance. Why?" We are overwhelmed with calories.
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    Mar 24 2014: Our human brain has evolved to the point where we can think critically, analyze problems, and solve problems. We create, innovate, and invent products and tools that we think will make our lives better and safer. In the process, just after a few hundred years, the millions of tons of "stuff" we have made and dumped in our lands, rivers, oceans, and atmosphere are gradually "killing" us - not to mention the thousands of weapons of mass destruction that at the push of a button will annihilate life on Earth as we know it. We may be the only species who have become "too intelligent" for our own good.

    Now we need more intelligence, wisdom, and will to solve the problems we have created. We may gain more intelligence but will we gain the WISDOM and the WILL to reverse the direction we're in and regain "BALANCE"?
  • Mar 23 2014: Because we don't relate internally to all that is.
    We don't see that it is all One Whole and everything is connected.
    We relate externally so we treat such things as an "Other" and
    we treat all "Others" without intelligence, love, or care.
    We don't see the/any connection, so what we do to them or it,
    matters not to us and we blind ourselves to the truthful reality
    that we are doing it to ourselves only.
    And this, to me anyway, is extremely apparent but to many
    they don't think we are destroying anything at all let alone
    the house we all live in.
    If there was a Garden (which I don't believe in myself)
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    Mar 21 2014: In this case will work as kind of aturitarism of the humans to the animals, if the animals are passive in the "Cooperation moment". in the case of the animals get a revolution against the humans for this way to live each other, logically the animals will win this competition.
    • Mar 25 2014: The words look like English, but they have no meaning!
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    Mar 21 2014: Desire becomes obsession.
    The more one has, the more one wants.
    I think that`s why we fail to respect the balance.
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    Mar 21 2014: Sometimes wise people do a few foolish things; in fact, intelligent beings could do foolish things once in a while.

    Sometimes foolishness is like a bomb: it doesn't have to be massive to bring down a grand structure.
    • Mar 21 2014: If I may explain, in the absence of trouble, a problem has to be caused to trigger a chain of events.

      Therefore, in order for humans to unite as species their very existence should be compromised, and their survival should be challenged.
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        Mar 21 2014: With lots of suicide bombers among our kind, I dont think we'd do any better if our very existence is compromised.

        And it is.
  • Mar 20 2014: It is boring at the top of the food chain. Honouring and respecting the balance of nature is only one of MANY pastimes, creative and destructive, that we pursue when we are bored. Honouring and respecting the balance of nature is a symptom of boredom! Let's indulge in it before it's too late!
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    Mar 20 2014: Kramer vs. Kramer.
  • Mar 19 2014: To clarify a little bit, i'm mostly referring to the circle and balance of nature. We are born and die and throughout our life we depend on nature and other animals (humans included) to live our lives the way that we wish. However, as a collective, humans have used more of nature than we have been able to repay. It is evident in the depletion of the O-Zone and deforestation.

    Collectively humans believe they are the highest of intelligence and yet we collectively fail to grasp the fact that we will run out of resources. It may not be for years to come but whenever I personally view some kind of natural occurring thing such as a land bridge. I question why we can't try and alter nature like bonsai trees so that way we cant still keep all our advances in technology and all of our cities but still make it to where nature comes back.

    In how animals are intelligent, a good way of phrasing it in my opinion would be ignorance is bliss. They only know that they should survive and largely live based of instincts. In this manner, they can hold up a balance between nature. If you can not picture it, I suggest re-watching The Lion King and taking notes.
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      Mar 20 2014: Hello Dakota. Thanks for your great topic.

      1. First of all I'd like to come to some mutual agreement with others regarding what we believe "intelligence" is.

      2. Before we dare to appraise or judge animal intelligence and nature I think, we shall learn a little more about them but based on direct communications within natural environment - not through technological devices and some lab research.

      If we get some different perspective on ourselves, human animal might look absolutely mad, burlesque, emotionally unstable, senslessly cruel for no reason even towards themselves. Seems that man-made entertainment leads our society.

      We may recognize this craziness even when applying our own human sense of soundness and intelligence.

      2. I strongly believe that our burlesque society development is not rooted in our ability to develop intelligence, but on our fantastic ability of acting inside our playhouse of imaginative realities.

      Our natural sense-perceptons are extremely limited and crude, so no super microscope or telescope would give us much of any depths of the world. Our intelligence as we recognize it has been built upon very shallow appearances which are based on our ephemeral and deceiving perception of Sight :)

      Our common scientific and logical thinking is based on the "evidence" and "proof" delivered by our very sight along!

      Well, it would be helpful if we would try to "appraise" and reevaluate our knowledge that we collect throughout ages.

      Compared to animals our realities we may observe are extremelly shallow. It might take an unusually great effort to try to contact wilderness openly and discover its endless levels within its invisible to us transformations.

      Meanwhile, if we do not learn how to respect nature as it is, we doom our own future because we are a little fragment in it , and entirely depend on its mighty turns. You nicely put this thought your way, Dakota. Thank you!
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        Mar 20 2014: I agree that humans are very foolish and that we fail to grasp how much we need nature. We drastically under appreciate its benefits and its beauty, but that doesn't mean animals aren't guilty of the same thing; they're also equally guilty of self-destruction. Animals, and even plants for that matter, fullfill their basic needs as best as they are able, no matter the long-term effects for their race. For example, in a given area, animals will overeat their resources if they can; they'll eat more than they need, while reproducing as much as they can, and they'll run out of resources to support their population. As a result, they'll all die.

        What we humans do is more complicated, but only because we are more capable. We have a bigger impact on the environment only because we bring about great change too quickly, because we're capable of doing so in the course of further securing our basic needs. Basic needs such as making house installation for warmth, developing processes and chemicals to preserve food, and making weapons of mass destruction to protect ourselves from others of our species. If other species had the intelligence and resources to further secure their needs, I have no doubt they would do so.

        So, as far as our inability to recognize that we're killing ourselves, I believe we're on an equal playing field with animals. We just have to deal with the added factor of our intelligence, capability, or whatever else you'd care to call it, that brings about so much rapid change.
    • Mar 21 2014: The human beings live in illusion that they are intelligent just because they can invent and create artificial things. They build artificial relationships,pseudo morality, pseudo ethics.

      Human beings is the only creature on earth who not only fools himself but each other.Everyone is fooling everyone.
    • Mar 25 2014: The Lion King is a cartoon. All the characters are actually human voices with animal shapes drawn around them. There is NO WISDOM AT ALL in "nature", only organisms all trying as hard as they can to grab as much as they can and failing. We succeed. That is the problem. We are the most successful animals. We do what they all do but better.
      • Mar 25 2014: This comment I like. You outlined a point, stuck to your opinion and didn't make it sounds angry. I did this as a debate because i wanted to see different opinion not have someone yell at me saying I'm wrong. I do appreciate your honesty and offering different viewpoints.
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    Mar 19 2014: "The common chimpanzee can use tools. This chimpanzee is using a stick to get food."

    Is this the only "measurable" evidence of chimpanzee's intelligence ?

    Our resarch has been incomplete and wrong every time we apply only some shallow evidence watching animals using tools, and comparing their tools with man-made gadgets...

    Intelligence and intuition is something we cannot measure - its hidden beyond the surface of visible theater that we routinely observe as our lifestyle.

    Animal world is deeply interactive and they DO INTUITIVELY BALANCE their existence in most sophisticated and uncomprehensive for us ways, beyond our labs. Our research, proof and judgements are still based on very shallow and quite artificially limited mental symplifications.

    We shall experience a different method. Only very personal (not based on exiting concepts) open, intuitive interactions within wilderness may give us some clue about what huture's intelligence and its balance means.

    Most stupid comments and twisted ligic come from people who feel their "superiority as given", just because they are born humans.

    Lets remember, there is no creature in wilderness who would be so blind, deaf, lost and insensitive in perceiving its natural environment as a human animal.

    Without using its powerful intuition no living form can survive. Therefore, Our technology is just temporary crutches, just some blind artificial assistance for us, human creatures, who cannot evolve their own natural abilities for millennia.

    Nature is too immensely intelligent for us to judge it.
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      Mar 19 2014: You site much of humans' initial confusion in our first years as evidence of our inferiority to animal intelligence, but many animals are the same, especially when you consider them proportionally. Since I'm more familiar with them, I'll use wolves as an example. As you say, "there is no creature in wilderness who would be so blind, deaf, lost and insensitive in perceiving its natural environment as a human animal." However, wolves are born blind and deaf and they rely completely upon the help of their parents or others of their pack. In comparison, humans are born being able to both see and hear. I understand that there are some animals that are the opposite, animals that are active immediately after being born, both intellectually and physically; however, these animals lead observably simple lives. They live to meet their short-term basic needs based on instinct, or at least so we think.

      You might highlight your point about our experiments being oversimplifications, but I don't think practical limitations on experiments (any sentient being's inability to take EVERY factor into account) makes the animals more intelligent. Put another way, improperly performed experiments that examine another species don't make that species more intelligent. I have yet to find any concrete evidence that animals "know" who they are. Also, we've never been without names ourselves, perhaps if we were we'd still know who we are, an experiment would be needed to determine.

      I also find a contradiction in your last sentence, "Nature is too immensely intelligent for us to judge it." In the first part of the sentence, you judge nature as being immensely intelligent, then you proceed to tell us that it can't be judged by the likes of us; which is it?

      I do believe that you are right in saying that we don't have a measurably significant understanding of intelligence and as such it's very hard, or perhaps impossible, for us to make judgements about it.
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        Mar 19 2014: I very much like to read your post, Collin, appreciate your honest curiosity and thinking.

        1. We're all blind and deaf when are just born to our "new" environment and we need to get used to our tiny bodies and interactions through our unique sense-perceptions. Human children undoubtly need years to do what other animals do almost right away within weeks, or even hours.

        Besides, while no animal-baby would confuse itself with other creatures and would behaive as its own kind, a Human Baby if it's growing up among wolves would imitate wolfs, sounding, eating and behaving as a wolf.

        I trust we, humans, do have this outstanding inborn ability to imitate others and even "things" we see, and that ability effects our mentality and psychology, our culture and sciences as we all may some day discover..

        I do not see life of animals "simple" at least for one of the very many crucial reasons - they sense their environment on great many levels, instantly, and within great distances - something that our conscious minds are not able to do, even while using tech gadgets.

        2. "Put another way, improperly performed experiments that examine another species don't make that species more intelligent." I'd like re-phrase your sentence if you let me: Improperly performed experiments, which are commonly unethetical in every way, especially in labs, small rooms and cages, closed artificial setups where animals feel lost and emotionally stressed, lead us to outrageous conclusions. First of all who are those "superior" researchers to judge others's minds ( including young kids) by challenging them by idiotic human tasks that artificially limit natural sensativity, intuition and perceptions?

        I never felt that blissful understanding with people as I felt with some animals whom I knew closely. No words but instantly tuned to one another, and still entirely Independent as unique individuals.

        3. Nature is too IMMENSELY intelligent - means cannot be judged.

        Thank you!
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          Mar 20 2014: I also really liked your post. I challenged you and you responded very well. My respect for you as a stranger has risen quite notably. I'm no longer sure if I actually disagree with you, or if I simply consider certain terms slightly differently. I think our understandings of the word "intelligent" was on slightly different fields of perception, neither incorrect, but perhaps different in their application. I find that I would agree with your comments if I were to change the word "intelligent" with the word "capable". In this way, I would agree that nature is more intelligent by its design. Where I might disagree, if this is part of your point, is the idea that nature is more intelligent in its thought processes or reasoning capabilities. As impressive as nature is, and I would definitely agree that it's impressive, it doesn't have intelligence of its own in the higher functionality that humans have. Animal species seem to have a simplistic and refreshing view of the world around them and they're unconcerned with philosophical dilemmas, or at least as far as we're able to tell by observation.

          As far as experiments go, you're right on many counts. There are a fair share of improperly performed and unethical experiments. I get the feeling that we may differ slightly on what we consider ethical experiments, only slightly, but I'll resist following that tangent for now. However, I agree that I've not encountered an experiment that has done a successful job in taking all factors into account, but there is still the issue of feasibility of many experiments if they try to standardize and naturalize many factors.

          The 2nd paragraph under #2, isn't the fact that you were able to get a complete understanding with an animal but not a human evidence that the animal is likely more simplistic? Also, many of our points thus far debating human vs nature intelligence has concerned physical capabilities. If we discuss further, I feel we might want to define intelligence.
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        Mar 21 2014: Hello Collin. I think that what we use as a term "intelligence" is just a man-made term and it might mean different things to different people (certainly, it does not mean a thing to animals. )

        I'd like to believe that Intelligence in its wisest meaning is something to do with our actual ever changing experience.

        If we observe and sense our environment soundly, combining new circumstances with our best memory, we may find a few ways out, or have a ton of benefits for surviving, or even evolving.

        This works for animals and humans.
        I mean, the authentic intelligence must be a PROCESS we conduct for changing and adjusting our previous experience to new circumstances.

        How am I doing?
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          Mar 21 2014: Very good, I like your ideas. For the term intelligence, I think that at this point, I'm willing to accept that we have separate definitions, and I'm concerned that we made end up circling our past conversations, but I have enjoyed working through it.
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      Mar 19 2014: And yes, we do need more tools and education to be content, but we worry about more than base survival unlike animals. We strive to survive, then to have purpose in life; animals only work to survive, so far as we know. Comparing all human actions solely under the category of base survival, against all animal actions which we suspect are only about base survival, is an unequal comparison.
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        Mar 20 2014: So right to the point, Collin. Our own meaning and the way we use the terms, such as "intelligence", are somehow different.

        I believe that there is no intelligence "anywhere" unless it is driven/navigated by great and vivid intuition well-tuned with natural environment and its changes. I'm talking about living forms of all sorts who may develop that sort of intelligence.

        Nature in whole is something that we may observe as a composition of everything in it...but there is much much more to it. My explanations are still sloppy...

        Most of my friends are scholars and their highest compliment would be to tell you "you're very intuitive!"

        Intelligence in our human case - Logic and Intuition? Our sense of Logic is very limited (or it would be lost without limitations) but it needs to be adjusted and changed based on vital intuition. (Artificial Intelligence is still a no-go machine - it is missing intuition)

        No one has given the term "intelligence" any clear and convincing definition yet, I think, but we know how many people missuse it, meaning some "superiority" over others for stupid reasons ...

        Please think - how would you explain intelligence your way again? Pleasure to talk to you.
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          Mar 20 2014: Without spending too much time refining the definition, so I'm open to refinement, I would define a species/individual as having intelligence if they are self-aware. By this I mean that they're both aware of themselves as a separate individual, and they're conscious of an existential impact that their existence brings about; they know they have a purpose, outside of simply following their instincts. I would measure intelligence by the capacity to reason once self-awareness has been established. I would say that animals have varying levels of reasoning capabilities, but they lack the prerequisite self-awareness aspect. While I don't believe reasoning and self-awareness are the only components of intelligence, I feel that they make up the core of the concept.

          I have a hard time drawing strong similarities between intuition and intelligence. Intuitively knowing something doesn't seem to necessitate a thought process.
    • Mar 25 2014: It isn't the only indication. They have also been observed to mourn and to learn and transmit new behaviors between generations.
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    Mar 19 2014: Human sense perceptions are extremely limited, therefore, our intution is suppressed by our overexcited imagination. We have no sense of where we are and need some gadgets to help us figure out to some limits where we are going and what is happening around on the surface.

    We, humans, grow up into the most disoriented society of creatures on earth. In order "to survive" we mass produce "things" that no animals need - clothing, phones, transportation, computers, artificial entertainment, fuel, chemicals and also provide ourselves our artificial language and education that train us to fit and serve our artificial systems and rules.

    We are born extremely helpless, naked, cannot move on our own and do not know where, do not have any idea what food would be appropreate for us to consume, and need at least a few years to grow up! Unlike animals we do not "know" who we are untill we are given names and IDs by others. However, our artificial names cannot substitute our natural sense of Self and we often remain unsutisfied and very confused deeply in our minds, even when get some important position within our systems.

    Nature is our ULTIMATE school that we do not attend as learning students - all we learn is how to violate it, abuse and "fix" everything we can, exploring nature
    without much of a clue about what we are really doing.

    Our intelligence is far Not superior to any average animal intelligence. Animal intelligence is based on powerful natural intuition and highly sophisticated perceptions, which we have not developed.

    To be able to really compare our intelligence with animals' intelligence, first and foremost we have to comprehend nature and its hidden from our sight laws. As long as we depend on artificial gandets for our measurements..or lab research for observing our reality on that very surface of our superficial "conscious" minds, we would not be able to evolve ourselves as truly intelligent creatures.
    • Mar 21 2014: If we human beings can reclaim our intuition then we will be able to predict the natural calamities more than one week before. Intuition is not the murky world as some scientist say.
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        Mar 21 2014: Absolutely agree. Those rare individuals who do have good intuition do not need scientists to examine, calculate or prove it, it is just "there" and works better than any tech instrument, and it does not break.
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    Mar 19 2014: Addressing, "is how humans are reacting to the environment a way to survive?" I believe humans go above and beyond animals in our needs. We have the need to survive, but we also have the need for our lives to be meaningful by whatever definition we choose; this definition varies from individual to individual. We also go beyond instant gratification and instincts in addressing our needs. We have the concept of making our needs easier and more reliable to obtain.
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    Mar 19 2014: I don't think animals are as existentialist as you think they are, just sayin'.
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    Mar 19 2014: .
    We are misled by invalid happiness.

    Invalid happiness destroys our "delicate balance" or ultra-high accuracy.