Are we as intelligent as we think we are?
This question is from Neil deGrass Tyson. He did not send it to us. A reader found it on line and presented it to us. Thank you for sharing.
I will attempt to answer it.
There is a huge difference between our intelligence– the ability to ingest and comprehend information, to retain it, to manipulate it, and to utilize it in new and creative, thought provoking ways and between our knowledge, our wisdom and our understanding of what is-
Our ability in the former can be measured by many different means to create a probability of anyone’s ability AS IT RELATES to the ability of others of our species.
But as to the latter, that doesn’t mean that person has the knowledge base, the learning and awareness of our level of knowledge as we know it with today’s understanding to apply it.
You can have a high IQ and be totally ignorant.
De Grass Tyson’s question asks further if we shall meet a species from another world will that alien species look at us like we might look at a worm?
That interview is partially linked here. It pauses so be sure to watch the second segment.
Our human lineage diverted from an ape ancestor 6-7 million years ago. We have only been our surviving human species for about 200,000 years. We have only significantly advanced our knowledge of our universe in the past 100 years.
What will we be like, presuming we survive, in another 10,000 years, or 100,000 years or in 1,000,000 years? What about an alien species that is already that old and has survived? [newsletter_lock]
Our universe is very old. Planets have existed around OTHER STARS, far longer than Earth has existed. It is ridiculously arrogant to think that other life forms on some of those planets are not more advanced and much older that we.
To presume our system of measurement of intelligence- a Gaussian bell curve statistically showing our distribution of intellect- would even show on the lower far left tail on their current curve, is absurd.
Any civilization that has figured out how to travel the vast distances through space, hopefully to explore it, as opposed to conquering it, perhaps warping spacetime to effect almost instantaneous travel, would be so technologically vastly ahead of us as to defy belief.
I had said in a former article that should we ever encounter an extraterrestrial species who came to visit earth, our lives would be permanently and irrevocable changed.
We would hope that species was benevolent. Would they look at us as we might look at an insect?
We do study insects. We also have been known to pin them to boards at museums for display.
We would also further hope they would respect life, and if they do, would try to interact with us as little as possible to avoid changing who we are.
They might be willing to show us cures for disease and they might share some of their knowledge such as how they had survived so long.
The answer to your question, Dr. deGraf Tyson, is that yes, they would have probably evolved intellectually to be vastly beyond us. Let us treat those living things we study as we would hope to someday be treated ourselves- with respect for life.
What are your thoughts on an alien visit? How do you think they would perceive us?