Tuesday, March 18, 2003

THOUGHTS ON INTELLIGENCE

...Chimp talk: My musings about the possibility of chimpanzees developing into a more intelligent species struck a chord with several Cosmic Log readers — including a few who pointed out that the idea has spawned more than one science-fiction saga.
Of course we’re all familiar with the “damn dirty apes” who wised up in “Planet of the Apes,” the Pierre Boulez novella that has been turned into a veritable shrewdness of ape movies. But there’s also David Brin’s “Uplift” saga, in which humans lend a hand to bring chimpanzees as well as dolphins into the realm of full-fledged intelligence.
Here are some additional recommendations and reflections from Cosmic Log readers:
Charles Pattison, San Diego: “The book ‘Next of Kin' deals with the cross-fostering of genus Pan troglodyte. Interestingly, the chimp, who is a 98.4 percent DNA match with human, has learned to speak through use of American Sign Language. Equally as interesting is their ability to speak with complex sentence structure. I have often thought that we as humans are merely one form of intelligence in a much larger world of thought. What we are only now beginning to achieve is an ability to communicate with other species on an intelligent level of understanding. Through science and understanding this communication link will continue to evolve.”...