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User avatar #7 - nightmaren (04/20/2013) [-]
1. The word is 'sapience'
2. It can easily be argued that we're not the only sapient species on the planet. Dolphins have been seen using distinct calls for one another. Different pods of whales (of the same species) in different places of the world have different dialects and cultures, despite being the same species. Crows understand currency. Non-human apes are probably in the early stages of sapiency, as they've been seen using tools, and with sign language they can express actual thoughts, and talk about past experiences to humans. Elephants have death rituals for one another. Some parrots actually understand some of the words they mimic, and use them in legitimate sentences.
I don't think all the above-mentioned animals are sapient, except for maybe dolphins.
If elephants were already sapient, we'd know, as they have an efficient way of grasping and manipulating thing, and they live on land. Dolphins live in the water, so they can't utilize fire, which would make it impossible for them to have any kind of a civilization, but they may be just as smart, regardless.
#39 to #7 - lolibear (04/21/2013) [-]
I can't understand how you think fire is essential for civilization, or that land is. Fire isn't needed for civilization at all, nor is land. All that is needed for civilization is an intelligent species that can communicate and desires social grouping. All other things such as fire and only help the species survive and grow which can help support civilization. In a way, ants and bees have "civilization" because they stay in large groups that communicate in complex ways and have a social order.
User avatar #41 to #39 - nightmaren (04/21/2013) [-]
I don't think land is essential to creating a civilization, but I do believe fire is.
#42 to #41 - lolibear (04/21/2013) [-]
could you elaborate?
User avatar #44 to #42 - nightmaren (04/21/2013) [-]
Everything we have came from, or came from something that came from fire. I'm not saying an underwater species couldn't be sapient, but I doubt you'd be landing on a planet, with an ocean filled with fabulous underwater cities built by alien water creatures.
#45 to #44 - lolibear (04/21/2013) [-]
well that didn't explain anything. I guess i'll try to explain my point. Fire is not essential to civilization. Fire was only ever needed by humans because we needed to stay warm in the winters in colder climates. Fire never gave us anything we absolutely needed for survival, and fire's only main use was for heat, which water animals do not need, and making food safer, which isn't a serious problem to water animals either.
User avatar #47 to #45 - nightmaren (04/21/2013) [-]
You're the one not understanding my point.
Because of fire, we could harness basic metals, which allowed us to form everything we did, and form a civilization amongst our species.
Dolphins wouldn't be able to because obviously, fire can't burn underwater.
We could be surviving in our completely primal state without fire, yes, but then we wouldn't have any form of civilization. We'd still be chasing gazelles around the plains until they died off exhaustion, and then dragging them back to our families to eat.
#49 to #47 - lolibear (04/21/2013) [-]
Why does metal usage need to be there for civilization? All metal was used for for many years was war. Civilization doesn't need to have every technology we have, and could find ways around it, it would be impossible to tell now.
User avatar #50 to #49 - nightmaren (04/21/2013) [-]
I'm not going to bother arguing about this any further. I frequent a xenobiology forum, and this thread comes up quite often, and every time they discuss it for days on end, and it's always the ones arguing against it who seem to win. There could be devices and contraptions that operate purely of levers and pulleys and gears made of some kind of underwater-alien plant species, so precise that basic-mechanics can be implemented, but that's far too impractical to be even remotely likely.
I can link you to one of the threads, if you want.
#51 to #50 - lolibear (04/21/2013) [-]
No thank you, my point is more on the definition of civilization rather than the advancement of technology they could have. I'll end it there.
User avatar #22 to #7 - occamsrazor (04/21/2013) [-]
#24 to #22 - nightmaren (04/21/2013) [-]
I'll know when someone proves me wrong, won't I?
I'll know when someone proves me wrong, won't I?
User avatar #13 to #7 - demandsgayversion (04/20/2013) [-]
sen·tience (snshns, -sh-ns)
1. The quality or state of being sentient; consciousness.
2. Feeling as distinguished from perception or thought.

Just ignore the pronunciation....
User avatar #14 to #13 - nightmaren (04/20/2013) [-]
Dogs, cats etc; are all sentient.
But only humans (and maybe dolphins), and any alien species that visit us would classify as sapient.
Sentient: Capable of emotion and awareness of oneself
Sapient: Highly intelligent
#27 to #14 - anon (04/21/2013) [-]
Dogs and cats are not sentient, as they are unable to recognise themselves in a mirror.

Primates and Dolphins are both sentient, as they can recognise themselves in a mirror.
#35 to #27 - rotinaj (04/21/2013) [-]
My dog recognizes itself
User avatar #28 to #27 - nightmaren (04/21/2013) [-]
Self recognition =/= Self awareness
User avatar #15 to #14 - demandsgayversion (04/20/2013) [-]
Definition of SAPIENT
: possessing or expressing great sagacity

Goddammit Marriam-Webster

The quality of being sagacious

************ GOOGLE

Having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment; shrewd.

I'd say dogs and cats have good judgement.
User avatar #8 to #7 - TheMather ONLINE (04/20/2013) [-]
There's even one kind of ape who uses vocal communication with a similar pattern to human speech (no, I'm not talking about ******* ).
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