Blu wrote:Simple really. Human survival relies on retaining memories. The memories of how to make tools in order to eat, etc... We have evolved to need this. Other animals rely on other things to survive, and don't necessary need to remember such things in order to survive. It's not some great tipping point, but a change in survival needs which make us utilise memory to a greater extent.
As for communication, lots of animals communicate, some differently than others. We do it differently as well, by writing.
OK, but human memory is not the significant difference. Other animals exhibit similar or possibly better memory. So obviously that's not the reason humans and not, say, elephants exhibit increasing amounts of knowledge. Lots of animals do communicate, but humans communication is light years ahead of anything else. A human can communicate things far beyond "there's food there" or "Danger, predators!". And that's because humans are intelligent enough to understand abstract concepts.
Again, your inclusion of the word sapience just seems pointless to me. You haven't convinced me that it is necessary in this context because it seems to me like your trying to define human intelligence without hypothesising how it came about.
Why would I even need to hypothesise how something came about to define it? You define a term to be able to talk about the concept it refers to more easily, which is often a prerequisite to understanding how it came about. I have no idea what you'd accomplish by refusing to create a word to refer to something until after you understand how it came about.
I don't know exactly how human intelligence came about and why it's as complex as it is, but that doesn't mean that I can make premature conclusions that there is some great difference between human and animal intelligence and that a new definition needs to be introduced. In this context of intelligence over species, I think the word sapience just complicates things, because, as you know, we are also animals, evolved from the same ancestor more than 3 billion years ago.
It's blatantly obvious there's a great difference between human and animal intelligence. There's thousands of years of human history that show that.
I don't know, I seem to be understanding what you are saying less and less. Can we try to do some clarification here?
I assert that humans are more intelligent than other animals and that the difference between humans and the next smartest animal is a considerable jump much greater than the difference in intelligence between any other animal and the one closest to it. Do you disagree with any of that?
I say that humans have the exclusive ability to build on previous knowledge at a pseudo-exponential growth rate. Do you disagree?
I infer from the above (and other evidence) that at some point between human intelligence and non-human intelligence, there's a tipping point where an animal is intelligent enough to preserve previous knowledge and communicate it to other members of its species, it can handle abstract concepts and models of reality, and thus can build upon knowledge, use the new knowledge to get more knowledge, and cause the growth mentioned in the previous point. Do you disagree?
I argue that anything past this tipping point deserves a specific term, because intelligence above that level behaves differently enough from intelligence below that level that it's useful to differentiate them. Obviously you disagree.
I do not argue that intelligence itself is an exclusively human property, or that humans aren't animals with a common ancestor with other animals, or anything silly like that. I figure that's clear, but it's worth mentioning.
I do not argue that humans are a special animal in general
. Only that we are remarkably smart, and most of our particularities come from that intelligence or aspects related to it. Thus if one wishes to look at humans as a particular animal, and is asked what single most important quality marks humans apart from other animals, it would be intelligence. Much in the same way that if one were to look at the mimic octopus, and asked what single quality marks it apart from other animals, it would be its ability to mimic other species. And so on and so forth.