1
$\begingroup$

Lets say that, for some reason, humans decide to breed true sapience into one of the great apes (chimps or bonobos). They start to use active selective breeding to encourage increased intellect and sapience in these species.

How long would it take for sapience to be achieved via such a solution?

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Define "sapient". FWIW I think great apes (and elephants) already are. They certainly pass the mirror test. Wild gorillas interact peacefully with human naturalists who do not threaten them. $\endgroup$
    – nigel222
    Jun 14, 2016 at 18:38

1 Answer 1

4
$\begingroup$

I think it would be difficult,as we don't know how to select for the desired path. The preliminary steps that led to the essential traits later might be due to selection pressures for effects we don't know about. Just breeding for some general intelligence test result might lead to a dead end.

If the breeders did know, how long would it take the needed mutations to arise? That depends on population size. So, orders of magnitude difference depending on the size of the operation!

How many individual mutations are needed? You have the probability of one occuring, then you detect it and select it, but it still needs to spread over the population which takes many generations.

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .