Questions tagged [intelligence]

For questions discussing some level of self-awareness.

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6
votes
1answer
104 views

Miniaturization of nerve cells

Let's not look at other avenues for increasing intelligence in an animal of a given size. What changes to known biology are necessary to allow individual nerve cells to be significantly smaller and ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Why do orcs have relatively longer period of immaturity?

Description of orcs: Adult healthy male looks like a wild boar walking on two legs towering at 4m tall and weights almost a metric tonne, average lifespan 150-175 years. Diet: Similar to a pig. Hobby: ...
12
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7answers
465 views

Reality Check: Plausibility of a new kind of sentient alien race: Split prehensile tail, quadrupedal, very floofy!

In building an sentient alien that is unique among the sea of humanoids, I aspire to explore quadrupeds. For a quick visual reference, this is what I have: proportions are definitely off, but in ...
36
votes
17answers
12k views

Can the number of letters in alphabet suggest how advanced civilization is?

Let's suppose we intercepted a message in an unknown language. We were not able to decipher it, but we were able to decode it. Meaning we know the letters but not the meaning of the words in the text. ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Would a human brain with 50% fewer neurons but 50% more dendrites be as intelligent in modern society?

Suppose advancement in medicine and using cutting edge technology we could remove (halve) the amount of neurons in a healthy brain and allow the left over neurons to somehow grows extra dendrites that ...
-3
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4answers
1k views

How intelligent would a wild animal have to be to not fear fire?

How intelligent would an animal(land bound animal) have to be to not fear fire? It's unable to make it or control it, but when a person is sitting by one, and while other animals act more ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

How could octopuses evolve a complex society [duplicate]

The title is a bit misleading, but let me explain. Octopuses are seen to be quite intelligent, capable of solving complex puzzles, manipulate tools, and are even capable of becoming bored. This ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Intelligent life from trial by wildfires

In my question: Sustainability of Regular Global Wildfires Due to Oxygen Rich Atmosphere An answer was proposed for a kind of "Boom Bust Cycle". The atmosphere has little CO2 but a lot of O2....
2
votes
2answers
106 views

How to Advance Barbaric Tribes [closed]

In a world full of barbaric tribes, there lives a small gathering of advanced sages. Their hearts are full of knowledge and benevolence for all living beings. They can advance human being to the ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

Individualist Intelligence

Under what circumstances could an inherently individualist species become intelligent and advanced? Usually, animals require social interaction for intelligence to develope. Or at least that's what ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

What might intelligent life on this planet look like? [closed]

Let’s say that there’s a fairly typical fantasy world governed by a pantheon of divinities, and on that planet, there’s the fantasy trope humans who can breed with anything, and the fantasy trope ...
4
votes
8answers
2k views

Can the future theoretically be predicted through analyzing the exact patterns of the universe? [closed]

My neuroscience is a little fuzzy, so bear with me. If your wondering how this ties in with world building, it's for a science fiction novel I'm writing, in which there is no magic. I am hoping to ...
2
votes
5answers
583 views

What would a Hyperintelligent person look like out of the Information Age?

Imagine a Hyperintelligent guy in the early years of WWII. He is far beyond human capabilities. Things he is capable of: Absolute perfect recall. Every moment he has ever experienced is available for ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Myelination in cephalopods

I am a complete amateur regarding biology, so please forgive me if this question is a little stupid. Could we ever create squids that have human-level intelligence and could serve as a replacement in ...
4
votes
3answers
202 views

Would it be possible for species to become sapient without using tools?

Set in a parallel universe, in a galaxy far far away, an Earth-like planet orbiting a yellow dwarf star with the mass of 1 solar mass. And yes, indeed that planet comes with a natural satellite that ...
31
votes
18answers
11k views

Are there any mathematics that could only be learned by very few people?

I'm worldbuilding a situation where new drug increases IQ when given to preschool children. Unfortunately only 1% of the recipients get the benefits, the rest risk their development being stunted. As ...
0
votes
4answers
196 views

World With No Concept of Numbers [closed]

Nothing repeats in this world. Nothing happens as much similar to another thing already happened that #2 can be assigned to it, even superficially. Can intelligent life exist in such world? By ...
3
votes
2answers
220 views

what is the minimum level of inteligence for a species to theoretically have the concept of God and form a religion? [closed]

This might be hard to answer if we think about all other life on our planet, even with animals such as dolphins, octopi, chimpanzees and others that show relatively high levels of intelligence but as ...
22
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23answers
5k views

Is there a practical way of making democratic-like system skewed towards competence?

There were here some discussion concerning using IQ or paid taxes as proxy of citizens merit, for purposes of making some a bit more meritocratic system. While some objections I'd consider excessive (...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

How would my creatures handle groups without a strong concept of numbers?

I'm thinking about a species that is at the intelligence level of proto-humans. They have limited language but can still discuss concrete things with a little bit of abstraction. For instance, their ...
3
votes
5answers
264 views

Building a 'realistic' world where the inhabitants have a different IQ than our real-world average?

I've been randomly looking up stuff about the movie Idiocracy. After watching a video on youtube claiming that the world of Idiocracy is actually a Utopia (because the world seems to not have the ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Relationship between intelligence of the most advanced species and planet size [closed]

My world is similar to that of Contact (1997) with Jodie Foster, but hopefully more realistic scientifically. In order not to bump into hostile life on our bold adventures; more intelligent than us,...
35
votes
16answers
8k views

Best species to breed to intelligence

I’ve included more background below, but the TL;DR is that you’re a lone immortal who’s decided to breed some species of animal to a human-level intelligence (over the course of hundreds of thousands ...
-2
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4answers
217 views

What is holding the cephalopods back [closed]

We already know that cephalopods (octopi and squids) are kind of smart. They are smart enough to unscrew jars. Bet on football world cups (and even win some of those bets), disguise themselves, and ...
0
votes
1answer
341 views

How could an uplifted falcon's brain work?

In JJBA: Stardust Crusaders, there was a two-parter with a falcon stand-user, called Pet Shop, as the antagonist. The character kinda intrigued me, so I decided to steal it while Araki wasn't watching....
4
votes
3answers
379 views

How would one communicate with the hive mind of the human race? [closed]

Imagine each human is like a neuron in a brain. Then the totality of all humans communicating together would create some kind of hive mind. But a single neuron isn't "aware" of the mind of the brain ...
5
votes
4answers
129 views

How to identify sapient jellyfish?

There is a sapient jellyfish species resembling the box jellyfish found to be lurking in the ocean today. A team of researchers took a sub and dived into the abyss to look for it. What kind of non-...
3
votes
7answers
310 views

How could someone calculate all potential outcomes of an action?

In my universe, some individuals possess the capacity to assess all outcomes for an action. As you can imagine, this is very useful. The only way I can think of a plausible way to make that happen is ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

Could fruit (specifically oranges) evolve into intelligent life? [closed]

Is it possible for oranges to become intelligent life while still retaining some of their essential qualities such as skin that can neatly be peeled off and reproduction through seeds and growth off ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

How fast could a directed breeding program turn another Earth species intelligent?

There is no genetic engineering allowed, just selected breeding and offspring selection. There is no genome sequencing, imagine medieval technology plus mendelian principles. The laws of heredity are ...
6
votes
3answers
256 views

How can humans enslave a slightly more intelligent species? [closed]

In my story, there is a war between humans and a slightly more advanced and clever species. The humans outnumber the other species and end up winning the war because the humans spread a virus to the ...
8
votes
2answers
343 views

How would childhood be affected by the fact that babies are born with the knowledge of an average adult?

My question is simple: In a world where babies are born with the knowledge of an average adult, what would happen to the childhood of the child? For example, how would this affect the learning of ...
16
votes
14answers
4k views

How can a sapient species build an advanced civilization, while remaining on one continent?

The world I'm building contains two sapient species; one is about Mesolithic-level in terms of technology, while the other is about as advanced as the ancient Egyptians or Sumerians. However, they're ...
1
vote
2answers
159 views

Could university accept a child without any formal education? [closed]

My story revolves about a life of a girl that is profoundly gifted even among a family of profoundly gifted. Her father founded a multi-billion dollar company focused on IT security and cryptography ...
3
votes
5answers
439 views

What is the safest way to detect superintelligence?

Computer scientists have created an AI that they hope has intelligence far superior to a human being. But they do not know how intelligent it is ... a bit more than humans, or unimaginably more. They ...
1
vote
11answers
2k views

How to create a genetically high IQ population while avoiding regression to the mean as much as possible?

Let's say we have a group of high IQ individuals of a sizeable number. In what manner should they reproduce in order to maximise the odds of creating a genetically high IQ population over several ...
28
votes
7answers
7k views

How much smarter would bred humans become?

I'm building a setting in a fictional Latin American country which is under military rule. The junta starts a breeding program in the late 40's with help from unscrupulous escaped Nazi scientists. ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Evolution without the reflex arc

How would evolution have changed without the "reflex arc", if all reflexes had to go through the brain instead of the spinal cord? Would intelligent species be able to evolve?
1
vote
1answer
200 views

Alternative Scenarios To The Evolution Of A Sentient Species On A Similar Planet [closed]

We have exactly one story of how this process occurred in the universe (so far)- our own. Our story in short is of a derived social primate with binocular vision, a workable set of hands ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Could plants develop sentience?

This question is almost exactly like Could plants develop intelligence, but now I wonder (how) could plant life develop sentience, to the point where it becomes as intelligent as humans? Is a brain ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

What would happen if all (higher) life magically became sentient and reached human-level intelligence? [closed]

Overnight, all higher life, multicellular life forms from trees and grass to dogs and elephants reached a level of intelligence similar to that of humans. For example, they can communicate effectively,...
38
votes
18answers
11k views

In a cemetery, what evidence could be found that humans were intelligent and had technology?

So, a group of archeologists from the year 4978 have uncovered something strange. They’ve been searching for the missing link between them and their primordial ancestors, and they seem to have found ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Intelligence development: Plausible?

This is another question about my aliens who have both reptilian and mammalian characteristics. Now, I'm not talking about developing intelligence on evolutionary time scales but rather within ...
-2
votes
7answers
512 views

What would be a plausible reason why humans have lost their intelligence? [closed]

So, I’m writing a fiction story about a society of chimpanzees that are intelligent and have advanced technology. Cars, air travel, cities, cellular phones, and space travel. My human characters ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

How would humans treat dogs that are more intelligent than humans and can speak?

Suppose that there is a species of dogs that are much more intelligent than humans and can speak. The humans know that the animal is smarter too. The only reason these animals can't rule over humans ...
10
votes
3answers
229 views

Solving the vulnerabilities of a plant-based life-form's civilization: sunlight, roots, and hibernation

Say you are a plant-based life-form (imagine a walking tree). You have roots and leaves. You have two main vulnerabilities: You need sunlight on your leaves for photosynthesis to get energy. You ...
7
votes
3answers
543 views

Intelligent Animal Politics

I am continuing to work on the animal society as dictated in this question here. Basic Summary: Certain groups of animals have attained human-level intelligence. The details of species are laid out ...
3
votes
4answers
187 views

Megatherium tool making

I have seen many questions and answers throughout this site, and as far I have understood, thumbs are not needed to use tools. Seems like many structures and objects can be used properly with any kind ...
17
votes
7answers
3k views

How Do I Develop a Society of Geniuses?

Goal: Achieve a society where the average person is a creative and/or analytical and/or strategic genius and/or physically phenomenal (as measured by our current standards, of course). Steps: ...
3
votes
3answers
254 views

What is intelligent life?

It has been speculated that one explanation to the Fermi Paradox is that humans have been observed by extra-terrestrial life and it was concluded that we are not 'intelligent life', so no contact was ...