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Success Is Not Objective.
in Science

By Dr_MaybeDr_Maybe 46 Pts

What is the most successful animal on earth? I don't know, but I do know that the dinosaurs where on earth for about a hundred and sixty five million years. The dinosaurs will be more successful than we are if we kill ourselves off in under a hundred and sixty five million years.

Then people will say things like well we are more technologically advanced than any other species on earth. Under that metric sure that would be true, but we will fail at many more metrics than we are successful in.

Concepts like success, advancement and progress are human ideas and while we can use them the rest of the universe does not care one bit about them. It only exists in the brains of people. I'm having trouble concisely defining what I want to talk about here. If you understand what I am getting at, kindly explain it to me.


AlexOland



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  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1702 Pts
    I suppose there are many different forms of success. You are right that the dinosaurs have existed for a very long time, but does this really impact the individual dinosaur in any way? A stegosaurus that is being killed by a t-rex hardly finds any consolation in the fact that his species has been around for 100 million years: its life is still miserable, and its success is finished.

    Humans have not been around for a very long time, but we have accomplished a lot, and the life of the average human individual today is arguably higher quality than that of any member of any species at any point in the Earth's history prior to emergence of humans. I believe that this is a stronger evidence of success than the raw lifespan of the species.
  • Dr_MaybeDr_Maybe 46 Pts
    MayCaesar said:
    I suppose there are many different forms of success. You are right that the dinosaurs have existed for a very long time, but does this really impact the individual dinosaur in any way? A stegosaurus that is being killed by a t-rex hardly finds any consolation in the fact that his species has been around for 100 million years: its life is still miserable, and its success is finished.

    Humans have not been around for a very long time, but we have accomplished a lot, and the life of the average human individual today is arguably higher quality than that of any member of any species at any point in the Earth's history prior to emergence of humans. I believe that this is a stronger evidence of success than the raw lifespan of the species.
    No, that's not what I am saying. It's not an argument about who beats who, it's more about the human frame of reference.

  • AlexOlandAlexOland 274 Pts
    @Dr_Maybe

     Well, "success" at what? "success" is the accomplishment of an aim. What is the "aim" we are talking about? Dinosaurs were succesful at surviving for a long time, as you said. Here the aim is "to survive for a long time". 

     So when you ask "what is the most successful species?" my reply is "successful at what?". 

     ---

    "Then people will say things like well we are more technologically advanced than any other species on earth. Under that metric sure that would be true, but we will fail at many more metrics than we are successful in."

     Therefore I agree with this statement. Unless you specify what the aim is, you cannot decide on what species is the most "succesful". 

    ---

    "Concepts like success, advancement and progress are human ideas and while we can use them the rest of the universe does not care one bit about them."

     Well, why do we have to care about the fact that the universe does not care about them? It is fine to have abstract ideas as long as they are defined properly. I think you meant to say that it is a mistake to associate "success" with "advancement or progress in technology". If so, I agree with you.

     A lot of people just say that humans are the most succesful species because they are the ones who made the most advancements. But these people, without realizing, accept the "aim" as "making advancements". If we have another aim, humans can even turn out to be the least succesful species.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • WinstonCWinstonC 27 Pts
    @Dr_Maybe Success is defined relative to a goal, so if you define an achievable goal you can define success relative to that goal. As for the success of organisms it would appear nature has already defined what success is: survival of their genetic code.
    Plaffelvohfen
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