X-Message-Number: 11955
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #11942 - #11947
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 16:24:44 +1000 (EST)

To Mike Perry:

One key here is that the ants need not be conscious, even collectively. I
think it is only a consequence of the fact that we now only know ONE
intelligent species that we think that they must have the same mental 
features as we do... so I don't find your argument very strong. And
remember: I gave them 1 billion more years to evolve. We may be much
faster because of our brains and our consciousness, but 1 billion years
is a very long time for evolution to work on these ants. (And if they
started long enough before us, they could even be way in advance of

For that matter, space travel for such creatures need not look at all
like space travel for us. If they're just able to send seeds into space
(with the seeds having lots of metabolic features that lets them take
root in many places, even those where there is no life at the time) then
they'd have a form of space travel. We want to go ourselves because we
are conscious, and it's just not very satisfying to send out some 
automated system which recreates us in the proper milieu. They would
not feel that way... they would have no feelings at all.

			Best and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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