Do you think only we humans run the world?
In the movie “Planet of the Apes: The Confrontation”, which opens today (24.07) in Brazilian theaters, humans and monkeys vie for dominance of the earth after an epidemic decimates much of humanity. As Mega Curioso published in this other article, some experts explained what would be plausible or not in the real world.
As Jan Zalasiewicz (a paleobiologist at Leicester University) told Live Science: "With humans around, it is very difficult for another superintelligent species to evolve." According to the expert, humans have been very good at removing competition.
"Throughout several million years of evolution, modern humans have already competed with various primates and other human species, such as the Denisova hominid and the Neanderthals, " he said.
Still, according to Live Science, the premise of the movie is not very realistic. With seven billion humans on the planet, even though 95 percent of us were annihilated as a result of a virus created in the laboratory, the rest of the population would still far outnumber the monkeys.
But while the idea of evolved apes may even be a little exaggerated, the hypothesis of another species or life-form dominating the planet is not, scientists say. In fact, depending on how the domain is defined, other creatures may already be in charge, according to expert analysis.
Planet of the pigs?
But supposing humans have succumbed to famine, plague, war, or climate change, it can still take many millions of years for a new species to evolve with the intelligence and ability to dominate the earth. After all, intelligent creatures like humans evolved only when the planet was 3.5 billion years old, Zalasiewicz commented.
However, rats, and other pests that live on virtually every piece of land on the planet, are also somewhat intelligent and have a highly evolved social structure.
In many millions of years, huge mice could even become a hyperintelligent species to rule the earth, according to a study by Jan Zalasiewicz himself published earlier this year. According to this research, mice would be most likely to survive and repopulate the world if a mass extinction of humans was supposed to occur.
For the scholar, pigs also have complex social structures and a high level of intelligence. "If they evolved their ability to use tools and continued to evolve intelligence over millions of years, they could conceivably take over the planet, " Jan theorized.
But realistically speaking, the greatest threat to humans is not a naturally evolving creature, but artificial intelligence, according to the researcher. "If something smart comes up, it will be something electronic that we create ourselves, " Zalasiewicz said.
Researchers recently reported that a machine passed the Turing Test, exhibiting behavior that could be described as "human". In the Turing Test, if a human interviewer cannot tell the difference between machine and human responses, then it is considered to show intelligent behavior.
Futurist Ray Kurzweil has long predicted that uniqueness, a hypothetical point when the machine overtakes intelligent humans, will be present in 2045. And for that to happen, it will not be long.
Still in this race for world domination, we have other virtually invisible enemies, but they are everywhere. "At some level, humans really don't dominate the Earth right now, because bacteria have already beaten humanity in many ways, " said Robert J. Sternberg, professor of human development at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
"Humans only imagine that they dominate the earth. Bacteria dominate. There are infinitely many more of them than there are humans. Much of our own weight is bacteria. They reproduce and transform faster, " Sternberg said in an interview. to Live Science.
But it is not just bacteria that are the main candidates for world domination, but also ants. "Ants already control the planet. But they do it under our feet, " said Mark W. Moffett, an entomologist at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
According to this researcher, there are many more ants than people, and their total weight, or biomass, is equal to or greater than that of humans. In addition, they also use traditional military combat norms among other coping and working strategies.
Ants may not even pose a threat when isolated, but in groups can do real damage. For example, group African ants can devour a cow that is trapped somewhere or even a defenseless baby in a matter of minutes, according to Mark Moffett. "There is a reason why women in equatorial Africa carry babies on their backs and never leave them in any kind of crib or enclosure, " Moffett said.
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And do you, reader, think that any species other than human could dominate the world? Tell us!