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  1. #1

    What animals would be the best candidates for being uplifted

    Uplifted animal races are popular figures in science fiction and fantasy and more often than not, people don't often think about it. So besides primates, what animals would be the most likely to achieve sapience?If you consider all possible factors, what manner of species would achieve human like thought processes?

  2. #2
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    The standard go to beyond monkeys/apes is dolphins. Probably followed by dogs. I think more interesting options might be octopus or crow. Both intelligent already, both very crafty, and both would bring very different aptitudes to the table.

  3. #3
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    I would like to read about elephants and bears. I think the subject has already been touched, by Larry Niven in Footfall, and another book that I haven't tracked yet, something about The Right To Arm Bears.

  4. #4
    Been reading David Brin lately?

  5. #5
    Stephen Baxter did some great work with genetically raised intelligent cuttlefish in his Manifold series. I can't think of any other series I've liked that raised non-human animals, though a lot of aliens use earth animals as their prototypes and models of evolution.

  6. #6
    My vote would definitely be for dogs. Of course, they're not as close as dolphins, great apes, or crows. However, they already speak our body language and are closely tied to us.

  7. #7
    Orthodox Herbertian Omphalos's Avatar
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    I'd probably go for a book about a war between men and intelligent rats.

  8. #8
    There's no point in uplifting anything that can't manipulate tools. Dogs and dolphins would be like a race of paraplegic geniuses. I like the idea of uplifting rats or octopi.


    Two racehorses were in the stable and they began bragging.
    The first horse says 'I've been in 30 races and have only lost twice.'
    The second horse says 'Well, I've been in 50 races and have never lost.'

    Just then, they hear a chuckle by the stable door, and there's a greyhound dog walking up to them. The greyhound says, 'That's nothing. I've been in over 200 races and have won them all.'

    The horses are clearly amazed. Finally, one of them manages to speak. 'Wow!' he says, 'A talkin' dog!'

  9. #9
    Registered User Pennarin's Avatar
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    Yeah, octopus and other tentacled creatures, elephants, dolphins, chimps, and apparently bears for some reason I don't yet know.

    Crows and various exotic birds of company are very intelligent, yes, but wouldn't it be cruel to uplift a small creature without grasping limbs, and expect them to live in a human civilization? To remedy this should we rob them of their natural flight ability by making them bigger and regressing their wings to arms?

    Or it might be that, just like dolphins, the act of flying or swimming is such an important part of their existence that it wouldn't matter whether they had grasping limbs or not.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Pennarin View Post

    Crows and various exotic birds of company are very intelligent, yes, but wouldn't it be cruel to uplift a small creature without grasping limbs, and expect them to live in a human civilization?
    Don't sell birds short. Several species already use and make simple tools, and especially the psittacine group (parrots) have very dextrous feet.

  11. #11
    Humans are, of course, a great candidate for uplift. We certainly don't have the technology (yet) to uplift other species, which means that a Sufficiently Advanced Alien could easily uplift us.

    A sufficiently advanced patron species could uplift nearly any species they wanted to. "Neural lace", "telekinesis", and other "hands-free" technologies would work just as well for an elephant or dolphin as for a human.

    IMO, the defining characteristic of an uplifted species should be its social tendencies. An inherently social species (dolphins, elephants, dogs, pigeons, apes or humans) would make for a very different type of uplift than a species that stays alone or in small family groups (octopus, alligator, bear, most cats, eagle).

    If the patron species is bringing the client species up to near its own technology level, they might prefer to uplift less social species that would be less likely to lead a large-scale rebellion. Otherwise they run the risk of the "uplifted race rebellion" trope.

  12. #12
    Registered User Pennarin's Avatar
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    That's the one I forgot: squid (I notice someone mentioned a cuttlefish, another cephalopod). Social, part of large groups, able to communicate basic information using chromatophores and use it between members to coordinate attempts at obtaining food. As invertebrates they would make a truly alien uplifted intelligence.

    See wiki's entry on cephalopod intelligence.

  13. #13
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    This, of course, leads us to mention of Margaret Attwood's infamous comment that science fiction, as opposed to what she herself wrote, was "talking squids in outer space."

    Mark
    Mark

  14. #14
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Humans!

    The fact of the matter is that we have not figure out how make anywhere near the most use of human intelligence. We have so called educational systems which practically destroy children's intelligence. Intelligence in an adult is not just about genetics. How many adults have had their intelligence sabotaged?

    So until we learn how to optimise human intelligence why bother giving "genetic" intelligence to any other species?

    psik

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    Humans!
    So until we learn how to optimise human intelligence why bother giving "genetic" intelligence to any other species?
    Maybe they'd know (or figure out) how to use it?

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