Thread: Q Loves Picard?
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Old December 17 2010, 12:10 AM   #11
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Re: Q Loves Picard?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Gary7 wrote: View Post
I'm not so certain that an omnipotent being like Q would consider the human race a bunch of pets. No, once there's a certain level of sentience, there is a degree of appreciation and respect.
But how do you define sentience? Modern cognitive science is increasingly demonstrating that sentience is a continuum, that many animals show a greater degree of self-awareness and cognitive complexity than we have recognized or been willing to admit. There's abundant evidence to demonstrate that great apes, dolphins, and maybe elephants are intelligent, self-aware beings, and yet our society still keeps them in zoos or circuses, and some keep baby chimps as pets. So even within our species, there's no consensus on what actually constitutes a level of sapience worthy of personhood. To a Q, humanity's ability to write books and build starships may be no more impressive than a chimp's ability to learn sign language or fish for termites with a stick is to the many humans who are aware of such skills but still dismiss the notion that anything nonhuman could be truly sapient.
Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that can record information outside of themselves. This made it possible to retain and disseminate information far beyond verbal and physical recitation. It is a level of sentience that allows us to make tremendous technological strides far beyond the other highly intelligent (relatively speaking) creatures around us like dolphins, chimps and elephants. This isn't to say that someday dolphins may be able to do this. Who knows what kinds of progression is going on in their minds. Perhaps one day they will be telekinetic. I'm guessing you're just making a joke with respect to the ability to create starships being no more impressive than a chimp using sign language.
Remembering Ensign Mallory.
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