Thoughts on Alien Life part two
Concerning Alien Intelligence
Intelligence, like a good many other racial attributes is an evolutionary trait developed to help a species to succeed. Of course there are numerous examples on earth of creatures that have done very well without developing a very high degree of intellectual ability; sharks, snakes, cockroaches, dragon flies. Some species have been around since the dawn of life, such as cyanobacteria, with very little change whatsoever.
I therefore contend that what we, as an intelligent species, would consider intelligent life will only evolve if it gave the species a survival advantage. I also contend that such intelligence would only develop to improve only so long as it gave that species an advantage. Sharks are more intelligent than bacteria, but they did not go on to develop advanced physics or a space program. Sharks only became as intelligent as sharks needed to become in order to survive and become one of the dominant species in their ecosystem.
If an alien species was to develop advanced, symbolic, problem solving, society building, universe analyzing intelligence, then it must be an evolutionary advantage for them to do so. It is therefore unlikely that a peaceful world with little to challenge the lives of the inhabitants would develop a very high level of intelligence. A planet on which life is a daily struggle to survive would most likely produce more intelligent creatures as the stupid ones would not survive long enough to prosper.
Till next time.