But he has gotten used to it. From Chau Tu at ScienceFriday:
More than 50 years later, the renowned astronomer is surprised by the cultural impact of his Drake Equation.
No one else is.
What might be the next best ‘candidate’ on Earth for gaining intelligence?
There’s an obvious one, the chimpanzees. Or the bonobo—that’s the closest thing in physiology and social life to humans, so the bonobos are the prime candidate for our successor, if we ever wipe ourselves out or allow ourselves to be wiped out. If the planet gave them a million years to evolve, they would become us.
Another creature I always cite, which is half-joke and half-serious, is squirrels. If you look at the fossil record, our own most ancient ancestor 65 million years ago was a small mammal that was almost like a squirrel; it was the same size, it ran on four legs on the ground. And then 65 million years later, that became us. Squirrels are very smart—they can get at any bird feeder; you can’t hide food from them; they stand on their rear legs and their front paws as hands to manipulate things just the way we do; and they’re always watching us. You can see they’re saying, ‘Just give me time, I’m going to take over.’ [Laughs] More.
Note that, despite the claim that evolution is supposed to be without direction, there is the persistent belief that chimpanzees are “entering the Stone Age.” That is, a forward direction to history. Were that true, we suspect the chimps would find a colony of ravens squatting there …
Because we are now into science fiction anyway it is tempting to wonder what a bird-based civilization would be like.
See also: Are apes entering thethe Stone Age?
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