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U=(N/T)M*G: Dreaming

I have a theory about the life on this planet. If there’s a brain, there’s intelligence, no matter how rudimentary. If there’s intelligence, there are dreams. Now, I don’t have clue what, say, a fish is dreaming about as it’s suspended in water, but I have noticed little twitches in my little Mycroft Betta when he’s asleep. The same twitches my zebra finches have when they’re sleeping. Same with the Cat Army. Same with my teenager.

So, when I noticed this article about dreaming spiders (CW: SPIDERS), I wasn’t surprised. Terrified because spiders. Not surprised though.

It did get me thinking. By and large, evolution is always in progress. The next generation of an entity is a little smarter, a little more efficient than the last. Very few species currently existing have reached the peak of their evolutionary potential, us included, and with the way humans are dumping a crap ton of chemicals into the environment, as well as messing around with genetics, I started to wonder how much we, as a species, have changed the way other species evolve.

Follow me here. Spiders are actually a great example. These creepy little buddies aren’t anywhere close to the peak of their final form. And they breed at an unbelievable rate, something like five thousand generations in the same amount of time a human lives one life. More or less, a species makes an observable “advancement” every ten thousand generations. Although not all advancements are good.

Humanity started out a lot the same way. Very small brains, barely out of the trees. It took us about two to four million years to get where we are now. Crows and octopodes have all ready started on using tools, same as we did a million or so years ago. How many more generations will it take before another home-grown group joins us as a sentient species?

And in the case of spiders, it may not be all that long before we end up greeting them as equals.

T.A. Creech

Science in the pursuit of Fiction.


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