The Na'vi represent the pinnacle of good luck in finding intelligent life: they are humanoid, they have similar methods of communication, and they have a social structure generally based on similar principles of interaction between individuals (even though we have a lot to learn). Samsonius presented in a previous blog that perhaps this was not a coincedence, as there is the theory that life can be seeded on a planet by asteroids carrying various biological microbes. I personally would buy into the explanation that perhaps humans and Na'vi were seeded from the same base life-form and were conditioned over the millions and millions of years of evolution, based upon the conditions set by the planets. Here, through evolution and mass extinction events by various causes, the Dinosaurs became birds (I'm generalizing here), and mammals evolved eventually culminating in us humans. Perhaps similar events occured on Pandora, resulting in two radically different but fundamentally similar sentient species.
Now the point I'm trying to make is the astronomical coincedence of finding alien life forms we are capable of understanding, communicating with, and interacting with. Intelligent life, through the limitless myriad of variables in biological evolution, may be found in forms that are beyond our current comprehension. There are some who say that life could theoretically be silicon-based rather than carbon-based, which is what all life found on Earth is. Would we be able to interact with what are essentially living crystals? What about gaseous beings or liquid entities, or living rocks. Star Trek did a great job of exploring the various types of life we might find among the stars. If anyone has ever played the game Mass Effect, there are a majority of more-or-less humanoid species in the galaxy, but they explain it because bipedal, humanoids represent the most biologically efficient way to produce intelligent life. There are many scientific theories to support this based upon our own evolution, but the point remains that life, and definitely intelligence can come in any form.
More to the point I'm trying to make, is the recognition of the possibility of intelligence in life that we are familiar with but have come to accept as "unintelligent". I suscribe to various spiritual and biological theories, but one thing I know is that we do not give enough credit to some of the creatures found on Earth. Who is to say that we are the only intelligence on Earth? Only in the context of intelligence as we know it. I would not presume to endorse any one belief over another, but merely the notion of opening your mind to the possibility that perhaps things are not the way we thought they were. Maybe we don't know everything, and even better, maybe the things we thought we were sure of aren't entirely accurate. This notion might scare some, but it's this perpetual learning that as beings of higher intelligence, we must keep ourselves open to.
I have a deep caring for animals, and I would be lying if I said I did not see a higher intelligence in some of the animals roaming the wilds. Wolves, owls, eagles, bears, cats, dogs, snakes, lizards, dolphins, whales, rays. So many of them, to me represent an intelligence that, if you open yourself up to the possibility of understanding, you might be able to communicate with. This theory need not apply to just animals, but other organisms as well. Who is to say that a giant redwood does not think, or at least feel. They, who measure their lives at the thousands of years, might experience what we call thought at a rate much slower than we do. What about the Great Barrier Reef, whom some claim to be the largest super-organism known to man. Just like the connections in Eywa, who is to say that there is not intelligence, albeit in a form we do not understand, existing elsewhere in the world?
But you might say, if animals do contain intelligence, how can we justify being carnivorous? How can we legitimize our survival over theirs. Look at Pandora for the answer. Living ensures survival, but survival does not mean living. Humanity, as I have said before, seems hell-bent on surviving, even at the cost of every other life-form on Earth, and as Avatar has shown us, even at the expense of other worlds. What we must try to understand is that there is a natural order, that doesn't have to end with humanity's pandemic spread across the planet like a cancer, and spreading our disease across the stars. The senseless destruction of every wild animal on land, every plant, and everything that swims in the sea, will eventually lead us to desolation. A world dominated by a single species cannot exist. The key word in ecosystem is "system"; one thing based on another. Many thing reliant on each other. Predators must adapt to hunt better, and prey must adapt to evade the predators. The natural world itself in an unlimited resource, and truly a perpetual motion machine. If we want to exist, to survive, to live, we must remember that we are not alone, even on our own planet. This was a long one, but I have not written in a while, so if you made it through I thank you. Irayo Willofeywa 01:26, April 28, 2010 (UTC)