History Main / ToolsOfSapience

18th May '16 2:44:42 AM PaulA
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* In the fantasy trilogy ''Literature/TheBalancedSword'', one of the main characters is an Intelligent Toad who doesn't wear clothes but does wear a sword belt and a pack with his equipment in. Both are actually spelled to prevent people noticing them if he doesn't want them to, because in his line of work there are times when it's useful for people to ''not'' realize he's sapient.
18th May '16 2:36:01 AM PaulA
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* Discussed in Creator/JanetKagan's ''Hellspark'', in which a survey team are trying to figure out if the local birdlike aliens, which have never been seen using tools, are sapient. The protagonist points out that on some planets she's visited, the surveyors themselves might not necessarily be recognised as sapient tool-users because the nature of their tools would not be apparent -- for instance, an observer might note that they don't build fires for warmth, not knowing that their clothes have integrated heating elements. [[spoiler:This turns out to be the case with the birdlike aliens, which have a highly advanced technology they control by means not apparent to the survey team.]]

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* Discussed in Creator/JanetKagan's ''Hellspark'', ''Literature/{{Hellspark}}'', in which a survey team are trying to figure out if the local birdlike aliens, which have never been seen using tools, are sapient. The protagonist points out that on some planets she's visited, the surveyors themselves might not necessarily be recognised as sapient tool-users because the nature of their tools would not be apparent -- for instance, an observer might note that they don't build fires for warmth, not knowing that their clothes have integrated heating elements. [[spoiler:This turns out to be the case with the birdlike aliens, which have a highly advanced technology they control by means not apparent to the survey team.]]
6th May '16 2:04:22 AM PaulA
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* Discussed in Creator/JanetKagan's ''Hellspark'', in which a survey team are trying to figure out if the local birdlike aliens, which have never been seen using tools, are sapient. The protagonist points out that on some planets she's visited, the surveyors themselves might not necessarily be recognised as sapient tool-users because the nature of their tools would not be apparent -- for instance, an observer might note that they don't build fires for warmth, not knowing that their clothes have integrated heating elements. [[spoiler:This turns out to be the case with the birdlike aliens, which have a highly advanced technology they control by means not apparent to the survey team.]]
12th Dec '15 3:55:39 AM onegun
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* In L. Neil Smith's Confederacy novels, there is an uplifted coyote named G. Howell Nuahuatl (the G. stands for Greenriver). He wears a vocoder collar, synced to the impulses in his cybernetically augmented brain, and a custom motile collar equipped with twin guns and ear pads to protect his hearing. In later stories, he uses a backpack that has a cybernetically controlled hand
25th Feb '14 11:18:29 PM Fireblood
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[[folder: Film - Western Animation]]
* In ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', Stitch is mistaken for a dog after he loses his laser guns (despite having six limbs) and then Lilo later realizes that Stitch is intelligent when he does things like riding a bike and building elaborate models of San Francisco.
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* Inverted in David Brin's ''Literature/{{Uplift}}'' series when humans are considered inferior to whales and dolphins because we are unable to do things without using tools.

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* Inverted {{Inverted}} in David Brin's ''Literature/{{Uplift}}'' series when humans are considered inferior to whales and dolphins because we are unable to do things without using tools.



[[folder: Film - Western Animation]]
* In ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', Stitch is mistaken for a dog after he loses his laser guns (despite having six limbs) and then Lilo later realizes that Stitch is intelligent when he does things like riding a bike and building elaborate models of San Francisco.
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19th Jan '14 2:23:19 PM alchixinren
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19th Jan '14 2:22:17 PM alchixinren
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[[folder: Real Life]]
* Conventional paleoanthropology divides prehistoric hominins between "pre-human" australopithecines and the early members of ''Homo'', the "human genus" by the employment of stone tools, although since skeletons of both have been found in association with stone tools, it's rather up in the air if australopithecines used tools too.
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8th Sep '13 6:59:48 PM Nightsky
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[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In the Fifth Doctor story "[[Recap/DoctorWhos19E3Kinda Kinda]]", the titular beings are initially thought to be non-sentient--but the human scientist points out that their necklaces look remarkably like DNA double-helices.
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5th Jun '13 10:01:13 PM PaulA
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* Averted in ''The Cat from Outer Space'' (1978). An alien that looks like a cat is stranded on Earth. His super-computer/communication device looks like a glowing cat collar, so he is mistaken for a common house cat.

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* Averted in ''The Cat from Outer Space'' ''Film/TheCatFromOuterSpace'' (1978). An alien that looks like a cat is stranded on Earth. His super-computer/communication device looks like a glowing cat collar, so he is mistaken for a common house cat.



* In the Fuzzy novels, the first indication that the Fuzzies were sentient was their use of sharpened sticks to kill invertebrate prey.
* One of the countless hominids on {{Ringworld}} was a borderline-sentient species which, while unable to use fire in their aquatic habitat, did use flaked stone tools (a borderline example since it is never stated whether or not the species wears clothes).

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* In the Fuzzy ''Literature/LittleFuzzy'' novels, the first indication that the Fuzzies were sentient was their use of sharpened sticks to kill invertebrate prey.
* One of the countless hominids on {{Ringworld}} Literature/{{Ringworld}} was a borderline-sentient species which, while unable to use fire in their aquatic habitat, did use flaked stone tools (a borderline example since it is never stated whether or not the species wears clothes).



* Inverted in David Brin's "Uplift Series" when humans are considered inferior to whales and dolphins because we are unable to do things without using tools.
* In Anne [=McCaffery's=] "Decision at Doona", human settlers on a new world encounter a village of intelligent cats. Both species assume the other is pre-sentient due to the primitive living conditions in each other's colonies. The aliens decide the humans are intelligent based on a child's ability to play games.

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* Inverted in David Brin's "Uplift Series" ''Literature/{{Uplift}}'' series when humans are considered inferior to whales and dolphins because we are unable to do things without using tools.
* In Anne [=McCaffery's=] "Decision Creator/AnneMcCaffrey's ''Decision at Doona", Doona'', human settlers on a new world encounter a village of intelligent cats. Both species assume the other is pre-sentient due to the primitive living conditions in each other's colonies. The aliens decide the humans are intelligent based on a child's ability to play games.



* In ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', Stitch is mistaken for a dog after he loses his laser guns (despite having six limbs) and then Lilo later realizes that Stitch is intelligent when he does things like riding a bike and building elaborate models of San Fransisco.

to:

* In ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', Stitch is mistaken for a dog after he loses his laser guns (despite having six limbs) and then Lilo later realizes that Stitch is intelligent when he does things like riding a bike and building elaborate models of San Fransisco.Francisco.



* The Shantor, [[IntelligentGerbil horse-like aliens]] from ''TabletopGame/FadingSuns'', were not thought sentient until they were seen wielding spears. (Picture a horse with a spear in its mouth and you will know why they're the fandom's AlienScrappy.)

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* The Shantor, [[IntelligentGerbil horse-like aliens]] from ''TabletopGame/FadingSuns'', were not thought sentient until they were seen wielding spears. (Picture a horse with a spear in its mouth and you will know why they're the fandom's AlienScrappy.)
4th Jun '13 10:21:29 PM aurora369
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* Chewbacca of the ''Franchise/StarWars'' franchise wears a bandolier over his shoulder, which helps visually affirm that he's a technology-using alien and not some sort of bipedal beast in spite of his only vocal sounds being grunts, growls and roars.

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* Chewbacca of the ''Franchise/StarWars'' franchise wears a bandolier over his shoulder, shoulder and handles various repair tools and weapons, which helps visually affirm that he's a technology-using alien and not some sort of bipedal beast in spite of his only vocal sounds being grunts, growls and roars.
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