Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Breaking: Chimps can learn a simple game as well as a young child


From ScienceDaily:

Chimpanzees of all ages and all sexes can learn the simple circular relationship between the three different hand signals used in the well-known game rock-paper-scissors. Even though it might take them longer, they are indeed able to learn the game as well as a young child. Jie Gao of Kyoto University in Japan and Peking University in China is lead author of a study in the journal Primates, which is the official journal of the Japan Monkey Centre, and is published by Springer. The research compares the ability of chimpanzees and children to learn the rock-paper-scissors game.

The findings show that chimpanzees can learn the circular pattern at the heart of the game. However, it took them significantly longer to learn the third scissors-paper pair than it did to grasp the others, which indicates that they had difficulty finalizing the circular nature of the pattern. (public access) – Jie Gao, Yanjie Su, Masaki Tomonaga, Tetsuro Matsuzawa. Learning the rules of the rock–paper–scissors game: chimpanzees versus children. Primates, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s10329-017-0620-0 More.

But why should anyone be surprised that an adult animal can learn some skills equivalent to those of a young child? Isn’t what happens a year or so later the main point of interest?

These people try hard, give them credit. But one wonders why they are doing it.

See also: Are apes entering the Stone Age?


Animal minds: In search of the minimal self

Add, 'lizard, Spock' and the chimps are toast. suckerspawn
It doesn't surprise me in the least that animals play games. Just think of all the games that humans play that must lead to their leaving more offspring than their opponent! Operation, anyone? Mung
An important question to ask here falls in the evo-devo category (to use the Darwinian party's own terminology): What spatiotemporal changes have to take place in the developmental process of their last common ancestor in order to get the human developmental process? Basically, what's the difference between the human developmental process and the alleged predecessors and how can those changes arise? Evidently the evo-devo literature has much to say on this, which indicates the enormous effort they are making in this direction, but do they have anything worth to show? That literature is filled with pseudoscientific hogwash. However, one major hurdle to overcome is that the human developmental process itself is not well understood at the cellular and molecular level. Dionisio
"The human is setting puzzles for the chimp, not the other way around." Exactly. Also, the human is writing about the chimp, not the other way around. Dionisio
Dionisio at 1, you are likely right. It has been known for many decades that if human and chimp infants are raised together, there comes a point when the offsprings' intellectual abilities vastly diverge. That's the point at which human intelligence matters. The human is setting puzzles for the chimp, not the other way around. News
"These people try hard, give them credit. But one wonders why they are doing it." Maybe because it helps to vindicate Darwinian ideas and resolve the hard problem of consciousness? Or so they hope. :) Dionisio

Leave a Reply