Animal minds News

Claim: Rats show regret

Spread the love


New research from the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota reveals that rats show regret, a cognitive behavior once thought to be uniquely and fundamentally human.


In a world where we need serious neuroscience research?

How about this: The cat feels regret too. But for slightly different reasons.

23 Replies to “Claim: Rats show regret

  1. 1
    Acartia_bogart says:

    So, you have no problem spending research dollars to highlight how humans are different than other animals, but have a problem with research that shows we are similar.

  2. 2
    PNG says:

    It’s very easy to mistakenly observe regret in a rat. All they have to do is utter the plural of their species name, and it sounds like regret. 🙂

  3. 3
    LarTanner says:


    We already know people are special. It’s obvious. Any research that leads to an otherwise suggestion, well, that’s just bunk.


  4. 4
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Lar, yes, we have abilities that other animals have. And they have abilities that we don’t have. That doesn’t make us special.

  5. 5
    ppolish says:

    Man is obviously above & beyond the critters of the Natural World, A_bogart. Man is ONLY critter that can Intelligently Design. Created in image of God. Not “appearance of design”, Man can do the real thing.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:


    Does a hydrogen atom regret not being a helium atom? Or do hydrogen atoms do good while uranium atoms do evil? You see Acartia_bogart, as the absurdity inherent in those questions illustrate, the insurmountable problem for atheistic materialists such as yourself, much like consciousness, is to explain how does objective morality arise from a materialistic basis? As a Christian Theist, since I hold God made both rats and humans (and everything else), and since I hold God to be the source of objective morality, then of course I would expect some correlations for morality to be apparent between species. The problem for you is much more severe in that you have show how material particles can have morality ’emerge’ from them in the first place. Moreover, showing correlation of morality to brain wave patterns, as the present study does, is to ‘forget the question being asked’:

    Fallacies of Contemporary Neuroscience: “A Vast Collection of Answers, with No Memory of the Questions” – Michael Egnor – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: [Scruton:] Neuroenvy… consist[s] of a vast collection of answers, with no memory of the questions. And the answers are encased in neurononsense of the following kind:
    ‘The brains of social animals are wired to feel pleasure in the exercise of social dispositions such as grooming and co-operation, and to feel pain when shunned, scolded, or excluded. Neurochemicals such as vasopressin and oxytocin mediate pair-bonding, parent-offspring bonding, and probably also bonding to kith and kin…’ (Patricia Churchland).
    As though we didn’t know already that people feel pleasure in grooming and co-operating, and as though it adds anything to say that their brains are ‘wired’ to this effect, or that ‘neurochemicals’ might possibly be involved in producing it. This is pseudoscience of the first order, and owes what scant plausibility it possesses to the fact that it simply repeats the matter that it fails to explain. It perfectly illustrates the prevailing academic disorder, which is the loss of questions.

    You see bogart, the question, ‘from whence does objective morality (or consciousness) come?’ is NEVER addressed in these studies. It is simply assumed that correlation equates to causation. i.e. It ‘forgets the question being asked’. But when we focus on the question, ‘from whence does objective morality arise?” we find that every attempt by materialists to coherently explain how our sense of objective morality arises from a material basis ends in absurdity. In fact Dr. Craig calls it a ‘knock down’ argument against atheism:

    The Knock-Down Argument Against Atheist Sam Harris’ moral landscape argument – William Lane Craig – video

    If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists: Prager University – Peter Kreeft – video

    Many more resources are available on this topic of objective morality and the failure of materialism to give an account of it if you want them. I listed just a few references to get the point across. But to go deeper into the specific question of ‘from whence does objective morality arise?’, Since, as a Christian Theist, I hold that God continuously sustains the universe in the infinite power of His being, and since I also hold that God created our ‘inmost being’, i.e. our souls, then I also hold that morality is a real, objective, tangible, part of reality that we should be able to ‘scientifically’ detect in some way. I think this quote from Martin Luther King is very fitting as to elucidating what the Theist’s starting presupposition should be for finding objective morality to be a ‘real, tangible, objective’ part of reality:

    “The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.”
    – Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    And, contrary to what the materialist/atheist would want to presuppose about morality (that we can ‘make up’ our own morality as we go along!), we find much evidence to back up Dr. King’s assertion that “there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws”. For instance, we find that ‘Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional’:

    Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows – November 29, 2012
    Excerpt: People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental, new research on the brain at the University of Chicago shows.

    And although split second reactions to hateful actions are pretty good, non-locality of morals (i.e. morals that arise outside of space and time and are grounded within the perfect nature of God’s being) demand a more ‘spooky action at a distance’ proof. In other words, a ‘quantum’ proof. And due to advances in science we now have evidence to even this ‘spooky’ beyond space and time level:

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.

    Can Your Body Sense Future Events Without Any External Clue? (meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010) – (Oct. 22, 2012)
    Excerpt: “But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand,,,
    This phenomenon is sometimes called “presentiment,” as in “sensing the future,” but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.
    “I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,’” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”

    As well, the following experiment, from Princeton University no less, is very interesting in that it was found that ‘perturbed randomness’ precedes a worldwide ‘moral crisis’:

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video

    Mass Consciousness: Perturbed Randomness Before First Plane Struck on 911 – July 29 2012
    Excerpt: The machine apparently sensed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre four hours before they happened – but in the fevered mood of conspiracy theories of the time, the claims were swiftly knocked back by sceptics. But it also appeared to forewarn of the Asian tsunami just before the deep sea earthquake that precipitated the epic tragedy.,,
    Now, even the doubters are acknowledging that here is a small box with apparently inexplicable powers. ‘It’s Earth-shattering stuff,’ says Dr Roger Nelson, emeritus researcher at Princeton University in the United States, who is heading the research project behind the ‘black box’ phenomenon.

    Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research – Scientific Study of Consciousness-Related Physical Phenomena – peer reviewed publications

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus we actually have very good, consistent, empirical evidence supporting Dr. King’s observation that ‘that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws’. In fact, since the emotional reactions happen before the violent images are even viewed, or before the worldwide tragedies even occurred, then one would be well justified in believing that morality abides at a much deeper level of reality than the ‘mere’ physical laws of the universe do (just as a Theist would presuppose that morals should do prior to investigation). Moreover, the atheistic materialist is left without any clue as to how to explain how such ‘prescient morality’ is even possible for reality.

    And while the preceding is all perfectly good, repeatable, empirical science that shows morality is not reducible to a material basis, there is also, if one is willing to accept the testimony of millions of Near Death Experiencers, evidence for a ‘moral’ life review. A life review where every action, no matter how small, of a person’s life here on this earth is examined in the light of God’s perfect standard of love.,, At the 17:45 minute mark of the following Near Death Experience documentary, the Life Review portion of the Near Death Experience is highlighted, with several testimonies relating how every word, deed, and action, of a person’s life (all the ‘information’ of a person’s life) is gone over in the presence of God Almighty:

    Near Death Experience Documentary – commonalities of the experience – video

    Then of course, there is that little matter of God raising Jesus from the dead so that our moral transgressions might be atoned for in light of his moral perfection and justice:

    Shroud Of Turin – 3 Dimensional Hologram Reveals Words ‘The Lamb’ – video

    John 1:29
    The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!


    Natalie Grant – Alive (Resurrection music video)
    Lyric “Death has lost and Love has won!”

    Supplemental note:

    this following video refines the Ontological argument into a proof that, because of the characteristic of ‘maximally great love’, God must exist in more than one person:

    The Ontological Argument for the Triune God – video

    i.e. without this distinction we are stuck with the logical contradiction of maximally great love being grounded in ones own self which is the very antithesis of maximally great love.

    “The light is the sum of all love… give love and your reward will be the love you gave and the love you received… If you do not give love then all you will have is the love you were given,,, and that is still wonderful but why not add to the sum of all love,, It is like ruby’s and sapphires in heaven when we give love… Love is the currency of the next life… so give love…”
    Rudi – Near Death Experiencer

  8. 8
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Ppolish, the human brain is more “developed” than other animals with regard to abstract thinking. Other brains are better developed for other abilities (eg, echolocation). Yes, we can design things, we have a complex language, we can appreciate art, any many other things that we consider to be unique to humans. But all of these “unique” abilities are the bi-products of one ability, abstract thinking. Having one unique ability doesn’t make us special. But it certainly makes us arrogant.

  9. 9
    Mapou says:

    Anytime somebody starts exhorting you to stop being arrogant or to be humble, you can be certain you’re dealing with a preacher who’s on a mission to preach some kind of stupid religion.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Acartia_bogart, would you care, instead of just claiming that the brain arose by unguided processes, demonstrating the feasibility of it? You see, in science, if someone claims that unguided processes can produce a brain that has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth, then usually the person making the claim will have some pretty impressive evidence backing up such a outlandish claim:

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.


    Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment: 25 Years and Counting – Michael Behe – November 21, 2013
    Excerpt: Twenty-five years later the culture — a cumulative total of trillions of cells — has been going for an astounding 58,000 generations and counting. As the article points out, that’s equivalent to a million years in the lineage of a large animal such as humans. Combined with an ability to track down the exact identities of bacterial mutations at the DNA level, that makes Lenski’s project the best, most detailed source of information on evolutionary processes available anywhere,,,
    ,,,for proponents of intelligent design the bottom line is that the great majority of even beneficial mutations have turned out to be due to the breaking, degrading, or minor tweaking of pre-existing genes or regulatory regions (Behe 2010). There have been no mutations or series of mutations identified that appear to be on their way to constructing elegant new molecular machinery of the kind that fills every cell. For example, the genes making the bacterial flagellum are consistently turned off by a beneficial mutation (apparently it saves cells energy used in constructing flagella). The suite of genes used to make the sugar ribose is the uniform target of a destructive mutation, which somehow helps the bacterium grow more quickly in the laboratory. Degrading a host of other genes leads to beneficial effects, too.,,, –

    Mutations : when benefits level off – June 2011 – (Lenski’s e-coli after 50,000 generations)
    Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually.

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC, 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    – Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pg. 162 Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution
    “Indeed, the work on malaria and AIDS demonstrates that after all possible unintelligent processes in the cell–both ones we’ve discovered so far and ones we haven’t–at best extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. It’s critical to notice that no artificial limitations were placed on the kinds of mutations or processes the microorganisms could undergo in nature. Nothing–neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization nor any other process yet undiscovered–was of much use.”

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    The following video is very impressive in its experimental evidence for the mind:

    The Mind Is Not The Brain – Scientific Evidence – Rupert Sheldrake – (Referenced Notes) – video

    What is interesting in the preceding video is that, at the 25:00 minute mark of the video, Sheldrake speaks of a well known skeptic that he invited to replicate his experiment for dogs. The results of the skeptic’s experiments revealed the same pattern of ‘extended mind’ for dogs that Sheldrake had consistently witnessed for dogs, but the well known skeptic refused to accept the possibility that mind had anything to do with the results.

  12. 12
    ppolish says:

    Arcatia_bogart, only Man can go beyond Nature. Create man-made alloys and man-made organisms that Nature did not / could not make.

    Darwin was very impressed with artificial selection. Inferred Natural Selection from artificial selection. What would Darwin infer from modern designed genes? You guessed it – Natural Design.

  13. 13
    Querius says:

    Did anyone read the description?

    “Regret is the recognition that you made a mistake, that if you had done something else, you would have been better off,” said Redish. “The difficult part of this study was separating regret from disappointment, which is when things aren’t as good as you would have hoped. The key to distinguishing between the two was letting the rats choose what to do.”

    It was apparently a very subtle experiment. I’m not even sure whether a rat’s disappointment sometimes accompanies a rat’s regret.

    In this task, which they named “Restaurant Row,” the rat is presented with a series of food options but has limited time at each “restaurant.”

    Research findings show rats were willing to wait longer for certain flavors, implying they had individual preferences. Because they could measure the rats’ individual preferences, Steiner and Redish could measure good deals and bad deals. Sometimes, the rats skipped a good deal and found themselves facing a bad deal.

    Maybe the rats were hungry. Or impatient! How can you distinguish between disappointment, regret, and impatience in a rat? Did the rats fail to leave a tip?

    I guess you had to be there.


  14. 14
    Querius says:

    Reminds me of the time in junior high school science when a girl in the class proved that female rats were smarter than male rats by running them through a maze with a food reward at the end. The female rats always won.

    I suggested repeating the experiment except putting a female rat at the other end. The male rats broke all the records. 😉


  15. 15
    Querius says:


    Wow, that sure blows out the typical materialist rationalization.

    Thanks for sharing the video!


  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius at 14,, 🙂

    “I suggested repeating the experiment except putting a female rat at the other end. The male rats broke all the records”


  17. 17
    Acartia_bogart says:

    @Ppolish: “Arcatia_bogart, only Man can go beyond Nature. Create man-made alloys and man-made organisms that Nature did not / could not make.”

    Oxygen in the atmosphere, limestone, coral reefs, etc. are all things that required life to develop, and not human life.

    Your examples are all still the result of being to think abstractly. One trait. No more special that the ability to echolocate, or detect electrical signals. Just different. The photosynthetic organisms had, and continue to have, a far greater impact on the world that humans will ever have (unless we blow it up). If we are defining “special” as earth changing, than algae have got us beat hands-down.

  18. 18
    jstanley01 says:

    Unlike ex-wives… (Sorry, lol…)

  19. 19
    ppolish says:

    Arcatia_bogart, I said nothing of “Earth changing”. Algae what?

    Man made echolocation transcends Nature. One of countless examples of Man’s unique transcendence. Man’s unique control. Man’s unique dominion. Algae what? Lab rat regrets not being the guy in the white coat holding the cheese btw. Regret right there. Did study separate out that regret?

  20. 20
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Ppolish, again, your example is the bi-product of one ability, abstract thinking. Admittedly, abstract thinking allows us to do countless things that other animals can’t . But, again, they are all the bi-product of a single ability. Listing them all separately is analogous to listing all of the different ways that a bird can maneuver in flight and concluding that they are all evidence of different ways that birds are special. But it still comes down to the fact that birds can fly and humans can think abstractly. Both are special in their own way, but claiming that our ability is more special is just being anthropocentric.

  21. 21
    ppolish says:

    Is Man made echolocation (sonar) Nattural, Arcatia_bogart?

    Birds/Bats/Algae etc etc etc yes they are all really neat creatures. But only Man has that “single trait” (as you say) that enables Intelligent Design on the critter level.

    Intelligent Design emerging from Nature?

  22. 22
    ppolish says:

    Lab rats, lab bunnies, lab flys, lab etc “regret” Man transcending Nature.

    “Tree of Life” is Man Design. Dawkins showing Auntie & Chimp on same level will be even more hilarious 150 years from now:)

    Man can grow their own tree. Already have synthetic organisms that have been created by Man. Man creations. Intelligently Designed.

    Man created to transcend Nature. Not created to abuse Nature.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Acartia_bogart you state:

    your example is the bi-product of one ability, abstract thinking

    And can you tell us the how most basic element of abstract thinking, consciousness, ’emerges’ from a material basis as is held in your Darwinian worldview? So as to, at least, make your atheistic position remotely feasible? Nagel, an atheist who has spent a lifetime studying consciousness states that consciousness will never be explained in materialistic terms.

    What Is It Like to Be a Bat? – Nagel – 1974

    Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel – 2012
    Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.

    “I have argued patiently against the prevailing form of naturalism, a reductive materialism that purports to capture life and mind through its neo-Darwinian extension.” “…, I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense”.
    Thomas Nagel – “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False” – pg.128

    Nagel is hardly alone in his disbelief that consciousness will ever be explained in materialistic terms,,

    ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    David Barash – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist

    We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    David Chalmers on Consciousness – (Philosophical zombies and the hard problem of consciousness) – video

    As well these atheists should be perplexed by their inability to solve the hard problem of consciousness, for it is clearly shown that the mind is not the same thing as the brain simply by using the law of identity (Egnor, Plantinga).

    Moreover, whereas materialists, in spite of having no empirical support, and in spite of the sheer counter-intuitiveness of their proposition, hold that consciousness ’emerges’ from a material basis, whereas Theists, due to advances in the experimental techniques in quantum mechanics, have much empirical support for their contention that consciousness precedes material reality.

    due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):

    Moreover bogart, you denigrate human thinking as being merely ‘abstract’, but the ability of man to think ‘symbolically’ and use information to communicate to each other is nothing short of miraculous,,

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.

    Darwin’s mistake: explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. – 2008
    Excerpt: Over the last quarter century, the dominant tendency in comparative cognitive psychology has been to emphasize the similarities between human and nonhuman minds and to downplay the differences as “one of degree and not of kind” (Darwin 1871).,,, To wit, there is a significant discontinuity in the degree to which human and nonhuman animals are able to approximate the higher-order, systematic, relational capabilities of a physical symbol system (PSS) (Newell 1980). We show that this symbolic-relational discontinuity pervades nearly every domain of cognition and runs much deeper than even the spectacular scaffolding provided by language or culture alone can explain,,,

    Origin of the Mind: Marc Hauser – Scientific American – April 2009
    Excerpt: “Researchers have found some of the building blocks of human cognition in other species. But these building blocks make up only the cement footprint of the skyscraper that is the human mind”,,,
    – per Harvard edu

    Young Children Have Grammar and Chimpanzees Don’t – Apr. 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “When you compare what children should say if they follow grammar against what children do say, you find it to almost indistinguishable,” Yang said. “If you simulate the expected diversity when a child is only repeating what adults say, it produces a diversity much lower than what children actually say.”
    As a comparison, Yang applied the same predictive models to the set of Nim Chimpsky’s signed phrases, the only data set of spontaneous animal language usage publicly available. He found further evidence for what many scientists, including Nim’s own trainers, have contended about Nim: that the sequences of signs Nim put together did not follow from rules like those in human language.
    Nim’s signs show significantly lower diversity than what is expected under a systematic grammar and were similar to the level expected with memorization. This suggests that true language learning is — so far — a uniquely human trait, and that it is present very early in development.
    “The idea that children are only imitating adults’ language is very intuitive, so it’s seen a revival over the last few years,” Yang said. “But this is strong statistical evidence in favor of the idea that children actually know a lot about abstract grammar from an early age.”
    – per Science Daily

    Part of the reason it is miraculous that man can think symbolically and use information to communicate information to other humans is that material processes have never been observed to generate information (David Abel, William Dembski). The other reason why it is miraculous that humans can think symbolically and use information to communicate information to other humans is that the universe is found to be information theoretic in its basis. i.e. the universe is not materialistic in its basis. (Wheeler, Zeilinger, Quantum Teleportation).

    And as ppolish pointed out, the fact that man, through abstract thinking, would be able invent virtually countless contrivances and tools for his convenience and pleasure is also nothing short of miraculous. In fact to find molecular machines and other contrivances in life, that are similar but much more elegantly designed than our machines, is powerful testimony that life is the handiwork of a creator and that we are indeed made in his image:

    Genesis 1:26-27
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    supplemental notes

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb – audio of the 1985 Greg Bahnsen debate available at the bottom of the site
    Excerpt: The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,,

    “If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.”
    – William J Murray

    Verse and music

    John 1:1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    City Harbor – Heartbeat – video

Leave a Reply