Interspecies comparisons are difficult but if we are going to compare, a better matchup would be between cats and wolves because both species have generally had to solve their own problems, as opposed to dogs which are bred to wait for human guidance.
… and it appears that they are, what is the role of the brain in mediating intelligence? Spiders have rather different brains from vertebrates; much simpler, for one thing: Ronald R. Hoy, Cornell University professor of neurobiology and behavior, considers the spider “one of the smartest of all invertebrates.” But while its behavior is comparable Read More…
At Wired: As they cleared paths of food, the E.coli tended to move toward unexplored, broth-rich areas, which ultimately helped them evacuate the maze. It took about 10 hours for about 1 percent of the multiple generations of bacteria to collectively solve the puzzle. That may not sound fast, but it’s five times faster than if the organisms had just been swimming around randomly, says Phan.
What dogs really excel at is understanding humans. It’s the key to their well-being. Naturally, when they succeed, we think they are very clever. Are wolves more clever because they survive on their own? Well, they are more clever in certain ways, such as group co-operation and problem-solving, but not in understanding human communications. It really depends on what type of intelligence we want to measure.
Researcher:”Our study revealed a universal law: Conservation of Brain Connectivity. This law denotes that the efficiency of information transfer in the brain’s neural network is equal in all mammals, including humans.” So what makes humans unique isn’t brain connectivity.
The Smithsonian article tells us a good deal about the motivations of those who, essentially, see bonobos not as apes in need of protection but, to judge from their rhetoric, as something like an oppressed people.
Michael Egnor looks at such claims. Including apes as co-authors on a primatology research paper created quite a stir—among humans.
Anthropologists have gone back and forth as to whether animals grieve. They seem—almost as if intentionally—to miss the point.
ScienceDaily: “In experiments on 100 study participants across age groups, cultures and species, researchers found that indigenous Tsimane’ people in Bolivia’s Amazon rainforest, American adults and preschoolers and macaque monkeys all show, to varying degrees, a knack for “recursion,” But aren’t these claims a bit ridiculous? When was the last time a monkey conveyed a complex idea?
But the new savanna theory doesn’t explain much of anything because the question is not why it might be beneficial to be smarter but how exactly it happens.
Well, first off, lemmings are rodents, not people. They don’t know anything about death in the abstract so they can’t possibly be intending suicide—which is an abstract concept. You have to have an abstract idea of death to think about suicide.
A thought experiment by philosopher and mathematician David Berlinski echoes something Michael Egnor noted recently: Not only are human beings unique but we are unique despite being animals in nature. Here’s the thought experiment:
Open access: Abstract: In eukaryotic cells, with the exception of the specialized genomes of mitochondria and plastids, all genetic information is sequestered within the nucleus. This arrangement imposes constraints on how the information can be tailored for different cellular regions, particularly in cells with complex morphologies like neurons. Although messenger RNAs (mRNAs), and the proteins Read More…
Egnor: Dr. Pepperberg could have been more forthright: Parrots can’t do statistics. No animal (except man) can do statistics, because statistical reasoning is abstract and only human beings are capable of abstract thought. Parrots think concretely—they think of particular things and relations between particular things, but they cannot think without particular things—they can’t think abstractly.
These people read too much Darwin and his followers. The lioness has not read any of those sources, as it happens.