Naturalists need to pretend that great apes and dolphins think abstractly.
A controversy in animal psychology centers on whether or not an animal can recognize itself in a mirror. But a number of scientists are beginning to doubt that the mirror test shows animal self-awareness.
Doubtless, maintaining orderly ranks helped the trilobites survive but at half a billion years ago, they did not have a long time to learn the behavior. Once again, the behavior seems to have been there from the beginning.
“Polycephalum’s type of organism is thought to have existed for roughly a billion years though it has only been studied intensively in recent decades. It is technically called a “protist” (a catch-all category for life forms that are hard to classify). It makes decisions with no apparent source of intelligence.”
Many people assume that human consciousness arose accidentally many eons ago from animal consciousness and that therefore we can find glimmers of the same sort of consciousness in the minds of animals. But that approach isn’t producing the expected results.
Both cats and kittens showed about the same level of attachment to caregivers as children and dogs did
Mainly fun. But seriously, the main question is, when the weather calms down, won’t the spiders tend to just stop being so aggressive? It’s interesting if this is what is meant by “robust evolutionary responses.”
“The Green Bank Conference (1961), to which Lilly introduced “Dolphinese,” was a serious science meeting. The conferees were “totally enthralled” by the idea that communicating with dolphins would open to door to communicating with innumerable types of extraterrestrial intelligence… “
For decades, researchers were transfixed with the idea of humanizing great apes by raising them among humans and teaching them language. Emerging from the ruins and recriminations of the collapse, philosophy prof Don Ross has a new idea: Let’s start with elephants instead…
We know something’s changed when scientists need to make these points. Maybe underestimating the significance of human intelligence plays a role. After all, if we are just clever apes, maybe lettuce is just-as-clever apes too. Maybe salad is murder…
People anxious to cram all animal behavior into a Darwinian mold neglect the fact that temperaments among animals differ greatly. If we observe animal behavior long enough, we will surely see many departures from what is supposed to happen according to the theory. The animal does not actually know the theory; she does what occurs to her at the time and her temperament is bound to play a role.
When everything is the same except the one thing that matters most, we can be sure we are onto a real difference.
Many researchers think that apes are just like us and that
we’re not doing the right things to make them start behaving that way…
One difficulty is that just how a life form comes to evolve “intelligence” is a difficult question. Being intelligent ourselves, we can easily see the advantages of intelligence. But that does not tell us how exactly it is acquired.
Pop science media tried to spin this as an “evolution” story, which is ridiculous.