If human intelligence is an accidental outcropping of the animal world, a sufficiently diligent researcher may expect to find the same intelligence in many other animals. But, so the argument runs, we are too prejudiced to see it.
“The researchers point out that, although the kind of coordination shown in the present study may rely on more simple mechanisms than full, conscious cooperation, … ” Surely no one thinks that dogs or wolves have a theory of co-operation?
It all sounded like perfect schoolbook Darwinism. Until someone made a issue of the fact that the foxes were the descendants of already-tame foxes in Prince Edward Island (province) in Canada.
“Even back then … these animals were probably doing a lot of the things that animals still do today.” Right. So when did Big Evolution happen?
A working definition of intelligence defeats us for the same reasons as a working definition of beauty defeats us. Once abstractions become instantiated, they are laden with particulars. That does NOT mean that the idea is without meaning.
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…