Animal minds

Parrots learn their calls from their parents; not born with them

In “Why Do Parrots Talk? Venezuelan Site Offers Clues” (Science, 22 July 2011) Virginia Morell explains Researchers have discovered details of the parrotlets’ ecology and life histories, and the project has now entered a new phase focusing on their communicative skills. Last week, researchers reported that the contact calls of wild parrotlet nestlings—vocalizations that function Read More…

Animal minds Atheism Creationism Human evolution Selfish gene

Predisposed to believe

Science Daily reports “A three-year international research project, directed by two academics at the University of Oxford, finds that humans have natural tendencies to believe in gods and an afterlife.” As my friend added, “This research was quite costly – they could have saved money by reading the Bible!” Link here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714103828.htm I wonder how Read More…

Animal minds Intelligent Design

The truth about “chimp language capabilities” …

Which professional communicators always suspected. The guy who worked with Nim Chimpsky, Herbert Terrace, speaks honestly* about his research here. The language didn’t materialize. A human baby starts out mostly imitating, then begins to string words together. Nim didn’t learn. His three-sign combinations — such as ‘eat me eat’ or ‘play me Nim’ — were Read More…

Animal minds Intelligent Design

Bird tool use study provides answers – and questions

In “Clever Tool Use in Parrots and Crows”, (ScienceDaily, June 13, 2011) , we learn: Parrots and Corvids frequently astonish researchers investigating animal intelligence, in particular when it comes to solving technical problems. The New Caledonian crow (Corvus monduloides), for example, manufactures and uses elongated objects such as sticks or pieces of Pandanus leaves as Read More…

Animal minds

Can bacteria be smart?

At Scientific American, Anna Kuchment tells us about “The Smartest Bacteria on Earth” (June 2011) One species of soil microbe makes unusually wise communal decisions The team identified this relative intelligence by comparing the P. vortex genome with that of 502 different bacterial species whose genomes were known and, based on that comparison, calculating what Read More…

Animal minds Darwinism Natural selection

Barry, here’s one reason why natural selection can fail …

A reason captured in photos: Here, Barry Arrington notes, “Natural Selection Defies the Odds,” As in Recently the management of a casino hired Professor Hannum to investigate a roulette player whom they suspected might be cheating. The house has a huge mathematical advantage in roulette, which is why the casino suspected something other than random Read More…

Animal minds Christian Darwinism

Christianity Today article on BioLogos: A Darwinian, not a Christian view of evil is floated, in defense of Christian Darwinism

This had to happen, of course: John R. Schneider at Calvin College, according to “The Search for the Historical Adam” (Christianity Today, June 2011 ) Vices we associate with consequences of the Fall and original sin, such as self-serving behavior, exist in lower primates ad would have been passed on via evolution to humans. Thus Read More…