Animal minds Intelligent Design

Chimpanzees were supposed to prove humans aren’t special, right?

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Now it turns out ravens are about as smart as chimps. Catch this:

But no one familiar with wild ravens and similar corvids should be the least bit surprised. The intelligence noted might not be a “secret sauce” in the way those researchers raised the birds. Corvids often hang around humans because they can spot food fairly easily from a tree. For one thing, retired people sitting in parks throw bread crusts at them. Researchers who study animal intelligence, like the fine people who published the study, even look after corvids—instead of eating them. So why not cultivate humans?

On the other hand … most humans don’t especially like corvids and have been known to aim ballistics at them. So the birds also need intelligence to discern the difference, and detect friends. But that doesn’t prove that the birds evolved that intelligence in order to survive in a human urban environment.

Consider the other message in the Phys.org story: “the cognitive performance of the ravens was very similar to those of orangutans and chimpanzees.” But aren’t orangutans and chimpanzees supposed to be the closest animals to humans? Aren’t they supposed to have “almost” reached human intelligence?

The reality is that we really don’t know how intelligence is created. For one thing, we would need to understand information in relation to matter and energy, and we just don’t. We work with information all the time but we can’t relate it to matter and energy because information is immaterial and matter and energy are material.

We also don’t have any reason to believe that the human ability to reason and abstract arises from material sources. Maybe ravens are as smart as chimps because reason and abstraction are not required.

News, “So now ravens are as smart as chimpanzees…” at Mind Matters News

We have no reason to believe that the human ability to reason arises from material sources. Maybe ravens are as smart as chimps because reason is not required, in order to be as smart as a chimp.

3 Replies to “Chimpanzees were supposed to prove humans aren’t special, right?

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    Seversky says:

    Maybe intelligence is not a black and white thing – you either have it or you don’t – maybe it’s a complex variable, there are different types of intelligence with varying degrees of ability. What does seem to be more apparent in human beings – some of them at least – is this desperate need to be special.

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    martin_r says:

    Darwinian clowns…

    from a mainstream paper (NCBI):

    “Within the animal kingdom, complex brains and high intelligence have evolved several to many times independently, e.g. among ecdysozoans in some groups of insects (e.g. blattoid, dipteran, hymenopteran taxa), among lophotrochozoans in octopodid molluscs, among vertebrates in teleosts (e.g. cichlids), corvid and psittacid birds, and cetaceans, elephants and primates.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4650126/

    Darwinian clowns seem to believe in miracles :)))

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