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Humans vs monkeys Science claims we should question more sharply


Here’s a good one:

Humans and monkeys may not speak the same lingo, but our ways of thinking are a lot more similar than previously thought, according to new research from UC Berkeley, Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University.

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,” a cognitive process of arranging words, phrases or symbols in a way that helps convey complex commands, sentiments and ideas.

The findings, published today (Friday, June 26) in the journal Science Advances, shed new light on our understanding of the evolution of language, researchers said.

University of California-Berkeley, “Humans and monkeys show similar thinking patterns” at ScienceDaily

Paper. (open access)

But aren’t these claims a bit ridiculous? When was the last time a monkey conveyed a complex idea?

By the way, this stuff isn’t particularly good for monkeys. They aren’t better monkeys due to claims that they think like people, nor are their habitats better protected — which is what really matters to them.

From the sciencedaily article we find,,:
"For the first time, we have strong empirical evidence about patterns of thinking that come naturally to probably all humans and, to a lesser extent, non-human primates,"
What is their supposedly 'strong empirical evidence"?
all participants were trained to memorize different sequences of symbols in a particular order. Specifically, they learned sequences such as { ( ) } or { [ ] }, which are analogous to some linguistic nested structures. Participants from the U.S. and monkeys used a large touchscreen monitor to memorize the sequences. They heard a ding if they got a symbol in the right place, a buzzer if they got it wrong and a chime if the whole sequence was correct. The monkeys received snacks or juice as positive feedback. Meanwhile, the Tsimane' participants, who are less accustomed to interacting with computers, were tested with paper index cards and given verbal feedback. Next, all participants were asked to place, in the right order, four images from different groupings shown in random order on the screen. To varying degrees, the participants all arranged their new lists in recursive structures, which is remarkable given that "Tsimane' adults, preschool children and monkeys, who lack formal mathematics and reading training, had never been exposed to such stimuli before testing," the study noted.
And from the abstract of the paper we find,
Children (3 to 5 years old), U.S. adults, and adults from a Bolivian indigenous group spontaneously induced recursive structures from ambiguous training data. In contrast, monkeys did so only with additional exposure. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/26/eaaz1002
So humans 'spontaneously' got the correct sequence of the four symbols whilst monkeys, with additional positive feedback of snacks or juice, eventually got the correct sequence of the four symbols. If this supposedly 'strong empirical evidence' proves anything, all that it proves just how gullible, and blind, researchers can be to their own inherent biases. What is truly interesting about this study is not that monkey's, with prodding from juice and snacks, can eventually get the sequence of four symbols correct, but is that Children (3 to 5 years old), and a Bolivian indigenous group, with no previous exposure to what the symbols might mean, 'spontaneously' got the correct sequence. This finding is similar to these following findings,
Geometric Principles Appear Universal in Our Minds - May 2011 Excerpt: Villagers belonging to an Amazonian group called the Mundurucú intuitively grasp abstract geometric principles despite having no formal math education,,, Mundurucú adults and 7- to 13-year-olds demonstrate as firm an understanding of the properties of points, lines and surfaces as adults and school-age children in the United States and France,,, http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/05/universal-geometry/ Quantitative Reasoning In Babies: They Count Long Before They Talk - June 14th 2010 Excerpt: Babies can grasp information about numbers, space and time before they can speak, and they do so in more complex ways than previously realized, according to new research. In 1890 William James wrote in "The Principles of Psychology" that the baby's impression of the world as "one great blooming, buzzing confusion." But modern evidence indicates otherwise. Babies understand quantity quite well, say Emory University psychologist Stella Lourenco and University College London neuroscientist Matthew Longo, and so much earlier than thought. https://www.science20.com/news_articles/quantitative_reasoning_babies_they_count_long_they_talk Babies have logical reasoning before age one Deductive problem solving was previously thought to be beyond the reach of infants - November 18, 2015 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151118131813.htm Adventures in Experimenting On Toddlers By Alison Gopnik Dec. 13, 2013 Excerpt: But this simple problem actually requires some very abstract thinking. It's not that any particular block makes the machine go. It's the fact that the blocks are the same rather than different. Other animals have a very hard time understanding this. Chimpanzees can get hundreds of examples and still not get it, even with delicious bananas as a reward. The conventional wisdom has been that young children also can't learn this kind of abstract logical principle. Scientists like Jean Piaget believed that young children's thinking was concrete and superficial. And in earlier studies, preschoolers couldn't solve this sort of "same/different" problem. But in those studies, researchers asked children to say what they thought about pictures of objects. Children often look much smarter when you watch what they do instead of relying on what they say. We did the experiment I just described with 18-to-24-month-olds. And they got it right, with just two examples. The secret was showing them real blocks on a real machine and asking them to use the blocks to make the machine go.,,, Now we are looking at another weird result. Although the 4-year-olds did well on the easier sequential task, in a study we're still working on, they actually seem to be doing worse than the babies on the harder simultaneous one. So there's a new problem for us to solve. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304744304579248093386009168
Likewise, and also contrary to Darwinian presuppositions, toddlers also display a highly developed sense of ‘moral justice’ from very early on:
The Moral Life of Babies – May 2010 Excerpt: From Sigmund Freud to Jean Piaget to Lawrence Kohlberg, psychologists have long argued that we begin life as amoral animals.,,, A growing body of evidence, though, suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone.,,, Despite their overall preference for good actors over bad, then, babies are drawn to bad actors when those actors are punishing bad behavior. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/magazine/09babies-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
The main failing of the researchers in the OP who erroneously believed that monkeys, (via prodding from snacks and juice), somehow display "a knack for “recursion” is their failure to realize that recursion, like mathematics, simply is not reducible to the materialistic explanations of Darwinists.
Recursion Excerpt: Recursion is used in a variety of disciplines ranging from linguistics to logic. The most common application of recursion is in mathematics and computer science, where a function being defined is applied within its own definition. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recursion
i.e., Recursion, since it is essentially a immaterial logical and/or mathematical function, is simply forever beyond the scope of the materialistic explanations of Darwinists:
Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018 Excerpt: Mathematics is certainly something we do. Is mathematics “included in the space-time continuum [with] basic elements … described by physics”?,,, What is the physics behind the Pythagorean theorem? After all, no actual triangle is perfect, and thus no actual triangle in nature has sides such that the Pythagorean theorem holds. There is no real triangle in which the sum of the squares of the sides exactly equals the square of the hypotenuse. That holds true for all of geometry. Geometry is about concepts, not about anything in the natural world or about anything that can be described by physics. What is the “physics” of the fact that the area of a circle is pi multiplied by the square of the radius? And of course what is natural and physical about imaginary numbers, infinite series, irrational numbers, and the mathematics of more than three spatial dimensions? Mathematics is entirely about concepts, which have no precise instantiation in nature,,, Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame. The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it. https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/
Similar to the immaterial principle of 'recursion', the following paper holds that since words themselves are, in many cases, irreducibly complex in their logical structure, then language cannot have been acquired gradually but must have 'emerged' abruptly:
New paper suggests speech developed in a now-familiar form - March 31, 2015 Excerpt: "The hierarchical complexity found in present-day language is likely to have been present in human language since its emergence," says Shigeru Miyagawa, Professor of Linguistics,,, "Since we can find syntax within words, there is no reason to consider them as 'linguistic fossils' of a prior, presyntax stage," Miyagawa adds.,,, Nobrega and Miyagawa write that a single word can be "internally complex, often as complex as an entire phrase," making it less likely that words we use today are descended from a presyntax mode of speech.,,, "Hierarchical structure is present not only in single words, but also in compounds, which, contrary to the claims of some, are not the structureless fossilized form of a prior stage," Miyagawa says. In their paper, Nobrega and Miyagawa hold that the same analysis applies to words in Romance languages that have been described elsewhere as remnants of formless proto-languages.,,, Miyagawa's integration hypothesis is connected intellectually to the work of other MIT scholars, such as Noam Chomsky, who have contended that human languages are universally connected and derive from our capacity for using syntax.,,, per physorg
In short, human language is profoundly immaterial in its basic essence and logical structure and therefore, by definition, can never have a materialistic explanation as Darwinists presuppose. As Michael Egnor noted,
Tom Wolfe on Language and Evolution - Michael Egnor - August 31, 2016 Excerpt: Our language "organ" is an immaterial ability. As I have argued previously, human language is an abstract mapping of designators (words) to objects such as particular things and universal concepts. Abstract thought is inherently immaterial, because abstraction entails universal concepts, which cannot be particular things and thus cannot be in or part of the brain. Normal function of the brain is necessary for abstract thought, but the brain is not sufficient for abstract thought. Abstraction -- exercise of intellect and will -- is an immaterial power of human beings. Language is an immaterial human ability.,,, Immaterial thought, because it cannot by its nature be caused by particular matter, requires a system of designators (words) for its exercise. The universal grammar that structures our thoughts and language is the correspondence between our language and metaphysical reality, which our immaterial language organ is designed to allow us to contemplate. Language is a beautiful example of the exercise of the immaterial human intellect. Wolfe raises the question about evolution of human language, and of course, while the brain structures necessary for human language may have "evolved" in some sense, our language ability itself, because it is an immaterial power, cannot evolve, but must be created. It is in Chomsky's refusal to follow his own reasoning to that conclusion -- that language is a created human ability -- that he falls short. Yet his theory of universal grammar and recursion and of the necessity of language for thought are profound insights. It remains for us to follow the logic Chomsky has opened to us, and to acknowledge that our language abilities are created immaterial powers of the human soul. per evolution news
It is such 'immaterial power' that we have with language, mathematics, etc.. that profoundly separates us from monkeys. And it is such immaterial powers that we have in language, mathematics, etc.., and as Dr. Egnor noted elsewhere, that provides 'strong empirical proof' that "We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses."
"It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference. We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm." - Michael Egnor - The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals - November 5, 2015
Indeed it is such 'immaterial power' that we have with language, mathematics, etc. that provides us with 'strong empirical evidence' that we must possess a soul:
“Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.,,," — Alfred Russell Wallace, New Thoughts on Evolution, - 1910
So I’m reading through this and I’m seeing these symbols they are using to test them and other such lovely things and all I can think of is that there anthropomorphizing the crap out of the monkeys and in the first experiment the monkeys completely failed Oh I am seeing them making some mighty long stretches to connect the dots here To be terribly honest with you at this point in the game if we have not found massive amounts of cognitive capability from the monkeys were not gonna find any now You’ve known for quite some time that they are capable of pattern matching quite well And they are still significantly beneath us Maybe if we design an even better test like train a monkey for 20 years to see if I can speak oh wait we already did that and it didn’t work AaronS1978

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