Animal minds Intelligent Design

Researchers: Primate relationships more complex than thought

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Pan troglodytes & Pan paniscus.jpg
common chimpanzee and bonobo/Chandres William H. Calvin, CC

According to new research:

When it comes to figuring out which individual among a group of primates is the most dominant, some scientists simply look for the one that’s being the most assertive or aggressive. New research suggests this approach grossly underestimates the social complexity of nonhuman primates, and that there’s more to social dominance than being a bully.

The social relationships of nonhuman primates, and the ways in which social dominance is achieved, maintained, and perceived, are more complex than scientists have traditionally assumed, according to new research published this week in Scientific Reports. The research also shows that existing techniques for observing and measuring dominance among nonhuman primates, whether they be monkeys or apes, are insufficient and lacking in sophistication. The authors of the new study, a team led by anthropologist Jake Funkhouser from Washington University in St. Louis, say new observational and analytical tools are needed to better understand “the layers of diverse social relationships we see in the animal kingdom, our own human societies included.” George Dvorsky, “Primate Relationships Are Messier Than We Thought, New Research Suggests” at Gizmodo

Doubtless true, but then social relationships of most animals, including dogs, cats, and horses, are probably more complex than formerly thought. Simple-minded theories tend to exaggerate the measure favored by the theory at the expense of all the others.

See also: Making intelligent machines persons hits a few snags (Dvorsky relevance.)

Experts slam EU proposal to grant personhood to intelligent machines (Dvorsky relevance.)

and

Astonishing conclusion: Chimpanzees can’t speak because they don’t have the mental status

2 Replies to “Researchers: Primate relationships more complex than thought

  1. 1
    EDTA says:

    >When it comes to figuring out which individual among a group of primates is the most dominant, some scientists simply look for the one that’s being the most assertive or aggressive.

    Not to nitpick, but it _is_ Thursday: In psychology, dominance is the general term for assertiveness (verbal dominance) or aggression (dominance through physical force). This statement is saying that when they want to find A, they look for instances of A.

    Dang these people are smart!

  2. 2
    PaoloV says:

    EDTA,

    I think I see your point.
    Their reasoning seems intriguing at best.
    However, this seems to show how deep in the pit our human mind has fallen.
    Our capacity to reach the stupidity level is undeniable.
    But we were made with the capacity to be wise if we ask for wisdom from the only true source.
    Unfortunately we decided to reject that wonderful offer from our gracious Creator. We do things our own way. Can’t complain now. We got what we wanted.

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