Animal minds Intelligent Design

What bats learn from echolocation: “much more complex than previously thought”

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In an article on various ways that life forms thrive in the dark, Brian Handwerk notes, re echolocation in bats:

scientists have recently learned that echolocation also plays an important role in bat social life. The calls bats use contain information including sex, age or even individual identity.

Using behavior experiments Jenna Kohles and colleagues recently demonstrated that some bats can even use this identity information while they’re flying and searching for prey.

“They can tell their group members apart from one another using just the “individual signatures” contained in the echolocation calls they use to search for insects,” says Kohles, a behavioral ecologist at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior. “So the social lives of bats flying around at night are likely to be much more complex than previously thought.”

Brian Handwerk, “Five Amazing Adaptations That Help Animals Thrive in the Dark” at Smithsonian Magazine (March 1, 2022)

This raises an issue: Social intelligence seems to imply an underlying intelligence in the universe. It’s not at all clear that it is merely a matter of natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism).

For one thing, if there were no intelligence, there would be no need for social intelligence. Social intelligence is a response to existing intelligence. And no one knows how it arose.

That is why, wisely or other, the science world has been drifting toward panpsychism.


You may also wish to read: Why panpsychism is starting to push out naturalism. A key goal of naturalism/materialism has been to explain human consciousness away as “nothing but a pack of neurons.” That can’t work. Panpsychism is not dualism. By including consciousness — including human consciousness — as a bedrock fact of nature, it avoids naturalism’s dead end.

3 Replies to “What bats learn from echolocation: “much more complex than previously thought”

  1. 1
    EDTA says:

    >>”The calls bats use contain information including sex, age or even individual identity.”

    But the real question is whether they can inform each other about sexual and gender preferences. Can they signal what their desired pronouns are? If not, then they have a ways to go.

  2. 2
    Belfast says:

    That phrase, “ Much more complicated than previously thought.” is a disgrace. It implies, with the use of the word “thought, “ that there was a previous speculation, or hypothesis, or theory in somebody’s head or paper.
    It should read, “ Much more complicated than previously TAUGHT”
    It wasn’t a ‘thought’ it was dogma.

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    Not overly surprising when you see it from another angle. All birds and mammals use their sounds to identify friend or foe or family. Bats do the same, plus the extra bonus of echolocation.

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