Animal minds Intelligent Design

Your inner fish? Did fish really show self-awareness?

Spread the love

Yes, if you believe the mirror test proves it:

The bluestreak cleaner wrasse has passed the famous mirror test for self-recognition (originally intended for primate apes and monkeys).

According to a recent paper (open access), three out of four fish tested by researchers from Osaka City University in Japan were able to learn to identify the object in a mirror as their own images. But what does that mean?

When chimpanzees, dolphins, elephants, and magpies passed the test1, researchers theorized that these animals, recognized as intelligent, were demonstrating a concept of “self.” Now they are not so sure. Is the cleaner wrasse, which grooms other fish for parasites, really self-aware? Are fish much smarter than we think? More.

But what if the whole question is founded on a mistake about the nature of the mirror test?

Overall, it’s a curious outcome for the mirror test. Those who felt reassured by close kinship with chimpanzees reacted quite differently when offered close kinship with fish.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

See also: How is human language different from animal signals? What do we need from language that we cannot get from signals alone? (Michael Egnor)

Why only human beings speak: Language is a tool for abstract thinking—a necessary tool for abstraction—and humans are the only animals who think abstractly. (Michael Egnor)

and

Animal minds: In search of the minimal self

4 Replies to “Your inner fish? Did fish really show self-awareness?

  1. 1
    Eugene says:

    Why would that be a surprise? I am inclined to think that most if not all living creates are self-aware. Few may be intelligent enough (whatever intelligence means), but intelligence is very likely orthogonal to self-awareness.

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    Eugene@1

    i totally agree with you, i am also quite sure that most if not all living things are self-aware.

    In biology, we see it over and over…. Darwin’s church leaders are trying to convince us about the ‘facts’, but, all these ‘facts’ are disproven, one by one…

    Talking about fishes, have a look at this video,

    this small puffer fish devastates the evolution theory in 3 minutes, you have to watch the whole video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B91tozyQs9M

  3. 3
    News says:

    If self-awareness means simply the ability to distinguish between self and not-self, all living entities are self-aware.

    That’s part of the problem with tests like the mirror test. What is it really measuring? The capacity to use a mirror to identify a spot on one’s body does not mean “self-aware” in the human sense. It could be covered by a specifically developed form of the basic self vs. not-self distinction.

    If most fish are not capable of that, the cleaner wrasse is not necessarily smarter than they are; it may have developed in a way that makes this form of learning possible (but other forms not possible). See also Animal minds: In search of the minimal self

  4. 4
    PeterA says:

    Martin_r,
    Very interesting video. Thanks

Leave a Reply