In early, easily-mocked sci fi, a little green man points his raygun at an unsuspecting passerby and barks “Take me to your leader.” Fast forward: If the little green man didn’t have the technology to figure out who the leader was before landing, he certainly wouldn’t have the technology to get here.
Michael Egnor looks at such claims. Including apes as co-authors on a primatology research paper created quite a stir—among humans.
Anthropologists have gone back and forth as to whether animals grieve. They seem—almost as if intentionally—to miss the point.
Egnor: Dr. Pepperberg could have been more forthright: Parrots can’t do statistics. No animal (except man) can do statistics, because statistical reasoning is abstract and only human beings are capable of abstract thought. Parrots think concretely—they think of particular things and relations between particular things, but they cannot think without particular things—they can’t think abstractly.
Naturalists need to pretend that great apes and dolphins think abstractly.