Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Michael Egnor: The bird does NOT do math

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. Read More ›

Why birds mimic well: Contradicts earlier claims

Further to how cats get the rodents they will eat to lose their fear of them, we are now beginning to understand how parrots become excellent voice imitators. From Duke University, An international team of scientists led by Duke University researchers has uncovered key structural differences in the brains of parrots that may explain the birds’ unparalleled ability to imitate sounds and human speech. Parrots are one of the few animals considered ‘vocal learners,’ meaning they can imitate sounds. Researchers have been trying to figure out why some bird species are better imitators than others. Besides differences in the sizes of particular brain regions, however, no other potential explanations have surfaced. By examining gene expression patterns, the new study found Read More ›