Humans are Animals; Every day the gap gets narrower

Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 months, 1 week ago to Science
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When I was a child (forever ago), there were a number of fallacies purveyed regarding animals, most of which have been proven completely false:
- Animals can't reason (false)
- Humans are the only animals that kill/murder each other (false)
- Animals can't talk (false)
- Animals can't count (false)
- Animals don't have emotions (false)
on and on...
Of course the animals don't have souls argument, but that is irellevant, since no one knows if humans do either.
Arguably, these false assertions were motivated to "elevate" humans, perhaps sometimes to justify human uses for animals such as food.

However, every day tests are conducted demonstrating that animals have practically every cognitive capability humans have, generally to a lesser degree.

Not being a an expert in this field myself, the one area I recall that has not been shown in animals is "episodic memory", the specific recall of previous events. It is distinguished from learned behavior, which is the integral of prior events. I suspect this will be established in animals eventually as well.

I assert no change in our general behavior towards animals as a conclusion, but that our arrogance should be dropped yet another peg.
SOURCE URL: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/d3kw5w/honey-bees-are-the-first-insect-known-to-grasp-the-concept-of-zero


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  • Posted by gharkness 3 months ago
    It has seemed obvious to me for more years than I care to admit - that humans are simply a specialized version of animals. Ones that perhaps got a little extra "oomph" in their evolution.

    I can't even contemplate the idea that humans are somehow "not animals."

    (I realize that is a personal opinion, not backed up by any particular scientifc studies, and therefore I can't really defend it. It's just an opinion, but one I use to live by every. single. day.)
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
      Humans are not a "version" of animals. Man is the "rational animal", distinguished from the rest of the genus by his rational, conceptual faculty. Who ever said that man is not "animal" biologically? Usually when someone calls us "animals" it is meant in a disparaging way to mean that we are no better than lower animals, as in non-thinking brutes.
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    • Posted by  $  3 months ago
      At least this opinion is not bound up in control, power and arrogance. It is simply an honest assertion of a view, without the logical connectivity that might be present.
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  • Posted by term2 3 months ago
    I have two dogs and one cat. I can tell you from experience that they do "think", they certainly have feelings, they will try different ways to get what they want, they do communicate through different sounds and actions.

    People have more RAM and more processing power. But there are pretty stupid people out there too who can hardly get out of their own way. I would say there is a wide variation in brain power. Animals seem to be more controlled by their feelings. But so are a lot of people, to the exclusion of reason !

    Animals typically dont have the ability to change their environments like humans do, but they possess a lot of the characterists of humans anyway.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 1 week ago
    If animals could reason then they would stop crossing the road in front of you after the first close call...laughing but true.

    But seriously and forgive me, the work I read millions of years ago has no link in today's internet because it was pre-internet; I read that it was speculated that animals have a picture brain and along with the other senses is how they deal with their environment on a day to day basis.
    It was as good or lacking as the article you have posted here.

    As far a memory is concerned, the Maltese puppies that we raise, seem to remember my wife and I no matter how long they are away from home...of course...who could forget my ugly face...I don't call myself: OlduglyCarl for no reason.

    PS...if animals could do all those things you and the article espouses then maybe we should elect them to our government instead of parasitical humanoidal liberal progressive criminals. By weight and measure, a raccoon would be more honest and less trouble that what we have there now...
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 months ago
      Interesting how some breeds adopt roles they have to play. Our Maltese has declared herself to be the watchdog, with her high pitched bark going off whenever she sense a potential threat. Her Havanese companion acts as a bodyguard for my wife, staying by her side no matter the circumstances. It used to be that experts believed dogs could comprehend a couple of hundred human words, but they now recognize the dogs comprehend a great deal more, including context, and even learning when we attempt to get by them by spelling words.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months ago
        Yep...e a t and O u t they have already figured out.
        One watches TV and barks at other dogs and anything strange, one night during the news they show Nancy P and Mari went nuts! growling, barking and very very upset...I told her...welcome to our world!

        When people come to see their puppies...Daddy Murph is very protective. Those are HIS kids.
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 1 week ago
      Now that might be a good idea. They are clearly more directly logical. However, the little exoskeleton bastards have landed on socialism due to their limited capabilities.
      I'd argue, we shouldn't, because our interactions are far too complex for socialism to benefit us.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 1 week ago
        Animals would like socialism...they are easily kept and contented to let You do all the work.

        As for the "human" and "animal" connection...seems, perhaps animals have more in common with the creatures in governments that with us value creating Human Beings.

        Always said, these governmental creatures weren't human...
        Maybe that's what the article is telling us...abet, a bit to generous I'd say.
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        • Posted by  $  3 months, 1 week ago
          Well, animals are content to let themselves do the "work", but smarter-others, organize the work, where the real value lies.
          Humans are letting others do the work. That is the problem.
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  • Posted by  $  Snezzy 3 months ago
    There are differences among the various kinds of domestic animals. Sheep can normally be treated as a single entity. They all go the same direction, all together. Goats, not so much. Dogs and horses can learn to read your mind, or so it seems. Cats already know, but they really don't care.

    The idea of teaching animals to behave as we would like (rather than just whipping them) goes back at least to Xenophon and his predecessor Simon. Working with the horse's mind, "travailler la cervelle," in the words of Pluvinel, dates from the age of Louis XIII.

    All our understanding of the psychology of animals is of course framed in our understanding of our own minds. The number of dogs or horses who have written about understanding the human mind is exceptionally small.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 1 week ago
    It is very possible in the future people will look back and wonder how we could treat other animals the way we do.
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 1 week ago
      This has already happened over the last 200 years. I agree, it will continue. Hopefully not with foolish vegetarianism or saluting your dog, but not mistreating them.
      For example, a dog wants you to be the master, to be in charge and lead. People who attempt peer-friend relationships with pets simply stress the pets, and even endanger themselves and others.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months ago
    The real question to me is simply can humans rise to their capacity, because they certainly can degenerate to the lower levels of the animals.

    But you show me a dog or cat who can figure out the sum of a an infinite inverse progression of non-prime numbers is 9/4's like my son did in about 15 minutes and you can argue to me that animals and humans are on the same cognitive plane. IE I'm not buying it.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
      Humans do not typically live up to their full capacity for abstract conceptual thought (as described in Ayn Rand's discussion of what she called the "anti-conceptual mentality"), but we cannot degenerate to literally the non-conceptual thought of the lower animals either (despite the appearances of certain examples). Certain low level concepts are nearly automatic. To stop using concepts at all you would have to literally shut your brain down and would not survive unless someone took care of you as in a coma.

      The limit of the sum of the inverse composites (non-primes) is unbounded, i.e., does not converge, but your son did not degenerate to the intellectual level of the lower animals -- which could not understand the problem at all.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months ago
        Any infinite progression of diminishing inverses (fractions) approaches a finite limit and can be solved for using integrals. Here is the problem:

        What is the sum of 1/4 + 1/6 + 1/8 + 1/9 + 1/10 + 1/12 + 1/14 + 1/15 + 1/16 + 1/18 ...

        Because the individual terms as they extend out toward infinity add less and less to the real answer, reaching a point at which the answer does not meaningfully change. That is the purpose of limits and their extrapolation using integrals. A similar problem is:

        What is the sum of 1/n^(n-1) where n = 1 -> infinity?

        I'll leave the reader to consult a text on calculus for the answers.


        I would also point out that the brain functions that maintain life are relegated to a separate part of the brain entirely and do not require ongoing conscious thought to maintain. Indeed, a person may be rendered unconscious by trauma (or even basic sleep) and they do not die nor do their bodily functions shut down, but their cognitive faculties certainly do. The employment of the cognitive faculties - Poirot's "little grey cells" - requires more than either simple animal intelligence or the rote of everyday life. Cognition is the building of new pathways in the brain and requires significant energy and effort towards a specific purpose. It is neither random nor the product of happenstance. The mechanisms of construction are energy-consuming rather than energy-liberating and no known natural process is anything but energy-liberating.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
          This statement is false: Blarman: "Any infinite progression of diminishing inverses (fractions) approaches a finite limit and can be solved for using integrals... Because the individual terms as they extend out toward infinity add less and less to the real answer, reaching a point at which the answer does not meaningfully change."

          The terms of a series diminishing to zero is a necessary but not sufficient condition for convergence of a monotone series. The series

          1/2+1/2+1/4+1/4+1/4+1/4+1/8+1/8+1/8+1/8+1/8+1/8+1/8+1/8+...
          = sum(n=1,N){2n(1/2n)}
          = sum(n=1,N){1}
          = N

          diverges as N increases even though 1/2n->0.

          The harmonic series

          sum{1/n} = 1 + 1/2 + 1/3 +...+ 1/N + ...

          diverges as log(N+1) as can be seen by bounding it below with integral{dx/x}. No calculus text says otherwise, contrary to the instruction "I'll leave the reader to consult a text on calculus for the answers".

          More generally, the series sum{1/n^r} converges if and only if r>1; for the harmonic series r=1. Most series are more complicated than the simple term 1/n^r.

          The series of inverse composites (non-primes)

          sum{1/c} = 1/4 + 1/6 + 1/8 + 1/9 + 1/10 + ...

          is greater than 1/2 of the harmonic series and therefore diverges:

          sum{1/c} > sum{1/2k} = 1/2 sum{1/k}.

          Whatever Blarman or his son did to deduce that it converges to 9/4 was wrong.

          The divergence of the harmonic series is also seen, without calculus, to diverge by bounding the sequence of partial sums in the form

          1+1/2 + (1/3+1/4) + (1/5+...+1/8) +... + [1/(2^(n-1)+1) +... +1/2^n]
          > 1/2 + (1/4+1/4) + (1/8+1/8+1/8+1/8) + ... + 2^(n-1)/2^n
          = 1/2 + 2(1/4) + 4(1/8) + ... + 2^(n-1)/2^n
          = n/2

          which is unbounded.

          Integrals are not "extrapolation of limits" and the "purpose of limits" is much broader than assessing series. The limiting value of "any infinite progression" cannot generally be "solved by using integrals" (though there are correspondences with the finite difference calculus).

          The "integral test" for series from calculus is based on integrals as upper and lower bounds of series (as Riemann sums) that determine convergence of the series, not the value of the series when it does converge. An example is the use of integral(dx/x) to show that the harmonic series diverges logarithmically and the more general criteria for 1/n^r.

          Blarman's sum 1/n^(n-1) is evaluated by reformulating it as the telescoping series

          sum 1/n^(n-1) = sum{1/(n-1) - 1/n}
          = (1-1/2) + (1/2-1/3) + (1/3-1/4) ...

          All the terms cancel except the first and last:

          sum 1/n^(n-1) = 1 - 1/N
          -> 1

          There is no such easy way to compute limits of most series, and directly replacing them with integrals does not generally give the sum.

          For an alternating series -- one in which the terms successively alternate in sign -- then the series converges if the terms absolutely converge to zero -- for similar reasons of partial cancellation between successive terms. But that is not true in general, including for the harmonic series and the series of reciprocal composite numbers, and turning to a calculus book does not provide the values of limits, where they exist, based on integrals.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
          This excursion into automatic functions does not address the impossibility of human life without any concepts at all, and the location and operation of neurological functions in the brain and nervous system for regulating bodily functions are not relevant to the fundamental distinction between man and the lower animals. But such functions do not include finding food and putting it in your mouth, and if you can't or don't take the effort to do that you will in fact die if someone else does not feed you.
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    • Posted by  $  3 months ago
      I accept that little evolution for larger brain capacity like we have sets us apart.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months ago
        "It's not the size that counts! It's how you use it!"

        - Robin Hood - Men in Tights

        Levity aside, simple size holds little if any correlation to intelligence either in the animal world or the human one. Indeed, studies of Alzheimer's patients show a degradation in the brain - a breaking down of previously functioning neural pathways. The patients lose brain density but not overall size. A far better argument than simple size is found in brain density - which is astronomically greater in humans than in other animals.
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        • Posted by  $  3 months ago
          Seems it is really the number of neurons, which doesn't correlate that well to brain size.

          I discount Alzheimers, Autism and other maladies as part of the argument. Clearly a human or animal can have a large brain that is broken.
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          • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months ago
            "Seems it is really the number of neurons, which doesn't correlate that well to brain size."

            I agree. To be precise, neural pathways are the methods by which the brain facilitates the processing of information. The more pathways, the more ways there are to process the information and the more information which can be processed at a time. So brain density is the ability of the brain to process more and more complex information. At a bare minimum, in order to hold that animals and humans have similar cognitive capacities (regardless of whether or not they are actually used), one must show that there are similar neural densities. (I found one such article here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/... which shows that the neural densities of humans is much higher than other animals.

            It seems that human brains are also unique in their concentration and specialization of brain matter to the portion of the brain used for higher functions - especially that normally associated with critical thinking. Without this critical specialization, the equalitative comparison of animal brains to those of humans leaves me decidedly unsatisfied.
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            • Posted by  $  3 months ago
              I recall reading somewhere that in the study of Einstein's brain, and then others (musicians I think), they found the number of connections between the hemispheres was significantly higher.

              I find this subject fascinating. When I started my career, I did work with Neural Networks to manage non-linear control problems. In studying them, I read a lot of brain/mind literature, and found a few interesting behaviors in them.

              There is a behavior called "grandmothering", where a neural network essentially memorizes the training set. In this case, it memorizes, but completely fails to generalize. It generally happens when there are far too many neurons for the problem (as represented by the training set).
              Reorganizing in sub-nets works very well, particularly to make the data exchanged (via synapses) "canonical". The cochlea is a good example of this. The data from the cochlea to the brain is already heavily processed, long before any speech processing occurs.

              The "grandmothering" behavior, makes me wonder if the large numbers of neurons and synapses in elephants and fin whales do not engender higher thought. It is an analogy, nothing more.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 months ago
    It seems that man has a hard time rising above his basic rational level. there are a few men and women who try to rise to the level of the characters in Ayn Rand's novels. There are so few in the US and the world to make a true difference. Cruelty in the name of a religion, philosophy, greed and supposed political power seems to be rampant in today's world. When my wife hears this stuff on the television the constant statement she makes is "The Whole World Is Insane". I'm beginning to agree with her!
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    • Posted by  $  3 months ago
      Excellent way of putting it. Perhaps managing our basic impulses using rationality is a measure of success as humans. Sounds a little like Vulcans, but eliminating all impulses is not the same as managing them to suit us.
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
    Me dino who is not an atheist but was taught in elementary school as far back as the 50s that I'm a top of the food chain mammal animal.
    Me dino also knows that captive humans can be trained how to earn treats and more advanced rewards such as an early release.
    As a corrections officer, me dino watched state prison inmates earn "good time" by following the rules and staying out of trouble toward a parole.
    Some would then come right back due to sticking up a liquor store or something.
    Then the be a good boy in prison toward another accelerated release from prison would start all over again.
    Fortunately, Alabama has what inmates call "the bitch law." Three felony convictions in Bama bags life without parole.
    Some repeat offenders finally learn to go straight because of that.
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 months ago
      It has always amazed me that parole boards don't seem to understand the difference between an inmate who does well in a rigid, highly structured prison environment and one who can succeed upon release to the more chaotic outside world. There should be a testing/learning environment to get a more accurate assessment of an inmate's readiness for release.
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
        Work release programs are supposed to provide a buffer. Minimum custody inmates have been known to escape from those low level security institutions or return to prison despite undergoing that service.
        Two times during my 21-year career did I have to fire a warning shot from a tower to stop an escape attempt. The second time concerned a wannabe escapee who ran from a van containing work release inmates. Glad he stopped when I began to aim at his center mass. I was not to shoot at minimum security inmates but he fled the back gate area of a maximum security prison at a time other vehicles containing inmates were parked there.
        I wan't really sure what custody my target had and was not about to have any innocent victims of an escape I allowed on my conscience.
        Fortunately, I only picked up a second written commendation for stopping an escape that I have framed and hanging on a wall in my home.
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  • Posted by  $  Ben_C 3 months ago
    I am a 1968 graduate from MSU College of Veterinary Medicine still in practice. I am convinced that we humans live in a black and white world and dogs and cats live in a technicolor world. The stories I hear are amazing. For example, a clients dog pestered the husband at 3 am until he wakened, only to discover his wife was unconscious. Another clients dog alerted the wheel chair bound mother that something was wrong with her daughter. When the bedroom door was opened she discovered her daughter was trying to commit suicide by overdoing meds. In my practice pets alert us when their owners are arriving - before they enter the reception area.
    But this makes sense given that the dumb ones got eaten when their species was evolving and the smart ones survived.
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  • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 months, 1 week ago
    Kind of a leap in logic, no?
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 1 week ago
      Mine or the logic of the article?
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      • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 months, 1 week ago
        The article was findings from a test. To point at similarities between humans and animals/insects to conclude humans are animals is presumptuous,no? While it may be true there is significant difference between humans and animals as evidenced by our adaptability and ability to subjugate both animals and nature to our needs.
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        • Posted by  $  3 months, 1 week ago
          Some humans can subjugate other humans easily as well. That isn't really a test.
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          • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 months, 1 week ago
            okay? I wasn't presenting criteria I was stating fact. Man has dominated all animals. Man has manipulated his environment to suit his needs and comfort. No other animal or insect has done this to the extent to control an entire planet.

            Unless the mice are conducting a test to determine 42 is the answer to the universal question to everything there is no serious comparison between man and animals when it comes to adaptability and dominance. We all may be made of the same stuff and share some common abilities but that, I think, is end of the comparison.
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            • Posted by  $  3 months, 1 week ago
              I'm not arguing that man is not more capable. That is well established.
              I am arguing that man is not really different.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
                Of course man is really different. As the rational animal his rational, conceptual faculty distinguishes him from other animals. Contrary to sensationalist articles and 'researchers' who do not understand epistemology, bees do not have a concept of zero, let alone the capability and necessity to think in concepts.
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                • Posted by  $  3 months ago
                  That is probably true of bees, and a good assertion of the overzealous motives of certain communities. I do question 1) the fundamental relative difference between humans and other animals constituents, and 2) the likely non-linear inflection point in the fundamental capabilities and what we see as a result.
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                  • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
                    The lower animals cannot think in concepts. Humans can, and must to live, though some have defaulted and trained themselves to avoid it beyond a minimum. See Ayn Rand's articles on what she called the "anti-conceptual mentality" -- "The Missing Link" and the "Selfishness without a Self"-- in Philosopophy Who Needs It.
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        • Posted by  $  exceller 3 months, 1 week ago
          "significant difference between humans and animals as evidenced by our adaptability and ability to subjugate both animals and nature to our needs."

          You don't think that is a positive trait, do you? By the "subjugation" humankind did more harm than good. I am sure you have come across many examples, history is full of them.

          You did not touch upon human subjugation of humans? That certainly is a huge difference that animals will never do.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months ago
    I completely agree with this post, but the your list of things the people say only humans can do reminds me of Denis Leary's crass suggestions of activities peculiar to humans in Save This. https://youtu.be/KzafcXatMt0
    I find it hilarious but nothing related to serious commentary on human uniqueness.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
      The 'gap' between humans and lower animals is not becoming narrower. Humans have the unique capacity of rational, conceptual thought as our means of survival. Lower animal primitive 'reasoning', i.e., problem solving and 'counting' is nothing like human reason. It is the essential, distinguishing characteristic separating 'rational animal' from the rest of the genus 'animal'.
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      • Posted by  $  3 months ago
        I agree with your first statement. Unless we watched evolution, it must be true.

        However, people argued against evolution some 100x years ago; people argued animals differed from humans because they lacked souls; people tried to set themselves apart (elevate themselves) in almost every way, except the meaningful one you mention.
        I assert the meaningful difference you mention is a discrimination, not due to a fundamental, magical difference, but that we simply have far more cognitive ability than other animals, from brain size and brain evolution. If a dog had a 3 lb brain, and was carefully trained, it would be capable of some pretty sophisticated thinking.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
          Essential distinguishing characteristic does not mean "magic". The difference between rational, conceptual thinking and the lower animals, including a "carefully trained dog", is not just a degree of "more cognitive ability".
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          • Posted by  $  3 months ago
            Note, I did not suggest careful training alone was adequate.

            We seem to have a difference in our assertions.
            I'll restate mine try to get to the difference:

            I assert that animals merely lack the capacity we have evolved to, but are otherwise the same, and that our ability to reason is the result of capacity and training.
            Are you asserting that our ability to reason is more than capacity and training, perhaps an evolved survival trait?
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
              The human brain evolved to be much more functionally complex, giving us the intellectual capacity for rational, conceptual thought that the lower animals do not have. It is not just a matter of brain size (larger animals like elephants and whales have larger brains). You can't train a non-human animal with a bigger brain to think conceptually. There are other differences between man and the lower animals, but that is the fundamental distinction.
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              • Posted by  $  3 months ago
                Ok, that is what I meant with the note about evolution. It affects brain capacity, but also the features of the brain. Necessity is the mother of invention.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
                  Evolution isn't invention. Man has "evolved" through his thinking and accumulation of knowledge to make better use of his intellectual capacity, but that isn't is the same as Darwinian evolution through better adaptation from mutation.
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                  • Posted by  $  3 months ago
                    I agree, evolution is not invention. Clearly.

                    Man has not evolved through accumulation of knowledge. This is not evolution. I'm arguing the capacity for episodic memory and communication led to the accumulation of knowledge. Then the accumulation of knowledge changed the formula for success to learning from this information, rather than other instinctual survival traits.
                    How we achieved episodic memory, and to what degree other animals have it (my last reading was that this evidence has not precipitated) is not known to me.
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
                      Man certainly has evolved through accumulation of knowledge. We are much different and more advanced in modern society than centuries ago, let alone millennia. But it is a more general evolving by choice, not Darwinian evolution in particular modifying biological nature.

                      The process of thinking rationally with concepts is much broader than memory. In particular it requires the capacity to conceptualize your own experiences.
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                      • Posted by  $  3 months ago
                        First, I disagree with the assertion that man has evolved with accumulation of knowledge. If we took a baby from today and placed them 4,000 BC, or took a baby from 4,000 C and placed them today, they each would grow up in accordance with their environment, although the chance a baby today had bad eyes is pretty high.

                        I agree, the concept of rational thought is broader than memory, but it can not happen without episodic memory. This is the first step, and animal thought has not achieved it, at least as analyzed by experts (to my knowledge).
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                        • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
                          Of course we have evolved to a better, more advanced state. It is not biological evolution.

                          Evolve:

                          to come forth gradually into being; develop; undergo evolution: The whole idea evolved from a casual remark.

                          to gradually change one's opinions or beliefs: candidates who are still evolving on the issue; an evolved feminist mom.

                          Biology. to develop by a process of evolution to a different adaptive state or condition: The human species evolved from an ancestor that was probably arboreal.


                          "The two great values to be gained from social existence are: knowledge and trade. Man is the only species that can transmit and expand his store of knowledge from generation to generation; the knowledge potentially available to man is greater than any one man could begin to acquire in his own life-span; every man gains an incalculable benefit from the knowledge discovered by others. The second great benefit is the division of labor: it enables a man to devote his effort to a particular field of work and to trade with others who specialize in other fields. This form of cooperation allows all men who take part in it to achieve a greater knowledge, skill and productive return on their effort than they could achieve if each had to produce everything he needs, on a desert island or on a self-sustaining farm." -- "The Objectivist Ethics"

                          The memory you are talking about and concepts go together. You need memory superior to what lower animals seem to have, but conceptual thought allows you to organize what you remember just like it organizes any experiences integrated into concepts. Otherwise you have no way to retain the multitude of particulars and their relations. Remember the "crow epistemology".
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months ago
        "It is the essential, distinguishing characteristic separating 'rational animal' from the rest of the genus 'animal'."
        [Lowbrow humor]Maybe Denis Leary's observations that animals cannot shave their scrotum is a subset of that.[/Lowbrow humor]

        [Nit]Isn't it the animal kingdom, not genus. [/Nit]
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