posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 04:50 PM
A couple of quick points...
I think that all animals are pretty much equally evolved as humans. Crocodiles for instance, have been around longer than humans. They are
probably more evolved than us, just in different ways.
Also, to call an animal intelligent or stupid is absolutely pointless. You seem to be judging animals from an entirely human point of view. If animals
take on or are taught human attributes, it in no way reflects their intelligence. You are compairing them to humans, which is ridiculous, assigning
them human attributes to judge their intelligence.
I'm sure most animals (if not all) can be trained (by way of conditioning) if Humans put the effort in, and, correct me if I'm wrong, but animals
are trained by conditioning, embedding knowledge in the instinct part of their brains. (for instance, giving a dog a treat each time it does what you
tell it) Technically this is not learning, it's more instinctual.
Saying that an elephant is intelligent because it can paint is not conclusive that "elephants are intelligent" Of course they are intelligent, most
creatures on earth are, otherwise they would be extinct.
If you were put in a harsh desert or a jungle, naked, and left there forever, I would say most people probably wouldn't survive for very long. This
isn't because you're stupid, but because most people simply don't have the knowledge and the skill to survive such harsh conditions... Yet, every
single type of animal in that dessert/jungle manages to survive enough to continue their species. Animals have skills and intelligence that are all
geared towards their survival. Why would they need to paint a picture?
My point is that all animals are intelligent, but to compared them to the human idea of intelligent is pointless.
Consciousness, however is a different matter.