reply to post by Kruel
Kruel....LOL! I think that's amazing, your ability to think geometry in your head!! I am serious, I envy that skill.
Maybe I can too, in a way....like, I can pack the trunk of my car better than others in my 'circle'....it's just being able to visualize space, and
what fits where, and rotating the shapes as needed, in my mind, to fit the space required.
Can't describe it, I just see it.
Back to the dog analogy....OK, I guess algebra is math.....but my point was whether a dog could be taught an equation....specifically, to SOLVE an
abstract equation. I doubt it, since it isn't something that is required in order to survive, in the wild.
I'm reminded of the old hoax, of the horse that 'knew' how to add. Seems, the horse actually learned to pick up on clues from it's
trainer...subtle clues....so, it was a hoax all along.....even the trainer believed it, so maybe not a hoax....but extremely telling of how persons
can be fooled, even unwittingly.
EDIT: After pondering, Kruel.....not sure dogs can actually do multiplication, again because it would not be a survival skill. They can count,
(maybe) but only as it relates to recognizing pack members, and that most likely is by smell, anyways.
My thinking is....imagine an experiment, with a dog, and three bowls of food. A hungry dog will eat all three bowls. If you try to teach the dog the
concept of, say, only one bowl per day, lest he starve....it won't work.
See, future consequences, and, thusly, higher mathematics, just cannot be comprehended by a dog. YES, you could CONDITION a dog, with training and
repetition. BUT, that is not ackowledgement of a concept, it is behavioral training.
We humans are exhibiting the ability of abstract thinking. Perhaps other creatures do as well...I don't know...we aren't able to fully communicate
with them to be able to undestand if, or if not, THEY understand.
But, there is no doubt that humans can learn, and can communicate. That is a focus we should tend to investigate as much as we can.
[edit on 6/12/0808 by weedwhacker]