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The Real Intelligence of Animals

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posted on Jun, 8 2009 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by DaMod
 


But the difference is that those things we are trained to do have come to us by our own studying. Take a human and leave him alone with no knowledge of anything, allowed to live in the wild, (assuming he could live to adulthood with no aid) and he will still have made tools, built a shelter, developed basic math and science knowledge, know that certain clouds bring rain and certain clouds bring nothing, and many other things that we usually train anyway. The only other creatures I know to be able to do SOME of this are crows, ravens, and a few primates.

Also, those concepts you describes are not difficult to know. An elephant knows mud sticks, and that water is a dissolving agent. When you teach an elephant to draw, it's basically teaching the opposite of how to clean yourself. it's not hard to do. What I'm saying is that if the elephant truly grasped the concept of art, he would draw something meaningful. Again, to return to humans, a child with absolutely no art training will draw disturbing things if he was abused by someone. If the elephant was like the child, it would draw something that a life in captivity creates, which is sadness, anger, and submission. Just like a child stuck in an abusive relationship.

EDIT

ah! antisocialbutterfly has discovered the truth.

See!

Now, DaMod, what you have inspired me to do is to catch a crow, and see if I can teach it to paint. Because a Crow is one of the smartest animals alive, more so than elephants and monkeys

[edit on 8-6-2009 by Gorman91]

[edit on 8-6-2009 by Gorman91]




posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 12:23 AM
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Originally posted by Gorman91
reply to post by DaMod
 


But the difference is that those things we are trained to do have come to us by our own studying. Take a human and leave him alone with no knowledge of anything, allowed to live in the wild, (assuming he could live to adulthood with no aid) and he will still have made tools, built a shelter, developed basic math and science knowledge, know that certain clouds bring rain and certain clouds bring nothing, and many other things that we usually train anyway. The only other creatures I know to be able to do SOME of this are crows, ravens, and a few primates.

Also, those concepts you describes are not difficult to know. An elephant knows mud sticks, and that water is a dissolving agent. When you teach an elephant to draw, it's basically teaching the opposite of how to clean yourself. it's not hard to do. What I'm saying is that if the elephant truly grasped the concept of art, he would draw something meaningful. Again, to return to humans, a child with absolutely no art training will draw disturbing things if he was abused by someone. If the elephant was like the child, it would draw something that a life in captivity creates, which is sadness, anger, and submission. Just like a child stuck in an abusive relationship.

EDIT

ah! antisocialbutterfly has discovered the truth.

See!

Now, DaMod, what you have inspired me to do is to catch a crow, and see if I can teach it to paint. Because a Crow is one of the smartest animals alive, more so than elephants and monkeys

[edit on 8-6-2009 by Gorman91]

[edit on 8-6-2009 by Gorman91]


But animals do feel pain and do mourn. It has been seen over and over again. So why would you say an elephant cannot feel? And how would you or anyone else (besides the person who has cracked and is capable of fluent neural programming) possibly know what any creature besides yourself has thought or is feeling? It is beyond your realm of experience! Besides! The only point of this thread was to say that the animal world is capable of intelligence. That is it, the only point. Have you seen inside the mind of a painting elephant? The fact that they can even understand the creation of an already known picture does say their brain functions on some sort of cognitive level? Do they not have pituitary glands constantly altering their body chemistry and constantly docking inside receptor sites within their cellular structure causing them to have what we call an emotion? Do they not have neural transmissions inside their ultra fast bio supercomputer within their .s? Do we forget that a mere earthworm's (respective) brain is faster than the fastest supercomputer in existence?

When you talk about brain size in accordance with other species do you take into account that a human brain is 1/3 the size of an elephant brain?

Example Here

Or perhaps Cetaceans

Wikipidea Cetacean

We obviously have the most logical outputs and so forth intelligence and all that. My only point here is that animals are more intelligent than we give them credit for. What is so hard to grasp about that?



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 12:35 AM
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woo you went off track. All I said is that the elephant in that video can't understand painting because it isn't painting what something in a cage should be painting and that we've already seen that the trainer is signaling it. That doesn't mean the elephant doesn't feel anything or is a robot. It merely means it's painting because the hand that feeds is saying to.

Also, brain size is useless for intelligence. A Crow with a brain the size of your thumb can out think primates AND elephants.

Also, I can understand what an elephant is thinking because I am related to it. if we were dealing with aliens with different evolution, then I wouldn't understand it, but all things on Earth follow certain commonly held traits when it comes to emotion and reaction. Look into a crow's eyes and you can see they are processing something almost equal to yourself. But look at a rat or bunny and there's just something missing. I don't know how to describe it, but it's there.

My point is simple. Nothing in a cage behaves for fun or enjoyment. The animal knows it is a service animal and reacts accordingly. Countless videos of elephants in captivity show an angry animal wanting out. Such a creature that evolved to always be on the move will not behave to it's natural way in an unnatural condition. A slave does not draw itself holding a flower. It draws itself free.



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 01:17 AM
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reply to post by Gorman91
 


Are you kidding me? That elephant can paint better than I can. Do you mean to tell me if someone was playing with my ear I could do as good of a job if not better? What kind of sign language would I have to learn? Think about it. Didn't you see that elephant going over his own strokes, redefining the lines and shading? Do you think it has no understanding of the quality of the work it was creating? Do you know what kind of a mental picture and imagination you have to have in advance to be able to draw well-defined lines like that, perfectly curved strokes one after another to result in a coherent, cohesive painting? There is a lot more going on here than you give him credit for.

[edit on 9-6-2009 by theyreadmymind]



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 01:18 AM
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Originally posted by Gorman91
woo you went off track. All I said is that the elephant in that video can't understand painting because it isn't painting what something in a cage should be painting and that we've already seen that the trainer is signaling it. That doesn't mean the elephant doesn't feel anything or is a robot. It merely means it's painting because the hand that feeds is saying to.

Also, brain size is useless for intelligence. A Crow with a brain the size of your thumb can out think primates AND elephants.

Also, I can understand what an elephant is thinking because I am related to it. if we were dealing with aliens with different evolution, then I wouldn't understand it, but all things on Earth follow certain commonly held traits when it comes to emotion and reaction. Look into a crow's eyes and you can see they are processing something almost equal to yourself. But look at a rat or bunny and there's just something missing. I don't know how to describe it, but it's there.

My point is simple. Nothing in a cage behaves for fun or enjoyment. The animal knows it is a service animal and reacts accordingly. Countless videos of elephants in captivity show an angry animal wanting out. Such a creature that evolved to always be on the move will not behave to it's natural way in an unnatural condition. A slave does not draw itself holding a flower. It draws itself free.


isn't an elephant with a flower a free elephant? An elephant with a flower is not a slave elephant. Wouldn't that be an image of freedom? What about the chimpanzee.



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 01:35 AM
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Great thread! Awesome videos!

It's the intelligence of people I worry about!
They have alot more ways they can screw it up
for ALL of us!
There are a bunch of these:



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 03:42 PM
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reply to post by DaMod
 


No. An elephant with a flower is an elephant that is happy. No child that has abusive parents that break their will to go on draws themselves holding flowers. No child that's been in a cage and abused draws themselves holding a flower.

Sorry, that thing was trained to do it. Now I have no doubt in my mind that an elephant is capable of drawing from it's emotions and life story. They are creatures that evolved to remember everything they see and are very social. That is the foundation of a creature that can express itself. However, such a creature would not draw something so silly.

reply to post by theyreadmymind
 


Not all can draw. And animals are no different than mankind. Some have skills that others in their species lack. It's simply random probability. What the elephant was drawing is not complex to do. I see kindergartners do the same. If it was adding shading, smears, and a background, it would be complex.



To both of you, that's another thing. Background is very important. It represents where you are. Drawing yourself means really nothing other than you know yourself exists (and elephants are self aware, so this is something they can do). However, the lack of background is significant. It means the animal is drawing as if it is not aware of it's surroundings, which is NOT a characteristic of elephant behavior. To an elephant, the surroundings are extremely important. Research shows that elephants find landmarks which guide them. They can remember these landmarks for decades, without ever seeing them. If the elephant was truly drawing from its own skill and not trained to do so, background would be very important. The creature evolved to be environment super-sensitive. Why would such a socially and complex evolved creature not draw one of the most important features it possesses of all higher intelligence species on Earth? Humans in caves drew the things that they eat and the things that they worshiped: animals. Animals were life and death to early humans. The environment and its landmarks are life and death to an elephant, so why not draw them first?



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 04:01 AM
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reply to post by Gorman91
 


Of course it was trained to draw that picture. They say right on their site they trained it to draw. That in no way takes away from how exceptional of an ability it is. You're trying to make a molehill out of a mountain. Consider how complex a task making a painting like that is, even if you are trained to do it.



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 04:06 AM
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Originally posted by Gorman91
reply to post by DaMod
 


But the difference is that those things we are trained to do have come to us by our own studying. Take a human and leave him alone with no knowledge of anything, allowed to live in the wild, (assuming he could live to adulthood with no aid) and he will still have made tools, built a shelter, developed basic math and science knowledge, know that certain clouds bring rain and certain clouds bring nothing, and many other things that we usually train anyway. The only other creatures I know to be able to do SOME of this are crows, ravens, and a few primates.

Also, those concepts you describes are not difficult to know. An elephant knows mud sticks, and that water is a dissolving agent. When you teach an elephant to draw, it's basically teaching the opposite of how to clean yourself. it's not hard to do. What I'm saying is that if the elephant truly grasped the concept of art, he would draw something meaningful. Again, to return to humans, a child with absolutely no art training will draw disturbing things if he was abused by someone. If the elephant was like the child, it would draw something that a life in captivity creates, which is sadness, anger, and submission. Just like a child stuck in an abusive relationship.

EDIT

ah! antisocialbutterfly has discovered the truth.

See!

Now, DaMod, what you have inspired me to do is to catch a crow, and see if I can teach it to paint. Because a Crow is one of the smartest animals alive, more so than elephants and monkeys

[edit on 8-6-2009 by Gorman91]

[edit on 8-6-2009 by Gorman91]


What research do you have to show that a human with no prior knowledge left alone would be able to: live in the wild, make tools, build a shelter, develop basic math and science knowledge, discern between clouds that bring rain and those that don't, or even survive. Do you have any studies? Because I don't believe it.



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 09:03 AM
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And in fact, humans need to be trained, within their societal group to do these things, drawing on the knowledge, discovery, schooling and training of countless others. I know I havnt had that kind of training. How is it different than animals need training? We do!

[edit on 10-6-2009 by mystiq]



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by theyreadmymind

Originally posted by Gorman91
reply to post by DaMod
 


But the difference is that those things we are trained to do have come to us by our own studying. Take a human and leave him alone with no knowledge of anything, allowed to live in the wild, (assuming he could live to adulthood with no aid) and he will still have made tools, built a shelter, developed basic math and science knowledge, know that certain clouds bring rain and certain clouds bring nothing, and many other things that we usually train anyway. The only other creatures I know to be able to do SOME of this are crows, ravens, and a few primates.

Also, those concepts you describes are not difficult to know. An elephant knows mud sticks, and that water is a dissolving agent. When you teach an elephant to draw, it's basically teaching the opposite of how to clean yourself. it's not hard to do. What I'm saying is that if the elephant truly grasped the concept of art, he would draw something meaningful. Again, to return to humans, a child with absolutely no art training will draw disturbing things if he was abused by someone. If the elephant was like the child, it would draw something that a life in captivity creates, which is sadness, anger, and submission. Just like a child stuck in an abusive relationship.

EDIT

ah! antisocialbutterfly has discovered the truth.

See!

Now, DaMod, what you have inspired me to do is to catch a crow, and see if I can teach it to paint. Because a Crow is one of the smartest animals alive, more so than elephants and monkeys

[edit on 8-6-2009 by Gorman91]

[edit on 8-6-2009 by Gorman91]


What research do you have to show that a human with no prior knowledge left alone would be able to: live in the wild, make tools, build a shelter, develop basic math and science knowledge, discern between clouds that bring rain and those that don't, or even survive. Do you have any studies? Because I don't believe it.


I'm sure we would, but it might take another 10000 years to get back to where we are now.



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by DaMod
 

I'm sure we would, but it might take another 10000 years to get back to where we are now.


The comment I'm referring to is talking about taking one person with no prior knowledge and dropping him in the wild and allowing him to grow to manhood. and the poster is saying that one man will have accomplished all of those things by the time he reaches manhood.



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 12:17 PM
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Originally posted by theyreadmymind

Originally posted by DaMod
 

I'm sure we would, but it might take another 10000 years to get back to where we are now.


The comment I'm referring to is talking about taking one person with no prior knowledge and dropping him in the wild and allowing him to grow to manhood. and the poster is saying that one man will have accomplished all of those things by the time he reaches manhood.


It would involve a lot of rediscovery, and the concept of math would probably never come to someone without any prior knowledge being put back into the primitive world. I don't know about you, but I was taught how to do mathematics and about scientific concepts, they did not come naturally. Trained so to speak. That poster would be wrong methinks. It has taken us years and years of discovery to get where we are now.

The only thing that has ever struck me as really odd is how we are the only humanoid species left, yet we have relatively no hair or protection from the elements. We have lost a lot of primitive survival skills over time. Skills that I think we should have worked harder to retain instead of separating ourselves from the wild. If we are ever thrown back into that time, we will be screwed.

Also at that time we would have been on the same level of advancement as other humanoid species yet we excelled with less protection and resilience from the natural world. Somehow we managed to not go extinct.

[edit on 10-6-2009 by DaMod]



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by theyreadmymind
 


Drawing is not that complex. As I stated, it could stand to reason many animals know how to draw because they clearly understand the chemistry of mud and water and clean themselves of filth. Often in patterns of different strokes and ways. If these creatures were given peace, away from predators, it could stand to reason that they would draw recreationaly. Humans only learned to draw when we were in caves and not being chased by the outside world. But go back a few dozen thousand years to before those first cave paintings to when we were hunters on the plains, and there are no drawings what so ever. Nothing evolved, we just had more time to think and comprehend the world. And eventually that trait was passed down.

Also, any pacific Island or island in the Indian ocean where the population was completely cut off and had to start over. All these numerous islands with people on them got that way usually by accidental far-out fishing. The people had to relearn everything. And they did. And all those little chip of civilization have some things in common: tools, homes, culture, and religion. And the fact that these tools can be as diverse to palm tree nets to weed nets, to as same as rock axes means simply that they all had to develop it individually. That goes to you too DaMod. It would not take us another 10,000 years. Because these actions are what we evolved to do. After Rome fell, it took us 500 years to relearn what the Romans took 1,000 years to learn.

Going into animals, you saw the video of the crow with the metal. The crow had no training. It knew by instinct how to make tools and do things.


reply to post by mystiq
 



Well this is the main reason it's taken me a while to reply. I wanted to bring something from my past to your attention. I took drawing classes AFTER my parents noticed I could draw. Humans, and probably animals too, are born with inherit skills they can do. For me, it was designing.

I have an old book from when I was 5 to 7. So very long ago. However, take a look at what I drew before any classes, any influences, and any training. I drew these things because I wanted to. No on taught me, no one told me, and no one trained me. I was not in a group of people, nor with others who could draw, but when I went to school and people noticed my skill, their praise did encourage me to go into it more. But no one showed me anything. The following is from my youth when I drew all on my own:

img191.imageshack.us...

img195.imageshack.us...

img132.imageshack.us...

img31.imageshack.us...

img3.imageshack.us...

img197.imageshack.us...

img31.imageshack.us...

img10.imageshack.us...

img10.imageshack.us...

img191.imageshack.us...


I'm sorry to say that you are wrong, but you are. A human being, or at least myself, does not need anything but my eyes and hands to draw. I could draw from a very young age. And I learned to draw on my own. by age 13, my parents decided that I was good enough for classes. The thing is, I didn't get classes to teach me to draw. I got classes because I could draw and my parents wanted me to do better.

Sorry to disprove what you believe, but I just did.

I don't know, maybe I'm the human version of that parrot. But drawing was something I always knew how to do.

[edit on 10-6-2009 by Gorman91]



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by Gorman91
 


Are you really trying to prove that you're smarter than an elephant?

Okay, let's try to find some common ground here. I tried to re-read your posts and see if I'm missing something. Are you saying that of course an elephant is intelligent, and it was ridiculous of anybody to think that an elephant couldn't paint to begin with? And that my finding it an exceptional ability was not giving the elephant the credit it so rightly deserved in the first place? If that is what you are saying, then I will agree with you, I underestimated elephants. But if you are somehow trying to detract from that elephant's ability, then I'm going to have to continue to disagree with you.

[edit on 10-6-2009 by theyreadmymind]



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 05:09 PM
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reply to post by theyreadmymind
 


Nope. The discussing was beginning to state that even a human can't do anything without training. But I made the claim that a human has certain skills inscribed to it from birth, like drawing.

As to the elephant, there is no scientific reason why is shouldn't be able to draw. however there lacks any evidence of this, as the video showed that the elephant was trained and not knowing what it was doing or having the ability to use it for it;s own needs. This is not to say the elephant can't draw. This is to say the elephant is in captivity and probably doesn't understand what it is doing.

A good example was the video of the crow manipulating metal, which clearly showed a creature not trained to do what it can, but instead knowing what it was doing, and doing it for the specific purpose of increasing its own vitality and survivability. The crow was doing a skill it knew.

To try and imagine what I'm saying, think of this. There are people who train their kids to know all the names of the presidents. But the kids have no idea what they are doing or saying, just that people are clapping and their parents are happy. Meanwhile, there are kids who learn all the presidents and know what they are learning. They know that they are leaders of the nation who did things and existed. They don't care if their parents like it or people applaud, but they might enjoy it. They just have an interest and learn it.


That's the what I'm talking about with this elephant. There is no reason why they couldn't draw, but this elephant just knows that the hand that feeds wants them to draw.

This does not discount the creatures intelligence. But treat a sentient being like an animal long enough and it will become one. That's what I'm also getting at. In order for me to believe that an elephant, without a doubt, can draw, you'd have to show me one in the wild do it. Elephants don't have a whole lot of predators to my knowledge, so they're pretty much doing nothing but thinking as they migrate and move. They are very much like humans in caves so long ago. So show me that, and I will believe without a doubt. Until that, I only believe they have the potential.

This is how scientific observation works, and to which how I observe the world.

[edit on 10-6-2009 by Gorman91]



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by Gorman91
reply to post by theyreadmymind
 


Nope. The discussing was beginning to state that even a human can't do anything without training. But I made the claim that a human has certain skills inscribed to it from birth, like drawing.


You're a human. When you were 5-7 years old you already acquired a lot of knowledge. I'm sure you had a good idea what a pencil was, and that it writes on surfaces, either by your parents putting the pencil in your hands or observation. When I was seven I first started programming on a computer. I already had a good grasp of language and communication. You can learn a lot in 5-7 years. You didn't start from nothing.



As to the elephant, there is no scientific reason why is shouldn't be able to draw. however there lacks any evidence of this, as the video showed that the elephant was trained and not knowing what it was doing or having the ability to use it for it;s own needs. This is not to say the elephant can't draw. This is to say the elephant is in captivity and probably doesn't understand what it is doing.


You're right, there is no scientific reason why it shouldn't be able to draw. The video proved that. And I already pointed out that the elephant made good use of shading, went over details multiple times, it most certainly did have an eye for quality. It wasn't just painting to get some bananas, it was improvising to make the picture aesthetically pleasing, taking quality in its work. It appeared to have a good grasp of the 'art' it was taught to do. And I don't mean to be rude, but it's necessary to point out that the painting done by the elephant was in my opinion better in quality than any of your drawings, so at least it performed better than a 5-7 year old.



A good example was the video of the crow manipulating metal, which clearly showed a creature not trained to do what it can, but instead knowing what it was doing, and doing it for the specific purpose of increasing its own vitality and survivability. The crow was doing a skill it knew.

To try and imagine what I'm saying, think of this. There are people who train their kids to know all the names of the presidents. But the kids have no idea what they are doing or saying, just that people are clapping and their parents are happy. Meanwhile, there are kids who learn all the presidents and know what they are learning. They know that they are leaders of the nation who did things and existed. They don't care if their parents like it or people applaud, but they might enjoy it. They just have an interest and learn it.

That's the what I'm talking about with this elephant. There is no reason why they couldn't draw, but this elephant just knows that the hand that feeds wants them to draw.

This does not discount the creatures intelligence. But treat a sentient being like an animal long enough and it will become one. That's what I'm also getting at. In order for me to believe that an elephant, without a doubt, can draw, you'd have to show me one in the wild do it. Elephants don't have a whole lot of predators to my knowledge, so they're pretty much doing nothing but thinking as they migrate and move. They are very much like humans in caves so long ago. So show me that, and I will believe without a doubt. Until that, I only believe they have the potential.


At the site, they specifically stated that the elephants have no way to pick up the paintbrush or to dip the paint on their own. Their handlers have to do that for them. So I think it's unlikely you are going to see any doing it out in the wild, and if that's the only proof that will please you, then you will never be satisfied.



This is how scientific observation works, and to which how I observe the world.

[edit on 10-6-2009 by Gorman91]

Sorry I ran out of room.



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by theyreadmymind
 


Nope. My parents didn't really care to teach me much. A human is programmed to be opportunistic and exploratory. I learned that a pencil writes on my own. Not from others. I took crap, I smeared it, and noticed it drew.

Also, I did not see shading. I saw redefining lines. It could stand to reason that the trainer trained him to do that, like the parrot was trained to saw words instead of just tapping its beak on things. It;s really easy to teach it, just give more food for doing it.

You keep failing to realize that it's captive, so it will not act on its own. it will not act intelligence if it does not need to be. There are not a whole lot of geniuses still dependent on their parents.

And it doesn't matter what the trainers say it can and cannot do. Humans have kept crows for pets and in captivity for thousands of years, yet only with modern scientific observation have we started to realize their intelligence. The fact therefor is that what the trainers say is not important, because they are not scientists. They are just pet owners.

[edit on 10-6-2009 by Gorman91]



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by Gorman91
 


I know, I'm an artist who started drawing stick figures then people from the time I was about 18 months, actually younger I believe, (portraits are my gift and I can capture a likeness) and all over the nice white walls at that, very beautiful scenes I might add, with my name proudly printed, as a preschooler. I didnt actually require that kind of training. But then we have different bodies and mind wirings, which does not take away from an elephant's intellect or emotions, for as a species they are not competing with us, per sae.

Wasn't that the twin towers?

[edit on 10-6-2009 by mystiq]



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by Gorman91
 


Just because it's captive doesn't mean it won't act on its own. Plenty of people, animals, do things on their own while in captivity. But I don't really see the point you were trying to make. I think the elephant should be free in the wild, but then nobody would have ever seen the beauty it was capable of.

Look, I think we've taken up enough room on this thread. Let's just say I believe the elephant's painting was exceptional, and you found it rather unexceptional and we'll just leave it at that. To each his own.

BTW: I wanted to tell you there were still good drawings you made for your age, very creative, and my programs weren't exactly fantastic. I just find the elephant's quality better, more aesthetically pleasing. I just ran out of room in my post and I couldn't fit it in. Sorry if it sounded harsh.

[edit on 10-6-2009 by theyreadmymind]



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