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Humans. Not so special after all ! Intelligence in animals and evolution ?

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posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 06:47 AM
Wow, great thread! You gave a lot of info and well layed out, I will spend some time later going through it all, so Thanks!.

Insofar as whether or not humans are the only species that is able to "contemplate" themselves or consciously be aware of themselves, I think it is quite evident this is not true, although maybe not on the level humans are. Other species don't have/use mirrors or photos that they judge themselves on based on their looks in relation to others of the same species. But its quite obvious that they can understand who is more "attractive" and dominate by way of physical abilities and intelligence. I assume a dolphin or a monkey, or even a dog, would then have some understanding of 'self' and how they compare too others, which would be a level of self awareness or contemplation of self.

Anyway Sinter, i'll post a response a lil later after I check out all this golden info!

Have a good day!

[edit on 1-6-2010 by LifeIsEnergy]

posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 07:06 AM
I wonder how many dolphins are working up statistical analyses of their fellow mammals, and weighting the aspects of their unique intelligences, one against the other?

Intelligence is one thing, the capacity for contextual placement within the sophisticated matrix of physical existence is something that intelligence doesn't measure. The appreciation of the notion of self is transcendent in the animal kingdom, and while there is a handful of lab apes that can point to themselves and sign "me", the difference between that and examining the minutia involved in being "me" is all the difference in the world of differences.

posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 08:42 AM
Dear OP, good thread.

I had a cat once (dearly missed) who proved many things to me about animal intelligence. I'll share one particular instance because it made an impression on me.

He would sometimes sleep n my bedroom with me, and on one particular night I had put a magazine rack up against the door because the wind was blowing it open. So my cat slept on me that night, and I woke the next morning having a dream of a needle pricking my finger intermittently. It was regular, not particularly sharp, and very measured. When I opened my eyes, my cat was on my chest, had my forefinger in his mouth, and was nipping it at regular intervals. He didn't puncture the skin or bite - he just did the same thing repetetively. The moment I woke fully and opened my eyes he leapt off me and went to the blocked door.

He knew exactly what he was doing. Needless to say, this was the sort of cat who could have opened the door ordinarily, but had figured out that I was his only means of egress and clearly needed to do what bears, as the saying goes, do in the woods.

This was problem solving intelligence.

Human beings seem to me as blinkered in their conceit as do animals in their 'instincts'. We live in a world of houses, electricity, nano-particles, motor cars, skateboards and satellites. So what? This is our evolutionary specialisation. Have you seen what termites, wasps and bees do? Not to mention beavers and birds.

We have excelled, and yes - we are quite different in that excellence. But to conflate an evolutionary specialisation with a unique mental and emotional market strikes me as the sort of absurd, self-destructive hubris that marks our own inevitable downfall. Is this gift of ours wasted on us?

Look at the behaviour of most human beings, and if you reduce it down to its essential purpose you will find food, shelter and the need to put one's member into a female's unmentionables to be the beginning and the end of the story. It seems that we have fetishised sophistication above all. We are all animals, yes. But we could be so much more. We are a seething termite nest, with ideas above its station. But the horror is that we have so much more at our disposal. We could actually evolve. And no, not through technology. That is an evil, dark dead-end. We could be what we could actually be, and I'm afraid we won't.

Randolph Hill

posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 05:41 PM
reply to post by NorEaster

Hi thanks for posting

Does it matter what people can learn animals to do ?
Animals are specialized in there own way of life. Therefore any human connection is flawed by nature.
I tried to make a list of things animals could do like humans because people don't know. Mankind has always placed itself above animals. A number of reasons that they used in the past and still do are by animals themselves proven wrong.

posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 05:47 PM
reply to post by Randolph Hill

Cool story
I love cats and I've experienced similar situations.

If you look at dogs, rats and cats they all are a longtime. This probably is the reason why they can read us like a book.
Maybe this is part of instinct... However especially cats know how to use it in their advantage and even manipulate with it.

posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 07:18 PM

Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
reply to post by troubleshooter

Either we have some moral responsibility to use our natural abilities in the service of nature or we are just a natural force...
...and our actions whether to protect or destroy have no moral meaning at all.

As I said, humans are either a natural force beyond moral responsibility or we have the responsibility to 'manage' nature...
...I can't think of a third option...can you?

Thank you for your explanation

A third option...?

What about our natural drive to reproduce and spread our genes. The responsibility our offspring can spread our genes in the future.

IMO. We don't have to be a ruling class to do so. Our meddling is responsible for almost all the problems around today.

That's why I say that we are not special. This special feeling makes us feel better and behave as idiots, destroying the world we live in. If we came to a point where we would consider our selves part of nature. Maybe... just maybe, we will start acting like it.

Isn't our 'meddling' just a natural phenomena?
Why then should it be considered 'meddling'?

If humans are part of the natural order how can you ascribe them this moral value?

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 01:14 PM
reply to post by troubleshooter

Don't change the subject.

Our meddling probably is a natural thing to do. However destroying our own and that of countless of other organisms is most definitely not. It is just plain stupid !.

I understand that you consider humans and their actions natural and I assume you are defending humanity as better or higher then animals, giving us the right to manage,control, kill them. ( correct me if I'm wrong )

Since we are capable of destroying our habitat and even smart enough to see what and why it happens... every natural concept is blown away by our own stupidity. Nature does not destroy itself.

However this thread is about the animals that are and were capable of acting, doing and even exceeding human tasks. Tasks that were once thought impossible for animals to do.

This foolish concept of linking intelligence to human ways is also plain dumb. They are not human remember.

The title says... Humans not so special after all. As in: animals are closer to us then we realize. My intention to smash the pedestal a lot of people stand on.

Be carefull it might be painful. I get the idea you're in for a long fall.
Then again... I could be wrong about you.

Maybe you simply did not understood my intentions with this thread.
It happens and usually it's my fault.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 03:25 AM
It'd be nice if humans treated lower animals with more respect, but make no mistake, we are special. That's why we're the ones having a scientific/philosophical discussion via man-made technology in regards to lower animal intelligence, while animals like squirrels are stuck outside preoccupied with chewing nuts. Hey, you think they're going to build a space shuttle out of those discarded nutshells any time soon? Maybe a computer?

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 03:57 AM

Originally posted by ChickenPie
It'd be nice if humans treated lower animals with more respect, but make no mistake, we are special. That's why we're the ones having a scientific/philosophical discussion via man-made technology in regards to lower animal intelligence, while animals like squirrels are stuck outside preoccupied with chewing nuts. Hey, you think they're going to build a space shuttle out of those discarded nutshells any time soon? Maybe a computer?

Oh so we have technology and that makes humans specials? Maybe animals don't need computers to communicate, and perhaps they are telepathic? WHo is to say? The truth is.. there are thousands, perhaps millions of species on this planet and we cannot communicate with them or ourselves to a large degree (even with technology). Any how do you classify one animal being "lower" than another? LOL My dog is more intelligent than my ex-wife and I can prove it on many levels. It's funny, but I am dead serious.

[edit on 20-6-2010 by mapsurfer_]

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:01 AM
reply to post by Sinter Klaas

Humans are a crap species - that is why we are going to be wiped out.

Animals are much nicer and more intelligent.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:09 AM
reply to post by ChickenPie


Lets say all hell breaks loose, or TSHTF.

I would be pretty much worthless when it comes to building a computer.

Does that make me less human or less special ?
With me it is going to take another 2000 years.

Please do not misunderstand what I'm trying to say here.

What I say here is "Less special" . I don't say not special at all.
The fact is that animals have proofed to be far more intelligent, emotional, courageous and so on.
People used to and still do think animals are like zombie robots fully programmed. This isn't the case.
The side effect is that humans are not so special after all.

If you throw it on philosophy then please do you know someone that understands what Dolphins communicate to each other ?
As far as their intelligence goes and what they are capable of it can very well be a language of their own. We are just to dumb to understand. No dumb is not the word. sorry.
We are not equipped with the right tool to understand.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:15 AM
reply to post by Sinter Klaas

Yes, we are not equipped to understand animals - there are a wealth of animals which know the world.

We do not understand the world - shame on us. We have had long enough to understand but instead we destroy.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:16 AM
reply to post by mapsurfer_

It seems that dogs understand me better then women do to.

I think the big problem is that we try to compare the animals to us instead of them selves.
I makes no sense to make them act human. The are not.

Reply to Catwhoknows

I agree but only halve of man is crap. The other halve we also show positive behavior.

IMO that is.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:21 AM
to op your so right, humans are not that special. I do not care what anyone says no way on earth does humans run planet earth without somebody controlling this rubbish species, there is absolutely no way on earth humans are totally in control of earth.

Nice thread.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 04:37 AM
reply to post by andy1033

Thank you

The thing is... We'd like to think we are in full command.
A big part also thinks the world is created by an entity that looks just like us but at the same time is some kind of omni-multifunctional spiritual being and this life is just a test for the next and the whole world is created just for us to act like kids on the playground.

I think this is just used as an excuse to for their misbehavior.

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