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Ants good at solving complex maths

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posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 05:49 PM
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Quote from source:

An ant colony is probably the last place one would expect to find a maths whiz, but a study has shown that they could solve complex, dynamic problems, and may even help computer scientists develop better software.

An international team has found the ants are capable of solving difficult mathematical problems and also able to do what few computer algorithms can -- adapt optimal solution to fit a problem, the 'Journal of Experimental Biology' reported.

Using a novel technique, scientists tested whether Argentine ants could solve a dynamic optimisation problem by converting classic Towers of Hanoi maths puzzle into a maze.

"Although inspired by nature, the computer algorithms often do not represent the real world because they are static and designed to solve a single, unchanging problem," said lead author Chris Reid of Sydney University.


I seriously have to just laugh at this. To all the people that think we are somehow superior to all animals, think again.

Not only have we begin to prove that dolphins and whales are in the same "league" as us in brain power but now we have insects doing complex math?


Amazing to see these little creatures doing this, and it will only prove we have underestimated the thinking capacity of yet another animal.

I had to share the story because, well, tell me this isn't amazing.


Any thoughts?

Pred...


source




posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


Imagine if ants had size on us, the world would be a lot different. Perhaps, peaceful even. Would logic, order and reason govern the world if ants ruled the world? Probably.



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


Ants are probably better at math than I am. Good for ants. I'm going to feel worse when I have to squash them. Now I just I wish they knew better than to come into a house of a person who is deathly afraid of insects.
edit on 12/20/2010 by SpaceJ because: word



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 06:04 PM
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Fascinating! Ants can do amazing things. And yes - I don't think we give animals (insects included) near the credit they deserve.

Here's another link that shows how some ants air-condition their colony.
And they say only humans have the ability to change their environment...

Ant Colony Airconditioning



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


Very cool, but not all that unexpected I think. This is what nature is really - an extension of mathematical and physical laws that is constantly evaluating different outcomes through evolution on how to appropriate and optimize those laws.

It's like the universe testing itself basically


I'm not surprised that the ants would lead the way on this though.

(I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords).



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 06:50 PM
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I bet you don't hear too much from the dolphin worshippers in reply to this thread, considering that ants aren't as ''cute''.


Seriously though, I've always believed that all animals have some form of intelligence, to have survived this long.

People often seem to assume that just because we can't define this intelligence, or because the manifestation of an animal's intelligence isn't anthropomorphic, that it does not exist.

Animals like ants might start getting more respect with findings like this, even if they aren't as ''sexy'' as some other animals.



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:19 PM
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A single ant is not good at math, or much of anything else for that matter.

Like Bees, Ants consist of an entire colony where each one has the ability and know how to do one (possibly 2) tasks max. it is the collective ability of several types of ants doing a single task that make it seem that they know math, when in reality they are only doing the single thing they know how.

As for science and technology, computer programs are written very similarly to these ant colonies where one line of code does one or two things, but it's the collection of many of these single line codes that make a program function. That one line will never do much on it's own.



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:27 PM
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looking at the full article THE ANTS DIDN'T DO ANY MATHS AT ALL

THIS IS RUBISH



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by thewholepicture
 


Humans are kind of similar though, we have careers where we specialize at one thing and do it well, we also surround ourselves with peers that are good at the same thing and we can bounce ideas back and forth off of them.

Nobody starts from scratch, there is always someone before that their ideas are built off of.

To me you made the ants sound smarter.


Pred...



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by MaximumTruth
 


Have you ever seen a colony in the Amazon? They create unbelievable structures that are just as advanced as what people do, including air conditioning and air flow.

That's takes some math to do that in such large structures.

Pred...



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by predator0187
reply to post by thewholepicture
 


Humans are kind of similar though, we have careers where we specialize at one thing and do it well, we also surround ourselves with peers that are good at the same thing and we can bounce ideas back and forth off of them.

Nobody starts from scratch, there is always someone before that their ideas are built off of.

To me you made the ants sound smarter.


Pred...


Shoot, I never said ants weren't smarter than Humans.


I was actually going to point out that it was similar to humans, but spaced it.



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:47 PM
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aliens are evolved insects living underground. we have an instinctual fear of insects, same as aliens. they have big eyes to see in the dark like bugs. they emerge from the ocean in their craft. arm yourself with Raid. squash the bug.



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:50 PM
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Sweet guess i can look over at my two ant colonys for math help!
Too bad they are in hibernation (Ants hibernate fyi
)

Well they will help wtih end of the year finals!!



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 09:59 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


A critical look at what they present leaves some room for doubt about that intelligence.
What is it is intelligence via mass. Yes, many possible paths, but given an hour and hundreds of ants each trying to find the food and I see no great intelligence being displayed. One eventually finds the food, backtracks to the group and they follow or it communicates with the whole tribe the pathway or they follow its scent. Heck, maybe the ants actually smelled their way to the food.

It has been know for decades that a solitary bee can find flowers, return to the hive, and do a little dance (really) to communicate the location of the flowers to the others, and they. like, all make....ahem, a bee line for it.

Now, have the ants design and build a scale model pyramid, and you've got something.



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 10:22 PM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 


There are movies about this:
Phase 4.

and of course... THEM



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by predator0187
reply to post by MaximumTruth
 


Have you ever seen a colony in the Amazon? They create unbelievable structures that are just as advanced as what people do, including air conditioning and air flow.

That's takes some math to do that in such large structures.

Pred...


In case you haven't noticed , air conditioning and air flow aren't exactly on par with human engineering.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by MaximumTruth
 





In case you haven't noticed , air conditioning and air flow aren't exactly on par with human engineering.


No - but it's still more complex than we normally give them credit for.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 09:16 AM
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I fail to see how this test showed math skills?

It confirmed that ants can and do communicate with pheromones, and that certain ants are better at communicating than others....wow...something that was already well established.

Hey look, ants are doing what ants do...let's design a test that shows this to be smart and pass it off as a breakthrough....yay!

Edit:

As a side note, water will do this as well, does that make water smart? Ie: water will always find the shortest posiible path.
edit on 21-12-2010 by peck420 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by peck420
 


I think you're partially correct, but I think there is more to it than that. Here's more info on it.


Many ant species have pheromones for different situations. For those species to work their way around an altered maze would not come as a surprise. However, "Argentine ants were widely thought to have only one pheromone and not be capable of doing something like this", says Reid. Instead of following their pheromone trails back to their nests, the ants searched the local area around the blocked path.

Ants Lead the Way to Speedier Computer Networks


IMO the ants weren't "doing math" in the traditional way that we think about it (counting, adding, etc.) so much as showing that they possess a form of logic that we didn't know that they had. Logic is highly mathematical, so I think that's what the article authors are referring to. And, as this link shows, the logic they are using we are now translating back into a mathematical algorithm that is likely going to be used in network management.

All in all, I think it's pretty interesting. I's another example which shows that animals do have capabilities that we don't always give them credit for, and we can and should learn from them, and I thank the OP for sharing.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by peck420
 





As a side note, water will do this as well, does that make water smart? Ie: water will always find the shortest posiible path.


Water follows gravity (or a similar acting force). This is quite different than finding a short path through a maze. If you put water in a maze and don't tilt it. It will sit there. If you tilt it, it will rush in the direction of the tilt, which may be the complete opposite direction as the end of the maze; and the water may never get out of the maze. Not at all like what the ants did....



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