Originally posted by byeluvolk
What is Intelligence? What defines it? At what point do we consider an animal to have intelligence? Does intelligence rely strictly on IQ, and if
so how do you measure IQ in terms of an animal?
I think there are many different types of intelligence, and the IQ test only tests one specific kind. My brother can fix anything and has never had
any formal training. But he's definitely not what many would call 'booksmart'. Einstein failed maths at high school, yet he was one of the most
brilliant minds there was. I've worked with handicapped people including the autistic. Few of them would ever even get through an IQ test, but one for
example can tell you what day your birthday will be on for for any year you suggest. Another can do extremely complicated mathematics in his head, but
struggles to read.
And on top of this, what does it mean to be self aware? They say animals that recognize themselves in a mirror are Self Aware, but does this really
mean anything? Does the animal actually think on its own, Have thoughts and feelings?
This I have trouble with too. I guess it depends on what you classify as self awareness. The Self awareness test with animals and mirrors involves
placing a dot of paint on the animal while it is asleep or unconscious, then showing it a mirror and seeing if it wipes the dot off it's face.
Personally I think this has more to do with the level of the animals level of thinking and its capacity to recognise that the image is actually
itself, rather than being self aware. But then again I can't think of a better test myself. My view is that every animal, maybe even plants are to
some point self aware.
Think about it. If you exist, and you are aware of it, is this not self awareness? When my gf's cat licks its paws, whose paws does it think it’s
licking? My mom' dog used to react crazily to any reflections thinking they were another animal. Gradually it realised it was just an image and now
ignores it, I'm not sure however if it recognises it as itself though, or if it just knows it as an image. When I walk into the room though it gets
excited and turns and runs at me
though, not at the reflection of me, making me think it recognises that it is indeed a reflection. The next
logical step it that it must realise the dog in the mirror is indeed itself....
And lastly, what about creativity? Do animals show creativity? Is a bird’s song creative? Is a crow solving a problem to get at the food showing
creativity? What about mice solving a maze?
Also depends on what you believe creativity is. Creativity can be art, or an innovative way of doing something etc. I guess I put into one of classes
of 'alternative' types of intelligence, and therefore yes animals can be creative. Birdsong - no, this is more an instinctual language. Crows - for
sure, they have been recently shown to have intelligence akin to a prepubescent child, as well as mourning for there dead etc. Mice and a maze, not so
sure either. They'll just try any route until they get to the cheese, and then memorise that specific route.
Looking at all of these factors at what point do we consider an animal to be intelligent? Does it need to have all of these traits? And are there
any animals that are as intelligent as a human? Some say Dolphins, Mice, Elephants, primates, Ravens/Crows, Dogs, Cats, etc. Show signs of
intelligence. Some show signs of being self aware, but do any show signs of creativity? This all boils down to an idea of quantifying intelligence
in terms of these 3 things: IQ, Creativity, Self aware. Or is there more to it? Do we need to add other traits to the list to really define
I'd say ravens/crows, dolphins and primates certainly can be as intelligent as some humans. The difference is the latter two do not have hands and
cannot manipulate objects in a way that makes it easy for us to see how smart they are. Also none of them have developed a way of passing complex
knowledge down through the generations. So any complex ideas die with that specific generation. There are of course exceptions but data storage, and
our sophisticated language necessary to pass ideas from one individual to another is what sets humans apart.
Essentially humans are lucky for we have all the right tools to 'advance. opposable thumbs, large brains and a the physical ability to develop complex
language to pass on ideas (and by this I mean the voice box as well as what’s in our head).
edit on 23/8/2011 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)
edit on 23/8/2011 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason