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Maciamo
08-11-05, 07:23
More news on this fascinating topic. BBC News : Wild gorillas seen to use tools (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4296606.stm)


Gorillas have been seen for the first time using simple tools to perform tasks in the wild, researchers say.
...
Wild chimps and orangutans also use tools, suggesting that the origins of tool use may predate the evolutionary split between apes and humans.
...
"The most astonishing thing is that we have observed them using tools not for obtaining food, but for postural support."

It takes some ingenuity to find the use of stones or branches as tools, that some feeble-minded humans may not even have.


Current scientific orthodoxy holds that the separation between the chimpanzee and human lines came about six million years ago.

Amazing that over 6 million years of evolution, men have only surpassed the stone age to create civilizations and use metal tools only about 6000 years ago.


Research has shown that in captivity, apes can learn a range of skills including number and character recognition.

They can also learn tool use and transmit their acquired skills to other members of their social group.

Both gorillas and chimpanzees can learn the sign language and communicate with humans this way. In this thread (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14936), I already mentioned that some gorillas could recognise about 2000 words in English - more than most junior highschool students in Japan (or other countries where the national language isn't related to English). The brighest gorillas have had their IQ (i.e. intelligence for reasoning) assessed between 75 and 95 (see article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3548246.stm)) on a human scale. About 25% of human beings have an IQ below 90, and yet another 25% between 90 and 100 (see Wikipedia on IQ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iq)). If a gorilla can reach that level, their reasoning skills may be better or equal to half of the humans.

So even apes have the capacity to learn language and recognised human words while associating a meaning to each of them. What distinguish humans from apes is probably more the greater reasoning skills, greater language abilities, greater imagination and better memory, rather than having or not having any of these skills. And obviously, their physical appearance, but humans also vary a lot in this regard.

My hypothesis is that a well-fed ape born in an human environment can have reasoning skills surpassing those of less well-fed humans born in a harsh (war-torn and very poor) environment. Yet, humans' bigger brains give them a better memory. But humans are not the animals with the bigger brains, as I have heard many people mistakenly say. Whales, doplhins, elephants, camels, cows, horses, etc. all have bigger brains than humans. An elephant has a brain 4 times bigger than a human, hence the idiom "having a memory like an elephant" or "an elephant never forgets". Camels are also known for not forgetting a person who has done their harm, even 20 years later.

So what makes humans so intelligent, despite a smaller brain than many big mammals, and an IQ not so different from apes ? It may be due to a greater intellectual sensitivity (more wondering), or just the development of language combined to the rise of civilisations. The great mobility of humans and a slightly better IQ than apes may have made a lot of difference when it came to develop agriculture, cities an organised societies. Primitive stone-age people are not in fact so much more remarkable than apes in their use of tools (technology) or social organisation. The ability to speak, then the discovery of agriculture and writing, and subsequent specialisation of society probably played a major role in the present dominance of human beings. With the increased food supplies, better nutrition permitted to increase the memory and brain functions. Intelligence is more the connections made between neurons in the brain through learning than the size of the brain itself. The accumulation of ancestral knowledge through writing and education gave new generations of humans an intellectual kick-start by creating millions of neural connections in children that primitive humans didn't have, and here we are.

We could say that primitive humans with no writing system, no organised and specialised society, and no rich and varied nutrition, are closer to apes than to "modern", civilised and well-educated humans. Some may not like my saying this, but children and uneducated adults are also closer to apes than adults who have made a lot of neural connections. That's partly why children are so "wild".

Silverbackman
08-11-05, 09:39
Intelligence has a lot to do with not brain size, but brain-size in comparison to body size. Humans have a very large brain in comparison to body size, just about all animals at equal weight to a human contains a brain at least half its size.

Of course even this is not enough for human-like intelligence. Dolphins for example while that have a brain very largee compared to body size, their brains are still wired very differently.

The most intelligent gorillas, chimps, and even orangs on average have the intelligence and awareness of a 4 year old child (which is very intelligent). Because the other great apes have a brain that is very much wired like our own they have been thought to be more intelligent than dolphins (although this is under debate).

Koko is trully one smart ape. Believe it or not I live only 15 min. away from the non-human ape that scored the highest on the IQ test :D.

nurizeko
08-11-05, 11:37
Amazing that over 6 million years of evolution, men have only surpassed the stone age to create civilizations and use metal tools only about 6000 years ago.

Amazing that after such a long time of little to no change, humans have rapidly and suddenly created such an advanced vast civilization.

If you think about it in long evolutionary and geographical time terms, nature blinked and already missed most of our civilization and seen us suddenly change from mere slightly nitellgient animals to even more intelligent animals.


The most intelligent gorillas, chimps, and even orangs on average have the intelligence and awareness of a 4 year old child (which is very intelligent). Because the other great apes have a brain that is very much wired like our own they have been thought to be more intelligent than dolphins (although this is under debate).

Nonsense, its clear Squid will evolve onto land and take over ze vorld. :p

(Sorry, a semi-inside joke...) :relief:

Kinsao
08-11-05, 12:12
It's interesting what you say there. :-) Most of it makes sense to me, just except for this little bit:


but children and uneducated adults are also closer to apes than adults who have made a lot of neural connections.

I thought that children have more different neural pathways in their brain. Because their brain is still in development, the pathways haven't yet become fixed... when you become adult, they become so... (I guess you could say literally the brain becomes more "set in its ways")... and sometimes if a person's brain gets damaged, they have to learn to make new neural pathways later in their life. So I guess children have neural connections all over the place, but more variable, than adults.

Maciamo
08-11-05, 12:18
I thought that children have more different neural pathways in their brain. Because their brain is still in development, the pathways haven't yet become fixed... when you become adult, they become so...

I think your are confusing two things : neurons and neural connections. Children do have more neurons (as a few neurons die everyday since childhood), but at birth a brain has very few connections. Connections represent memory, knowledge, experience, acquired reflexes (e.g. cycling, walking, talking...ah no not talking, sorry :sorry: ), social skills, world view, mental structure, etc.

Kinsao
08-11-05, 13:38
Oh, I see what you mean. In the adult, the connections are made. My bad. :relief:

Tsuyoiko
08-11-05, 16:18
I think animals are more ingenious than we give them credit for.

lastmagi
08-11-05, 18:48
I'll say, Tsuyoiko! An IQ of 75-90 is probably better than mine, at least :p

Sensuikan San
09-11-05, 06:32
Nonsense, its clear Squid will evolve onto land and take over ze vorld. :p

(Sorry, a semi-inside joke...) :relief:

Actually - not such a joke! Squid and octopi ( truly, I think "octopusses" sounds better! .... ) do possess measurably high intelligence, at least for molluscs! There is at least one laboratory controlled case of an octupus being presented with the problem of a delicious piece of crab in a glass jar - sealed with a screw cap lid (suitably drilled - to allow the aroma/taste of the prey to permeate the surrounding water).

It took the octopus about thirty minutes to discover that it could unscrew the lid from the jar!

I suggest that a gorilla may have taken a little longer ...!

Be that as it may - but given the experiment ... I feel that both animals were equipped with the facility to explain the conundrum of human advancement. They have not only intelligence ... but the tools for the job - inasmuch as they have natural faciities able to harness their intelligence.

So ....


Amazing that after such a long time of little to no change, humans have rapidly and suddenly created such an advanced vast civilization.

If you think about it in long evolutionary and geographical time terms, nature blinked and already missed most of our civilization and seen us suddenly change from mere slightly nitellgient animals to even more intelligent animals.

.... not so amazing really. Man is probably 'special' in only one regard. He has managed to acquire not only intelligence ... but nearly all of the tools for the job. It's not necessarily just our brains that are special - it's the 'twinning' of a pretty good brain with a remarkable physiology!

Our vocal chords are of the right length to articulate speech - and allow sophisticated communication. ( Other animals, particularly whales and dolphins may be able to do this too - we just haven't deciphered it yet.)

We have opposing thumbs - enabling a firm and steady controlled grip.

We are naked (... under our clothes! - some look better than others! Some look really good! ... but I digress ...). This is not by accident. Evolution works! With the intelligence and ability to artificially clothe ourselves, thanks to our thumbs and brain, we can keep warm in the cold - and stay cool in the heat ... especially when hunting.

And ... we can hunt! ... we're not Cheetahs ...but can keep up with a lot of fleeing animals for a reasonable time with pretty good bursts of speed. We achieve this partly because we walk upright. We can be pretty fast! A four minute mile ain't too shabby! Ask a chimpanzee to give it a try!

We can walk for long periods, run at speed for moderate periods, and sprint relatively spectacularly for short bursts. We can swim. We can climb trees - and with pretty reasonable binocular, colour vision - survey what is before us. We can't fly - but eventually even got around that! Our sense of smell is actually much more acute than most of us realise ... but we don't need to rely on it too much ... so ....

I could go on - but I think you may get my drift. I submit that what makes us so "advanced" is not simply a matter of intelligence or a superior brain, but perhaps the mere combination of brain and body that finally worked!

I was totally convinced that the old dog we used to own was a damned intelligent piece of work. ( He used to ask us to switch on lights by scratching the wall beneath the switch ...!) - but the poor old bugger couldn't hammer a nail in a piece of wood if he tried! He didn't have "hands"! ... and he couldn't even ask me how to do it! ... his vocal chords only allowed him to bark! ... he couldn't even articulate that he might be interested!

For all I know, he may have had PhD capability! - but he would never realise it, trapped in a furry, four-legged, barking body.

Like all canines - he was 'dogged' by this. :sorry:

So .... animal intelligence ? Why should we be so smug ? Why shouldn't animals have equal intelligence to us ? That it is difficult to convincingly prove or disprove is beyond question - but let us not discount it. Let us remember that dolphins at "Sea World" and other such establishments have been found teaching new arrivals their tricks without interference from their (human) trainers! Let us remember that a captive gorilla who learned sign language (I don't think it was "Koko" ... perhaps someone else knows?) was found to have taught a younger gorilla in her company the same language to the astonishment of her (human) guardians !

Nah! There's more to our four (six, eight, and ten ... )- legged friends than meets the eye !

We just got lucky, 'tis all!

And of course we have "advanced" and are "advancing" at an exponential rate!

We've got it all! We can do, we can talk about it, and we can learn and teach like no other animal can - it's axiomatic that the more you learn, the more you know .... and therefore the more you can learn ... and do and teach ...and ...

... it's only a matter of time before we can do what no other animal has ever done before!

We may "advance" ourselves right up our own ...........

...... Damn! Distressed sea anemones even do that ..... ! :clap:

nurizeko
09-11-05, 12:37
How intelligent really are apes ?

Very, my sister is taking a masters degree in genetics. :p



I suggest that a gorilla may have taken a little longer ...!

I suggest the gorilla would have smashed the jar. :relief:


Weee sensuikan is very excited about this topic, it makes it interesting again. :cool:

I know animals are smart....not my dog, no, never....he's just a retard, i wont go into the long list of why he's a disgrace to canine intelligence, but suffice to say he's a sandwich short of a picnic. :blush:

Tsuyoiko
09-11-05, 13:46
The comments about intelligence of sea creatures reminded me of something Arthur C Clarke said. He reckons that technology is only possible on land, as it needs fire. So he thinks no matter how intelligent dolphins etc are/become they could never have technology without first evolving back onto land. I disagree. I think it's theoretically possible that other forms of energy could be used underwater to develop technology, but I don't really know enough about the subject to be sure. Any ideas?

Maciamo
09-11-05, 14:03
Very, my sister is taking a masters degree in genetics.

And how do you manage ? :p

Maciamo
09-11-05, 14:10
The comments about intelligence of sea creatures reminded me of something Arthur C Clarke said. He reckons that technology is only possible on land, as it needs fire. So he thinks no matter how intelligent dolphins etc are/become they could never have technology without first evolving back onto land. I disagree. I think it's theoretically possible that other forms of energy could be used underwater to develop technology, but I don't really know enough about the subject to be sure. Any ideas?

Difficult to imagine. Under water, without ever getting out of the water, and without "hands", you cannot built much. At least they wouldn't need a house, as they don't need to protect themselves from rain, wind, sun or cold. Writing is even difficult with our advanced technologies under water. Even giving something made by us to dolphins, it's not easy to write with your mouth ! (but not impossible). We could try to find some water-resistant ink that work on a plastic board specially designed to be used in water, and try to teach dolphins to read and write. But as their brain is connected and shaped differently from ours, I am not sure our language structure would fit them (and vice versa). I think that a writing style like kanji might be easier, as one character has one meaning, and does not need a pronuciation (as dolphins cannot immitate our sounds). But kanji would be even more difficult to write with your mouth !

Tsuyoiko
09-11-05, 14:24
Difficult to imagine. Under water, without ever getting out of the water, and without "hands", you cannot built much. At least they wouldn't need a house, as they don't need to protect themselves from rain, wind, sun or cold. Writing is even difficult with our advanced technologies under water. Even giving something made by us to dolphins, it's not easy to write with your mouth ! (but not impossible). We could try to find some water-resistant ink that work on a plastic board specially designed to be used in water, and try to teach dolphins to read and write. But as their brain is connected and shaped differently from ours, I am not sure our language structure would fit them (and vice versa). I think that a writing style like kanji might be easier, as one character has one meaning, and does not need a pronuciation (as dolphins cannot immitate our sounds). But kanji would be even more difficult to write with your mouth !I wasn't really thinking about whether we could teach sea creatures to use human technology, but rather if it would be possible for sea creatures to create their own technology at some point (thousands or millions of years) in the future.

Maciamo
09-11-05, 14:49
I wasn't really thinking about whether we could teach sea creatures to use human technology, but rather if it would be possible for sea creatures to create their own technology at some point (thousands or millions of years) in the future.

If they can't use some technology we make adapted to them, how could they develop them in the first place without our physiology (esp. hands) ? In millions of years, these species won't be the same anymore, so if they have a different physiology, then why not.

Kinsao
09-11-05, 15:49
If they can't use some technology we make adapted to them, how could they develop them in the first place without our physiology (esp. hands) ? In millions of years, these species won't be the same anymore, so if they have a different physiology, then why not.

I suppose they might be able to develop technology of their own which would be effective within their own environment of underwater because it would have developed around/out of the conditions and needs. It would have to be tailored to their - presently handless - physiology, and would probably be totally different than anything we could possibly imagine. :mad:

Tsuyoiko
09-11-05, 15:58
That's it Kinsao - that's what I was thinking. Maciamo - it looks like your train of thought is more similar to Clarke's.

Maciamo
09-11-05, 17:21
That's it Kinsao - that's what I was thinking. Maciamo - it looks like your train of thought is more similar to Clarke's.

As long as you don't come up with concrete ideas about what kind of technologies they could develop, I ask to see...

Kinsao
09-11-05, 17:35
But we're not squid - we can't conceive of their technologies :o :mad:

Tsuyoiko
09-11-05, 17:50
As long as you don't come up with concrete ideas about what kind of technologies they could develop, I ask to see...Well like I said, I don't know enough about subjects like engineering to come up with good examples, but I wonder if (say) deep sea vents might be a source of energy an underwater creature could use, where we would use fire. Water conducts electricity - that might be useful. The ions in sea water could be exploited in some way. But I'm out of my depth.... :sorry:

Sensuikan San
10-11-05, 08:31
I suggest the gorilla would have smashed the jar. :relief:

:clap: .... I think you might be right, too! ... and wouldn't that display a quick intelligence, when you think about it! (... but do Gorillas enjoy crab?)



Weee sensuikan is very excited about this topic, it makes it interesting again. :cool:

I know animals are smart....not my dog, no, never....he's just a retard, i wont go into the long list of why he's a disgrace to canine intelligence, but suffice to say he's a sandwich short of a picnic. :blush:

Thank you, my kilted friend! :beer: Yes - I am a little excited by this ... a fascinating subject ... fascinating! I've always been more than aware of the fact that we are nothing more than 'just one more of the animals' ... and a keen observer of Jane Goodall and (the late) Dian Fossey. The more you read into this stuff ... the more fascinating and enlightening it becomes!

.... but ... I think you're rotten to your poor old dog ...! Shame on you!

Yes ... I know dogs can be stupid (like the day when ours sat down just eighteen inches from a rabbit - and didn't notice it ...! If only I had had a camera handy! The rabbit 'froze' - displaying more animal intelligence!) ... but don't sell him down the river like that! Just think of all the dumb things your local MP did today ... !

( ... of course ... if he is really a dumbo ... the dog or the MP, ... I dunno what to suggest .... do most people really know what's in haggis? .... I suppose it's the same with wives and kids ... but, again, I digress ...)


The comments about intelligence of sea creatures reminded me of something Arthur C Clarke said. He reckons that technology is only possible on land, as it needs fire. So he thinks no matter how intelligent dolphins etc are/become they could never have technology without first evolving back onto land. I disagree. I think it's theoretically possible that other forms of energy could be used underwater to develop technology, but I don't really know enough about the subject to be sure. Any ideas?

I love Arthur C. Clarke and his amazing books ... but ... here, I think he missed a point. He is looking at the whole issue through human eyes! And one of the worst sins committed by humans is anthropomorphisation. (Is that really a word? ..... bugger! ....It is now!)

This is an entirely separate element that has to come into the greater question. The question of "advancement" and "need".

It may come as a surprise, until you think about it, but generally life in the oceans of this world of ours is much more stable than on land. Nothing that we call "weather" really exists! In any given patch of (marine - not river or lake) water - temperature, salinity, PH, nitrate level etc. etc. are almost perfectly stable. They have to be, the volume of water is so huge. Cataclysmic events like an oil spill are, even now, relatively local ... although, I grant that they grow exponentially ... and are sadly having their effect through accumulation.

But ... into this, you have life forms that are already almost perfectly adapted to their surroundings. They don't have to combat cold, heat, wind ... even gravity!

Disregard the fact that they might find it difficult to develop a technology. Ask yourself if they need to!

What's their technology going to achieve?

Does a whale need radio? Nah! They can communicate with low frequency sound over tens of thousands of miles! (really!)

Does a reef fish need a car? Nah!

Does a coral reef need an urban infrastructure? Yeah ... it already has one!

Do any of the life forms in the oceans have intelligence? ... I dunno; I suspect they might have ... but .... must it be like ours? Must we measure everything against our own values?

We measure our "advancement" by measuring our technology. This is valid ... to us.. We need it ... increasingly as we exascurbate the difficulties that surround us each day ... but others are not necessarily in that position. Until of course ... one day ... perhaps ... we put them there ...

Anybody read "Planet of the Apes"?

W

nurizeko
10-11-05, 10:42
There was a documetary series about the possible evolutions of life in a future if humans died out tomorrow, one scenario was small tree-dwelling squid in very humid rainforest or something, and another was a muych large ground-dwelling squid.

Anyway the point being what with squiddy intelligence and tenticles reasonably good as thumbs, in a few million years maybe squid will develope intelligence.

Tsuyoiko
10-11-05, 15:50
:We measure our "advancement" by measuring our technology. This is valid ... to us.. We need it ... increasingly as we exascurbate the difficulties that surround us each day ... but others are not necessarily in that position. Until of course ... one day ... perhaps ... we put them there Wow Sen-san, you're right. Put that together with what Kinsao said about us not knowing squid technology if it hit us in the face like a wet fish. Basically humans have technology to overcome our limitations so that we can better adapt to and exploit our environment. But if you fit perfectly in that environment, who needs technology! Sen-san, I bow down before your superior intellect! I am a mere gorilla to your superhuman! :sorry:

ultralars
19-08-11, 08:50
Well, A bigger brain doesn't mean anything as much of the brain is dedicated to control your muscles. So bigger brain doesn't equal more intelligent if the body is bigger.

What makes humans more intelligent? Well think about this, if a very intelligent guy today was making progress in a very advanced field of science, would he make the same kind of progress in some field if he was born 3000 years ago? It would seem that it's not our ability to understand or whatever that makes us smart, it's our ability to learn and use that knowledge. To learn from others. Which is probably why it took so long before we developed out of the stone age, It's probably the same reason that civiliazations undergo golden ages. They always need a little push to reach their true potential.

also ancient civilizations that had massive progress in culture, technology etc at one point in history doesn't necessarily have the same relative intelligence as other people today.

Also people like the Germans and Brits, who only around 2000 years ago or so, was still squatting around a fireplace while the Romans had an high developed culture. Today the Germans and Brits have many of the most intelligent people in the world.

So might reading and learning boost intelligence? i think so

himagain
20-01-12, 05:21
The very concept of intelligence is a human construction.
Why try to apply it to other genera and species?

joyee
03-03-12, 16:01
Nice sharing dude.

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Algernon
11-10-12, 18:58
The most brilliant gorillas, chimps, and even orangs on regular have the intellect and attention of a 4 season old kid. Because the other excellent apes have a mind that is very much wired like our own they have been believed to be more brilliant than dolphin.

The Gheg
25-08-14, 15:35
definitely pretty smart