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The Debate Hall => Informal Debates => Topic started by: Glitch on March 24, 2014, 07:43:10 PM

Title: Do animals "think"
Post by: Glitch on March 24, 2014, 07:43:10 PM
Here's a good question for you all, I think I mentioned it in my introduction, but I recently posted it on Facebook and got... 1 interesting reply... I'm disappointed... Anyways-

Quote
Do animals think? Like humans think? Or is it all Instincts? And if animals do not think, and everything they do is instinctual, then what is it that makes what we do on an every day basis different from animals?

>>>Free will is not a valid answer. So shove that thought where the sun don't shine.<<<
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Johan on March 24, 2014, 07:50:49 PM
Umm... People are animals so...
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 24, 2014, 08:29:29 PM
Yep, my old dog Bear instinctively opened the refrigerator door, stole a pound of butter out of the meat tray then closed the door.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: PickelledEggs on March 24, 2014, 08:33:56 PM
I don't have any studies on hand, but dogs have been said to have emotions. Although Pavlov's dog could be a good example of a study of how animals can learn and learn to "expect" and therefore think.

If you wan't to know what a dog is thinking, you need to talk to Eddie McDowd, otherwise I have no clue how you would find it out.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Glitch on March 24, 2014, 08:42:17 PM
Finally some intelligent replies. My friend on Faceboobs mentioned something about Crows and how intelligent they are... I'm secretly massively collecting as much information as possible so that I can write up like... a 300 page book on legitimate proof as to why animals "Think" as humans do. Then give it to my old Religion teacher and rub it in her face that I actually remembered that fight from like... 5 years ago and intend to make sure she no longer misinforms her students about animals.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 24, 2014, 08:57:54 PM
I kind of doubt dogs worry much about things like wearing a path in new carpet or if their fur makes their asses look fat, but they do think.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mermaid on March 24, 2014, 09:00:59 PM
Absolutely they do.
For that paper, I might start with shared DNA, and how we are all related if we go back far enough. There is no reason to believe we are special. We are just another species of animal, just like the rest of them. We are the least specialized species, I think, and we are pretty smart and capable. But we are animals like everything else. There are animal behavior studies that clearly demonstrate cognitive ability in non humans. The most famous writing about this that I can think of is Jane Goodall's observation of chimpanzees of Gombe using tools.
You might not get a very good grade for writing the paper, though.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 24, 2014, 09:15:58 PM
I'd say we as a species are very specialized, but not for brute force hunting. Our brains are capable of a lot of different types of thought, our hands are highly specialized with opposing thumbs and on and on, but in the wild, naked and completely unarmed competing for food we kinda suck.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: stromboli on March 24, 2014, 09:22:13 PM
Animals like Crows show decision making and analytical skills

http://www.cracked.com/article_19042_6-terrifying-ways-crows-are-way-smarter-than-you-think.html
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: PickelledEggs on March 24, 2014, 09:24:59 PM
And even our own emotions are part of the limbic system, which basically comes from our reptilian ancestors.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: stromboli on March 24, 2014, 09:31:11 PM
Any dog owner will tell you that dogs not only read your emotions but also learn to anticipate events from your actions. My dog knows when I put my hat on with my sunglasses that I'm going for a drive, and will wait by the door with his tail wagging, expecting to go. Also knows not to jump on the bed when my wife is sleeping during the day, but is allowed to at night when I go to bed. Shit like that.

Also, elephants recognize specific people and remember events. elephants that grew up together and then were separated for long periods will show celebratory behavior when they meet again.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 24, 2014, 09:33:27 PM
Well, to start off, I think we are going to struggle with coining a satisfactory definition of "thinking" or what "thought" is.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on March 24, 2014, 09:35:05 PM
Yes, dogs operate mostly on instinct, just like humans.  Humans also think a little bit.  Dogs think a little bit less.  I think.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: stromboli on March 24, 2014, 09:51:12 PM
Yes, dogs operate mostly on instinct, just like humans.  Humans also think a little bit.  Dogs think a little bit less.  I think.

We find common ground with bacon.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 24, 2014, 10:04:07 PM
Not to mention sniffing pretty ladies crotches at inappropriate times. 
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: PickelledEggs on March 25, 2014, 12:33:24 AM
Not to mention sniffing pretty ladies crotches at inappropriate times. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR1VdlLiNK8
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Plu on March 25, 2014, 03:34:00 AM
There have been interesting tests performed with a number of types of animals that suggest they are capable of abstract thinking (which I'm guessing is what you mean with "thinking") which includes various species of monkeys, dolphins, birds like crows and parrots, and probably a bunch more.

But if you're going to write an actual report on this, it's probably good idea to start by thinking a bit about what people consider "human thinking" and what they consider "animal thinking", because the difference isn't all that obvious.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Jason78 on March 25, 2014, 07:48:44 AM
Animals can think.   I've seen them do it.

I've seen my rat figure out how to get to a treat that she's not allowed and when she finally worked it out she was grinding her teeth and looking very pleased with herself.  You could practically see the cogs whirring around in her brain.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Jason78 on March 25, 2014, 07:50:04 AM
Not to mention sniffing pretty ladies crotches at inappropriate times. 

I swear my dog dials up the cuteness when there's a hot woman around.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mermaid on March 25, 2014, 07:54:07 AM
I'd say we as a species are very specialized, but not for brute force hunting. Our brains are capable of a lot of different types of thought, our hands are highly specialized with opposing thumbs and on and on, but in the wild, naked and completely unarmed competing for food we kinda suck.
By "specialized", I mean adapted to fit a particular biological niche. Take a dolphin as an example of a very specialized species. You can't take a dolphin out of the water and expect it to live very long. Humans can live in a really wide range of environments and adapt to a very wide range of conditions. Exceptionally so for members of the animal kingdom.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 25, 2014, 08:11:09 AM
Animals can definitely think. Once I had a cat, and she learned on her own to open every door in my house. She would stretch on her hindlegs, turn the knob and would know if she had to pull or push on the door once the knob had unleashed the door. She also learned how to open my patio doors. Some had to be pushed towards the right, others to the left. She knew exactly which ones were which. I'm pretty sure if I had had the time she would have learned 1+1=2, but unfortunately, she came back one day with half her face disfigured, and I had to bring her to the vet, and we had to put her down. But I believe up to this day that she was the "Einstein" of her species.

True story.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Jason78 on March 25, 2014, 09:14:32 AM
True story.

(http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/159/414/Cool-Starry-Bra.jpg)
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 25, 2014, 11:13:50 AM
(http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/159/414/Cool-Starry-Bra.jpg)

Should I buy that for my wife?!?? :biggrin:
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Plu on March 25, 2014, 11:17:09 AM
You could make a cool story about a cool starry bra, bro.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 25, 2014, 11:33:59 AM
(http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff277/josephpalazzo/conspiracy-1.jpg) (http://s243.photobucket.com/user/josephpalazzo/media/conspiracy-1.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Jason78 on March 25, 2014, 11:47:25 AM
Should I buy that for my wife?!?? :biggrin:

Unless you want to buy it for yourself...   
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 25, 2014, 05:52:23 PM
Unless you want to buy it for yourself...   

And get my wife jealous, are you nuts?!? :axe:
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: curiouscrab on March 25, 2014, 06:33:43 PM
Depends. I know mice only think about food, because they run into my mouse traps all the time and can't seem to plan accordingly.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SilentFutility on March 25, 2014, 06:47:56 PM
Finally some intelligent replies.
You asked a question and potentially preemptively excluded a possible answer with no justification, regardless of how well someone might try to put it forward or explain it.
I wouldn't even propose free will as an answer but if the question is as lazy as that then expecting intellgient, well thought-through answers seems a bit rich. It is at best lazy and at worst purely intellectually dishonest, and somewhere in the middle is presumptuous to ask a question and state that certain answers don't count regardless of what anyone says.

Maybe that's something to consider when becoming indignant at the lack of intelligent replies that take other people's time and effort to formulate.


As to your question, define "think"? The answer can vary between yes or no depending on what is counted as thinking, for example, if solving simple problems counts as thinking, then yes, many animals do think, as some of them are clearly capable of figuring out how to open doors, or move things to access food.
If perhaps you mean they are capable of processing information and adapting their behaviour accordingly, then yes, they can, how else could you train a dog if they were incapable of recognising positive and negative reinforcement?

In my opinion, to give a yes/no answer, which is completely objective, a completely objective definition of "thinking" is required.



Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 25, 2014, 06:48:36 PM
We also interpret their talents and 'intelligence' according to ours; according what is 'fascinating' for us that an animal can do, so we probably miss a lot about their real 'intelligence' too. Making these experiments with crows -or other animals- and watching them solving all those steps by themselves charm humans with their familiarity to human intelligence and basically humans think they are 'intelligent' only because they do something more than the other animal; present a pattern of behaviour more 'resembling' to humans. This is a primitive way of evaluating their obvious consciousness and 'intelligence'. Frankly, it is barren, because the whole idea is strictly human centered.

This is one of those examples where expressing a personal opinion has nothing to do with the scientific facts, and it is an expression of cynicism more than anything else.
Just because humans are pretty much the only species on this planet to objectively conduct, study and interpret tests on intelligence does not make those tests somehow fallacious because they center around the subjective perception of what intelligence is.
When an animal of any kind is able to interact with its environment and manipulate it in such a way as to benefit itself and its own survival, there is no subjectiveness involved in making observations about said behavior. That behavior is objectively considered to be intelligent because by definition goes above and beyond what other organisms are capable of doing. We don't label a crow to be an intelligent animal merely because we see some of our own behavior and cognitive ability reflected in them.
When a crow teaches itself how to fish with bread, that's a sign of intelligence no matter how you toss it.
At it's core, the definition of intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Intelligence benefits some species over others.

I usually try to avoid quoting Wikipedia as to not create the perception of superficiality, but Wiki usually nails it at presenting a pretty coherent and comprehensive and easy to encompass concept:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-awareness
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 25, 2014, 07:04:18 PM
Depends. I know mice only think about food, because they run into my mouse traps all the time and can't seem to plan accordingly.

How could a mouse plan if once it's trapped, it's killed? :wink: You need to release it and see if the same mouse comes back, then you will be able to tell if it has learned anything and can plan otherwise.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 25, 2014, 08:01:29 PM
I had once trapped a mouse in a live trap, and then released it in my back yard (dumbass mistake since I did not think about the possibility of the fucker coming back). That mouse did in fact come back, and the cat did not miss him the second time.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on March 25, 2014, 09:07:54 PM
one of my dogs certainly showed a certain knowledge of wind patterns today. With a strong wind from the south west and a person walking towards us  from the west, the dog purposefully moved got up and moved about 15 yards to the north east to intercept the wind and smell the person. At first I thought it was a reaction to the movement but she came back after catching the wind and appeared not much interested after that. I was rather captivated by it.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Icarus on March 25, 2014, 09:20:10 PM
By "specialized", I mean adapted to fit a particular biological niche. Take a dolphin as an example of a very specialized species. You can't take a dolphin out of the water and expect it to live very long. Humans can live in a really wide range of environments and adapt to a very wide range of conditions. Exceptionally so for members of the animal kingdom.

Don't forget our great ability to run for several hours without stopping. Endurance is one of our greatest traits that few other animals can compete with.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on March 25, 2014, 09:45:23 PM
I am not so sure that dolphins existing out of water is such a great example considering the various conditions that they can survive in that we can't. Air v water aside, I am willing to guess humans can't stand a tenth of the pressure that dolphins can. And I am not so willing to grant that humans have such a great capacity for long distance running compared to other animals. Humans have a greater intellect, no doubt, and certainly a greater dexterity of some digits, and even a better memory, so I think all in all, it is a combination of average things that we have in a greater than average that makes us more adaptable and thus more "successful".
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 25, 2014, 09:52:17 PM
one of my dogs certainly showed a certain knowledge of wind patterns today. With a strong wind from the south west and a person walking towards us  from the west, the dog purposefully moved got up and moved about 15 yards to the north east to intercept the wind and smell the person. At first I thought it was a reaction to the movement but she came back after catching the wind and appeared not much interested after that. I was rather captivated by it.
I am not so sure that is a good example of "thinking", or intelligence as much as it is instinct.
See, that's the trouble with this thread, I don't think we have nailed by what definitions and what terms we are discussing.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 26, 2014, 04:53:48 AM
I had once trapped a mouse in a live trap, and then released it in my back yard (dumbass mistake since I did not think about the possibility of the fucker coming back). That mouse did in fact come back, and the cat did not miss him the second time.
Dumd mouse. :biggrin:


I am not so sure that is a good example of "thinking", or intelligence as much as it is instinct.
See, that's the trouble with this thread, I don't think we have nailed by what definitions and what terms we are discussing.

Just like any other concept, "think" might mean different things to different people. An online definition of the word "thinK" has 28 versions:


Quote
think


verb (used without object), thought, think·ing.
1.
to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc.

2.
to employ one's mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation: Think carefully before you begin.

3.
to have a certain thing as the subject of one's thoughts: I was thinking about you. We could think of nothing else.

4.
to call something to one's conscious mind: I couldn't think of his phone number.

5.
to consider something as a possible action, choice, etc.: She thought about cutting her hair.


Relevant Questions

How To Think
 
How To Think Fit And Not Fat
 
What Do You Think Was The Most Romantic Moment We Have Ever Had?
 
How To Develop Positive Thinking Techniques

How To Improve Thinking Power
 
What Does Abstract Thinking Mean?
 

verb (used with object), thought, think·ing.

11.
to have or form in the mind as an idea, conception, etc.

12.
to have or form in the mind in order to understand, know, or remember something else: Romantic comedy is all about chemistry: think Tracy and Hepburn. Can't guess? Here's a hint: think 19th century.

13.
to consider for evaluation or for possible action upon: Think the deal over.

14.
to regard as specified: He thought me unkind.

15.
to believe to be true of someone or something: to think evil of the neighbors.


adjective
19.
of or pertaining to thinking or thought.

20.
Informal. stimulating or challenging to the intellect or mind: the think book of the year.  Compare think piece.

noun
21.
Informal. the act or a period of thinking: I want to sit down and give it a good think.
Verb phrases
22.
think of,
a.
to conceive of; imagine.

b.
to have an opinion or judgment of.

c.
to consider; anticipate: When one thinks of what the future may bring, one is both worried and hopeful.

23.
think out / through,
a.
to think about until a conclusion is reached; understand or solve by thinking.

b.
to devise by thinking; contrive: He thought out a plan for saving time.

24.
think up, to devise or contrive by thinking: Can you think up an arrangement of furniture for this room?
Idioms
25.
think better of, to change one's mind about; reconsider: She considered emigrating to Australia, but thought better of it.

26.
think fit, to consider advisable or appropriate: By all means, take a vacation if you think fit.

27.
think nothing of. nothing (  def 19 ) .

28.
think twice, to weigh carefully before acting; consider: I would think twice before taking on such a responsibility.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/think
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Icarus on March 26, 2014, 07:16:50 AM
I am not so sure that dolphins existing out of water is such a great example considering the various conditions that they can survive in that we can't. Air v water aside, I am willing to guess humans can't stand a tenth of the pressure that dolphins can. And I am not so willing to grant that humans have such a great capacity for long distance running compared to other animals. Humans have a greater intellect, no doubt, and certainly a greater dexterity of some digits, and even a better memory, so I think all in all, it is a combination of average things that we have in a greater than average that makes us more adaptable and thus more "successful".

You have to go back around 50,000 years to see the benefit. Most animals expend their energy in short bursts and have to rest, we can run after our prey until its too tired to run and go in for the easy kill. Civilization made us lazy.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Atheon on March 26, 2014, 07:33:03 AM
When I was a teenager, we had a dog who was very good at figuring out ways to escape our yard, which was surrounded by fences. Whenever we came up with a new method of locking the gate, she would find a way to open it, going to quite complex lengths that would have required some form of reasoning to figure out.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on March 26, 2014, 09:35:22 PM
I am not so sure that is a good example of "thinking", or intelligence as much as it is instinct.
See, that's the trouble with this thread, I don't think we have nailed by what definitions and what terms we are discussing.

Good point about the defintions, because I disagree with your position about it being instinct. I think it is very much intelligence, my other dog didn't do it.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on March 26, 2014, 09:36:56 PM
You have to go back around 50,000 years to see the benefit. Most animals expend their energy in short bursts and have to rest, we can run after our prey until its too tired to run and go in for the easy kill. Civilization made us lazy.

well, I have never heard of humans being able to outrun and outlast our prey. Perhaps you have something I can refer to, it would be very interesting.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: the concerned atheist on March 26, 2014, 11:12:04 PM
animals do think and and have personality case in point humans
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Plu on March 27, 2014, 03:23:59 AM
well, I have never heard of humans being able to outrun and outlast our prey. Perhaps you have something I can refer to, it would be very interesting.

I want to believe this because it sounds awesome, but googling for it or the term "pursuit predation" yields suspiciously few results.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Icarus on March 27, 2014, 07:16:18 AM
well, I have never heard of humans being able to outrun and outlast our prey. Perhaps you have something I can refer to, it would be very interesting.

For sure:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/11/1117_041117_running_humans_2.html

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2007/04/humans-hot-sweaty-natural-born-runners/

http://phys.org/news/2011-02-early-humans-won-neandertals.html
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Icarus on March 27, 2014, 07:18:19 AM
I want to believe this because it sounds awesome, but googling for it or the term "pursuit predation" yields suspiciously few results.

Too specific a search term, read the links provided. Google "ancient human running" for more results.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Plu on March 27, 2014, 07:31:53 AM
Yeah I see now. Awesome stuff :)
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on March 27, 2014, 08:17:30 AM
Great stuff.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Sal1981 on March 27, 2014, 09:26:07 AM
I would think so, not that would even begin to know how to demonstrate that, so I have to take that on account on how dogs behave.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on March 27, 2014, 11:01:08 AM
Quote
Do animals think?
   Yes


Quote
Like humans think?
No
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 27, 2014, 11:24:44 AM
   
Do animals think?
Yes

Like humans think?
 No

I disagree. The other day a stray dog came to shit on my property. Then looked at me with a fuck you grin.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 27, 2014, 11:54:09 AM
drunkenshoe, the reason I found your response to be cynical is because you were painting a bleak picture of the way the scientific community is currently conducting research in this related field. Something that is illustrated by these statements you made:
-We also interpret their talents and 'intelligence' according to ours
-humans think they are 'intelligent' only because they do something more than the other animal
-present a pattern of behaviour more 'resembling' to humans
-This is a primitive way of evaluating their obvious consciousness and 'intelligence'
-it is barren, because the whole idea is strictly human centered.

Let's go past the part where I ask for evidence that the scientific community is subjectively observing animal behavior strictly by the human paradigm. Before I go further let me once again state that we are using words in this thread that have many definitions.
For example, you talk about animal consciousness. What do you mean by it?
The word "intelligence" also has many definitions.
The most basic definition of intelligence is the ability to not only acquire knowledge (learn), but to also apply it.
So my question is, why is observing this type of behavior something that is subjective? You said above that we consider this point because it is "human centered", meaning a characteristic of human intelligence, and therefore we look for the same characteristic in animals in order to see if they are intelligent. So my question is, why is this standard not objective? What's so human about it, besides the fact that we as humans are best at it?

You also said "the only animal that has intelligence as the way we understand is humans", and this is both vague and false. Vague because once again we are not sure what definition of "intelligence" we are using, and false because it claims consensus (the way WE understand), where there is in fact NO consensus.

You also say "The more you observe them, the more they become familiar and then you become more open and sensitive to the difference traits; therefore more 'objective'."

"more objective" implies that the way scientists currently study intelligence in animals is subjective. Is there some evidence of that? Do we know of an animal that is currently classified as non-intelligent by certain scientists, while other scientists consider it intelligent at the same time?

You also say "the fact that animals have consciousness", well, when we don't know what is meant by consciousness, that statement has no meaning.

Otherwise I completely agree with you how the scientific process works, I also agree that we don't posess all knowledge at this time. What I disagree with you on is over what we know so far. You seem to paint a cynical point over how scientists currently judge and understand behavior.

If that is not what you meant, then again, please understand that I was only responding to what I quoted you saying above.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on March 27, 2014, 01:16:32 PM
I disagree. The other day a stray dog came to shit on my property. Then looked at me with a fuck you grin.
Then by God I withdraw the aforementioned objection to whatever I was replying to previously!
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 27, 2014, 01:46:53 PM
drunkenshoe, I can find answers for myself, rest assured of that. The point was to understand the context of your discussion.
Suffice to say I am well aware that we are on atheistforums here, but people take the term to understand different things, and sometimes go insofar as to consider consciousness a matter of transcendental.
So now that we've clarified that, the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness supports my argument: scientists are approaching the topic with objectivity and is anything but barren, primitive, etc. If by "we" you mean people like us, from all walks of life, non-scientists, that's a different matter.
Do you believe the signatories to the declaration regard consciousness from the paradigm of human experience?
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on March 27, 2014, 01:47:21 PM
I disagree. The other day a stray dog came to shit on my property. Then looked at me with a fuck you grin.
When he was just coming out of the puppy state, I caught my own dog shitting I our lawn and he looked pretty guilty.  I was torn.  Had I unintentionally taught my dog to feel guilty over taking a shit?  But it was an anomaly.  He soon came to understand that he didn't have to feel guilty if he went in the bushes to shit in private.  Apparently, if he shit in the bushes in private, no one would know it was him, and he could preserve a modicum of dignity.  Well really, I have no idea what he was thinking or how he processed the situation, but it worked out for the best, and we got along like best buddies after that. 
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 27, 2014, 01:56:08 PM
SGOS, I can explain that, it goes back to how you conditioned your dog to not shit in your house. Some people house train their dogs in such a way that the dog misunderstands that the act itself is bad rather than the act of doing it in the wrong place. Case in point, my sister's female dachschund. She is 5 years old and to this day she is inconsistent when asking herself to go outside. When she shits in the house, she hides it. If you go outside with her and watch her, she has a tough time going.
The key is to not punish your dog when you do catch them shitting in the house.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 27, 2014, 02:01:37 PM
Not too long ago, I watched a PBS doc on how certain plants can distinguish the predactors that attack it. As a defense, it can send a gas that will attract the predators of its predators. Some trees know their relatives: they will protect and nourish them against other plants. At the end of the program, one of the researchers stated that if plants do think, how do they do it without a brain and a nervous system? Stay tuned.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Naru on March 27, 2014, 02:02:38 PM
Do animals think, depends on what you define think. Animals do think like thinking how to hunt for food or where is a safe place to rest but do they think what is out there or how things work then no. This is called theory of mind. When we are infants we don't have this feature yet. We don't get this until the age 4 to 5.

Now animals do problem solve but they don't seek knowledge from other animals so they don't ask question.

Theory of mind
Quote
Theory of mind is a theory insofar as the mind is not directly observable.[1] The presumption that others have a mind is termed a theory of mind because each human can only intuit the existence of his/her own mind through introspection, and no one has direct access to the mind of another. It is typically assumed that others have minds by analogy with one's own, and based on the reciprocal nature of social interaction, as observed in joint attention,[4] the functional use of language,[5] and understanding of others' emotions and actions.[6] Having a theory of mind allows one to attribute thoughts, desires, and intentions to others, to predict or explain their actions, and to posit their intentions. As originally defined, it enables one to understand that mental states can be the cause of—and thus be used to explain and predict—others' behavior.[1] Being able to attribute mental states to others and understanding them as causes of behavior implies, in part, that one must be able to conceive of the mind as a "generator of representations".[7][8] If a person does not have a complete theory of mind it may be a sign of cognitive or developmental impairment.

Theory of mind appears to be an innate potential ability in humans, but one requiring social and other experience over many years to bring to fruition. Different people may develop more, or less, effective theories of mind. Empathy is a related concept, meaning experiential recognition and understanding the states of mind, including beliefs, desires and particularly emotions of others, often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes". Recent neuro ethological studies of animal behaviour suggest that even rodents may exhibit ethical or empathic abilities.[9] Neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development maintain that theory of mind is a byproduct of a broader hypercognitive ability of the human mind to register, monitor, and represent its own functioning.[10]

Research on theory of mind, in human and animal, adults and children, normally and atypically developing, has grown rapidly in the 35 years since Premack and Woodruff's paper, "Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?".[1] The emerging field of social neuroscience has also begun to address this debate, by imaging humans while performing tasks demanding the understanding of an intention, belief or other mental state.

An alternative account of theory of mind is given within operant psychology and provides significant empirical evidence for a functional account of both perspective taking and empathy. The most developed operant approach is founded on research on derived relational responding and is subsumed within what is called, "Relational Frame Theory". According to this view empathy and perspective taking comprise a complex set of derived relational abilities based on learning to discriminate and verbally respond to ever more complex relations between self, others, place, and time, and the transformation of function through established relations.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 27, 2014, 02:12:29 PM
Here's the trailer on plants and how they can communicate:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/what-plants-talk-about/introduction/8228/

Full episode: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/what-plants-talk-about/video-full-episode/8243/


Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on March 27, 2014, 02:17:01 PM
SGOS, I can explain that, it goes back to how you conditioned your dog to not shit in your house. Some people house train their dogs in such a way that the dog misunderstands that the act itself is bad rather than the act of doing it in the wrong place. Case in point, my sister's female dachschund. She is 5 years old and to this day she is inconsistent when asking herself to go outside. When she shits in the house, she hides it. If you go outside with her and watch her, she has a tough time going.
The key is to not punish your dog when you do catch them shitting in the house.
Actually, I was pretty careful about that, and to be honest, my little story was somewhat altered for the purpose of humor.  I never had a problem with house training him.  He just wanted to go outside.  I think it was because when I first brought him home, I put him in an earth floored sunroom at night which was 5 feet from our bed.  He would sleep at the door so he could be close to us, but always went to the far end of the sunroom to do his duty, so it just felt more natural to go outside.  He naturally seemed to want to keep his area clean, even when he was 8 weeks old.  He may have messed in the house once or twice, but no more than that.

I watched him closely when he was outside, as soon as I saw him getting ready to poop on the grass, I would rush to him with a "No, No," haul him into the unkept wild area on the edge of the lawn and stand there until he did his duty.  Then I would praise him excessively.  It didn't take long.  He was a pleasure to train and he learned faster than any other dog I had owned before.

I don't know about what constitutes dog intelligence, but he seemed incredibly smart to me.  He was a golden retriever, and they have a reputation of wanting to please.  He was good at pleasing too.  I loved him dearly.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 27, 2014, 02:41:57 PM
I'm expressing what scientists already know very well in layman terms.
Please take note that is not what originally prompted my response, it was for the above mentioned points that I responded. I do not find your follow-up responses to be cynical at all. Maybe rude, but not cynical. I'd also like to point out that the term "consciousness" does have different meanings depending on the field (scientific vs philosphical etc) which is why I wanted to clarify what we were talking about, and that the Declaration is not a unanimously accepted document amongs all scientists. I am not saying that to express an opinion that the declaration in itself is invalid. Not at all. In fact, I'd have signed it too. I'm only signaling that once again we are making sweeping generalizations.

If the declaration is the latest result of moving from the traditional paradigm, what makes it in itself a declaration from the paradigm of human experience? You were stating earlier that at least thus far, the scientific comunity has regarded this subject species-centric. So are you saying the Declaration is more of the same? In other words how is it a shift from the traditional if it's still regarding the subject from the paradigm of human experience? I would be interested in hearing what measuring stick you might suggest that we use, or maybe a different approach, which would account for objectivity and somehow recognizing and eliminating the deficiencies you mentioned prior.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 27, 2014, 02:48:29 PM
I don't know about what constitutes dog intelligence, but he seemed incredibly smart to me.  He was a golden retriever, and they have a reputation of wanting to please.  He was good at pleasing too.  I loved him dearly.
I know what you mean. I am an animal lover to the point that others think I'm a sucker for all living things. I'd rather trap a spider and release it outside than squash it.

I grew up with animals. In fact I've always had a companion of some form of another. I presently have a hermit crab "safe heaven" and I used to always be on the lookout on Craigslist etc for people that were giving up theirs, so I would adopt them. They are one of the pets that very vew people truly know how to properly take care of, and as a result they are regarded as being a "throw-away" pet that only lives a year or two. They usually end up dying a slow agonizing death at the hands of uneducated owners.

But I digress. I've seen the same sort of intelligence you mention in the dogs I've owned. We currently have a westie that is one of the sharpest pets I've ever had.

An interesting thing to note. There's studies that show that people that have grown up with pets tend to be more gentle and compassionate overall. I'm going to buy my son twenty puppies when the time comes.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 27, 2014, 03:27:32 PM
Hey everyone,  Marty aka APA is taking a nap so I'd like to introduce myself. I'm the mouse who lives next door behind Bruce's refrigerator and in case you're wondering yes, indeed we do think. In fact, my cousin Jake invented the internet you're reading this with this very minute. He was forced to give credit to Al Gore.
How do I type this? Well,  it's not easy, but Marty's tablet has a touch screen so it's a lot easier to use than that big, clunky keyboard over at Bruce's place. MAN! I have to climb up to the ceiling and jump down over there just to click the space bar!
So anyway,  that's me in the picture.
OH CRAP! He's waking up..gotta go. Enjoy my handsome mug!
(http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q490/atheola/mice-stem-cells-101209-675634-.jpeg)
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 27, 2014, 03:30:38 PM
I had the strangest dream some mouse was using my tablet.. :think:
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on March 27, 2014, 03:49:36 PM
Hey everyone,  Marty aka APA is taking a nap so I'd like to introduce myself. I'm the mouse who lives next door behind Bruce's refrigerator and in case you're wondering yes, indeed we do think. In fact, my cousin Jake invented the internet you're reading this with this very minute. He was forced to give credit to Al Gore.
How do I type this? Well,  it's not easy, but Marty's tablet has a touch screen so it's a lot easier to use than that big, clunky keyboard over at Bruce's place. MAN! I have to climb up to the ceiling and jump down over there just to click the space bar!
So anyway,  that's me in the picture.
OH CRAP! He's waking up..gotta go. Enjoy my handsome mug!
(http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q490/atheola/mice-stem-cells-101209-675634-.jpeg)
Yeah, but that other computer uses a mouse.  I would think that would make it pretty easy for you.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 27, 2014, 03:56:31 PM
Hmm..that wasn't a dream after all. In the immortal words of W C Fields,  One of these days I'm gonna buy myself a mousetrap.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on March 27, 2014, 04:04:42 PM
Not too long ago, I watched a PBS doc on how certain plants can distinguish the predactors that attack it. As a defense, it can send a gas that will attract the predators of its predators. Some trees know their relatives: they will protect and nourish them against other plants. At the end of the program, one of the researchers stated that if plants do think, how do they do it without a brain and a nervous system? Stay tuned.
I have met many many humans with a brain and nervous system that can't think....
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on March 27, 2014, 04:13:07 PM
I have met many many humans with a brain and nervous system that can't think....

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
 
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 27, 2014, 04:35:29 PM
Just tune into CNN. You'll see human potential just go down hill second by second.

Personally I think you're all taking the question entirely to seriously.  Now if someone's dog sits down and writes a great work of fiction I'll take it a whole lot more seriously,  but...
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 27, 2014, 05:09:20 PM
The point where I don't think I can agree with is over objectivity. Objectivity is not a scale. You're either being objective or not, and this is especially so in science. The question in science is are you looking at data or are you judging emotion and unsubstantiated theories, which is not science. Science gets more precise as time goes on. It goes from guesswork to working bodies of knowledge. I'm not looking for reasons to argue, in fact I'm looking for common ground and I'm hoping that you can see that as well. The issue of consciousness is not "fucked up" as is a complex issue that we thus far are struggling to grasp and understand and properly frame it.

Either way I think the whole thing is a red herring to the fact that we should be kind to animals, regardless of their level of intelligence or lack thereof. And I think we've answered the question that OP answered ;)
And people that need justification for compassion, I would argue, lack a certain capacity to think that other animals have in abundance. Although, I suppose there are some animals that kill just for the fuck of it, such as the panther.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 27, 2014, 05:19:50 PM
I am taking it seriously, because it's an amazing subject. See, I am even talking to Shol'va.  :lol:
Yeah, that Shol'va stuff just blows me away! We need an investigation into why you're talking to him. :think:
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 27, 2014, 05:23:44 PM
See, I am even talking to Shol'va.  :lol:
Oh, come on now :lol:

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I am taking it seriously, because it's an amazing subject.
I couldn't agree more. Don't get me wrong, I love my career now, but there are times when I think that I missed my calling in life as a marine biologist. Or a lawyer :lol:
Even something as simple as a beta fish managed to surprise me with just how much awareness and apparent intelligence it can show. I had several over the years and they actually learned to recognize me. I also had a colony of fiddler crabs and I had a female specimen that would actually eat out of the palm of my hand. She outlived the average lifespan considered for both in captivity and in the wild. I have a ton of pics and videos but won't bore anyone unsolicited :lol:
I had ghost shrimp that managed to breed in one of my fish tanks, something that is typically unheard of in the aquarium hobby (they need very specific parameters).
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on March 27, 2014, 05:49:11 PM
I have no doubt animals do think and feel. I remember my dog not leaving my side once when I was suicidally depressed years ago and he typically just laid around doing dog stuff, but that day he didn't take his eyes off me. I'm convinced he could sense my depression,  but didn't have the abilty to do much except lay his head on my lap and keep looking sadder than me.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 27, 2014, 05:59:31 PM
I have no doubt animals do think and feel. I remember my dog not leaving my side once when I was suicidally depressed years ago and he typically just laid around doing dog stuff, but that day he didn't take his eyes off me. I'm convinced he could sense my depression,  but didn't have the abilty to do much except lay his head on my lap and keep looking sadder than me.
Well, I think that if I happened to be there, with some bacon ...


Dogs are very in tune with people. They are extremely good at interpreting mood depending on body language and behavior. It is scary how good they are sometimes.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Shol'va on March 27, 2014, 06:10:38 PM
I tend to lose my cool over the mistreatment of animals, especially at the hands of those that think of them as "lesser".
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 14, 2016, 05:47:14 PM
Growing up, we raised dogs.  Popcorn was a favorite family treat at night watching movies.  4 dogs sitting in a line being handed one piece of popcorn down the line, repeated at dads whim; meaning there was a time delay between rounds.  DeeDee was at the head of the line and alpha female.  Two of her pups next, male Trep, who would become alpha later, his sister Squeek, then Bear an outsider brought into the home for breeding purposes.  After about 10 mins or so, D got a weird look on her face and slowly got up and walked to the end of the line after getting a piece of popcorn.  So she got another.  Stayed there for one round, got that weird look again and headed for the front of the line.  She repeated this like 5 times, not always in a row, but consistent enough to indicate she had figured out she could get extra.  The 2nd or 3rd time, squeek got bouncy and you could tell she knew something wasnt quite right, but she couldn't quite figure it out.  Trep just got irritated at the moving around by his mom and bear happily sat at the end, not caring about anything.  It was one of the coolest things I ever seen and the only time I think I saw an animal do math without being trained.

As a side note, we had a lot of dogs, always 4 adults minimum in the house and a litter of pups. There was a routine in effect when it came to feeding the dogs.  Everyone had a schedule, their own bowl and their own place to eat to ensure diets were complete and nobody got left out.  Point being DeeDee had no experience with taking another dogs food, so it wasnt something she had learned to take advantage of as alpha.



Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on February 14, 2016, 06:35:21 PM
Anyone that has ever been in the company of animals for several years knows the answer to that.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on February 14, 2016, 06:41:49 PM
Growing up, we raised dogs.  Popcorn was a favorite family treat at night watching movies.  4 dogs sitting in a line being handed one piece of popcorn down the line, repeated at dads whim; meaning there was a time delay between rounds.  DeeDee was at the head of the line and alpha female.  Two of her pups next, male Trep, who would become alpha later, his sister Squeek, then Bear an outsider brought into the home for breeding purposes.  After about 10 mins or so, D got a weird look on her face and slowly got up and walked to the end of the line after getting a piece of popcorn.  So she got another.  Stayed there for one round, got that weird look again and headed for the front of the line.  She repeated this like 5 times, not always in a row, but consistent enough to indicate she had figured out she could get extra.  The 2nd or 3rd time, squeek got bouncy and you could tell she knew something wasnt quite right, but she couldn't quite figure it out.  Trep just got irritated at the moving around by his mom and bear happily sat at the end, not caring about anything.  It was one of the coolest things I ever seen and the only time I think I saw an animal do math without being trained.

As a side note, we had a lot of dogs, always 4 adults minimum in the house and a litter of pups. There was a routine in effect when it came to feeding the dogs.  Everyone had a schedule, their own bowl and their own place to eat to ensure diets were complete and nobody got left out.  Point being DeeDee had no experience with taking another dogs food, so it wasnt something she had learned to take advantage of as alpha.

Great story.  When it comes to eating, dogs think a lot, I have not a doubt.  But they don't seem to think too much about cleaning up after themselves or watching PBS.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 14, 2016, 07:07:09 PM
Quote from: aitm
Anyone that has ever been in the company of animals for several years knows the answer to that.

ah, but there is always the risk of anthropomorphism, something I am vulnerable to because of my own emotional bond with animals.  But that one particular incident really struck me because of its 'math' component.  The downside is that was a domestic animal which has been selectively bred and not a wild animal.

This is an interesting wild species along the topic line:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeyguide
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 14, 2016, 07:14:21 PM
Quote from: SGOS
Great story.  When it comes to eating, dogs think a lot, I have not a doubt.  But they don't seem to think too much about cleaning up after themselves or watching PBS.
Most people have to be taught to clean up after themselves.  And some never quite get the hang of that.
:)
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on February 15, 2016, 08:39:03 AM
ah, but there is always the risk of anthropomorphism, something I am vulnerable to because of my own emotional bond with animals.  But that one particular incident really struck me because of its 'math' component.  The downside is that was a domestic animal which has been selectively bred and not a wild animal.

Purely anecdotal, but I have seen enough of the animal world to conclude they can think. Crows have been shown to use tools as well as monkeys and other animals. It is not my intention to prove it to anyone, but I am convinced they think quite well.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 15, 2016, 12:02:20 PM
Purely anecdotal, but I have seen enough of the animal world to conclude they can think. Crows have been shown to use tools as well as monkeys and other animals. It is not my intention to prove it to anyone, but I am convinced they think quite well.
I can't prove it either, but I try to have a solid foundation.  I do think science under-represents the intelligence of animals in general.

Crows/ravens are very intelligent and I have not followed the examples closely enough to say whether I think its learned behavior or abstract thought.  The Honeyguide is remarkable in that its a parasitic reproducer.  The young dont learn the guide behavior from their parents (as far as I know) or host parent.

Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: doorknob on February 15, 2016, 12:16:31 PM
I have read a few scientific articles about the study of animal intelligence. According to research they do in fact have intelligence and some animals have a remarkable amount of it.

Any one saying animals don't have or aren't intelligent has been extremely misinformed.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 15, 2016, 12:28:03 PM
I have read a few scientific articles about the study of animal intelligence. According to research they do in fact have intelligence and some animals have a remarkable amount of it.

Any one saying animals don't have or aren't intelligent has been extremely misinformed.
Fair point but being intelligent is different from independent/abstract thought i.e. do they think.  Lots of people train dogs to do things, but for my dog example, the dog thought of it on her own.  They were 'trained' to line up in the row and wait for popcorn.  She was the only one to get up and move position to gather more for self, and return to the first position.  That makes it much more 'abstract'.  I am here + if I move there + I can go back = 3 x benefit.

Adding:  Moving around without breaking the rules of taking food from the other dogs.  Not causing any kind of conflict within the 'pack'.  As Alpha female - though fully recognizing the people in the house were above her- just adds to the 'wow' factor for my observation.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: aitm on February 17, 2016, 08:53:26 PM
More anecdotal from tonight. Came home from my "happy hour" and the wife was a little upset, the two older boxers were outside and the younger boxer in the back yard. Now the oldest is over 9 and the younger is 4, they have gotten into it several times over the last two years, the younger can pin the older with incredible speed, of course she is also 20 pounds larger. Now the mid (actually an american bull dog- looks similar to a boxer)is 6 years slightly lighter than the younger but about the same size, and most of the time avoids the conflicts but does get involved in protecting the older one at times.


According to the wife the older and younger got into it pretty heavy and then the mid came in and tore up the younger. Not bad I mean, some blood and some cuts but I am sure some severe bruising. So I have all three sitting apart in the living room eyeing each other and me just saying, "No…..no…..no"… The oldest just wants to be left alone, the younger wants to apologize, ( I think) and the middle one is looking like a baddass ready to kick the first fucker to move. Kinda interesting if not for the blood. Interesting to watch as they eye each other and see who moves first. You can't tell me they are not "thinking".
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 17, 2016, 09:50:39 PM
Being an animal, I can attest that we do think and have emotions. I can also vouch for my cats, who aren't much into posting on the internet.

Being part of perhaps the most intelligent and emotional species on this planet, I would feel bad about inflicting distress, pain, or death on any animal.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mike Cl on February 17, 2016, 11:14:33 PM
I also, have seen enough of the animal world to know that they think and solve problems.  When in college, one of the hallmark distinctions between human and animal was the ability to make tools.  Then it was discovered that chimps make tools to eat termites with.  And the race was on.  Now it is well known that many, many animals make tools.  And it has been shown that crows/ravens and monkeys can make tools to solve new problems.  I'm sure others as well, can do that.  I have lived with cats and dogs and know that they can think, as well.  As time passes, more and more evidence will turn up to prove this even more. 
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on February 18, 2016, 11:49:11 AM
I'm kind of surprised that this entire thread is here for one reason,  so that the OP can go find his/her former religion teacher for the purpose of rubbing it in their nose that we think that animals can think..
Quote
Finally some intelligent replies. My friend on Faceboobs mentioned something about Crows and how intelligent they are... I'm secretly massively collecting as much information as possible so that I can write up like... a 300 page book on legitimate proof as to why animals "Think" as humans do. Then give it to my old Religion teacher and rub it in her face that I actually remembered that fight from like... 5 years ago and intend to make sure she no longer misinforms her students about animals.
Report to mo

Damned..So much energy wasted on someone else's petty vendetta..
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 18, 2016, 11:52:22 AM
I'm kind of surprised that this entire thread is here for one reason,  so that the OP can go find his/her former religion teacher for the purpose of rubbing it in their nose that we think that animals can think..
Damned..So much energy wasted on someone else's petty vendetta..
The good fight is never petty.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 18, 2016, 12:35:23 PM
More anecdotal from tonight.

According to the wife the older and younger got into it pretty heavy and then the mid came in and tore up the younger. Not bad I mean, some blood and some cuts but I am sure some severe bruising. So I have all three sitting apart in the living room eyeing each other and me just saying, "No…..no…..no"… The oldest just wants to be left alone, the younger wants to apologize, ( I think) and the middle one is looking like a baddass ready to kick the first fucker to move. Kinda interesting if not for the blood. Interesting to watch as they eye each other and see who moves first. You can't tell me they are not "thinking".
Seen a couple alpha shifts growing up.  Most were just minor squabbles, but once in a while both dogs went All In. 

After the chaos ended, the dogs got an obedience lesson.  Leash on, heal, sit, down, stay with each dog taking turns in the down position and the other dog walked by several times to instill, You are All Submissive to People.   I dont know if it helped or not, they would calm down for a while -- several months, but was it because of their own bruises healing or our impact?  To this day, I dont know the answer.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 18, 2016, 12:40:05 PM
Being an animal, I can attest that we do think and have emotions.

Nice retort.  I like it.  :13:

Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 18, 2016, 12:46:28 PM
When in college, one of the hallmark distinctions between human and animal was the ability to make tools.  Then it was discovered that chimps make tools to eat termites with.  And the race was on.  Now it is well known that many, many animals make tools.  And it has been shown that crows/ravens and monkeys can make tools to solve new problems.  I'm sure others as well, can do that.  I have lived with cats and dogs and know that they can think, as well.  As time passes, more and more evidence will turn up to prove this even more.
Yeah, I am aware of some of this but hasn't the argument against it because it seems to be learned behavior passed along?  Select groups of chimps using tools for termites but not rocks to pound nuts open like different groups.

Somewhat discussed here with the crows being the topic:
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-wild-crows-use-tools-on-camera-20151223-story.html

And then there is this one, unresolved as far as I know:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animals-and-us/201112/scientific-mystery-do-wild-baboons-kidnap-puppies-pets
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mike Cl on February 18, 2016, 01:33:22 PM
Yeah, I am aware of some of this but hasn't the argument against it because it seems to be learned behavior passed along?  Select groups of chimps using tools for termites but not rocks to pound nuts open like different groups.

Somewhat discussed here with the crows being the topic:
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-wild-crows-use-tools-on-camera-20151223-story.html

And then there is this one, unresolved as far as I know:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animals-and-us/201112/scientific-mystery-do-wild-baboons-kidnap-puppies-pets
I've not done any research, except with the channel changer, but I seem to remember that parrots can use tools.  Rats can figure out how to open several types of traps.  I'm sure dolphins can use tools as well.  As far as 'learned behavior', doesn't some thinking have to go into learning said behavior?  I'm sure monkeys are not genetically born with the ability to use rocks to open nuts.  It's learned, and therefore thought about.  People just seem very reluctant to give other animals the ability to think.  We simply want to be 'special'--as god intended.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on February 18, 2016, 04:28:27 PM
I think man is so enamored with his intelligence that he is unable to attribute it to animals.  We appear to ourselves to be smarter, and we probably are when measured using the tools we invent for that.  For some reason, we sometimes forget that intelligence is a scale, and composed of various aspects.  There is no reason I've seen that suggests that intelligence bottoms out at the low end of what used to be described as a human idiot, and cannot continue downward to eventually reach crickets.  Intelligence didn't suddenly appear when the first hominid appeared.  Evolution is a series of slow transitions.  Our intelligence is just evolved from what came before us.

Also, man is a transitional phase (or a possible dead end), and from what I see all around me, I'd say that man's intelligence doesn't seem all that highly developed anyway.  It's just that we are impressed with ourselves and want to perceive ourselves as unusually special.   You say your are more intelligent than a monkey?  Well, woo fuckin' hoo.  We are still severely limited and a far cry from what a better intelligence could be.

So do animals have intelligence?  Until we learn how to actually define the concept, the debate is probably about as useful as philosophical gibberish.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 19, 2016, 12:46:08 PM
I've not done any research, except with the channel changer, but I seem to remember that parrots can use tools.  Rats can figure out how to open several types of traps.  I'm sure dolphins can use tools as well.  As far as 'learned behavior', doesn't some thinking have to go into learning said behavior?  I'm sure monkeys are not genetically born with the ability to use rocks to open nuts.  It's learned, and therefore thought about.

I don't do research myself, just some observations.  And like you, those videos of various animals doing things we don't expect interests me.  But I can't ignore the counter-arguments; is it abstract thought or learned behavior?

Do the rats disable the trap because they might come back tomorrow and get another treat?  Getting over an obstacle is different than applying that to 'tomorrow'.  These are trained rats with a continued expectation, yet it never produces that 'what about tomorrow' event. That 'hey this is a hassle so I am going to get rid of this obstacle slowing me from my goal'.  They run the race for the food.  People, going back in time, removed obstacles from the trading route.  They marked the trails for those who would come later, and so on.

Handing an elephant a brush and supplying the paint and paper is different than going out and gathering the different colors to blow a handprint outline showing Killroy was here.  If that elephant drew a stick figure of the zookeeper carrying the bucket of treats, well yeah, then it becomes a cave painting.

But they dont.

As much as I hate it, I cannot show beyond a doubt, that animals have that abstract thought process.  Even that dog example I gave of my own 'Wow' event in real life.  The dog couldn't do it again.  We still ate popcorn, and the dogs still got their pieces handed out.  She tried to remember how she did it, but she never achieved that success again.  A fleeting moment of abstraction I guess.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: stromboli on February 19, 2016, 12:55:30 PM
To "think" implies being able to observe and act on observations. I've owned several dogs over the years. Dogs can think. They pick up on cues, verbal, non verbal and observed and act on them. My dog knows when I get the car keys and put my hat on I am going somewhere and gets excited, because he will likely go with.

He learns by observation and learns to act accordingly. He knows not to go around a tree to tangle the lead when walking, and many other observationally learned actions. He thinks. I have no doubt of it. Elephants have learned certain humans will help them when hurt. Others animals as well. Works for me.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on February 19, 2016, 02:06:27 PM
To "think" implies being able to observe and act on observations. I've owned several dogs over the years. Dogs can think. They pick up on cues, verbal, non verbal and observed and act on them. My dog knows when I get the car keys and put my hat on I am going somewhere and gets excited, because he will likely go with.

He learns by observation and learns to act accordingly. He knows not to go around a tree to tangle the lead when walking, and many other observationally learned actions. He thinks. I have no doubt of it. Elephants have learned certain humans will help them when hurt. Others animals as well. Works for me.

Yeah, my sister once had a cat. It was a female. She learned how to open any door in the house as long as it was not locked. She knew if she was on one to side she had to push, on the other side, to pull. Even patio doors, which slide sideways, she  learned how to open them. She was also fearless towards dogs. Once on a visit, I saw her gunning for a dog which had the misfortune of venturing on my sister's lot. I was told that was not unusual on the cat's part, she regularly chased dogs around the neighborhood.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Nonsensei on February 19, 2016, 02:29:08 PM
Ooh cats so smart. Until you see this.

https://i.imgur.com/ELz6hJa.webm (https://i.imgur.com/ELz6hJa.webm)
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mike Cl on February 19, 2016, 05:40:55 PM
Abstract thought.  What is the evidence of that for any of it by any animal on this planet?  I suppose since I do it and can communicate that idea to others, then we can all experience abstract thought.  But can my dog do the same?  I don't know.  He/she can't tell me.  But I swear that at times, when I see them sitting there, gazing out the window, turn to me, look at me for a moment, and then go back to gazing, that they could be thinking abstract things.  How could be ever know?  For me, I think my dogs can think--and in all ways that that means.  Do they plan for the future?  I don't know.  But they do know when dinner time is and remind me if it is late.  Do they bury their rubber bones in the back yard?  And do they then dig them up again days/weeks later and bring them in?  Yes. 

Ants build aphid farms.  Is that evidence of planning for the future?  How does one ask an ant?  But I'd say that that is damned good planning.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 19, 2016, 05:46:28 PM
To "think" implies being able to observe and act on observations. I've owned several dogs over the years. Dogs can think. They pick up on cues, verbal, non verbal and observed and act on them. My dog knows when I get the car keys and put my hat on I am going somewhere and gets excited, because he will likely go with.

He learns by observation and learns to act accordingly. He knows not to go around a tree to tangle the lead when walking, and many other observationally learned actions. He thinks. I have no doubt of it. Elephants have learned certain humans will help them when hurt. Others animals as well. Works for me.

Pavlov's dog.   Zookeepers can demonstrate the same and that is learned behavior, not freethought.  However, a different example from 2006:

https://www.purplemartin.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4311

Quote from: article
He said the swallows would flutter by the motion detectors until the door opened and even would do so as a courtesy for birds on the other side who wanted to get through.
I didn't spend a lot of time looking for the original source but from memory, the 'birds on the other side' were sparrows, not even the same species.

Video - different location 8 years later:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs6n4XKApqc

Dawkins on Learned Behavior:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdqg-jn_tBk
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 20, 2016, 03:11:16 AM
Abstract thought.  What is the evidence of that for any of it by any animal on this planet?  I suppose since I do it and can communicate that idea to others, then we can all experience abstract thought.  But can my dog do the same?  I don't know.  He/she can't tell me.  But I swear that at times, when I see them sitting there, gazing out the window, turn to me, look at me for a moment, and then go back to gazing, that they could be thinking abstract things.  How could be ever know?  For me, I think my dogs can think--and in all ways that that means.  Do they plan for the future?  I don't know.  But they do know when dinner time is and remind me if it is late.  Do they bury their rubber bones in the back yard?  And do they then dig them up again days/weeks later and bring them in?  Yes. 

A long time ago as a kid, I noticed the dogs staring off into the distance.  Different dogs, different times and I wondered what they were wondering.  I figured out they were watching airplanes, some so far away, I could not see them without bino's.  But dogs can hear really well.  Later as a late teen/young adult I was describing this in a similar discussion like this.  One person in the group perked up, his dog did the same thing and he was going to see if there was airplanes involved.  Later that summer he found me to relay his story.  He saw the airplanes too, so he decided to take his dog to the airport.  Rough relay of the dogs response:

The dog went crazy with excitement.  Shaking, running in circles, jumping up on the fence.  It seemed he was trying to tell us (him and his girlfriend) that the dog wanted to go for a ride.  It was such a 'wow' moment for this guy, he told me him and his girlfriend were going to look into getting the dog a ride in an airplane.  And I never saw the guy again so I don't know how the story ended.   

Anyways, dogs have great hearing.  And I dont know where you live to imagine the surroundings, but what are things going on around you that the dog can hear and recognize, that you don't hear or block because its 'normal'.  Sirens?  Neighbor kids playing with their own dog in the yard 3 or 5 houses away?  A dog a 1/2 mile away barking at a jogger?  And your dog looks at you and thinks, "meh, you dont care anyways, I ain't even gonna bother..."
 :smile:

Quote from: Mike Cl

Ants build aphid farms.  Is that evidence of planning for the future?  How does one ask an ant?  But I'd say that that is damned good planning.
Ants are very interesting.  Aphid and/or fungus farms.  Going out and harvesting plant material to provide the 'garden plot mulch' for a subterranean fungus farm.  Owning slaves.  Going to war. Building bridges.  Its quite a list but the caveat

I dont know that anyone genus or species does all of the above.  And I can't get around the queen issue.  She lays every egg in that domain, and these eggs produce the specialized member (a generalization).  I have seen it described as potentially a borg type organism.  Grows her own robots so to speak.

Yeah, ants are very interesting.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Baruch on February 20, 2016, 08:48:07 AM
Then my father as a boy, saw a war between red ants and black ants (this was just before WW II) he was horrified.  Decapitated and de-limbed bodies of the fallen.  Some have said, observing social insects, that in the long run humans will organize like they do, because evolution will demand it.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: AllRight on February 20, 2016, 03:21:32 PM
My dogs are smarter than most of my coworkers but it's debatable whether or not they think ( the coworkers, not the dogs)
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 20, 2016, 09:13:20 PM
Not to mention sniffing pretty ladies crotches at inappropriate times.
What would be an appropriate time?
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mike Cl on February 20, 2016, 09:31:36 PM
What would be an appropriate time?
i would ask further, gentle, is there really an inappropriate time for sniffing?????
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Atheon on February 23, 2016, 01:23:14 PM
We once added a new latch mechanism to our garden gate to keep our dog from escaping. I watched as our dog carefully studied it, and was soon (within a few minutes) able to figure out a way to escape.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on February 23, 2016, 03:12:12 PM
I had a kennel my golden retriever eventually came to detest. Years before, he would run away and be gone for three days.  It was a welded frame put together by high school shop class.  I bought some heavy gauge fencing known as horse fence.  He chewed on it until he pulled it apart and created a hole big enough to escape.  I took him about a week.  So I invested in chain link.  He chewed and bent it pretty bad, but couldn't go through it.  So he simply did it the old way and dug under it.  So I poured a cement slab.  Then he learned to climb chain link, which was five feet in height.  So I built a lid over the kennel.  I became obsessed in a war of wills.  And I eventually won.  He was neutered and had gotten older and less rebellious, and my wife pointed out that when we left him out of the kennel, he would just lay on deck and made sure the deer didn't eat our grass.  He would just chase them off the lawn and into the trees, but was content to stay on the lawn, himself.  So I decided to quit penning him up.  He stayed on the deck after that.  Maybe he decided I was smarter than him.  Actually, I think he just became less rebellious.

 
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Baruch on February 23, 2016, 09:39:17 PM
We had a cat once, who could push the doorbell at either front or back door, to be let in.  It learned this by observing us apparently ;-)
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 23, 2016, 09:51:01 PM
Just this morning, one of our cats was knocking on our bedroom window like the cops. I have no idea how she's physically able to do that. The rest of them meow at the window. As far as I can tell, they wait for us to stir before they ask to be let in.
Title: Re: Do animals &quot;think&quot;
Post by: Hijiri Byakuren on February 23, 2016, 09:58:58 PM
One of my cats, Sturm, understands how doors work. Fortunately most of ours have knobs, and none of them have handles, but there is a sliding door to my game room that he can and will open if it's not latched.


Fair and balanced (like Fox News).
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Atheon on February 23, 2016, 10:02:12 PM
he would just lay on deck and made sure the deer didn't eat our grass.  He would just chase them off the lawn and into the trees, but was content to stay on the lawn, himself.  So I decided to quit penning him up.  He stayed on the deck after that.  Maybe he decided I was smarter than him.  Actually, I think he just became less rebellious.
Just like a person, he got less rebellious when older and started saying "Get off my lawn!"
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on February 24, 2016, 02:19:40 AM
Just like a person, he got less rebellious when older and started saying "Get off my lawn!"

His urgency in chasing the deer off the lawn always made me wonder.  It was like his life's mission.  I'd be on the deck, he would be sleeping, and suddenly there would be this flurry of commotion, snarling, barking, and his claws would briefly slip on the deck, like a car that peels rubber before gaining momentum.  The deer would be well on their way by that time, but he would bark at them a few times from the tree line, and then do a quick trot back to the deck, seemingly in control of emotional state once again, and looking satisfied with a job well done.

I actually enjoyed having the deer around, and besides his efforts at keeping the yard clear, they kept coming back again and again, but I would fuss over him as if he had performed a great service for everyone in the neighborhood, because, well, he just acted like he expected to be congratulated.  It was a strange division of labor, with each member of the family providing a vital role, and taking great pride in their contribution. 
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 24, 2016, 06:00:54 AM
Human ability of thinking evolved to reach an awareness of itself independent from the nature it exists in. It's aware of being aware of itself and that nature, in that nature. That intelligence is also what alienates human from its nature increasingly. It has the biggest price. It has the consequences to threaten its very own existence.

Other animals do not have that 'handicap'. They are aware of themselves in that nature, but they don't have an awareness of themselves or that nature indepedently, nor the knowledge produced by that awareness. 

They think. They don't just think, they also have their own cultures, sub cultures, civilisations.

As humans have never considered any other animals on the planet as 'thinking' animals, they did not bother to produce words to describe that thinking and that culture. We need a new vocabulary to define and describe animal civilisations.

We need a new concept of 'thinking' to describe animal thinking.





Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 24, 2016, 02:42:16 PM

They think. They don't just think, they also have their own cultures, sub cultures, civilisations.


Could you give me some examples of animal culture and civilizations?
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 24, 2016, 03:01:28 PM
Could you give me some examples of animal culture and civilizations?
Remember when you were taught about bonobos in school? Wait, that was chimpanzees. I wonder why they didn't teach us about bonobos.

I'm pretty sure I got taught revisionist history, so I may have a skewed view of homo sapiens culture. However, I know that if I order within the next 15 min, I'll get 2 for 1, and will only have to pay separate shipping and handling. Man, it's confusing being a human.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 24, 2016, 03:13:29 PM
Remember when you were taught about bonobos in school? Wait, that was chimpanzees. I wonder why they didn't teach us about bonobos.
Thats behavior, not culture.

Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 24, 2016, 03:21:23 PM
Could you give me some examples of animal culture and civilizations?

If you are expecting me to name you some civilisations as we do in human history, I think you completely misundertood my point. As I said we don't have the vocabulary, because we see ourselves as the only standard. We are not. Yes, the concepts civilisation and culture seems bizarre to use here, but that's the whole point in my opinion. But if you take these concepts and try to apply it as we use it, sure it would sound 'ridiculous'. Exactly like the concept of 'thinking' and 'consciousness'. Umbrella concepts anyway.

Insects do have their own 'civilisation', they have their own 'cultures'. Also primates. Birds. Cats. Just going random. I am not talking about mumbo jumbo, but real lives of real living things.

Human species -or its intelliegence- is not some 'goal' determined by the evolution. We are here and have these traits; this intelligenece just by pure chance. Random. There is countless scales of life and intelliegence, perceptions of nature -we are just one of them-  in just this tiny speck of a planet. But we are not the 'the ones'. There are no 'the ones'.   




Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 24, 2016, 03:28:47 PM
Thats behavior, not culture.
Sorry, behavior is part of culture.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 24, 2016, 03:29:41 PM
Sorry, behavior is part of culture.

I was writing that exact same thing.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mike Cl on February 24, 2016, 03:38:47 PM
Could you give me some examples of animal culture and civilizations?
Wolf pack; elephant herds; chimp tribes (or whatever they are called); ant colonies--I could go on.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on February 24, 2016, 05:39:33 PM
Remember when you were taught about bonobos in school? Wait, that was chimpanzees. I wonder why they didn't teach us about bonobos.

From what little I know, if you want to have thorough discussion on bonobos, it will necessitate a lot of discussion on bonobo sex.  Many administrators, teachers and parents might see bonobos as the perverts of the animal kingdom, and would shy away from the subject.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 24, 2016, 10:31:49 PM
From what little I know, if you want to have thorough discussion on bonobos, it will necessitate a lot of discussion on bonobo sex.  Many administrators, teachers and parents might see bonobos as the perverts of the animal kingdom, and would shy away from the subject.
Yes, that's what I was getting at. I did find a couple of children's books on bonobos that appear to not mention their sexual practices. Is this censorship based on anthropomorphism? Kids get taught a lot about lions, but infanticide gets left out. Did Jesus not tell the rest of the animals that they're naughty?
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 25, 2016, 12:37:56 PM
If you are expecting me to name you some civilisations as we do in human history, I think you completely misundertood my point. As I said we don't have the vocabulary, because we see ourselves as the only standard. We are not. Yes, the concepts civilisation and culture seems bizarre to use here, but that's the whole point in my opinion. But if you take these concepts and try to apply it as we use it, sure it would sound 'ridiculous'. Exactly like the concept of 'thinking' and 'consciousness'. Umbrella concepts anyway.

Yes, I kinda was expecting you to have some kind of example.  It is a topic that interests me but I cannot get around the scientific position and the points made therein regarding why humans vs these other examples is valid and negates my 'feelings' on the subject.  The science of 'we are just enough different' to be in a separate class intelligence wise.

Quote from: drunkenshoe
Insects do have their own 'civilisation', they have their own 'cultures'. Also primates. Birds. Cats. Just going random. I am not talking about mumbo jumbo, but real lives of real living things.
But you are presenting 'mumbo-jumbo'.  The claim is civilization.  The claim is culture.  Without the 'wow' moment.  Without the detail on how you come to this conclusion.

Quote from: drunkenshoe
Human species -or its intelliegence- is not some 'goal' determined by the evolution. We are here and have these traits; this intelligenece just by pure chance. Random. There is countless scales of life and intelliegence, perceptions of nature -we are just one of them-  in just this tiny speck of a planet.
Agreed intelligence not an 'evolutionary goal'.  Agreed there are scales of intelligence.  But there is a boundry that animals do not seem to cross and that is abstract thought. 

My dog/popcorn example; wow moment for me.  But she couldn't do it again.  The russian fox experiment:

Quote from: wiki
The result is that Russian scientists now have a number of domesticated foxes that are fundamentally different in temperament and behavior from their wild forebears.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Domesticated_Red_Fox

If you can find more detail on the Fox experiment, it is a pretty amazing example of selective breeding creating a difference in a species.  And that brings me back again to the dog.  Humans have been selectively breeding these animals for things not normal for their ancestors.  Living with people. Protecting herds of food. etc. 

But that bridge between being trained for a job vs abstract thought is seldom seen and when it is, it does not seem to be repeatable.  A random/chance encounter with abstract thought.

Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 25, 2016, 01:00:15 PM
chill, I have NOT given one 'wow' moment example. I'm not interested in what so ever in any reactions animals give or things they do that 'amazes' humans, because it is recognisable by them and oh just looks so much what a human would do.

No, I am not presenting mumbo-jumbo. I explained why I used those words very clearly and why I thought that and I also added 'the real living things in real life'.

Humans are animals. Period. And you are presenting an outlook that classifies humans as something different than animals. And you are moving from that standard. Barren.

This is a very new field and 50 years later things will be very different. This is just a beginning. Hopefully, human will get its head off its ass at some point.

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness July 7 2012

Quote
*
On this day of July 7, 2012, a prominent international group of cognitive neuroscientists,
neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists and computational neuroscientists
gathered at The University of Cambridge to reassess the neurobiological substrates of conscious
experience and related behaviors in human and non-human animals. While comparative research on
this topic is naturally hampered by the inability of non-human animals, and often humans, to clearly
and readily communicate about their internal states, the following observations can be stated
unequivocally:
 The field of Consciousness research is rapidly evolving. Abundant new techniques and strategies
for human and non-human animal research have been developed. Consequently, more data is
becoming readily available, and this calls for a periodic reevaluation of previously held
preconceptions in this field. Studies of non-human animals have shown that homologous brain
circuits correlated with conscious experience and perception can be selectively facilitated and
disrupted to assess whether they are in fact necessary for those experiences. Moreover, in
humans, new non-invasive techniques are readily available to survey the correlates of
consciousness.
 The neural substrates of emotions do not appear to be confined to cortical structures. In fact,
subcortical neural networks aroused during affective states in humans are also critically
important for generating emotional behaviors in animals. Artificial arousal of the same brain
regions generates corresponding behavior and feeling states in both humans and non-human
animals. Wherever in the brain one evokes instinctual emotional behaviors in non-human
animals, many of the ensuing behaviors are consistent with experienced feeling states, including
those internal states that are rewarding and punishing. Deep brain stimulation of these systems
in humans can also generate similar affective states. Systems associated with affect are
concentrated in subcortical regions where neural homologies abound. Young human and nonhuman
animals without neocortices retain these brain-mind functions. Furthermore, neural
circuits supporting behavioral/electrophysiological states of attentiveness, sleep and decision
making appear to have arisen in evolution as early as the invertebrate radiation, being evident in
insects and cephalopod mollusks (e.g., octopus).
 Birds appear to offer, in their behavior, neurophysiology, and neuroanatomy a striking case of
parallel evolution of consciousness. Evidence of near human-like levels of consciousness has
been most dramatically observed in African grey parrots. Mammalian and avian emotional
networks and cognitive microcircuitries appear to be far more homologous than previously
thought. Moreover, certain species of birds have been found to exhibit neural sleep patterns
similar to those of mammals, including REM sleep and, as was demonstrated in zebra finches,
neurophysiological patterns, previously thought to require a mammalian neocortex. Magpies in
particular have been shown to exhibit striking similarities to humans, great apes, dolphins, and
elephants in studies of mirror self-recognition.

 In humans, the effect of certain hallucinogens appears to be associated with a disruption in
cortical feedforward and feedback processing. Pharmacological interventions in non-human
animals with compounds known to affect conscious behavior in humans can lead to similar
perturbations in behavior in non-human animals. In humans, there is evidence to suggest that
awareness is correlated with cortical activity, which does not exclude possible contributions by
subcortical or early cortical processing, as in visual awareness. Evidence that human and nonhuman
animal emotional feelings arise from homologous subcortical brain networks provide
compelling evidence for evolutionarily shared primal affective qualia.

We declare the following: “The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from
experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the
neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with
the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that
humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman
animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also
possess these neurological substrates.”



* The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness was written by Philip Low and edited by Jaak Panksepp, Diana Reiss, David Edelman, Bruno Van
Swinderen, Philip Low and Christof Koch. The Declaration was publicly proclaimed in Cambridge, UK, on July 7, 2012, at the Francis Crick
Memorial Conference on Consciousness in Human and non-Human Animals, at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, by Low, Edelman and
Koch. The Declaration was signed by the conference participants that very evening, in the presence of Stephen Hawking, in the Balfour Room at
the Hotel du Vin in Cambridge, UK. The signing ceremony was memorialized by CBS 60 Minutes.


Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mike Cl on February 25, 2016, 01:01:47 PM
Chill, I probably fall into your camp--as I think most of us do on this board.  Animals cannot think better than people.  But, it has been thought for so long that animals can not think at all.  I was taught in school that all the behaviors one saw in animals was either instinct or taught; animals were incapable of abstract thought.  Since then, things have changed.  Animals are capable of much more than just instinct and taught behaviors.  And 'taught behaviors' can become quite complicated.  My stance is that animals can think much more deeply than they have traditionally been given credit for.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 25, 2016, 01:11:34 PM
And humans have become capable of abstract thought only after they managed a written culture. I am not talking about the invention of alphabet or history of writing (Sumer- 3200 BCE), I am talking about written culture which came long after the invention of printing press. It's just several hundreds of years old. It's a baby barely out of its dipers.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: PopeyesPappy on February 25, 2016, 01:19:37 PM
Alright, you're gong to have to define abstract thought here. I consider math abstract thought. There have been many studies that show animals other than humans are capable of rudimentary math. Addition and  subtraction of single digit sets. Even associating different symbols with specific quantities (i.e. written language).
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 25, 2016, 01:24:53 PM
That's^ for Mike, right?
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 25, 2016, 01:26:41 PM
I feel that a lot of people are reluctant to see thought, sensitivity, reflection, and emotion in animals because they want to eat them guilt free. It seems every time I've brought up slaughterhouses, people run.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: stromboli on February 25, 2016, 01:27:47 PM
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/many-animals-can-think-abstractly/

Quote
...Vonk presented the apes with a touch-screen computer and got them to tap an image of an animal—for instance, a snake—on the screen. Then she showed each ape two side-by-side animal pictures: one from the same category as the animal in the original image and one from another—for example, images of a different reptile and a bird. When they correctly matched animal pairs, they received a treat such as nuts or dried fruit. When they got it wrong, they saw a black screen before beginning the next trial. After hundreds of such trials, Vonk found that all five apes could categorize other animals better than expected by chance (although some individuals were better at it than others). The researchers were impressed that the apes could learn to classify mammals of vastly different visual characteristics together—such as turtles and snakes—suggesting the apes had developed concepts for reptiles and other categories of animals based on something other than shared physical traits.

Dogs, too, seem to have better than expected abstract-thinking abilities. They can reliably recognize pictures of other dogs, regardless of breed, as a study in the July 2013 Animal Cognition showed. The results surprised scientists not only because dog breeds vary so widely in appearance but also because it had been unclear whether dogs could routinely identify fellow canines without the advantage of smell and other senses. Other studies have found feats of categorization by chimpanzees, bears and pigeons, adding up to a spate of recent research that suggests the ability to sort things abstractly is far more widespread than previously thought.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: PopeyesPappy on February 25, 2016, 01:33:30 PM
That's^ for Mike, right?

Actually for you because it looks like you have set the abstract thought bar very high. Not until after the printing press? Really?
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: stromboli on February 25, 2016, 01:35:32 PM
I feel that a lot of people are reluctant to see thought, sensitivity, reflection, and emotion in animals because they want to eat them guilt free. It seems every time I've brought up slaughterhouses, people run.


Not my problem. I have chopped the heads off chickens and killed and gutted and butchered deer. But the difference, if there is one, is that the animal killed served a purpose and in the case of the deer was taken as part of a conservation effort that insured the overall health and safety of the herd. We get all PETA about food animals. Never mind that said food animal is also food animal to wolves and mountain lions. We are top predators. Cougars and wolves are apex predators. Semantic differences; perhaps, perhaps not.

I have seen a lack of game conservation leading to animals starving. A far worse sight to me is a starving, lice ridden animal barely able to walk than a deer hanging on a hook. Likewise chickens are raised for food and eggs. don't kill dogs (except to end their misery) and shot a cat or two back in the day, but wouldn't do it now. Bottom line is you can argue the "humanity" of animal slaughter all day, but I'm satisfied with my own decisions. Carry on.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 25, 2016, 01:47:05 PM
chill, I have NOT given one 'wow' moment example. I'm not interested in what so ever in any reactions animals give or things they do that 'amazes' humans, because it is recognisable by them and oh just looks so much what a human would do.
Well Thanks for playing.
I wish you had just selected quotes and provided a link. The formatting makes it difficult to read.

So who signed it?  All 35 attendees?

http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf

I mean Come On...  Did you read that wishy-washy declaration with any degree of skepticism?

Convergent  evidence  indicates  that non-human animals  have  the neuroanatomical [Lookie, a brain], neurochemical [Lookie, blood, hormones, proteins, amino's, etc] , and  neurophysiological  substrates  [Ah Ha, Cellular structure] of conscious states [swag - determined by other portions of declaration] along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors [Litter trained/housebroken].

See my avatar?  Thats a wild wolf pup exhibiting behavior that can be interpreted a couple different, even Convergent, ways.   I honestly don't know which interpretation is correct. I do know what my favorite is.  But then, I am susceptible to anthropomorphize incidents, so I have to balance it with other plausible and equally valid explanations.

Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 25, 2016, 01:50:51 PM
Actually for you because it looks like you have set the abstract thought bar very high. Not until after the printing press? Really?

Yes. Why do you find it wrong? "Abstract thinking is a level of thinking about things that is removed from the facts of the “here and now”, and from specific examples of the things or concepts being thought about." If you remove every kind of myths, theological accumulation, abstract thought is very new. What we read from ancient philosophers and humanist writers have constantly been 'written' over again with new concepts and developed interpretations and in the language of our times.

The math you described above is called numeracy, not mathematical thought. (Exactly like what historians call the 'math' in 16th century Italy i.e.) The undertsanding of  literacy existed before French Revolution is very different than what we think when someone says literacy today. The languages used in the same period are defined as vernaculars today, not even languages. (European)

But if you take abstract thought as the paintings on the cave walls and pyramids, yes it is much more older. But as the topic here is about human thought, I think the abstract thought bar is pretty high, because the counter idea is animals cannot 'think'. I am saying they can and that they do not need to think like humans to be classified as thinking and that we just lack the vocabulary to classify their thought and cosnciousness.

We are in the same camp.




Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Hakurei Reimu on February 25, 2016, 02:25:37 PM
I feel that a lot of people are reluctant to see thought, sensitivity, reflection, and emotion in animals because they want to eat them guilt free. It seems every time I've brought up slaughterhouses, people run.
The only people who think that eating things that have thought, sensitivity, reflection, and emotion is wrong is people completely unfamiliar with cattle, sheep, pigs, or chickens. Their experience with the animals is completely through the supermarket shelf beef, lamb, pork, and poultry. Farmers and ranchers have no problem eating animals they've raised. There are tribes still around that apologize to the animals they hunt for food, paying respect to them as if they did have thought, sensitivity, reflection, and emotion. As such, I've decided there's nothing wrong with eating meat.

Slaughterhouses are a different kettle of fish. They reek, for reasons that should be obvious.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 25, 2016, 02:30:07 PM
Well Thanks for playing.
I wish you had just selected quotes and provided a link. The formatting makes it difficult to read.

So who signed it?  All 35 attendees?

http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf

I mean Come On...  Did you read that wishy-washy declaration with any degree of skepticism?

Convergent  evidence  indicates  that non-human animals  have  the neuroanatomical [Lookie, a brain], neurochemical [Lookie, blood, hormones, proteins, amino's, etc] , and  neurophysiological  substrates  [Ah Ha, Cellular structure] of conscious states [swag - determined by other portions of declaration] along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors [Litter trained/housebroken].

See my avatar?  Thats a wild wolf pup exhibiting behavior that can be interpreted a couple different, even Convergent, ways.   I honestly don't know which interpretation is correct. I do know what my favorite is.  But then, I am susceptible to anthropomorphize incidents, so I have to balance it with other plausible and equally valid explanations.

Chill, you said "It is a topic that interests me but I cannot get around the scientific position..." Here is a scientific position that declares non-human animals have consciousness and capable of intentional behaviour. If you are going to try to dsicredit a scientific position; experiments and evidence that has been piled for years with calling it 'wishy washy', making word games as you go, counting how many people signed it (They are prominent scientists by the way, that's why it is taken seriously), because you don't like it, let's just end this conversation here, because it is really a waste of time.

How are you 'sceptic' about a series of scientific research that has been already concluded? (2500 studies I guess.) Are you a prominent scientist on the field and find the conclusion invalid or wrong because you have reached another conclusion as a result of series of some other reasearch? 

If they come up with something else that conflicts with these foundings that it should be ammended, they will ammend it. But seriously, don't hold your breath. 

By the way, how is that dificult to read, I made it bolded 12 fonts to make it easy? That's the whole pdf. There is nothing else in the site.


Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 25, 2016, 02:33:54 PM
We are top predators.
I'm not. I've been a vegetarian for about 25 years.
Bottom line is you can argue the "humanity" of animal slaughter all day, but I'm satisfied with my own decisions. Carry on.
I'm used to hearing this reply. Usually in a hostile tone. I'm sure you were perfectly calm, though.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 25, 2016, 02:38:14 PM
As such, I've decided there's nothing wrong with eating meat.
OK. Was there a deductive argument?
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: PopeyesPappy on February 25, 2016, 02:52:17 PM
Yes. Why do you find it wrong? "Abstract thinking is a level of thinking about things that is removed from the facts of the “here and now”, and from specific examples of the things or concepts being thought about." If you remove every kind of myths, theological accumulation, abstract thought is very new. What we read from ancient philosophers and humanist writers have constantly been 'written' over again with new concepts and developed interpretations and in the language of our times.

The math you described above is called numeracy, not mathematical thought. (Exactly like what historians call the 'math' in 16th century Italy i.e.) The undertsanding of  literacy existed before French Revolution is very different than what we think when someone says literacy today. The languages used in the same period are defined as vernaculars today, not even languages. (European)

But if you take abstract thought as the paintings on the cave walls and pyramids, yes it is much more older. But as the topic here is about human thought, I think the abstract thought bar is pretty high, because the counter idea is animals cannot 'think'. I am saying they can and that they do not need to think like humans to be classified as thinking and that we just lack the vocabulary to classify their thought and cosnciousness.

We are in the same camp.

I didn't say I found it wrong. I asked you to define it because I thought you set the bar very high. But yes I disagree if you want to limit abstract thought to last few hundred years. Humans were plotting the course of the stars across the skies thousands of years ago and predicting where they would be years in the future. Babylonian cuneiform tablets dating between 350 to 50 BCE contained a sophisticated calculation of the position of Jupiter that relied on determining the area of a trapezium under a graph. Calculus is abstract thought. I'd classify religious origin tales as abstract thought.

ETA: I just prefer a definition a little less restrictive than how you apply yours.

Quote
abstract thinking n.
Thinking characterized by the ability to use concepts and to make and understand generalizations, such as of the properties or pattern shared by a variety of specific items or events.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Hakurei Reimu on February 25, 2016, 02:53:16 PM
OK. Was there a deductive argument?
The argument is that there is a complete lack of foundation for saying that eating meat is wrong. All arguments to the contrary boil down to, "Eating meat is bad, mkay?"
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 25, 2016, 02:55:02 PM
experiments and evidence that has been piled for years with calling it 'wishy washy', making word games as you go, counting how many people signed it (They are prominent scientists by the way, that's why it is taken seriously), because you don't like it, let's just end this conversation here, because it is really a waste of time.
Yes, and Jane Goodall, a prominent scientist holds out :

Quote from: Jane Goodall on Bigfoot/yeti
Dr. Goodall: Well, there are people looking. There are very ardent groups in Russia, and they have published a whole lot of stuff about what they've seen. Of course, the big, the big criticism of all this is, "Where is the body?" You know, why isn't there a body? I can't answer that, and maybe they don't exist, but I want them to.

Don't get me wrong, I think the untrained in science Goodall did some remarkable things with her chimp studies.  But her statement is an example of our very real confirmation bias. Hey, I have it too.

Sorry but your declaration, upon reading its content, has no actual substance.  Not your fault, not my fault but brings us back to the inability to get around 'science says there is a difference'.

Quote from: drunkenshoe
How are you 'sceptic' about a series of scientific research that has been already concluded? (2500 studies I guess.) Are you a prominent scientist on the field and find the conclusion invalid or wrong because you have reached another conclusion as a result of series of some other reasearch? 

Well that was a nice deflection.  I clearly said the Declaration is Wishy-washy and you interpreted it as 2500 studies; studies you haven't read but take on faith they MUST represent your position.

Post a link to your most convincing study. Not an abstract but the content of the study.  No, I am not a prominent scientist but that is a fallacious argument anyways.  Argument from authority I think its called.

Quote from: drunkenshoe
By the way, how is that dificult to read, I made it bolded 12 fonts to make it easy? That's the whole pdf. There is nothing else in the site.
Paragraphs broken up, the bullets show as some idotic numbered square AND you didnt provide the link.  You still have not provided a link to the signatories.  I dont think you have a better source.  Parroting what you've read could I suppose give credence to whether animals 'think'.  People can parrot therefore animals can think kind of logic...

Have a great day!
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 25, 2016, 03:02:07 PM
The argument is that there is a complete lack of foundation for saying that eating meat is wrong. All arguments to the contrary boil down to, "Eating meat is bad, mkay?"
So, you're saying, "Eating meat is good, mkay?" I hope so. I sure order and stock a lot of processed meats.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: chill98 on February 25, 2016, 03:06:00 PM
Chill, I probably fall into your camp--as I think most of us do on this board.  Animals cannot think better than people.  But, it has been thought for so long that animals can not think at all.  I was taught in school that all the behaviors one saw in animals was either instinct or taught; animals were incapable of abstract thought.  Since then, things have changed.  Animals are capable of much more than just instinct and taught behaviors.  And 'taught behaviors' can become quite complicated.  My stance is that animals can think much more deeply than they have traditionally been given credit for.
Did you watch my Barn swallow video?  In the post, I was going from memory on the swallow opening the door, for what I remember as sparrow. 

That portion is very interesting.  These are two very different species with limited competition (I think sparrows will sometimes try to use a swallow nest).  If that was repeatedly observed and not just a one off, that could show an abstraction in thought.  Empathy even.  In wild birds.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 25, 2016, 03:18:59 PM
I didn't say I found it wrong. I asked you to define it because I thought you set the bar very high. But yes I disagree if you want to limit abstract thought to last few hundred years. Humans were plotting the course of the stars across the skies thousands of years ago and predicting where they would be years in the future. Babylonian cuneiform tablets dating between 350 to 50 BCE contained a sophisticated calculation of the position of Jupiter that relied on determining the area of a trapezium under a graph. Calculus is abstract thought. I'd classify religious origin tales as abstract thought.

OK. I can accept this for the purpose of this thread.

But  [paraphrasing-from memory] 'anthropologists suggest that the traditional distinction between 'logical' and 'prelogical' thought is actually 'literate' and 'preliterate' thought. Doesn't matter who calculated what how many thousands years ago, you are talking about 'preliterate' periods. The reason I define abstract thought in those strict terms, because we reached a standardisation in education and languages after the French Revolution and the accumulated written culture that caused -or triggered- the abstract thought starts with the written culture -coming from the invention of printing press. Abstract thought is a consequence of literacy as we know. And as I said above, there is no literacy before FE as we understand. (Hence the birth of modernism afterwards, a completely different world in every level.)

There is no abstract thought in let's say 16th century in terms of what we had it in 19 or in 19th century as we have in 21st.




Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Hakurei Reimu on February 25, 2016, 04:34:17 PM
So, you're saying, "Eating meat is good, mkay?" I hope so. I sure order and stock a lot of processed meats.
It's not even "Eating meat is good, mkay?" Eating meat is morally neutral, neither good nor evil. The only real reason one would think it were evil is if there was some principle that makes it evil, but I don't have to buy into the principle at all. It's the same way with sin — "sin" only exists to people who seriously believe in a god that may be disobeyed.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on February 25, 2016, 05:20:14 PM
Did anybody ever have rabbit cacciatore? Hmmm, just delicious...
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Baruch on February 25, 2016, 05:40:54 PM
There is animal rights ethics to be considered ;-)  But I wouldn't take that too far.

I have had rabbit, but not since I was 5 years old.  My father shot it and my mother skinned and cooked it.  But not cacciatore style.

I like Shoe's distinction ... pre-logical equals pre-literate and logical equals literate.  So for most smart non-humans, they are pre-logical.  Thank goodness, or the animals would kill and eat us, and wear our skins!  But for some apes, they have been shown to be able to learn symbolic literacy, and can make original sentences, they aren't "parroting".  So for those few apes who have been put thru the Devil's Island of primate research, they have moved from pre-literate to literate.  In the wild they are still pre-literate.  Remember, apes have a little biological problem, some small bone we have that they don't that limit their speech complexity.  We had complex speech before we had writing.  I certainly think, that before writing at the latest, and before complex language at the earliest, humans were pre-literate apes ... though with greater potential.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Baruch on February 25, 2016, 05:51:38 PM
I feel that a lot of people are reluctant to see thought, sensitivity, reflection, and emotion in animals because they want to eat them guilt free. It seems every time I've brought up slaughterhouses, people run.

I am comfortable with being an omnivorous predator.  When I predate on humans, even indirectly, I am a criminal.  At least indirectly, all humans are predators, particularly on their own kind.  The system of predation we call society ... including the creating and raising of new victims/predators ... we call child care.  We are much like wolves, and our domesticated dogs agree.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 25, 2016, 07:18:53 PM
I am comfortable with being an omnivorous predator.  When I predate on humans, even indirectly, I am a criminal.  At least indirectly, all humans are predators, particularly on their own kind.  The system of predation we call society ... including the creating and raising of new victims/predators ... we call child care.  We are much like wolves, and our domesticated dogs agree.
I'm an unwilling participant in the society of the USA. I try to give and help rather than take and hinder. I don't understand why someone would want a dog as a pet. However, a guy said to me just the other day that he doesn't like cats because he can't order them around. I wondered how he treats people. My cats do what they want and are courteous as well. I feed them meat because they need it to live. I do not. Killing other animals for my meal would be cruelty. I'll get a thread later. I'm on my dinner break at Burger King.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: stromboli on February 25, 2016, 09:19:24 PM
Last I checked we were still omnivores. Got omnivore teeth, omnivore digestive tract, our poop is omnivore poop. Ruminants have different teeth, different digestive systems. You can consume vegetarian all you want, that does not change the fact that we are omnivores just like your grizzly bear (top predator) and feral hogs  and whatnot. Our digestive system is designed to digest meat. Grizzly bears can eat a variety of edibles- they will eat berries and other forage, but they prefer meat.

Yakut Siberian indigenous people, Inuits, Laplanders and other tribes in Northern climes also subsist largely on meat diets.

Vegetarianism is a choice, period, and nothing else. Evolution and mother nature made us omnivores and up until the 20th century there was never an issue about it. It was people like John Harvey Kellogg (the corn flakes guy) that pushed vegetarianism. It is by the way practiced by the 7th Day Adventists. They are responsible for a lot of the press about vegetarianism.

Repeat: evolution and nature made us omnivores. Blame evolution. Rabbit Cacciatore?  Mmmmm.

Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Baruch on February 25, 2016, 11:06:20 PM
I'm an unwilling participant in the society of the USA. I try to give and help rather than take and hinder. I don't understand why someone would want a dog as a pet. However, a guy said to me just the other day that he doesn't like cats because he can't order them around. I wondered how he treats people. My cats do what they want and are courteous as well. I feed them meat because they need it to live. I do not. Killing other animals for my meal would be cruelty. I'll get a thread later. I'm on my dinner break at Burger King.

I grew up with dogs and cats.  But I simply am unable to provide the "walks" that dogs need.  Cats can be kept indoors in some cases.  And as a follower of Bastet myself ... I would agree with their self appraisal ;-)

You need to carefully mind your proteins if you are vegetarian, or you will be malnourished.  But it can be done with appropriate supplements from the Health Food store.  On the other hand, Kellogg was a maniac and Hitler was a vegetarian.  The movie "Road to Wellville" is a good expose about the good Dr Kellogg.  He was a flake himself ;-)
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 26, 2016, 01:13:39 AM
appropriate supplements from the Health Food store.
I've been fine without them all this time. People think I'm about 10 years younger than I am. I feel like a mutant in many ways. Perhaps being a vegetarian is one of those ways.

I decided to be a vegetarian because it felt right to me. I never read up on it. People compare my thoughts and actions to movements and their leaders, and assume that's where I get my ideas. I read craft books. However, It's flattering when I get compared to Dawkins, Chomsky, or other famous people I've never read.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mermaid on February 26, 2016, 02:41:49 AM
Animals cannot think better than people.
This is a pretty decisive statement here. How do you know that? What is "thinking better", anyway?
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Baruch on February 26, 2016, 05:14:33 AM
Bioethics really should be a separate string.

A total pacifist would go past a Jain's abstaining ... killing germs in your body is genocide ... oh my!  Jains work hard to avoid accidentally killing insects.  If you have lice, you leave them alone.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: drunkenshoe on February 26, 2016, 07:40:57 AM
This is a pretty decisive statement here. How do you know that? What is "thinking better", anyway?

Sometimes I think, people look at this like 'oh they do not have the toys we do, we win!'. 
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on February 26, 2016, 08:26:05 AM
This is a pretty decisive statement here. How do you know that? What is "thinking better", anyway?

Can a dolphin say, "I think, therefore I am"?


Sorry but you are not allowed to view spoiler contents.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mike Cl on February 26, 2016, 08:38:53 AM
This is a pretty decisive statement here. How do you know that? What is "thinking better", anyway?
Well, no, not as decisive as I indicated, I guess.  What does 'better' mean.  I was meant to be vague--so, I guess I'd amend that to say that animals 'think' and by that, I mean reason as well as just abstract thought, more than we have traditionally given them credit for.  I really don't know what 'better' would be.  Different, sure, but how different and in what ways.  We are only just now beginning to understand that that is an area deserving of more study.  Humans are animals, and it seems the more conservative one is in their own thinking the more apt they are to deny that fact.  So, we are not removed from the animal kingdom we are a part of it.  I find it impossible to believe that animals do not have empathy, sympathy, reasoning skills or the ability to think.  So, okay, I stand corrected.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on February 26, 2016, 10:07:51 AM
Blame evolution. Rabbit Cacciatore?  Mmmmm.



Do it with a light tomato sauce, garlic, onions, peppers, mushrooms, black olives, celery, capers... let it sim for an hour, and that meat just melts into your mouth, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, heaven...
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: stromboli on February 26, 2016, 10:51:35 AM
Need to buy a rifle so I can kill me some cottontails. Mmmmmm.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: gentle_dissident on February 26, 2016, 11:17:49 AM
Some people take great delight in talking to me about killing and eating animals when they learn I'm a vegetarian. It's funny to them, because they think they're offending me. I appreciate them coming right out and telling me the kind of person they are.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: josephpalazzo on February 26, 2016, 11:27:10 AM
Some people take great delight in talking to me about killing and eating animals when they learn I'm a vegetarian. It's funny to them, because they think they're offending me. I appreciate them coming right out and telling me the kind of person they are.

Yes, we are very naughty. It's like having a nun, a woman dedicated to a sexless life, and you brag about your own sex life... just to let the other side know what it is they are missing. Anyhoos, no offense taken...
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Cavebear on March 14, 2017, 04:35:47 AM
Yes, we are very naughty. It's like having a nun, a woman dedicated to a sexless life, and you brag about your own sex life... just to let the other side know what it is they are missing. Anyhoos, no offense taken...

Mild apologies for resurecting an old topic, but animal "thinking" occurred to me today.  One cat loves to sit on the bathroom windowsill, but hates running water.  I shower there.  She has learned that if I take the towel off the rack, it means there will running water soon and she runs away. 

She has made an indirect connection to events.  That seems like a thought to me.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Baruch on March 14, 2017, 07:01:31 AM
Mild apologies for resurecting an old topic, but animal "thinking" occurred to me today.  One cat loves to sit on the bathroom windowsill, but hates running water.  I shower there.  She has learned that if I take the towel off the rack, it means there will running water soon and she runs away. 

She has made an indirect connection to events.  That seems like a thought to me.

Yes.  My mother's cat must be an anti-cat ... he runs to come see running water.  And yes, he has a full water bowl.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Mike Cl on March 14, 2017, 10:55:08 AM
If recognizing patterns is thinking then my furry children (dogs at this point) think.  I've always thought animals could think.  Any many make and use tools--have to think to do that.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Cavebear on March 14, 2017, 11:09:52 AM
If recognizing patterns is thinking then my furry children (dogs at this point) think.  I've always thought animals could think.  Any many make and use tools--have to think to do that.

Just read or saw (National Geographic?) about some monkeys that smash stones into flakes indistinguishable from the earliest human flakings.  They don't do anything with them we know of.  But maybe that's how it started.

Perhaps in any animal that uses tools (and there many), some thought starts a slow change that leads to another.  In fact, maybe it is the 2nd thought that is most important...
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SGOS on March 14, 2017, 11:41:59 AM
Perhaps in any animal that uses tools (and there many), some thought starts a slow change that leads to another.  In fact, maybe it is the 2nd thought that is most important...
I'm pretty sure animals think, but I don't believe they spend a lot of time pondering their place in the universe or "what it all means."  Thinking I see as being on a scale from one to ten.  Dogs are on that scale, although I hesitate to identify an exact number.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Cavebear on March 14, 2017, 11:54:25 AM
I'm pretty sure animals think, but I don't believe they spend a lot of time pondering their place in the universe or "what it all means."  Thinking I see as being on a scale from one to ten.  Dogs are on that scale, although I hesitate to identify an exact number.

Well, somewhere some ape had a thought that got it to "1" on the scale.  Which leaves dogs a bit below "1".  Cats, of course, start at "3".  Just ask them.  ;)

But seriously, I wonder what the first thought beyond animal level was.  There had to be one.  "Burned gazelle in forest fire taste good"?  "Hey I'm naked"?  "Me call me Gorg"?  I'm pretty sure it wasn't "Hey, is there a deity"?
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: trdsf on March 15, 2017, 08:16:58 AM
Probably they do think on some level, but not abstract thought beyond very simple if-then situations.  My cat Althea knows that if she sits quietly while I'm preparing food, then she will get a treat.  And she can differentiate between me (with whom she interacts) and my roommate (with whom she doesn't).  But I don't think she has a sense of self in the way humans do.  There are times she seems surprised to discover there's a tail attached to her.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Hijiri Byakuren on March 15, 2017, 12:22:17 PM
It depends on the animal. All animal brains are not created equal, obviously.
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: SoldierofFortune on March 15, 2017, 06:43:41 PM
It is obvious that they can think when looking at the organisation of hunting of some animals -for ex. lions and wolfs-... And they can learn... Of course when compared to us their ability to learn is very little but at least enough to survive in the wild. If some of us as a group who grow up in cities was left in the wild, we wouldn't succeed in surviving...As pets wouldn't... Because they don't learn to live in the wild... But they can learn if they grow up there... It means they have ability to learn and think...
Title: Re: Do animals "think"
Post by: Cavebear on April 07, 2017, 09:11:05 AM
It is obvious that they can think when looking at the organisation of hunting of some animals -for ex. lions and wolfs-... And they can learn... Of course when compared to us their ability to learn is very little but at least enough to survive in the wild. If some of us as a group who grow up in cities was left in the wild, we wouldn't succeed in surviving...As pets wouldn't... Because they don't learn to live in the wild... But they can learn if they grow up there... It means they have ability to learn and think...

Humans can survive in the wild better than you might think.  I'm not even remotely a "survivalist" and I could.  It's the other humans I would have to worry about.