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Human Mental Superiority

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  1. whtmex

    whtmex Member Member

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    I see a lot of posts that involve pet owners remarking about how smart their pets are. It got me to thinking, what makes us feel so superior that we feel we can judge the intelligence of other species we consider inferior to us. If you look at some basic facts we are probably the least intelligent of all creatures on this planet.

    1) We keep other species as "pets". We bust our butts to feed, entertain, and house these animals. We clean poo, scratch bellies, and offer treats for simple tasks that amuse our simple minds. In return, our "pets" do absolutely nothing in return. Who really has the upper hand here?

    2) We spend thousands of dollars and get into outrageous amounts of debt to buy "toys" because our feeble minds are incapable of entertaining us for more than a few minutes without some type of stimulation. Dogs, birds, cats, etc will be content with a $.30 length of rope tied into knots, and enjoy it for hours. Who wins this round?

    3) We have no alternative for existence other than this planet. Outside our fragile ecosystem, there is deadly vacuum that means certain death if it were to ever breach our atmosphere. Yet we seem determined to do all we can to destroy it. We're about as smart as a tree trimmer sitting on the branch he's currently cutting.

    4) For the people that want to claim our ability to perform higher level thinking, I offer this article. I thought this was amazing:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025090020.htm

    Basically, honeybees that are foraging for pollen can almost instantly calculate the route that will allow them to get the most pollen in the shortest distance. Doesn't sound too complicated until you consider the fact that solving this problem takes humans and computers days of measuring, calculating, and comparing calculated results. Bees do it instantly and always take the shortest route even if the flowers are rearranged.

    Really, I just wanted to share this article. I threw the other stuff in as comic relief, but it is something to think about.

    And for anyone who still wants to claim humans are intellectually superior, I have two things to say...Dane Cook and reality TV.
     
  2. Dino

    Dino Fishlore VIP Member

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    Humans seem to have a need to feel superior, even when , in most cases,they are not.
     
  3. LyndaB

    LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

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    I like to think I'm just smart enough..... but I'd rather have lots of common sense than lots of book smarts.
     
  4. whtmex

    whtmex Member Member

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    There lies another problem. What we call "common sense" is what we would consider "instinct" in animals. Most people are severely lacking this.
     
  5. Dino

    Dino Fishlore VIP Member

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    Agreed.
     
  6. LyndaB

    LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

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    Let's just say there are only a handful of people I know that I would appreciate having with me if I was stranded on an island somewhere...... and none of them have ever appeared on Judge Judy. :;smack
     
  7. Dino

    Dino Fishlore VIP Member

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    She MUST be talking about me, wooott!!!!;)
     
  8. LyndaB

    LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

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    Um..... err..... yeah! The dude in the Santa suit..... :rolleyes:
     
  9. sirdarksol

    sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

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    Scientists are finding that, when we interact with wild or semi-wild animals, they often feel about us as we feel about them.

    Take cats, for example:
    When they bring us a mouse (toy or real), they're equating us to kittens, unable to hunt for ourselves and in dire need of learning.
    When they groom us, they are suggesting that we need to learn how to clean ourselves.
    When they groom themselves after we pet them, they are suggesting about the same thing.

    Dogs are a bit less so, because they have been more successfully domesticated. We have bred them so that, mentally, they remain puppies (compared to wolf development). This makes them easier to train, because they're always going to look to others for guidance. They certainly have their own intelligence, but they're less likely to look at us as youngsters needing to learn how to do things.

    Bees and ants have individually tiny brains, but collectively, they have a sort of hive intelligence that allows them to do outsmart us in some ways, such as the Traveling Salesman problem in the article.

    In the end, we presume that anything that thinks differently from us must be inferior. The shark and the octopus are never going to pass current sentient tests, but both are incredibly smart. Within one year, an octopus learns more than most humans learn in six or seven years. But it thinks in a manner that is alien to us, so we call it a dumb cephalopod.
     
  10. whtmex

    whtmex Member Member

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    I know it ain't me going to the island with her.

    Here's something else to consider that I dug up. (slow day at work today)

    There are 7 types of communication that exist in the animal world: Gestures, facial expression, gaze following, vocalization, olfactory (smell), bioluminescence, and elctrocommunication.

    A very few animals can use all seven. Most animals use five because bioluminescence and eloctrocommunication are restricted mainly to marine life. Humans are at the bottom of the list with four that we can use.

    Of those four vocalization is the only one we can use effectively.

    edit: sign language doesn't count as it is only a physical representation of our vocalization.
     
  11. LyndaB

    LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

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    I can't speak for everyone here, but I know I've never personally called an octopus a dumb cephalopod...... :;nin2
     
  12. Dino

    Dino Fishlore VIP Member

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    I have, but I was referring to a coworker.
     
  13. LyndaB

    LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

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    was he wearing a Santa suit?
     
  14. Dino

    Dino Fishlore VIP Member

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    No, he had just made a comment about intelligent beings having to have at least 6 manipulating appendages to be considered advanced life forms.
     
  15. whtmex

    whtmex Member Member

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    Well....there was this one time when one kept talking on his cell phone at the movies.
     
  16. Dino

    Dino Fishlore VIP Member

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    +1:;lg
     
  17. whtmex

    whtmex Member Member

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    Aaaah. I knew you'd appreciate that one, Dino.
     
  18. sirdarksol

    sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

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    I'd disagree with this. Once again, it's a pretty narrow opinion of things, of what is considered to be effective.
    We're actually pretty good at gaze-following. The question isn't whether or not we can effectively use it. The question is whether or not people pay attention to it.
    Facial expression and gestures (should actually be called "body language," as it's not just hands, but the entire body that fills this role) are both very important, and a ton can be said without a single word. Ever seen the person at the party who might as well be wearing a "don't touch me" sign? Remember how easily you could tell that your parents were mad, even before they said something.
    To be sure, we can't express theories of quantum physics through these methods, but if a wolf cared about quantum physics, it wouldn't be able to, either. It's a different type of information. Body language and gaze work better with visceral concepts like emotion.

    Also, we are capable of communicating via olfactory. However, we are pretty sad at communicating through that means. Still, there is a reason we use perfume and cologne. There is a reason we "speak" with aromatic foods. There is a reason we give flowers that have pretty scents. There is a reason we have stink bombs. Since most of the natural olfactory communication has receded to the level of subconscious, we have done what we do best: We use tools.
     
  19. whtmex

    whtmex Member Member

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    But if people aren't paying attention to something, then we are not effectively using it.

    As you mentioned, we can communicate with body language and gestures, but not
    effectively. Yes, there may be that person at a party wearing that "don't touch me" sign, but someone is going to. We wear cologn and perfumes to mask our natural scents that once made us effective at olfactory communication, and have since lost that ability.

    Technology has enabled us to ignore and evolve out of most of our natural gifts, but that has only made things worse. In the animal kingdom, every gesture, sound, pose, and scent has a definite meaning that every other member of the species, and often unrelated species, understands. No interpretations, no misunderstandings.

    We have evolved to the point of stupidity where we can only effectively express ourselves through one method, and even then not very well most of the time.
     
  20. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

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    We have evolved to the point of stupidity. Think of what our ancestors accomplished with little or no mechanical help. The calendars, the clocks, the structures that were built and we simply marvel at the LOST technology.
     
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