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How intelligent are living beings?

United States Polar Offline
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#1

This question has been long engrained within my mind for quite a while now, so I decided to ask it here.

Most humans will automatically assume that they are the most intellegent species, but I do not agree. While we are quite high up the scale in terms of some forms of intelligence, other animals (even primative mollusks and arachnids) can be quite intellegent in other forms.

Most carnivores know how to use their environment to determine how their hunt will go, as well as what physical action they will take to get that prey, and for how long of an estimated time to acquire it.

We, on the other hand, know how to control (or corrupt) financial and societal systems according to our needs (or the government's needs, in most cases.) We also have ones who know how to make weaponry based on their environmental needs, and have ample knowledge of how to physically disarm the human body (all other animals have this knowledge for their own kind too). 

Social animals such as us, other primates, and lions know how to use numbers to their advantage, and to create a sort of hierarchy in order to not cause each individual member of the group (or pride) to assume the wrong position.

Heck, octopuses have been shown to escape out of closed aquariums and even count!

I think this topic is quite an interesting one. My postulate is to say that all animals (at least the non-insectoid ones) are different in how they express their intellegence, one not more or less than the other in total intellegence levels. It is one that should be discussed with scientific research and anecdotal evidence, if any.
"Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people."

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United States Polar Offline
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#2
( This post was last modified: 07-25-2016, 02:54 AM by Polar )

Octopuses have the largest brains of any invertebrate. Athena's is the size of a walnut-as big as the brain of the famous African gray parrot, Alex, who learned to use more than one hundred spoken words meaningfully. That's proportionally bigger than the brains of most of the largest dinosaurs.


Another measure of intelligence: you can count neurons. The common octopus has about 130 million of them in its brain. A human has 100 billion. But this is where things get weird. Three-fifths of an octopus's neurons are not in the brain; they're in its arms.

"It is as if each arm has a mind of its own," says Peter Godfrey-Smith, a diver, professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and an admirer of octopuses. For example, researchers who cut off an octopus's arm (which the octopus can regrow) discovered that not only does the arm crawl away on its own, but if the arm meets a food item, it seizes it-and tries to pass it to where the mouth would be if the arm were still connected to its body.

"Meeting an octopus," writes Godfrey-Smith, "is like meeting an intelligent alien." Their intelligence sometimes even involves changing colors and shapes. One video online shows a mimic octopus alternately morphing into a flatfish, several sea snakes, and a lionfish by changing color, altering the texture of its skin, and shifting the position of its body. Another video shows an octopus materializing from a clump of algae. Its skin exactly matches the algae from which it seems to bloom-until it swims away.

For its color palette, the octopus uses three layers of three different types of cells near the skin's surface. The deepest layer passively reflects background light. The topmost may contain the colors yellow, red, brown, and black. The middle layer shows an array of glittering blues, greens, and golds. But how does an octopus decide what animal to mimic, what colors to turn? Scientists have no idea, especially given that octopuses are likely colorblind.

But new evidence suggests a breathtaking possibility. Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and University of Washington researchers found that the skin of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, a color-changing cousin of octopuses, contains gene sequences usually expressed only in the light-sensing retina of the eye. In other words, cephalopods-octopuses, cuttlefish, and squid-may be able to see with their skin.

The growing evidence for octopus intelligence.
"Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people."

- Roy T. Bennett
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United States tigerluver Offline
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#3

This is one of the most fascinating topics. Animals do have moments of brilliance when the right rewards are to be got. 

I also agree that intelligence can't be defined in one way. I'd personally tell you parrots are probably the most intelligent pet we have, but their intelligence is quite narcissistic so dogs would appear to much more "functionally" intelligent as they'll sit and roll over for example with minimal training.

However, I do feel humans are well beyond all other species. Sure some apes have (allegedly) learned sign language and can use it well. As a whole animals can be taught things. However, inventiveness is very unique, but not exclusive (see different dolphin cultures and their innovative hunting methods) to humans.  

I'll browse my online libraries and see if I find anything interesting regarding the intelligence of species.
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United States Polar Offline
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#4

Here is a study conducted by Olkowicz and his crew, detailing how many bird species have a similar (or even greater) neuron structure to that of primates in the forebrain:

Birds have primate-like numbers of neurons in the forebrain
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India sanjay Offline
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#5

I love this topic and If a remember @Pckts has created similar but not exactly same topic.
I always think the intelligence that we are talking is defined by the human. Animals have other ways of measuring it. We are intelligent only for us, In fact, our intelligence has created more problems for nature and other species.
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#6

Quite agree @sanjay:

To sum up : The animals have an instinct. A safe, sure instinct which allows him to predict some facts, some unpredictable events (see the tsunami in december 2004, birds, elephants, monkeys, dogs and so one had anticipated it). Of course next to this infaillible instinct the animals can have an intelligence too. For exemple, when you see some mammalian predators hunting, how they know and exploit their hunting ground and so on. How the apes are able to conceive some tools in order to catch some insects through a bark. How the cork can use a peeble and so on, examples are so numerous !

The men, rid of this sure instinct, have a pure intelligence but "without safeguard" which allows them to conceive and make everything. Sometimes genious, often catastrophic. No safeguard I said, thus with unforeseeable consequences.

I remind a Einstein's sentence "the problems we have are the result of our intelligence. But, to solve them requires an other intelligence"... That, perhaps, we have not, collectively speaking.
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#7

And a simple but important fact I forget to mention : as concerns the human people, each generation benefits from the knowledge of the previous generations. As concerns the animals, each generation starts all over again.
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India brotherbear Offline
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#8

As for "animal instincts" one theory is inherited memory. I read where one anthropologist suggested that a human baby, as compared with other animals, is always born "premature" because of the size of the human head; thus born too soon to fully acquire "natural instincts." 
I have also read that modern humans are not evolving larger brains in comparison with Ace Age people. I have had this notion myself, considering that a stone-age man had to do a great deal of thinking and figuring things out merely to survive off of what nature provides.
 Grizzly  - Boss of the Woods.
        
  
             
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United States chaos Offline
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#9

(07-25-2016, 05:14 PM)brotherbear Wrote: As for "animal instincts" one theory is inherited memory. I read where one anthropologist suggested that a human baby, as compared with other animals, is always born "premature" because of the size of the human head; thus born too soon to fully acquire "natural instincts." 
I have also read that modern humans are not evolving larger brains in comparison with Ace Age people. I have had this notion myself, considering that a stone-age man had to do a great deal of thinking and figuring things out merely to survive off of what nature provides.

Great point about stone-age man, Bro-bear.
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United States chaos Offline
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#10

(07-25-2016, 02:56 AM)tigerluver Wrote: However, inventiveness is very unique, but not exclusive (see different dolphin cultures and their innovative hunting methods) to humans.  
Killer whales, in particular, have shown to be quite creative in their hunting methods. I've seen videos which reflect
their ability to overcome obstacles and succeed during the hunt.
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United States Polar Offline
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#11
( This post was last modified: 07-25-2016, 09:25 PM by Polar )

(07-25-2016, 08:44 PM)chaos Wrote:
(07-25-2016, 02:56 AM)tigerluver Wrote: However, inventiveness is very unique, but not exclusive (see different dolphin cultures and their innovative hunting methods) to humans.  
Killer whales, in particular, have shown to be quite creative in their hunting methods. I've seen videos which reflect
their ability to overcome obstacles and succeed during the hunt.

Agreed. Even land carnivores implement innovation and invention in new hunting strategies.

Early in mainland-China tiger evolution, deer and other small prey were hunted more often, and as a result, tigers were actually more streamlined and lighter (and less robust). As they moved into west China and India, their prey were much larger and slower, and as a result, they had to implement more ambush strategies, which then resulted in larger tigers. This is environmental innovation.

There is also the case of individual innovation instead of environmental innovation. There are cases of very large tigers (clearly the ones that hunt large prey) preferring to hunt smaller and faster prey simply because they want to gain experience killing smaller prey. That is in case the big prey severly declines in numbers. 

Same happens to polar bears. 

In my opinion, all animals (including us, obviously) have some sort of "innovation/invention" to further their lives. Beaver dams for beavers, tree holes for squirrels, "carcass holes" for a bear's prey, sophisticated nests designed against strong wind/water currents for sea-type birds, and spears for humans' prey. These are a few examples.
"Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people."

- Roy T. Bennett
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United States Polar Offline
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#12

Here is a PDF on how crocodiles use sticks and tree branches to acquire prey; they are quite innovative themselves!


.pdf   Crocodilians use tools for hunting.pdf (Size: 1.36 MB / Downloads: 5)
"Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people."

- Roy T. Bennett
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United States chaos Offline
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#13

(07-29-2016, 06:14 PM)Polar Wrote: Here is a PDF on how crocodiles use sticks and tree branches to acquire prey; they are quite innovative themselves!

That's interesting. Crocodilians never struck me as being overtly intelligent.
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India sanjay Offline
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#14
( This post was last modified: 08-03-2016, 12:45 PM by sanjay )

I don't know if this video fit with this topic, But it is worth of your time. Watch it and think again of what are we?  and what are we doing? A great and impressive video



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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#15

@sanjay:

Very good video demonstrating the humanity blindness. Yes ok, the message is clear: all of us behind our screens together against adversity... Problem: the real financial elite which drives us doesn' t care at all. Yes, let us say to the people "Stop working and spending some money ! Get rid of your iphones and computers !". People will do that when it will be too late, when the banking system will collapse, in few words when we will be back at the stone economical age...

Humanity will react only when the despair and the distress will submerge us. Before that, there will be always some young people who will enlist in the armies, by believing serving their countries, some people willing to cure of some diseases and ready to consume again and again some pharmaceutic and medical craps and so on. The list will never end.

In this thread we were speaking about animal intelligency but ourselves, as humans socially speaking, are lobotomized...
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