Natures wonders: Crocodile tools (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 07, 2013, 01:02 (2314 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I've looked at three websites dealing with the 100th monkey story, all of which say it has been discredited, and the sweet potato washing is accounted for by observation and passing on from one generation to another. See

The problems with the 'discrediting' is that the 100th monkey story invoplved hopping islands in the Pacific, where other monkeys learned the trick quicker.

dhw: No doubt, though, Sheldrake has plenty of other examples for his theory,

He does and I only mentioned the crossword puzzles. There were other studies including one with a Japanese nursery rhyme with Western folks. The blee tit milk and cream study and many others, such as by other authors with rats in a maze with apparently speeding learning through species consciousness. My point was that instinct may in part be accomplished by species consciousness.

dhw: but this is irrelevant to the individual, supervised tests made, for instance, on crows and rats, demonstrating their intelligent ways of solving specific problems in the laboratory. You yourself drew our attention to corvids.

I know, my poodle figures things out also. But crows, rats and dogs are several levels about ants. I will agree that animals at this level do some clear reasoning.

dhw; The "different anatomy" comment could well apply to other organisms such as ants and bacteria. We simply don't know how "intelligence" works, but there is plenty of evidence that ours is not the only form.

That is true, but single cells are still single cells. That is all automatic.

Dhw: Here is an article on the recent discovery that ants teach each other one to one in the hunt for food, after which the pupil becomes a teacher, and so on. Why would pupils need to be taught what you think is an instinctive activity?

DAVID: Excellent article and right to the point Sheldrake makes.

dhw: Miles from the point Sheldrake makes and from the point you keep trying to make. Each ant teaches others how to detect food. How can direct one-to-one teaching and learning be linked to luck, instinct or morphogenetic fields?

Wrong word. Morphogenesis relates to form not thought. Monkey see-monkey do; ant sees, ants do. I don't find that incredible, just copy-catting. wich most animals are capable of. Bees do their dance and recognize faces, but not their own.

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