Natures wonders: Crocodile tools (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, December 07, 2013, 12:33 (2113 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I've looked at three websites dealing with the 100th monkey story, all of which say it has been discredited.
DAVID: The problems with the 'discrediting' is that the 100th monkey story invoplved hopping islands in the Pacific, where other monkeys learned the trick quicker.

QUOTE: "Claims that the practice spread suddenly to other isolated populations of monkeys may be called into question given the fact that at least one washing monkey swam to another population and spent about four years there [...]

DAVID: My point was that instinct may in part be accomplished by species consciousness.

It is the other part that I'm interested in. You are always quick to ask about origins when we discuss the complexities of organisms, but you prefer not to discuss origins when it comes to organisms performing actions that require intelligence. Once the breakthrough has been made, the knowledge spreads, as it does throughout our own human world. But the breakthrough requires intelligence.

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.
DAVID: 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.

In which case, you agree that there are different levels of intelligence. Experiments have also been carried out with ants and with bacteria, and the researchers have concluded that both are "intelligent".

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

Questionable, since some researchers claim that bacteria are intelligent, but in any case evolution got underway when single cells combined. One cell dumb, two cells not so dumb, a billion cells...?

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: ...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.

One-to-one teaching is not copy-catting, nor is it an example of species consciousness. Here is another short article that gives more details of the teaching process. Nothing like copy-catting.

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