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← Six 'uniquely' human traits now found in animals

gr8hands's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by gr8hands

MPhil, you are in error in a number of places. Here are a few:

1. My statements are not "pre-theoretical" but are in fact what the articles referenced by the New Scientist are about. Perhaps you might consider reading them prior to commenting on them.

2. Dismissing my comments as "emotionally charged" is inaccurate, puerile, and does not counter their accuracy.

3. You are clearly ignorant of the research demonstrating that a number of animals have language and grammar (elephants, dolphins, just to name two) -- this is old news.

4. You are also confused about humans and grammar -- it is not innate, but taught. Perhaps you are ignorant of the fact that feral children do not spontaneously develop grammar, and in fact if they are not re-introduced back into human society by a certain age, they are unable to develop or use human grammar correctly.

5. Your information on the prefrontal cortex is (to be kind) not entirely correct. I suggest you study it further.

6. You are clearly confusing all communication with human speech/language/writing -- again demonstrating a puffed up sense of human capability.

7. You are confused about what the results of the ape touch-screen tests convey. Surely there are more interpretations than the single one you gave. The researchers themselves gave more. Unless you didn't really read their research. The fact they do it faster than humans says significantly more than the fact they can do it at all.

8. You're confused about the capability of doing math at the level of some humans (not all humans can do more than simple arithmetic), and the capability of doing any kind of calculation at all -- which a number of animal species have demonstrated time and time again.

9. Your biggest mistake is the use of "but compared to the above" and then conclude that animals don't have it. My statements, and those of the New Scientist article, are that animals do have these capabilities, albeit in most cases quite rudimentary.

10. You need to review what a strawman is, as I have not created one. Perhaps you have my post confused with someone else's post.

11. You are very confused when you claim that animals don't "think about thinking" -- how can you possibly know that? That's like thinking blind deafmutes must not either, since they don't communicate, can't read, etc. (I think Hellen Keller had a thing or two to communicate about that.)

12. I don't doubt that you can "claim" to know what you're talking about, but the evidence shows otherwise -- which is exactly what the New Scientist article was about. Of course, you can "claim" that the article is completely wrong, which, I suppose, is what you're doing, but you'd have to do better than toss around buzzwords that you aren't using very well.

Imagine that instead of animals, you use the the example of feral children, or blind deafmutes. Would that alter your statements? Or would they apply equally, because the subjects wouldn't be able to communicate to you in a way you understood as communication, cognition, etc.?

It doesn't take much effort to see that while you have some points, they do not lead to the conclusions you've written. Your arguments are not persuasive, and clearly you are irritated to be called on it, because you've resorted to name-calling.

No, MPhil, I was not inaccurate in my last two lines, so I will not retract them. Your long-winded and erroneous reply has not changed the errors of your previous post, it has only compounded it.

I am sorry if hearing that truth has insulted you. (It's clear you are unaware of some of what I've pointed out, so that means the "ignorance" comment was accurate. Your confusion about grammar, etc. supports my comment about "poor science". Just because you're working with scientists, doesn't automatically mean you're on the right track. Failing to accept that, is another symptom of "poor science".)

Perhaps you are in the wrong line of work if you have learned so little, and arrive at such wrong conclusions -- I do not write that maliciously. Not everyone is suited to their chosen profession.

Perhaps you might show our interchange to the researchers you work with, without comment, and see what they say about it. That would also be instructive.

Sun, 25 May 2008 12:14:00 UTC | #175100