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midtskogen
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01 Sep 2017 15:24

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post But human intelligence can also be explained by evolution.

Right, but it's not an equally trivial consequence.  Human intelligence is a complex mechanism.
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01 Sep 2017 15:30

midtskogen wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post But human intelligence can also be explained by evolution.

Right, but it's not an equally trivial consequence.  Human intelligence is a complex mechanism.

How do you compare human intelligence/feelings to that of other higher animals like bonobos, chimps, gorillas, orangutans, elephants, dogs, etc?
 
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01 Sep 2017 15:34

Proteus wrote:
People tend to think of themselves like a car with a driver sitting somewhere behind the eyes at the wheel, steering all of our senses and decisions. We then call this driver "consciousness". The thing is, it is a notion modelled after our own disillusioned awareness of the world where we apply mechanics to something who's nature is anything but mechanical (that is simply how we interpret the idea, much like people do with the notion of God as a man in the sky judging people, a view based on the monarchical eras of civilization from whence we imagined from).

I tend to wonder though if this isn't the state of affairs at all here, this purely mechanical, thus quite limiting, perception of who we are... Afterall, we know that we all GREW out of the same source of energy, not assembled (made), and so, what do you think that would that say about what the true nature of who we are really is? If we're all just projections out of a macro-mono-singularity of what we call "energy", wouldn't that mean that where we think we are separated, we actually are not?

In a video game, you have the player playing as a character. But the character, seemingly an object inside the game, at the most fundamental level is just as much the game itself as anything else in the game. It is the game the player is playing before conceiving that they are simply playing a character. The character's "soul", then would not be something isolated within the virtual representation of the character, but rather, as the very base programming of the entire game itself. 

So, I find myself pondering if this idea of a soul (and of "consciousness" is an inversion of the traditional sense. Perhaps we are not bags of flesh with auras of isolated spirits inside driving us like cars, but rather, we are manifestations of a macro-event grown as simply a feature from the universe. As Alan Watts as suggested, we do not come "into" this world, we are grown "out of it", like an apple grows from a tree. If I point toward a tree with apples, even if my finger is pointed in the general direction of where a single apple hangs, I am still pointing at the tree itself in the end. The tree is "apple-ing" as the Earth is "people-ing".

So perhaps consciousness is what the universe is doing rather than what a single entity is doing. What we normally associate as "us" even on the deeper levels of the idea, is more likely to simply be what Carl Jung calls the Ego, or the socially conditioned identity grown from the natural effects of human civilization, just another feature of the "people-ing" on earth.

So who is that really, behind your eyes? Can you really say?

No, I don't think you can... because that would be like expecting the video game character one plays in a video game to suddenly stop being who you play them to be, and start telling everyone else in the video game that they are the player (to which, nobody in the game will possibly be able to respond to in any sense outside of their strict programming from the game itself). In the same way, even if you really do come off it about supposedly being [insert your parentally given name here], there is no context for you to really stop playing as that person really, and be able to live this life in any coherent way. You can be logically aware of the notion, yes, and you can even go through spouts of existential awareness privately in your own experience which will be temporary, but not much else.

That is where I'm at with this idea at this point.

So perhaps consciousness is what the universe is doing rather than what a single entity is doing
I find this idea pretty profound and I also go with the idea of a universal consciousness more than a single entity.  In that way we might live beyond death, even if not as a human entity.  But part of a much greater universal collective.

I'm not a materialist either- for these reasons (aside from the fact that materialism and shortsightedness are ruining the planet and humanity- but that's a different kind of materialism lol)- all matter is, is another form of energy, what we see all around is really mostly empty space and we have the illusion of solidity, even atoms themselves are mostly empty space- and particles aren't particles per se, they are energy waves (wave-particle duality- yet another dualism that exists in the universe), and after all this, the universe itself might not be anything more than a simulation.

On a very basic level, dimensions probably don't even exist.  To unify relativity and quantum mechanics and to achieve a successful theory of quantum gravity all indications are we're going to have to sacrifice locality (since action occurs instantaneously at the quantum level) so we'll likely find that dimensions and causality are just emergent phenomena.
 
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03 Sep 2017 09:30

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post How do you compare human intelligence/feelings to that of other higher animals like bonobos, chimps, gorillas, orangutans, elephants, dogs, etc?

Compared to the "intelligence" of plants, I'd say that they're similar in that they all have an organ responsible for all that.  The intelligence of plants is more like the intelligence of your blood which is cleverly able to fight diseases, heal wounds, etc.
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03 Sep 2017 11:05

You can hardly call reactive chemistry intelligence on such a simple level.

Maybe that is how aliens view us, little more than some advanced chemistry
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03 Sep 2017 11:23

DoctorOfSpace wrote:
You can hardly call reactive chemistry intelligence on such a simple level.

Maybe that is how aliens view us, little more than some advanced chemistry

But then you have to wonder what human/higher animal intelligence is too.  Even though it's much more sophisticated, it too is reactive and adaptive and based in biochemistry.
 
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03 Sep 2017 11:26

midtskogen wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post How do you compare human intelligence/feelings to that of other higher animals like bonobos, chimps, gorillas, orangutans, elephants, dogs, etc?

Compared to the "intelligence" of plants, I'd say that they're similar in that they all have an organ responsible for all that.  The intelligence of plants is more like the intelligence of your blood which is cleverly able to fight diseases, heal wounds, etc.

Good point about plant "intelligence" being decentralized because they have no CNS.  But it's interesting to debate the various kinds of intelligence- everything from plants to ants and other insects with a highly evolved social structure "hive collective intelligence" (arguably the most successful type on Earth) to human and higher animal intelligence.
Personally I feel that if we ever encounter alien intelligence it will be of the hive-collective type just because that version seems to be the most successful and enduring and has already survived mass extinction events.
 
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05 Sep 2017 14:13

Parrot intelligence :) and Elephant intelligence!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_(parrot)

Before Pepperberg's work with Alex, it was widely believed in the scientific community that a large primate brain was needed to handle complex problems related to language and understanding; birds were not considered to be intelligent, as their only common use of communication was mimicking and repeating sounds to interact with each other. However, Alex's accomplishments supported the idea that birds may be able to reason on a basic level and use words creatively.[5] Pepperberg wrote that Alex's intelligence was on a level similar to dolphins and great apes.[6] She also reported that Alex seemed to show the intelligence of a five-year-old human, in some respects,[3] and he had not even reached his full potential by the time he died.[7] She believed that the bird possessed the emotional level of a human two-year-old at the time of his death.[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_cognition

Most contemporary ethologists view the elephant as one of the world's most intelligent animals. With a mass of just over 5 kg (11 lb), an elephant's brain has more mass than that of any other land animal, and although the largest whales have body masses twenty times those of a typical elephant, a whale's brain is barely twice the mass of an elephant's brain. In addition, elephants have a total of 300 billion neurons.[1] Elephant brains are similar to humans' in terms of general connectivity and areas. The elephant cortex has as many neurons as a human brain,[2] suggesting convergent evolution.[3]

Elephants manifest a wide variety of behaviors, including those associated with grief, learning, mimicry, play, altruism, use of tools, compassion, cooperation,[4][5] self-awareness, memory, and communication.[6] Further, evidence suggests elephants may understand pointing: the ability to nonverbally communicate an object by extending a finger, or equivalent.[7] Such behaviors suggest that elephants are highly intelligent; it is thought they are equal with cetaceans[8][9][10][11] and primates[9][12][13] in this regard. Due to such claims of high intelligence and due to strong family ties of elephants, some researchers argue it is morally wrong for humans to cull them.[14] The Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, once said that the elephant was "the animal which surpasses all others in wit and mind."[15]

Spindle neurons[edit]
Spindle cells appear to play a central role in the development of intelligent behavior. As well as in humans and the great apes, spindle neurons are also found in the brains of both Asian and African elephants,[28] as well as humpback whales, fin whales, killer whales, sperm whales,[29][30] bottlenose dolphins, Risso's dolphins, and beluga whales.[31] The remarkable similarity between the elephant brain and the human brain supports the thesis of convergent evolution.[22]

Elephant society[edit]
The elephant has one of the most closely knit societies of any living species. Elephant families can only be separated by death or capture. Cynthia Moss, an ethologist specialising in elephants, recalls an event involving a family of African elephants. Two members of the family were shot by poachers, who were subsequently chased off by the remaining elephants. Although one of the elephants died, the other, named Tina, remained standing, but with knees beginning to give way. Two family members, Trista and Teresia (Tina's mother), walked to both sides of Tina and leaned in to hold her up. Eventually, Tina grew so weak, she fell to the ground and died. However, Trista and Teresia did not give up but continually tried to lift her. They managed to get Tina into a sitting position, but her body was lifeless and fell to the ground again. As the other elephant family members became more intensely involved in the aid, they tried to put grass into Tina's mouth. Teresia then put her tusks beneath Tina's head and front quarters and proceeded to lift her. As she did so, her right tusk broke completely off, right up to the lip and nerve cavity. The elephants gave up trying to lift Tina but did not leave her; instead, they began to bury her in a shallow grave and throw leaves over her body. They stood over Tina for the night and then began to leave in the morning. The last to leave was Teresia.[32]

Because elephants are so closely knit and highly matriarchal, a family can be devastated by the death of another (especially a matriarch), and some groups never recover their organization. Cynthia Moss has observed a mother, after the death of her calf, walk sluggishly at the back of a family for many days.[32]

Edward Topsell stated in his publication The History of Four-Footed Beasts in 1658, "There is no creature among all the Beasts of the world which hath so great and ample demonstration of the power and wisdom of almighty God as the elephant."[33] Elephants are believed to be on par with chimpanzees with regards to their cooperative skills.[4]

Elephant altruism[edit]
Elephants are thought to be highly altruistic animals that even aid other species, including humans, in distress. In India, an elephant was helping locals lift logs by following a truck and placing the logs in pre-dug holes upon instruction from the mahout (elephant trainer). At a certain hole, the elephant refused to lower the log. The mahout came to investigate the hold-up and noticed a dog sleeping in the hole. The elephant only lowered the log when the dog was gone.[34] When an elephant is hurt, other elephants (even if they are unrelated) aid them.[25]

Cynthia Moss has often seen elephants going out of their way to avoid hurting or killing a human, even when it was difficult for them (such as having to walk backwards to avoid a person). Joyce Poole documented an encounter told to her by Colin Francombe on Kuki Gallman's Laikipia Ranch. A ranch herder was out on his own with camels when he came across a family of elephants. The matriarch charged at him and knocked him over with her trunk, breaking one of his legs. In the evening, when he did not return, a search party was sent in a truck to find him. When the party discovered him, he was being guarded by an elephant. The animal charged the truck, so they shot over her and scared her away. The herdsman later told them that when he could not stand up, the elephant used her trunk to lift him under the shade of a tree. She guarded him for the day and would gently touch him with her trunk.[25]

Self-medication[edit]
Further information: Zoopharmacognosy
Elephants in Africa self-medicate by chewing on the leaves of a tree from the family Boraginaceae, which induces labour. Kenyans also use this tree for the same purpose.[35]

Death ritual[edit]
Elephants are one of few species of mammals other than Homo sapiens sapiens and Neanderthals[citation needed] known to have or have had any recognizable ritual around death. Elephants show a keen interest in the bones of their own kind (even unrelated elephants that have died long ago). They are often seen gently investigating the bones with their trunks and feet while remaining very quiet. Sometimes elephants that are completely unrelated to the deceased still visit their graves.[15]

Elephant researcher Martin Meredith recalls in his book an occurrence of a typical elephant death ritual as witnessed by Anthony Hall-Martin, a South African biologist who had studied elephants in Addo, South Africa, for over eight years. The entire family of a dead matriarch, including her young calf, were all gently touching her body with their trunks, trying to lift her. The elephant herd were all rumbling loudly. The calf was observed to be weeping and made sounds that sounded like a scream, but then the entire herd fell incredibly silent. They then began to throw leaves and dirt over the body and broke off tree branches to cover her. They spent the next two days quietly standing over her body. They sometimes had to leave to get water or food, but they would always return.[36]

Occurrences of elephants behaving this way around human beings are common throughout Africa. On many occasions, they have buried dead or sleeping humans or aided them when they were hurt.[25] Meredith also recalls an event told to him by George Adamson, a Kenyan game warden, regarding an old Turkana woman who fell asleep under a tree after losing her way home. When she woke up, there was an elephant standing over her, gently touching her. She kept very still because she was very frightened. As other elephants arrived, they began to scream loudly and buried her under branches. She was found the next morning by the local herdsmen, unharmed.[36]

George Adamson also recalls when he shot a bull elephant from a herd that kept breaking into the government gardens of Northern Kenya. George gave the elephant's meat to local Turkana tribesmen and then dragged the rest of the carcass half a mile (800 m) away. That night, the other elephants found the body and took the shoulder blade and leg bone and returned the bones to the exact spot the elephant was killed.[37] Scientists often debate the extent that elephants feel emotion.[37]

Play[edit]
Joyce Poole on many occasions has observed wild African elephants at play. They apparently do things for their own and others' entertainment. Elephants have been seen sucking up water, holding their trunk high in the air, and then spraying the water like a fountain.[25]

Mimicry[edit]
Recent studies have shown that elephants can also mimic sounds they hear. The discovery was found when Mlaika, an orphaned elephant, would copy the sound of trucks passing by. So far, the only other animals that are thought to mimic sounds are whales, dolphins, bats, primates and birds.[38] Calimero, an African elephant who was 23 years old, also exhibited a unique form of mimicry. He was in a Swiss zoo with some Asian elephants. Asian elephants use chirps that are different from African elephants' deep rumbling noises. Calimero also began to chirp and not make the deep calls that his species normally would.[39]

Kosik, an Indian elephant at Everland Amusement Park, South Korea can imitate up to five Korean words, including sit, no, yes and lie down.[40] Kosik produces these human-like sounds by putting his trunk in his mouth and then shaking it while breathing out, similar to how people whistle with their fingers.[41]

Elephants use contact calls to stay in touch with one another when they are out of one another's sight. Female elephants are able to remember and distinguish the contact calls of female family and bond group members from those of females outside of their extended family network. They can also distinguish between the calls of family units depending upon how frequently they came across them.[42]

Joyce Poole, of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, Kenya, has demonstrated vocal learning and imitation in elephants of sounds made by each other and in the environment. She is beginning to research whether sounds made by elephants have dialects, a trait that is rare in the animal kingdom.[38]

Tool use[edit]
Further information: Tool use by animals § Elephants
Elephants show a remarkable ability to use tools, using their trunks like arms. Elephants have been observed digging holes to drink water and then ripping bark from a tree, chewing it into the shape of a ball, filling in the hole and covering over it with sand to avoid evaporation, then later going back to the spot for a drink. They also often use branches to swat flies or scratch themselves.[34] Elephants have also been known to drop very large rocks onto an electric fence either to ruin the fence or to cut off the electricity.[25] Asian elephants in India have been known to break electric fences using logs and clear the surrounding wires using their tusks to provide a safe passageway.

Art and music[edit]

An elephant painting
Like several other species that are able to produce abstract art, elephants using their trunks to hold brushes create paintings which some have compared to the work of abstract expressionists.[43] However, it is unclear whether the elephants assign any meaning to the paintings that they have created. Elephant art is now commonly featured at zoos, and is shown in museums and galleries around the world.[44] Ruby at the Phoenix Zoo is considered the original elephant art star,[45] and her paintings have sold for as much as $25,000.[43] Ruby chose her own colors and was said to have a keen sense of which colour she wished to use.[45] The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project, an "elephant art academy" in New York, teaches retired elephants to paint. For paintings that resemble identifiable objects, teachers give the elephants guidance.[43] An example of this was shown in the TV program Extraordinary Animals, in which elephants at a camp in Thailand were able to draw portraits with flowers. Although the images were drawn by the elephants, there was always a trainer assisting and guiding the movement.[46]

A popular video showing an elephant painting a picture of another elephant became widespread on internet news and video websites.[47] The website Snopes.com, which specializes in debunking urban legends, lists the video as "partly true", in that the elephant produced the brush strokes, but notes that the similarity of the produced paintings is indicative of a learned sequence of strokes rather than a creative effort on the part of the elephant.[46]

It was noted by ancient Romans and Asian elephant handlers (mahouts) that elephants can distinguish melodies. Performing circus elephants commonly follow musical cues and Adam Forepaugh and Barnum & Bailey circuses even featured "elephant bands". German evolutionary biologist Bernhard Rensch studied an elephant's ability to distinguish music, and in 1957 published the results in Scientific American. Rensch's test elephant could distinguish 12 tones in the music scale and could remember simple melodies. Even though played on varying instruments and at different pitches, timbres and meters, she recognized the tones a year and a half later.[48] These results have been backed up by the Human-Elephant Learning Project which studies elephant intelligence.[49]

An elephant named Shanthi at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. has displayed the ability to play the harmonica and various horn instruments. She reportedly always ends her songs with a crescendo.[50]

Recording group Thai Elephant Orchestra is an ensemble of elephants who improvise music on specially made instruments with minimal interaction from their handlers. The orchestra was co-founded by pachyderm expert Richard Lair, who works at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang,[49] and David Sulzer (artist name, Dave Soldier) who studies the role of dopaminergic synapses in memory consolidation, learning, and behavior at Columbia University.[43] According to neurobiologist Aniruddh Patel, the orchestra's star drummer named Pratidah, exhibits musicality, stating: "Either when drumming alone or with the orchestra, Pratidah was remarkably steady,". He also noted that she developed a swing-type rhythm pattern when playing with other elephants.[43]

Problem-solving ability[edit]
File:Insightful-Problem-Solving-in-an-Asian-Elephant-pone.0023251.s008.ogv
Elephant stacking blocks to allow it to reach food
Elephants are able to spend substantial time working on problems. They are able to change their behavior radically to face new challenges, a hallmark of complex intelligence. A 2010 experiment revealed that in order to reach food, "elephants can learn to coordinate with a partner in a task requiring two individuals to simultaneously pull two ends of the same rope to obtain a reward",[4][51] putting them on an equal footing with chimpanzees in terms of their level of cooperative skills.

In the 1970s, at Marine World Africa, USA, there lived an Asian elephant named Bandula. Bandula worked out how to break open or unlock several of the pieces of equipment used to keep the shackles on her feet secure. The most complex device was a Brummel hook, a device that closes when two opposite points are slid together. Bandula used to fiddle with the hook until it slid apart when it was aligned. Once she had freed herself, she would help the other elephants escape. In Bandula's case and certainly with other captive elephants, there was an element of deception involved during the escapes, such as the animals looking around making sure no one was watching.[35]

In another case, a female elephant worked out how she could unscrew iron rods with an eye hole that was an inch (2.5 cm) thick. She used her trunk to create leverage and then untwisted the bolt.[35]

Ruby, an Asian elephant at Phoenix Zoo would often eavesdrop on conversations keepers would have talking about her. When she heard the word paint, she became very excitable. The colors she favored were green, yellow, blue and red. Once, a fire truck came and parked outside her enclosure where a man had just had a heart attack. The lights on the truck were flashing red, white and yellow. When Ruby painted later on in the day, she chose those colors. She also showed a preference for colors that the keepers wore.[35]

Harry Peachey, an elephant trainer, developed a cooperative relationship with an elephant named Koko. Koko would help the keepers out, "prompting" them to encourage him with various commands and words that Koko would learn. Peachey stated that elephants are almost predisposed to cooperate and work with humans as long as they are treated with respect and sensitivity. Koko worked out when his keepers needed a bit of "elephant help" when they were transferring the females of the group to another zoo. When the keepers wanted to transfer a female, they would usually say her name, followed by the word transfer (e.g., "Connie transfer"). Koko soon figured out what this meant. If the keepers asked an elephant to transfer and they did not budge, they would say, "Koko, give me a hand." When he heard this, Koko would help. After 27 years of working with elephants, Peachey firmly believes that they can understand the semantics and syntax of some of the words they hear. This is something thought to be very rare in the animal kingdom.[35]

A study by Dr. Naoko Irie of Tokyo University has shown that elephants demonstrate skills at arithmetic. The experiment "consist[ed] of dropping varying numbers of apples into two buckets in front of the [Ueno Zoo] elephants and then recording how often they could correctly choose the bucket holding the most fruit." When more than one apple was being dropped into the bucket, this meant that the elephants had to "keep running totals in their heads to keep track of the count." The results showed that "Seventy-four percent of the time, the animals correctly picked the fullest bucket. An African elephant named Ashya scored the highest with an amazing eighty-seven percent … Humans in this same contest managed a success rate of just sixty-seven percent." The study was also filmed to ensure its accuracy.[52]

A study on Discovery News found that elephants, during an intelligence test employing food rewards, had found shortcuts that not even the experiment's researchers had thought of.[9]

According to one source,[53] elephants can figure out how to retrieve distant objects that they cannot otherwise reach by using a stick.

Applying the string-drawing task to elephants[edit]
In 1956, W. H. Thorpe explained:[54]

"The ability to pull up food which is suspended by a thread, the pulled in loop being held by the foot while the bird reaches with its beak for the next pull, is doubtfully inborn and it has been subject to many experiments. The act appears at first sight to be a real and sudden solution of the problem from the start, and thus to qualify for inclusion under 'insight learning.' Successful performance in this task has been documented in well over ten bird species."

More recently, Bernd Heinrich and Thomas Bugnyar[55] concluded that ravens' "behaviour in accessing meat on a string is not only a product of rapid learning but may involve some understanding of cause–effect relation between string, food and certain body parts." String-pulling behavior has been likewise studied[16] in seven Asian elephants by presenting them with a retractable (bungee) cord. In this setup, the cord is tied to a heavy log a few meters away from the elephant. A sugarcane (a favorite elephant treat) is attached to the cord, and can only be retrieved by repeated, coordinated, action of the trunk and another body part. The results were clearcut:[56]

"All seven logging elephants fully mastered the string-drawing sequence within 1-3 experimental sessions. In all cases of retractable rope pulling, the sequence involved pulling by the trunk, and then securing the rope by either foot or mouth. After 2-6 coordinated pulls, while still holding the rope with either mouth or foot, the elephants disengaged the sugarcane from the rope while still using mouth or forefoot as an anchor, and then consumed the sugarcane. All elephants seemed to be flexible about the use of anchor, interchangeably using mouth, foreleg, or both."

Self-awareness[edit]
Asian elephants have joined a small group of animals, including great apes, bottlenose dolphins and eurasian magpies, that exhibit self-awareness. The study was conducted with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) using elephants at the Bronx Zoo in New York. Although many animals respond to a mirror, very few show any evidence that they recognize it is in fact themselves in the mirror reflection.

The Asian elephants in the study also displayed this type of behavior when standing in front of a 2.5-by-2.5-metre (8.2 ft × 8.2 ft) mirror - they inspected the rear and brought food close to the mirror for consumption.

Evidence of elephant self awareness was shown when the elephant Happy repeatedly touched a painted X on her head with her trunk, a mark which could only be seen in the mirror. Happy ignored another mark made with colorless paint that was also on her forehead to ensure she was not merely reacting to a smell or feeling.

Frans De Waal, who ran the study, stated, "These parallels between humans and elephants suggest a convergent cognitive evolution possibly related to complex society and cooperation."[57]

Self-awareness and culling[edit]
There has been considerable debate over the issue of culling African elephants in South Africa's Kruger National Park as a means of controlling the population. Some scientists and environmentalists argue that it is "unnecessary and inhumane" to cull them[58] since "elephants resemble humans in a number of ways, not least by having massive brains, social bonds that appear to be empathetic, long gestations, high intelligence, offspring that require an extended period of dependent care, and long life spans."[3]:20824 A South African Animal Rights group asked in a statement anticipating the announcement, "How much like us do elephants have to be before killing them becomes murder?"[59]

Others argue that culling is necessary when biodiversity is threatened.[60] However, the protection of biodiversity argument has been questioned by some animal rights advocates who argue that the animal which most greatly threatens and damages biodiversity is humanity, so if we are not willing to cull our own species we cannot morally justify culling another.[61][62]

Tears[edit]
An elephant, Raju, who had been in captivity for 50 years in the Uttar Pradesh region of India, was freed in a midnight raid by conservationists on July 3–4, 2014. During the release, it was noted that the elephant appeared to be crying, as tears were seen coming from his eyes.[63] The case became widely known, and Raju was called in many headlines and news articles "the Crying Elephant".[64][65][66][67]

A baby elephant called Zhuangzhuang was rejected by its mother in 2013. Caretakers thought it was an accident so they treated his injuries and returned him to his mother only for her to reject him again. Caretakers took the elephant away and he cried for 5 hours before the staff could comfort him.[68][69]
 
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05 Sep 2017 15:58

If anyone has read the Ender's Game books, you'll find my beliefs correspond with some theories mentioned in the speaker of the dead, xenocide, and children of the mind books.
Follows is my belief (though I explain it as if it were fact, it is just my belief)
We are physical beings, with a spiritual attachment. In the Ender's Game books, this attachment is called an "Aiúa". It exists in an alternate dimension/universe. I personally think alternate universe. We each have one, and, though it does not quite equate to memories or such like, it is a part of us that contributes to the unexplainable. It is our intuition, it is our love, and it is our most pure self. I don't believe that only humans have it. I believe that the entire universe is a network of Aiúa, or a single, all expansive Aiúa of its own - God.

I believe that the purpose of everything is learning. Aiúa themselves have a predestination to learn, and the existence of the universe hangs by that same thread, a god wishing to learn about the universe.
I understand the benefits of religion, though I don't agree with it much. Although, for instance, the Bible, was "written by God", I disagree. The Bible was written by people, initially accounting events that happened, that appeared to have been acted upon by God, though there are some things that I feel people came up with to either control others, or bring about a certain way of life. For instance, I don't believe in hell. I, in fact, believe in reincarnation, that as a person's Aiúa leaves their body, it either seeks a new one to inhabit, and learn from, or just explores the universe. Hence I don't really believe in Heaven either. Just a constant predisposition to learn. Though maybe ghosts can exist, as Aiúa that have gone a wrong path or have gotten lost...

But yeah that's what I believe.
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06 Sep 2017 16:40

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Parrot intelligence

That reminds me of a story from when I was pet-sitting for neighbors.  They have an old Cocker Spaniel and two parrots.  I was taking care of them for a week, and was warned that the birds are very mischievous.  Well I wasn't expecting this:  One day I was feeding them and one of the parrots started imitating the sound of the chime that goes off whenever the door is opened.  Naturally, the dog thought mom and dad had come home and got excited, racing to the door and barking her head off expectantly.  I told her "No, Satie, that was just the bird, don't listen to it."  She eventually realizes nobody's at the door and comes back pouting.  As she's moping her way back the bird chimed again, Satie once again barks to the door, and the bird started LAUGHING.  It was doing it on purpose and timing it for maximum amusement.

"You little devil of a bird!"
 
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07 Sep 2017 18:44

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Parrot intelligence

That reminds me of a story from when I was pet-sitting for neighbors.  They have an old Cocker Spaniel and two parrots.  I was taking care of them for a week, and was warned that the birds are very mischievous.  Well I wasn't expecting this:  One day I was feeding them and one of the parrots started imitating the sound of the chime that goes off whenever the door is opened.  Naturally, the dog thought mom and dad had come home and got excited, racing to the door and barking her head off expectantly.  I told her "No, Satie, that was just the bird, don't listen to it."  She eventually realizes nobody's at the door and comes back pouting.  As she's moping her way back the bird chimed again, Satie once again barks to the door, and the bird started LAUGHING.  It was doing it on purpose and timing it for maximum amusement.

"You little devil of a bird!"

That's absolutely awesome and hilarious lol- I can see how those birds could have the intelligence of a human child, they certainly have the sense of humor and imagination of one! ;-)  
 
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Mr. Missed Her
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29 Sep 2017 06:57

Votyn wrote:
If anyone has read the Ender's Game books, you'll find my beliefs correspond with some theories mentioned in the speaker of the dead, xenocide, and children of the mind books.
Follows is my belief (though I explain it as if it were fact, it is just my belief)
We are physical beings, with a spiritual attachment. In the Ender's Game books, this attachment is called an "Aiúa". It exists in an alternate dimension/universe. I personally think alternate universe. We each have one, and, though it does not quite equate to memories or such like, it is a part of us that contributes to the unexplainable. It is our intuition, it is our love, and it is our most pure self. I don't believe that only humans have it. I believe that the entire universe is a network of Aiúa, or a single, all expansive Aiúa of its own - God.

I believe that the purpose of everything is learning. Aiúa themselves have a predestination to learn, and the existence of the universe hangs by that same thread, a god wishing to learn about the universe.
I understand the benefits of religion, though I don't agree with it much. Although, for instance, the Bible, was "written by God", I disagree. The Bible was written by people, initially accounting events that happened, that appeared to have been acted upon by God, though there are some things that I feel people came up with to either control others, or bring about a certain way of life. For instance, I don't believe in hell. I, in fact, believe in reincarnation, that as a person's Aiúa leaves their body, it either seeks a new one to inhabit, and learn from, or just explores the universe. Hence I don't really believe in Heaven either. Just a constant predisposition to learn. Though maybe ghosts can exist, as Aiúa that have gone a wrong path or have gotten lost...

But yeah that's what I believe.

Interesting. I fond myself hypothesizing the existence of a "ghost electromagnetic force" that arises from complex interactions of electricity/magnetism, and can continue to influence those interactions. It would explain how people sometimes have out-of-body experiences when knocked out, if you believe in that kind of thing. It would also fit nicely with the concept of a soul. Weather I guessed right or not, there must be some scientific explanation for the soul, because science is how things work, and everything works in some way.
Space is very spacious.
 
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29 Sep 2017 06:59

Could also explain how some people retain memories of events happening around them, even in comas.
 
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Mr. Missed Her
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29 Sep 2017 07:35

A-L-E-X wrote:
Could also explain how some people retain memories of events happening around them, even in comas.

People could still have sensory input in a coma, which somehow finds its way into the memory of their glitchy brain. Because brains are complicated. But it's possible that while their physical brain is completely non-functional, their "ghost brain" detaches from their physical brain because it has less physical electromagnetism to hold on to. The "ghost brain" which I will just start calling a soul for convenience shouldn't still be able to receive some kind of input from its ghost senses, so maybe the soul can observe the physical world's imprint on the ghost electromagnetic world. If this is true, then you should be able to see other souls only when you yourself are a body-less soul.
Space is very spacious.
 
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29 Sep 2017 08:41

Mr. Missed Her wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Could also explain how some people retain memories of events happening around them, even in comas.

People could still have sensory input in a coma, which somehow finds its way into the memory of their glitchy brain. Because brains are complicated. But it's possible that while their physical brain is completely non-functional, their "ghost brain" detaches from their physical brain because it has less physical electromagnetism to hold on to. The "ghost brain" which I will just start calling a soul for convenience shouldn't still be able to receive some kind of input from its ghost senses, so maybe the soul can observe the physical world's imprint on the ghost electromagnetic world. If this is true, then you should be able to see other souls only when you yourself are a body-less soul.

I wonder if they could sense the exact position of people and the color of the clothes they were wearing though, as well as the "floating body" experience many report.  As you're well aware, most of the body's sensory input as well as neural input/output consist of electrical signals- we are electrical beings as far as our consciousness is concerned.

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