Chimps Beat Humans: I Can’t Believe There Isn’t More Wonderment About This

I saw a TV programme about this a couple of years ago. The results have been swimming around in my head ever since. And I just can’t figure out why this isn’t being blasted from the rooftops day and night. It’s amazing. It’s more than amazing. It upsets a lot of comfortable assumptions about the ‘way things are’.

I found this on YouTube. Watch and be amazed. If you are not amazed, please tell me why you are underwhelmed with what you see.

Given that it takes about 300 milliseconds to blink your eyes, there is also this: MIT neuroscientists find the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds.

21 Comments

  1. Omg, that is truly amazing! Truly love the various looks of disgust and exasperation on his face… Everything from “Darn it!” to “Oh geez, really?!”
    And I have always thought that Intelligent Man has never given animals enough credit for their intelligence.

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    1. The pomposity of calling it only ‘anthropomorphism’

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      1. Exactly so. ‘We cannot presume to think that they feel or are able to feel like we do…’ etc.

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        1. Perhaps not, but neither can we assume that they also have no feelings or feel no pain.

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        2. That’s right. We are partisan when we say they have no feelings: We have an axe to grind (pun intended).

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        3. Since they’ve started unraveling the various genetic materials of many species, I still recall the general amazement of how similar DNA is from one species to the next. But truly, where is the surprise when all life on this planet has evolved over millennia from single-celled life?

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        4. Coincidentally, we watched a TV programme last night (one that Tamara spotted, as usual) about a biologist David Scheel at a university in Alaska who shared his home with an octopus in his living room for a year. Scheel explained that about 600 million years ago the flatworm was the ancestor of everything that came after. Everything developed from that along one branch except for octopuses, which are all alone on another branch of life. The octopus stroked their hands, watched TV with them, turned on a light when it wanted them to join it for company, and more.

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        5. Yes, I remember watching a TV show when I was a kid about how intelligent octopi are. The thing I recall most vividly is when they put it in a large glass bottle (about the size of a carboy for winemaking) and there was a hole in the side which they’d plugged with a cork. It took no time at all for the octopus to wrap a tentacle around the cork and push it out of the way before s q u e e z i n g itself out through the small hole to escape: )

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        6. Yes, Look Ma, no skeleton!

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        7. And you wouldn’t happen to recall what programme that was called that you watched last night, would you? It sounds very interesting!
          Oh wait, is this it then? https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/octopus-making-contact-preview-a98u9n/19851/

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        8. Hmmm… the video shows a ‘We’re sorry, but this video is not available in your region due to rights restrictions.’ So it might be!

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        9. Yes, same here unfortunately..
          W e can get (a couple of) PBS stations on the Satellite; but sadly, it sounds like it played last month:/

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    2. I think man underestimates the intelligence and emotional development of animals because it is a convenient way to live with the fact that we eat them. It would be more honest if we just accepted that we do eat them and that animals are what they truly are.

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      1. As I said to an acquaintance yesterday, it’s not what you say, but how you say it… The same can be said for respecting animals. The food chain exists for a reason and every living thing must eat and will be eaten at some point in their existence. That simply is the way of the world…

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  2. Joan E. Miller says:

    It’s impressive, but I need to know more about the processes. How often is he tested? Daily? The same patterns all the time, or do they change? I would like to see random pattern changes each time. I guess he’s not “counting” as much as remembering the patterns of the squares. It’s not surprising that chimps can remember patterns. They have to remember where to find food, where are the best trees, where is the water, how to follow trails, where are the dangerous areas to avoid, etc. I have so many questions before I can be really amazed. We see more and more how different animals appear to “think” and “feel” more than we thought previously, how they experience joy. So I’m not too surprised that primate species can do tasks that seem advanced. Am I underwhelmed?

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    1. Underwhelmed? No, I’d say you have a healthy questioning attitude. I thought I saw from the video that the patterns change, but I can you are saying that maybe there are only a few patterns and that the chimpanzee might learn them. ‘ll see if I can find out whether the experimenters change the patterns.

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  3. Two thoughts. First, holy cow! I couldn’t do that! I play Lumosity games and I know I couldn’t. Second, it hurts my heart that they’re confined to a place made of metal instead of having a whole big jungle to wander in…

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    1. Yes, same here. In the back of my mind I go through the process: It’s unfair on the animal. It’s for science. Doesn’t change that it’s unfair on the animal. It’s just a few animals. So? It’s unfair on those animals and if you were in their position you wouldn’t like it. How do you know, maybe they are having a big adventure, bigger and stranger than if they were in the wild? Yes, sure.

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      1. Exactly! And while they’re not being hurt and frightened, like so many lab animals, they must miss trees. They’re surrounded by trees that they can’t touch. It’s rather horrible.

        Liked by 1 person

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