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#1
We know some animals do think, like Apes and Dolphins. But I'm talking about the intelligibly primitive ones like Frogs, cows and pigs.

If they do, do they have a conscious mind like we do? Do you think that they have imagination and can create images in their head like we do?
Or do you think they only act upon their natural instincts and have no control over their lives whatsoever?
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#2
Mammals and birds think. They all possess problem solving skills.
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#4
Cows and pigs, definitely.
Cows are extremely curious and fearful. Pigs are as smart as a 3 year old [or some other age I can't remember].

Frogs? That's something that would probably need researching [if it hasn't already]., but most likely. Yes.
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#5
Quote by Craigo
Ever had a dog? Yes.



I have a cat, but people tell me they only act on instinct and habits that we have imposed on them. I seek to believe otherwise. I certainly believe cats and dogs think.
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#6
Quote by XxLloydxX
I have a cat, but people tell me they only act on instinct and habits that we have imposed on them. I seek to believe otherwise. I certainly believe cats and dogs think.

They've either not spent enough time around animals, are stubborn, or just really daft.
#7
The majority of vertebrates show distinct thought patterns, evident in their ability to learn and accomplish abstract tasks. Invertebrates have been researched far less, and much of said research points to the use of innate behaviour above all else. However, this really boils down to what is meant by 'think', as you could argue that even simple invertebrates such as slugs must be aware of, and able to, manipulate their body - which is arguably thinking.

Above all, the main species of animal that can proven to think (other than humans and other similar primates) are corvids.
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#8
i think they have none or lower levels of conciousness kind of like an insect for example probably just follows instincts but like an octopus knows it's body exists so it is kind of conscious in a way but not in the ego way like us but like a dog which is highly social may have like a primitive ego but no language likes ours obviously
#9
Quote by XxLloydxX
I have a cat, but people tell me they only act on instinct and habits that we have imposed on them. I seek to believe otherwise. I certainly believe cats and dogs think.

Cats don't think. They plot.
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#11
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i think they have none or lower levels of conciousness kind of like an insect for example probably just follows instincts but like an octopus knows it's body exists so it is kind of conscious in a way but not in the ego way like us but like a dog which is highly social may have like a primitive ego but no language likes ours obviously


Dogs communicate by barking and whining. They have different barks for different things... listen to a dog next time and you can hear it has specific barks for specific things, obviously their ways of communication are limited because they can't make many sounds. Plus they can understand many commands we give them.
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#12
Quote by Jackal58
Cats don't think. They plot.

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#14
Quote by Simsimius
Dogs communicate by barking and whining. They have different barks for different things... listen to a dog next time and you can hear it has specific barks for specific things, obviously their ways of communication are limited because they can't make many sounds. Plus they can understand many commands we give them.

Dogs do much more communicating through body language than through vocalizations.
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#15
Instinct and conditional learning. I know it's more complex than that, the psychology course I did never went into great depth of animals, but that's the basis of their cognitive approach.
"Conscience is what sets humans apart from animals", apparently.
#16
Quote by SkepsisMetal
Instinct and conditional learning. I know it's more complex than that, the psychology course I did never went into great depth of animals, but that's the basis of their cognitive approach.
"Conscience is what sets humans apart from animals", apparently.


We can't prove or disprove the presence of a conscience in animals, so how would it set us apart? Many species of animal show intelligence and problem solving that could only be achieved through abstract though (corvid problem solving and dolphin 'sand net' making for example), which surely proves that they are conscious of themselves and their surroundings.
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#17
Quote by SkepsisMetal
Instinct and conditional learning. I know it's more complex than that, the psychology course I did never went into great depth of animals, but that's the basis of their cognitive approach.
"Conscience is what sets humans apart from animals", apparently.

What do you mean by conscience? That sounds ridiculously fishy.
#18
Dogs (as well as through vocal comms.) communicate through body movements such as moving their ears, tail, winking/blinking, moving their nose etc.
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#19
I think that they have mainly instinctive drives, but the ability to decide on non innate actions to an extent. As for having creativity... no. You need a fairly developed brain to be able to do that.
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#20
Quote by Craigo
What do you mean by conscience? That sounds ridiculously fishy.



I think he means that animals don't have that inner voice or feeling to what is right or wrong...?

But that is also debatable, at least to me.
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#21
Quote by Todd Hart
We can't prove or disprove the presence of a conscience in animals, so how would it set us apart? Many species of animal show intelligence and problem solving that could only be achieved through abstract though (corvid problem solving and dolphin 'sand net' making for example), which surely proves that they are conscious of themselves and their surroundings.


Conscience as in...sentience, would probably be a better word. I just remember that quote from somewhere. As in the ability to reason between morals, and right and wrong. Dolphins being the only other species to kill (apparently) for the hell of it.
#22
If an animal has a personality, it thinks.

Anyone who has ever owned a cat or a dog knows that, while they are primitive, they still have individual personalities.

Also, dogs can be sneaky motherfuckers.

I was once building a cabinet with my dad, and we made a sandwich, then went to get a beer from teh fridge. We came back, and the sandwiches were gone. We were confused, went to make some more, took a couple of bites, then went to the can. We came back, sandwiches were gone. So, we decided to make some more, leave them there, then sneakily watch what happened. It turns out my dogs were hiding underneath a bed, then snuck out to snatch the sandwiches. We barged in, the dogs saw us with the sandwiches in their mouths, waiting. 5 seconds later, my dad moved a step forward, the dogs quickly gobbled up the sandwiches and darted outside.

True story.
#23
Quote by Craigo
What do you mean by conscience? That sounds ridiculously fishy.

The ability to think outside the box, i presume.
yknow, shit like choices. For example, choosing to live away from their society (domestic animals don't count for this) or killing in cold blood- not because of food or territorial/sexual dominance.
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#24
Quote by XxLloydxX
I think he means that animals don't have that inner voice or feeling to what is right or wrong...?

Then that's wrong. Animals do show moral anger and shame, regardless of whether or not they get subjected to punishment. Meerkats will kick out members of their group due to sexual ethics and dogs can show shame at vomiting or letting out waste inside the house when ill, regardless of whether or not they get punished.
#25
Quote by Jackal58
Dogs do much more communicating through body language than through vocalizations.


That is also true. I spend a lot of time watching my dogs working out what they want
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#26
Quote by Banjocal
I think that they have mainly instinctive drives, but the ability to decide on non innate actions to an extent. As for having creativity... no. You need a fairly developed brain to be able to do that.


Again.

Or, if you prefer dolphins to birds then try this one.
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#27
Doesn't conscience mean being aware of your own existence?

Edit: My bad :/


con·scious   
adjective
1.
aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.

con·science   
noun
1.
the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.


I always get the two confused
Last edited by classical_gas at Aug 18, 2011,
#28
edit: ^ Same here

Quote by classical_gas
Doesn't conscience mean being aware of your own existence?


Yeah, I read conscience as conscious...my bad.
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#29
Lots of people I met thought cats had more brain in comparison to dogs, but it seems to me that they only seem more intellegent because cats are far more quiet and depend less on the human master. One may argue that the fact that our cat depends less on a man is already a sign of superior intellect I must point out that dogs are more of a 'pack animal' and thus follow their 'alfa' which hopefully is their master. I live in a house with a both a dog to guard my sleep and a cat to slay my vermin so I read both animals as easily as children's books. I may note that neither the cat nor the dog are the first and likely not the last to be doing these jobs so I have seen many of these beasts and I would like to say that in my experience the behaviour of these different individual animals does not differ much then that of the species. I like dogs more because they're nice and also cat like to sleep in my bed and leaves lots of fur everywhere. Silly cat!
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#31
Quote by Craigo
Then that's wrong. Animals do show moral anger and shame, regardless of whether or not they get subjected to punishment. Meerkats will kick out members of their group due to sexual ethics and dogs can show shame at vomiting or letting out waste inside the house when ill, regardless of whether or not they get punished.

This is true
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#32
Quote by XxLloydxX
We know some animals do think, like Apes and Dolphins. But I'm talking about the intelligibly primitive ones like Frogs, cows and pigs.


Given that pigs are considered to have a level of intelligence roughly similar to that of a dog, and that anybody capable of genuinely questioning the obvious intellectual capacity of dogs is probably of questionable intelligence themselves, the answer is yes.
#33
Quote by Ziphoblat
Given that pigs are considered to have a level of intelligence roughly similar to that of a dog, and that anybody capable of genuinely questioning the obvious intellectual capacity of dogs is probably of questionable intelligence themselves, the answer is yes.



Intelligence has little to do with knowledge. Not knowing the information that a pig has similar intelligence to a dog doesn't make me "of questionable intelligence" (it's not obvious info, unless you own pigs or work with them in your way). But I'm sure that person who makes such an affirmation, like yours, is of questionable intelligence.
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#34
Quote by XxLloydxX
Intelligence has little to do with knowledge. Not knowing the information that a pig has similar intelligence to a dog doesn't make me "of questionable intelligence" (it's not obvious info, unless you own pigs or work with them in your way). But I'm sure that person who makes such an affirmation, like yours, is of questionable intelligence.


The error in your post is that I didn't infer that knowledge = intelligence. What I meant was that everybody and his grandmother knows that a dog posses the ability to think, I wasn't implying that it was common knowledge that a pig has a similar level of intelligence to a dog.
#35
Sea sponges were shown to have distinct personalities, so yes, I'm pretty sure most animals can think.
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#36
Quote by Ziphoblat
The error in your post is that I didn't infer that knowledge = intelligence. What I meant was that everybody and his grandmother knows that a dog posses the ability to think, I wasn't implying that it was common knowledge that a pig has a similar level of intelligence to a dog.



Ah I understand. I read it fast because my lunch was ready(excuses). Any ways, I take back what I said...and feel free to say I am of questionable intelligence now
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#37
To me, thinking=sapience. So no.
Depends on your definition. They definitely think, but not in the same way as humans.
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#38
Quote by Drakathan
To me, thinking=sapience. So no.
Depends on your definition. They definitely think, but not in the same way as humans.


It's almost indisputable that certain more intellectually advanced species are sapient. Certain primate species, for example, have been observed burying their dead and mourning for them.

Also, what about dolphins, who will engage in sex purely for pleasure? If there's absolutely no evolutionary advantage to it, then it's not something hardwired into their brain which they do out of necessity.
#39
Quote by Ziphoblat
It's almost indisputable that certain more intellectually advanced species are sapient. Certain primate species, for example, have been observed burying their dead and mourning for them.

Also, what about dolphins, who will engage in sex purely for pleasure? If there's absolutely no evolutionary advantage to it, then it's not something hardwired into their brain which they do out of necessity.

Source? If that's true, it's pretty impressive. Who knows, if evolution has its way and we avoid chopping down the rest of the rainforests or blowing up the planet there might be more than one (fully) sapient species on earth in a few million years.

And I'm not sure about dolphins. Something has me thinking that if they find pleasure in it, they're more likely to reproduce more and thus avoid extinction. On the other hand, I don't know if dolphins are capable of reproducing all year round or if they have fertility periods. How long is a dolphin dick anyway?
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#40
Quote by Drakathan
Source?


http://io9.com/5524123/how-chimpanzees-mourn-their-dead

If that's true, it's pretty impressive. Who knows, if evolution has its way and we avoid chopping down the rest of the rainforests or blowing up the planet there might be more than one (fully) sapient species on earth in a few million years.


If we consider it in terms of evolution, would it not be silly to assume that no other species is sapient? If we consider our own thought capacity so impressive that it is held as some sort of landmark in intelligence, are we to simply accept that it appeared out of the blue one day? Genetic mutation doesn't work like that. It had to slowly work it's way up; suggesting that it's more than likely that other species of sapient animals exist.

What about other homo species (if we ignore homo sapien part of our latin name), for example, neanderthals? They're not human, they're a different species; it would be ridiculous to suggest that in the minuscule evolutionary gap between us and them (in terms of evolution in the grand scale anyway) sapience suddenly just appeared. I don't really think that it's so black and white, rather something that comes in many shades of grey.

Perhaps our capacity for communication is what seems, on a base level at least, to set us so far ahead of the rest of the natural world. We are capable through our ability to communicate to pool our species-wide intelligence as a whole, and pass on the things learned over generations on a sophisticated level. Perhaps species exist with very similar levels of free-thinking and subjectiveness, that simply don't have the same capacity to communicate (I'm aware that communication is, to an extent, a result of the ability to think, but other evolutionary changes such as the ability to speak play a part too).

And I'm not sure about dolphins. Something has me thinking that if they find pleasure in it, they're more likely to reproduce more and thus avoid extinction. On the other hand, I don't know if dolphins are capable of reproducing all year round or if they have fertility periods. How long is a dolphin dick anyway?


I'm not 100% sure on this one, but I think that fertility for dolphins is very similar to that of humans.
Last edited by Ziphoblat at Aug 18, 2011,
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