Can Animal Think
Can Animal Think
Intelligence and competency varies from one individual to another. In animals it is believed that they also have a varying degree of intelligence. It is believed that domestic animals as well as other animals have minds. They have varying level of perception and also their ability to think also varies. According to research done by Davis and Cheeke to investigate whether animal differ in relative intelligent shows that 88% of the scientist has proofed that animal has mind and they as well think. They rank the domestic animal from highest intelligent to the lowest, dog, cats, pig, horse, cow, sheep, chicken, and turkey.
Possession of mind and thought and intelligent is a prevalence of how animals should be treated and more so humanely. Darwin in his finding in theory of evolution said that animals’ minds and that of humans only differ by a certain degree but not in kind. It is only that animals can only communicate through a language which we cannot understand. Development in ethnography and anthropology appears to run parallel to recent development in semiotics. In thinking, empirical observations are conceived on specular thoughts and cognitive relation.
The ability of animals to identify places where they leave is an indication that they have memories. The ability to respond to the prey and environment shows that these animals have mind and they do think. Even though animals think, their thinking capacity cannot be compared at all to that of human being. It is believed that human beings are the most intellectual and competent animal that God created. Scientist argues that apes are part of human evolution and thus explains why they have high level of competence. Elephant also is believed to have high memory and intelligent compared to other animals (Dennis & Walcott 2011).
It could be of ease to research of animals if human can understand other animal’s communications. Most of the biologist and psychologists explains animals as mechanistic but in real sense animals capability are far much than that of devices. Animals have capability of conscious thoughts as well as felling which sometimes might be subjective. To demonstrate the ability of an animal to think, a chimpanzee was seen hunting the termites. A chimpanzee selects a small branch then transforming it into a tool for capturing the termites.
It then moves to a termite nest where at a specific distance it probes it with termites. Such activities differ radically from other activities of chimpanzee. These seem difficult to understand unless the animal is consciously thinking about gathering termites while preparing the probe (Andreas 2001). This is a clear indication that when the chimpanzee was preparing the probe it has an idea that it want to gather the termites. There is an order of information which can only be formed by an animal which has brain and can think.
This is an indication that animals can think as portrayed by chimpanzee behavior. Adaptability of an animal to changing environment is an important attribute towards show of conscious thinking. Ability of an animal to acquire new method to get food through a complex series of actions can be said to be intentional thinking rather than rigid automatism. This was seen in Japanese macaques which learned new ways of separating grain from inedible material. Macaques do this by throwing these grains in water where the sand sinks and the grain floats. It takes them and eats.
This was first devised in moneys then they were gradually acquired by other through observational learning. The feeding of assassin bug through camouflaging and gluing bits of termite nest all over its body (Davis 2005). It sucks the termites semifluid and then places it at the nest opening to attract other termite workers when they try to consume the remain. It captures the second when it try to seizure the dead one. It repeats this several times until it get satisfied. The extraordinary complexity and coordination of these acts suggest conscious thoughts.
Despite the size of the central nervous system, assassin bug is believed to use conscious thought for its mode of feeding. Thinking and central nervous system go hand in hand. Animals are made of the same system so as the human since they are also animals. Different species including human beings have different ability and need to be happy. Different species feel the same kind of sensational and emotions as humans. The way other species react, feel thing, are not easy for human to understand. They feel hunger heat and cold, pain and pleasure as well as stress and anxiety.
Most animals are sentiments since they can think and perceive the environment they leave in. They experience and adapt this in different ways. Some animals have high levels of consciousness than others. Low level of consciousness is associated with sensational and emotions. Hermit crabs evacuate their shells as a response to painful stimulations (Eugene 2001). The crabs with better quality shell take quite a longer time to leave the shell than those with poor shells. A chimpanzee sometime become aggressive to each other and this may cause one of them to leave the group after several attacks.
This shows that chimpanzee can recall what happened in the past and it thus makes a decision of attack in return toward its experience. It’s believed that new Caledonian crows can learn how to use tools and choose for the most appropriate one. Some animals like dog enjoy some experiences like lying on the sand or feeding on delicious meal or a cow associating with its newborn calf. This show that they have memory and they can recall their previous experiences. Some animals hide their pain especially to predators so as to increase chances of survival.
This is seen in chicken and mouse after they sense any predator. This is a clear indication that animals have memories and they think and associate their experiences with their current situations. Some animals like apes, dolphins, birds and octopuses uses tool as well as human being. These are some of the amazing abilities possessed by animals but we used to think they are only possessed by human beings only (Davis & Cheeke, 2013). Some apes dolphins and parrots can understand basic human language which shows that they have capability of thinking and comprehending issues.
Others like elephant demonstrate empathy and altruism. Some animals also portray some degree of self-awareness by showing that they are individuals separate from others and from environment as well. It is not easy to know how animal think as well as it is not possible to know how a member of family or another person is thinking. There is close linkage between intentional thinking and conscious thoughts from one animal to another. This helps us to understand social animals since these communications conveys thought and felling and can help us understand animal thinking.
When animals live together and depend on each other, they need to be able to judge the intentions and moods of their companions. It is important to understand and remember that human beings are just one of the many species and these species just like us are conscious and are able to fell emotion pain or pleasure. The most efficient way which we could have used to understand animal thinking is to learn their language which is impossible. Humans are not unique in possessing neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Other non-human animal as well possesses these neurological substrates.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 12 November 2016
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