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Author Topic: How do animals think?  (Read 2772 times)

Phil Crane

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How do animals think?
« on: 05/10/2009 13:30:03 »
Phil Crane  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Listening to this weeks show you had a story about how Rooks can solve problems. For humans to solve problems we "think" by using our language and working our way through all the possibilities but, without language, how exactly do animals "think", do we know?

Love the show,

Phil, Sacramento,

California

What do you think?


 

Online Bored chemist

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How do animals think?
« Reply #1 on: 05/10/2009 19:45:40 »
Nevermind the animals.
I rather doubt this "For humans to solve problems we "think" by using our language " because Im sure that babies think before they learn language; not least they must think something like " if I learn to talk..."

 

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How do animals think?
« Reply #2 on: 06/10/2009 11:43:04 »
Watch lionesses hunting. Not only do they 'think', but they also seem to be able to 'communicate' with each other, so each knows which part in the ambush they will play.

How its done? God only knows, if you will pardon the phrase.
 

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How do animals think?
« Reply #3 on: 06/10/2009 19:49:20 »
There are, come to think of it, examples of non-verbal thinking in adults.
One that is well known in my field is Kekule's dream about benzene.
Here's what WIKI says about it.
"The new understanding of benzene, and hence of all aromatic compounds, proved to be so important for both pure and applied chemistry after 1865 that in 1890 the German Chemical Society organized an elaborate appreciation in Kekulé's honor, celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of his first benzene paper. Here Kekulé spoke of the creation of the theory. He said that he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail (this is a common symbol in many ancient cultures known as the Ouroboros). This vision, he said, came to him after years of studying the nature of carbon-carbon bonds. "

There's some debate about whether the story is, in fact, true but that doesn't detract from it as a possible example of thought without words.
 

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How do animals think?
« Reply #3 on: 06/10/2009 19:49:20 »

 

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