Who Says Animals Can't Think and Reason and Have Fun? [118*-22]
Snowboarding Black Bird
Who Says Animals Can't Have Fun?
I NEEDED TO GET this written before I forgot it. I was watching CNN HLN this morning, 1/17/2012, when I saw this black bird sliding down a partially snow-covered metal roof of a house; it obviously caught my attention. As I watched, it then bent down and picked up something it had been standing on in its beak and proceeded to fly back up to the top of the roof in Yekaterinburg, Russia
It turned out, according to the newscaster, to be a lid the bird had found. Anyway, the bird put it down, step on it and proceeded to push itself of the roof again to slide down again. This was repeated three more times before this segment was over. Amazing! I just stared in silence thinking, Amazing; clearly, this Black Bird was having fun.
DOGS ARE SMART AS WELL
UPDATE 12/12/2012: - MY WIFE JUST RELATED THE FOLLOWING little vignette to me about my step-daughter's dog, Panzer; another example of an animal's ability to observe, reason, plan, and act.
After having had their house and car broken into three times in as many years while living in the supposed safety of rural Florida, my step-daughter and her husband bought security lights for all corners of their house, a dog, and finally a fence. It hasn't been a year yet since the last robbery (each robbery was almost a year apart) so we are waiting to see if the security measures worked.
In any case, a couple of mornings ago, my step-son-in-law's boss, Donny, stopped by to pick him up for work; it was still dark. He had to wait outside the fence and while doing so watched Panzer, a German Shepard, watching him from the lit carport next to the house. Shortly, Panzer got up and crossed in front of the house setting off the security light near him and then the one at the far front corner. He then proceeded around to the back of the house setting off those security lights as well until he arrived back on the carport. There, he sat down and began watching Donny again, through what is now a well lit yard.
Does anyone care to explain this untaught behaviour?
Can Animals Think and Reason?
OF COURSE THEY CAN, although many religions, especially Christian religions, deny this; they hold only humans have been given the ability to think and reason, they are just "dumb" animals. For so many of the higher mammals, this belief has been empirically proven to be wrong. I suspect that even for animals lower down the evolutionary chain, with smaller brains, it is basically wrong as well.
This story about the crow is one piece of anecdotal evidence. Another is a Cockatoo I used to own. My ex-wife, who, sadly, ended up with the Cockatoo. raised from birth; one of the things we needed to do when it got sick was to bathe it in the sink. Apparently he liked that, for later the bird squawked loudly at us and we looked up. He was looking at us while standing its water bowl, we ignored him which got us another squawk, then a flap of the wings and some stomping. Since this wasn't very long after we stopped bathing him, we finally got the idea, took him out and he was happy. After that, every time he wan't a bath, he got in his water bowl and squawked; he trained us well.
The point is, in my long lifetime, I have seem many, many pieces of anecdotal evidence that confirms to me that animals, even with fairly small brains, are perfectly capable, at some level, of determining there is something it likes, snowboarding or bathing, and figuring out how to replicate it later on; that involves a lot of high level brain power including:
- ability to feel emotion
- ability to remember
- ability to problem solve
- ability to communicate
- ability to plan
that is powerful stuff, don't you think?
Even with all of the mounting evidence that animals are from "dumb", the controversy doesn't stop because the closer animals come having the same characteristics as humans, the weaker becomes the religious arugument that humans and all other life forms have two distinct origins, don't you see.