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Are humans really smarter than animals ?


Posted on Sunday, 15 December, 2013 | Comment icon 51 comments

Humans may not be as intellectually superior as we think. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Sini Merikallio
Evolutionary biologists believe that some animals possess superior cognitive abilities to humans.
Scientists at the University of Adelaide have put forward the idea that some species, far from being intellectually inferior to humans, may in fact possess superior cognitive abilities that we simply haven't been able to recognize.

"For millennia, all kinds of authorities from religion to eminent scholars have been repeating the same idea ad nauseam, that humans are exceptional by virtue and that they are the smartest in the animal kingdom," said Dr Arthur Saniotis. "However, science tells us that animals can have cognitive faculties that are superior to human beings."

One of these intelligence mechanisms is thought to be the olfactory marks that some species leave in their environment, potentially complex scents that have distinct meanings to the animals but which humans cannot even pick up due to our poor sense of smell.

"The fact that they may not understand us, while we do not understand them, does not mean our 'intelligences' are at different levels, they are just of different kinds," said Professor Maciej Henneberg. "The animal world is much more complex than we give it credit for."

Source: Independent | Comments (51)

Tags: Animals, Intelligence


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #42 Posted by Xynoplas on 19 December, 2013, 19:12
"'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
Comment icon #43 Posted by third_eye on 19 December, 2013, 22:45
^ Albert Einstein ...
Comment icon #44 Posted by Ad hoc on 19 December, 2013, 23:26
One of Einstein's more patronizing statements, made in the general vein of the false modesty we require of our intellectual elite so that everyone can feel warm and fuzzy. Reality check: Everybody is not a genius.
Comment icon #45 Posted by spud the mackem on 19 December, 2013, 23:35
Anyone who reads the Guardian has to be less intelligent than a chimp.
Comment icon #46 Posted by third_eye on 19 December, 2013, 23:50
Aw c'mon spud my man ... they do have their moments ... stay away from the headlines and ye be fine ...
Comment icon #47 Posted by Myles on 20 December, 2013, 20:58
But not intelligent enought to survive. A high percentage of dogs eat poop. Poop full of bacteria. Not very smart. Not sure what everyone is basing this on, but I would say humans are much smarter than animals. At least once we get past the infant stage.
Comment icon #48 Posted by Willie B Herd on 26 December, 2013, 18:33
He also said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results." Horses' intelligence is also underrated by humans. Just because an animal can't run a computer, etc. doesn't mean they are stupid. They are smart enough to know how to survive, and don't need the theory of relativity to accomplish this.
Comment icon #49 Posted by Gaden on 26 December, 2013, 19:56
But we are here, right? Which means we have survived right along all of the other animals that escaped extinction. Some animals do not survive a cold winter. Some freeze to death, some starve to death. we are intelligent enough to build shelters and provide our own heat to survive.
Comment icon #50 Posted by Gaden on 26 December, 2013, 20:09
Animal populations are regulated by disease and predation. Humans have eliminated the predation aspect completely and minimised the disease aspect. That we constructed a method of farming and distributing our food so that some of us could specialise in other skills is a sign of our higher intelligence. That some of have lost the ability to "live off the land" is an unfortunate consequence.


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