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 Post subject: Science has spoken: animals have consciousness
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:08 pm 
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In other words, duh.

Consciousness is Everywhere
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Perhaps the most surprising insight that has come out of the past 20 years of scholarly investigation into the nature of consciousness is that it might be far more widely shared among all of nature's children than most of us think. By consciousness I mean the ability to feel something, anything -- whether it's the sensation of an azure-blue sky, a tooth ache, being sad, or worrying about the deadline two weeks from now. Indeed, it may be possible that all animals share some minimal amount of sentience with people, that all animals have some feelings, however primitive.

Pet owners vigorously assert that their dogs and cats experience the pains and pleasure of life. Anyone who has observed a chimpanzee grimace at its own face in a mirror and then inspect its teeth and its backside will grant it at least some limited form of self recognition and feelings of self. Nature documentaries bring us closer to the suffering and joys of animals in the wild. Indeed, in the U.S., the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 encodes this general public understanding by granting mammals (with the notable exception of rats, mice, and farm animals) special protection against needless suffering not afforded to birds or to cold-blooded animals.

Detailed investigations by behavioral biologists have demonstrated that many other species have complex cognitive abilities such that were they to occur in humans, would be associated with consciousness. Octopuses can learn from each other; and ravens, magpies, parrots, and other birds can perform feats of problem solving, insight, and memorization, and even bees (with under one million nerve cells) can recognize individual faces, learn to navigate by landmarks, and chose a new hive site by deliberations and several days of dancing.

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 Post subject: Re: Science has spoken: animals have consciousness
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:25 pm 
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No-pants hermit 4 lyfe
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it always angries up my fists when people try to insist that humans are the only living things that register anything beyond hunger and changes in light or temperature. i had to work on a cultural psychology textbook last year, and the underlying premise of the entire school of thought (according to that book's author) was that because animals act on instinct and humans don't (?), only humans possess psychology, and this makes them innately superior to all other living things. he argued that because people are able to control aggressive impulses when they want to adhere to certain social codes, those impulses must not be triggered by genes and hormones in humans the way they are in animals. and he does maintain the distinction between animals and humans throughout; they are never referred to as "other animals," because we aren't animals at all. that book was hard to get through. it made me feel better when i realized he had lifted huge chunks of text from sources like the ny times without acknowledging that the material was quoted.

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 Post subject: Re: Science has spoken: animals have consciousness
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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I have a friend who insists that since animals don't have, as I think he put it, a conscious sense of self (knowing they're 'alive' I guess?) that it didn't matter if they're killed for food, since, you know, they don't know what death is. I told him neither did his year old nephew probably, so it would it matter if he died? And he loves showing a video of his neice showing how she looks into the camera and recognizes herself, but when you point out that other animals do that too he finds a way to dismiss it.


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 Post subject: Re: Science has spoken: animals have consciousness
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I'm not reading because I don't care what science says. From what I heard, it's nothing but a bunch of theories.


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 Post subject: Re: Science has spoken: animals have consciousness
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:54 pm 
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bekki wrote:
I'm not reading because I don't care what science says. From what I heard, it's nothing but a bunch of theories.

Isn't that all that science is? Nothing is solid fact, everything is theory. Gravity is a theory, not a fact.

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 Post subject: Re: Science has spoken: animals have consciousness
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:14 pm 
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Another article on the same theme

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 Post subject: Re: Science has spoken: animals have consciousness
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:18 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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starrynight87 wrote:
bekki wrote:
I'm not reading because I don't care what science says. From what I heard, it's nothing but a bunch of theories.

Isn't that all that science is? Nothing is solid fact, everything is theory. Gravity is a theory, not a fact.


Intent is hard to read online...you did get that was pure sarcasm, right?


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