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  • Scientists Declare: Nonhuman Animals Are Conscious

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...nscious-beings

    http://fcmconference.org/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/x-priz...b_1724409.html


    From the Declaration:

    Birds appear to offer, in their behavior, neurophysiology, and neuroanatomy a striking case of parallel evolution of consciousness. Evidence of near human-like levels of consciousness has been most dramatically observed in African grey parrots. Mammalian and avian emotional networks and cognitive microcircuitries appear to be far more homologous than previously thought. Moreover, certain species of birds have been found to exhibit neural sleep patterns similar to those of mammals, including REM sleep and, as was demonstrated in zebra finches, neurophysiological patterns, previously thought to require a mammalian neocortex. Magpies in particular have been shown to exhibit striking similarities to humans, great apes, dolphins, and elephants in studies of mirror self-recognition.

    I am very excited about the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in Non-Human Animals. This is a great step forward.

    The question is how the general public feels about it? Does it change the way you view non-human animals? Is it going to make you change anything about your life and the way you relate to non-human animals?

    Where do we go from here? Changes in legislation?
    Previously known as Njorun Alma


    "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw


  • #2
    To borrow Gould's term, science and morality are non-overlapping magisteria. And for good reason. I think where we should go from here is to a place where we don't let personal morality and diet choices affect our reading of science, and don't try to use science to justify policing of those preferences.
    JFGI

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Tiberias View Post
      To borrow Gould's term, science and morality are non-overlapping magisteria. And for good reason. I think where we should go from here is to a place where we don't let personal morality and diet choices affect our reading of science, and don't try to use science to justify policing of those preferences.
      Who is using science to justify policing preferences?

      ETA: And are you implying that talks about this news means less because I am a vegan, and because I am a vegan mentioning changes in legislation anywhere means I read my personal morality into what the declaration says?
      Last edited by Aeon Flux; August 14th, 2012, 09:19 AM.
      Previously known as Njorun Alma


      "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh, I don't know....how does one really prove emotional consciousness is animals? The frontal cortex, the thing that proves thinking and intellectualism in humans is still so small that it proves that animals cannot intellectualize *anything* they do. The only animals that exhibit any form of culture would be the bonobos, c himpanzee and (maybe) the dolphin.

        That doesn't mean that we shouldn't respect animals and even love them - but to place human emotionality and consciousness on an animal doesn't sit well with me. It's simply projection.
        "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common:
        instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views,
        which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tiberias View Post
          To borrow Gould's term, science and morality are non-overlapping magisteria. And for good reason. I think where we should go from here is to a place where we don't let personal morality and diet choices affect our reading of science, and don't try to use science to justify policing of those preferences.
          Originally posted by Twinkle View Post
          Oh, I don't know....how does one really prove emotional consciousness is animals? The frontal cortex, the thing that proves thinking and intellectualism in humans is still so small that it proves that animals cannot intellectualize *anything* they do. The only animals that exhibit any form of culture would be the bonobos, c himpanzee and (maybe) the dolphin.

          That doesn't mean that we shouldn't respect animals and even love them - but to place human emotionality and consciousness on an animal doesn't sit well with me. It's simply projection.
          I agree with both statements. If by changing legislation it means the keeping of wild animals as pets or more stringent rules on how feed animals are kept and slaughtered, I might be on board but under NO circumstances would I be okay with a governing body dictating what I can and cannot eat. It still irks me to no end that it is illegal in California to produce foie gras. I eat foie gras, I eat veal; they have no business telling me I can't.

          That's right up there with our mayor (frequently called some very unsavory names by NY'ers) trying to ban sodas over 16 oz. Whether I drink them or not (I don't), people should make their own choices.
          "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

          "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

          "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


          R.I.P. MiLo
          Run free and catch the rabbits
          4/7/96 - 11/30/10

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Twinkle View Post
            Oh, I don't know....how does one really prove emotional consciousness is animals? The frontal cortex, the thing that proves thinking and intellectualism in humans is still so small that it proves that animals cannot intellectualize *anything* they do. The only animals that exhibit any form of culture would be the bonobos, c himpanzee and (maybe) the dolphin.

            That doesn't mean that we shouldn't respect animals and even love them - but to place human emotionality and consciousness on an animal doesn't sit well with me. It's simply projection.
            Twinkle, we're talking about neuroscientists here. Not a group of vegans.

            Originally posted by Cambridge Declaration Of Consciousness In Non-Human Animals
            On this day of July 7, 2012, a prominent international group of cognitive neuroscientists,
            neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists and computational neuroscientists
            gathered at The University of Cambridge to reassess the neurobiological substrates of conscious
            experience and related behaviors in human and non-human animals. While comparative research on
            this topic is naturally hampered by the inability of non-human animals, and often humans, to clearly
            and readily communicate about their internal states, the following observations can be stated
            unequivocally:
            So, not vegan activists, not people who are projecting, but scientists and doctors.

            The neural substrates of emotions do not appear to be confined to cortical structures. In fact,
            subcortical neural networks aroused during affective states in humans are also critically
            important for generating emotional behaviors in animals. Artificial arousal of the same brain
            regions generates corresponding behavior and feeling states in both humans and non-human
            animals. Wherever in the brain one evokes instinctual emotional behaviors in non-human
            animals, many of the ensuing behaviors are consistent with experienced feeling states, including
            those internal states that are rewarding and punishing. Deep brain stimulation of these systems
            in humans can also generate similar affective states. Systems associated with affect are
            concentrated in subcortical regions where neural homologies abound. Young human and non-
            human animals without neocortices retain these brain-mind functions. Furthermore, neural
            circuits supporting behavioral/electrophysiological states of attentiveness, sleep and decision
            making appear to have arisen in evolution as early as the invertebrate radiation, being evident in
            insects and cephalopod mollusks (e.g., octopus).
            As you can see, they now believe emotions are NOT confined to cortical structures.

            We declare the following: “The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from
            experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the
            neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with
            the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that
            humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-
            human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also
            possess these neurological substrates.”
            Originally posted by WitchJezebel View Post
            I agree with both statements. If by changing legislation it means the keeping of wild animals as pets or more stringent rules on how feed animals are kept and slaughtered, I might be on board but under NO circumstances would I be okay with a governing body dictating what I can and cannot eat. It still irks me to no end that it is illegal in California to produce foie gras. I eat foie gras, I eat veal; they have no business telling me I can't.

            That's right up there with our mayor (frequently called some very unsavory names by NY'ers) trying to ban sodas over 16 oz. Whether I drink them or not (I don't), people should make their own choices.
            Now, I sincerely wonder how many of you would have started down the road of "projecting" and "NO one should dictate what I can eat" and "Stop policing our actions with your preferences" had it been a person who ate meat who posted this.

            Let me get one thing straight here. The correct way to approach me about my thoughts about legislation is not to make assumptions. Perhaps even ask if my morals lend me to want to legislate about dietary habits, but guess what? I DON'T BELIEVE IN LEGISLATION REGARDING PEOPLE EATING MEAT.

            Now, foie gras is another thing entirely and falls under animal cruelty, but that isn't what this post was about. This was about scientists signing a declaration about consciousness in non-human animals. I asked others about their view of changes in legislation because when one discovers things like this it is a logical thing to ask about. Should we, perhaps, be more careful in regulating who can and cannot own pets... for example? Should we regulate the conditions we keep animals such as pigs and cows in harder? Does consciousness in these animals not lend us some pause for the treatment of the animals around us? Perhaps COSMETIC animal testing is something we ought to reconsider?

            So, please... don't assume that because I am a vegan this declaration is made by a subset of the PETA, or that I now think I have sufficient scientific proof to push for legislation to make it illegal to eat meat, or that I even want to. It makes those of you who do assume that sound bigoted and it completely ruins any chance we have for discussing exciting news as adults with functioning brains.

            Would it help you to discuss this properly with me if I went and edited my signature to read BACON! instead?

            AND for those of you even remotely interested the full declaration is available in PDF format from the middle link in my OP.
            Last edited by Aeon Flux; August 14th, 2012, 07:44 PM.
            Previously known as Njorun Alma


            "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

            Comment


            • #7
              You posted a story about a score of scientists specializing in a somewhat fringe area of study (and at least one with no such expertise) declaring that a wide swathe of animals share a state with nothing resembling a precise scientific definition but LOADS of connotations in common speech relating to human-like behavior. I think your vocal opinions on the treatment of animals, including diet, place your initial post in an important context without any projection necessary. For instance, it illuminates your rationale for reading far too much into the story despite previously demonstrated scientific literacy. Should we change anything we do as scientists or laymen because of this declaration? No. That would be ridiculous given the nature of the announcement. If the scientists involved want to stop performing their experiments, that's their call.
              Last edited by Tiberias; August 14th, 2012, 10:39 PM.
              JFGI

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tiberias View Post
                You posted a story about a score of scientists specializing in a somewhat fringe area of study (and at least one with no such expertise) declaring that a wide swathe of animals share a state with nothing resembling a precise scientific definition but LOADS of connotations in common speech relating to human-like behavior. I think your vocal opinions on the treatment of animals, including diet, place your initial post in an important context without any projection necessary. For instance, it illuminates your rationale for reading far too much into the story despite previously demonstrated scientific literacy. Should we change anything we do as scientists or laymen because of this declaration? No. That would be ridiculous given the nature of the announcement. If the scientists involved want to stop performing their experiments, that's their call.
                1. We're talking about neural responses here and people who are specialized in things like Biopsychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Neuroscience, Evolutionary and Population Biology, Mathematics, Physical Anthropology and Physics. Yes, they sound like they are specialized in a "somewhat fringe area of study). Or they sound like a good amount of scientists that have contributed to this declaration by researching everything from REM sleep in finches to self-awareness in animals from a NEUROLOGICAL perspective. Only one of these scientists is specialized in the study of consciousness.

                ONE of them, by whom I suspect you are talking about one of the guest speakers and the "witness" of the signing, didn't have relevant expertise. Stephen Hawking had no bearing on what led them there, however that he would have been present would not be odd since he considers science better at answering philosophical problems than philosophy is.

                2. If we are going to talk about biases and rationale I don't think I am in any way less credible a commentator on these news than any of the previous posters in this thread. I have nothing to lose. This has no bearing on my life, will not change how I relate to things or my personal ethics, moral or diet. The fact that I am outspoken about animal rights is in no way dependent on news about consciousness in animals. People who do eat meat would have more to lose regarding these news, and would have more to lose as far as their personal ethics and morality goes. So as far as biases and rationales regarding how anyone reads this news I would have to say that you are on thinner ice than I am.
                Previously known as Njorun Alma


                "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tiberias View Post
                  You posted a story about a score of scientists specializing in a somewhat fringe area of study (and at least one with no such expertise) declaring that a wide swathe of animals share a state with nothing resembling a precise scientific definition but LOADS of connotations in common speech relating to human-like behavior. I think your vocal opinions on the treatment of animals, including diet, place your initial post in an important context without any projection necessary. For instance, it illuminates your rationale for reading far too much into the story despite previously demonstrated scientific literacy. Should we change anything we do as scientists or laymen because of this declaration? No. That would be ridiculous given the nature of the announcement. If the scientists involved want to stop performing their experiments, that's their call.
                  I couldn't have said it better if I tried.

                  Originally posted by ěŽon Flux View Post
                  Let me get one thing straight here. The correct way to approach me about my thoughts about legislation is not to make assumptions. Perhaps even ask if my morals lend me to want to legislate about dietary habits, but guess what? I DON'T BELIEVE IN LEGISLATION REGARDING PEOPLE EATING MEAT.

                  Now, foie gras is another thing entirely and falls under animal cruelty, but that isn't what this post was about. This was about scientists signing a declaration about consciousness in non-human animals. I asked others about their view of changes in legislation because when one discovers things like this it is a logical thing to ask about. Should we, perhaps, be more careful in regulating who can and cannot own pets... for example? Should we regulate the conditions we keep animals such as pigs and cows in harder? Does consciousness in these animals not lend us some pause for the treatment of the animals around us? Perhaps COSMETIC animal testing is something we ought to reconsider?
                  And I call it animal husbandry so it's just a difference of opinion. I'm on the side of the French on this one.

                  I understand how emotional these topics are but I didn't attack what you believe - only agreed with other opinions. Why then, don't you tell us what kind changes in legislation you're actually speaking of, you threw out alot of ideas but if that's what you wanted to discuss why didn't you just say that instead of posting the article and leaving it so vague without posting what changes you'd like to see? Because the way I read it and as a chef I see it as changing legislation on food animals and more regulations on what we eat which I cannot abide. The government has NO BUSINESS passing legislation on dietary habits but I did say I was on board with changing the legislation on the treatment of feed animals (see my first post again). There are a few exceptions to dietary legislation that I am perfectly fine with however, but I imagine that's a whole other topic of discussion.

                  I did not assume anything because you're vegan; that means nothing to me but you seem to always get extremely defensive when someone disagrees with you. Not everyone who disagrees is attacking your eating habits, but it does speak to the possible emotional driving force behind some of your posts.
                  Last edited by WitchJezebel; August 15th, 2012, 03:28 PM.
                  "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

                  "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

                  "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


                  R.I.P. MiLo
                  Run free and catch the rabbits
                  4/7/96 - 11/30/10

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WitchJezebel View Post
                    I understand how emotional these topics are but I didn't attack what you believe - only agreed with other opinions. Why then, don't you tell us what kind changes in legislation you're actually speaking of, you threw out alot of ideas but if that's what you wanted to discuss why didn't you just say that instead of posting the article and leaving it so vague without posting what changes you'd like to see? Because the way I read it and as a chef I see it as changing legislation on food animals and more regulations on what we eat which I cannot abide. The government has NO BUSINESS passing legislation on dietary habits but I did say I was on board with changing the legislation on the treatment of feed animals (see my first post again). There are a few exceptions to dietary legislation that I am perfectly fine with however, but I imagine that's a whole other topic of discussion.

                    I did not assume anything because you're vegan; that means nothing to me but you seem to always get extremely defensive when someone disagrees with you. Not everyone who disagrees is attacking your eating habits, but it does speak to the possible emotional driving force behind some of your posts.
                    I didn't say anyone attacked what I believed. I said that people are attacking my integrity because I identify with the term vegan. I have no problem with people DISAGREEING with me. Hell, my husband still eats meat, and I'm sometimes the one that takes him out to dinner so that he can have some. My mother and father both disagree with me and 99% of my friends are not even remotely vegan. What I have a problem with is people attacking my integrity without a thought because the news I posted had to do with consciousness in non-human animals. Did you see me jump down your throat because you like fois gras? No. Eat whatever you want to eat.

                    The reason I posted the news with generalized questions was because I was honestly interested in other peoples opinions, but what I got was less of peoples opinions of my news and more opinions about how I am not equipped to comment on this because I am reading too much into it. Hence why I did not make any other comment in the initial post than the fact that I am excited about it.

                    I understand that most of you think you understand how I work and what kind of "emotional motivations" I might have, but you obviously don't.

                    What kind of legislative things could I imagine? More protection against cruelty for animals. More rigorous controls of factory farms and rules for them. Automatic termination of employment for workers who abuse the animals and a ban from ever working in the industry again. More rigorous rules regarding mulesing, tail docking, the cutting off of horns and beaks.

                    Not once would I have considered suggesting the banning of food for people. It doesn't help anyone, and technology is moving forward so quickly that vat grown meat will be a reality even before a law would have come into place. I am not going to force people into a different lifestyle, that's cruel. And humans are animals. Not very vegan now, is it?

                    As I said. Disagree with me all you want, that is fine. But one thing I will not stand is having my character criticized because of how I live. I would be even more able to turn that around and say that because you are a chef and enjoy meat you are just as unable as me to produce a rational opinion on it. But I won't. Because I understand that what we chose to eat or not eat does not change our ability to think
                    Previously known as Njorun Alma


                    "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For me personally, whether someone is Vegan or not has nothing to do with my response to this thread. Whenever I read something that says "suggests" - it stops being scientific and becomes a guess - largely based on what we would like to believe, rather that what is true.

                      It gets dismissed in my mind, because I think that this area of study is largely conjecture, with no real way to objectively test consciousness or emotionality in an animal that we *know* works solely by instinct based on the size of the neocortex and observable and objective study and testing.

                      Also, when one starts discussing legislation based on conjecture - it gets people wondering what the *real* issue is - because it sure ain't scientific.
                      "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common:
                      instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views,
                      which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ěŽon Flux View Post
                        1. We're talking about neural responses here and people who are specialized in things like Biopsychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Neuroscience, Evolutionary and Population Biology, Mathematics, Physical Anthropology and Physics. Yes, they sound like they are specialized in a "somewhat fringe area of study). Or they sound like a good amount of scientists that have contributed to this declaration by researching everything from REM sleep in finches to self-awareness in animals from a NEUROLOGICAL perspective. Only one of these scientists is specialized in the study of consciousness.
                        Neuroscience, Evolutionary Biology, Math, and Physical Anthropology are all fantastic fields of scientific inquiry and I have no doubt that the contributors to this conference are knowledgeable and skilled practitioners of those fields. But this conference went a step further and the scientists involved took the results of their (appropriately) limited inquiries, slapped an overlay of consciousness studies, which IS widely regarded as fringe science and for good reasons I've already alluded to, and released a package of good science wrapped in meaningless conjecture. The individual studies are sound. Consciousness studies as a field of inquiry is not, and never will be until its practitioners can manage to agree on such a fundamental notion as what conciousness is. "Sentience" is defined. "Sapience" is defined. Hell, even "life" is better defined than "consciousness". In fact, from what I've read of the findings, it sounds like what the scientists actually mean is something more akin to, "We found similar biological underpinnings for non-instinctual responses to sentience across broad taxonomic categories," than "look at all these conscious animals." The former is a perfectly fine and really interesting announcement. The latter is bullshit. It is in fact such bullshit that almost every response I've come across has fallen into one of three groups. Scientists in related fields who are wondering why this is even news. Vegans jumping up and down in glee. And the PETA crowd demanding legislative changes.

                        And given the rest, Hawking's inclusion smacks a lot more of an attempt to get headlines because he's a recognizable name that news editors associate with SCIENCE!!!
                        JFGI

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Doh, double post computer fail.
                          Last edited by Aeon Flux; August 19th, 2012, 11:20 AM.
                          Previously known as Njorun Alma


                          "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Twinkle View Post
                            For me personally, whether someone is Vegan or not has nothing to do with my response to this thread. Whenever I read something that says "suggests" - it stops being scientific and becomes a guess - largely based on what we would like to believe, rather that what is true.

                            It gets dismissed in my mind, because I think that this area of study is largely conjecture, with no real way to objectively test consciousness or emotionality in an animal that we *know* works solely by instinct based on the size of the neocortex and observable and objective study and testing.

                            Also, when one starts discussing legislation based on conjecture - it gets people wondering what the *real* issue is - because it sure ain't scientific.
                            If you think anything scientific that uses the word "suggests" is not science then there is no science. That is scientific jargon and not conjecture. The only field dealing with absolutes is mathematics. Hell, any scientific study will use "suggests" and "seem to indicate". Because that IS how science works. They don't deal in absolutes, and evidence suggests, it does not prove something beyond the shadow of a doubt.

                            You obviously didn't bother to read the fact that these animals are not *known* to be working only on instinct and the fact that their research indicate that the presence of a neocortex is not NEEDED for these conscious and emotional responses.

                            Originally posted by Tiberias View Post
                            Neuroscience, Evolutionary Biology, Math, and Physical Anthropology are all fantastic fields of scientific inquiry and I have no doubt that the contributors to this conference are knowledgeable and skilled practitioners of those fields. But this conference went a step further and the scientists involved took the results of their (appropriately) limited inquiries, slapped an overlay of consciousness studies, which IS widely regarded as fringe science and for good reasons I've already alluded to, and released a package of good science wrapped in meaningless conjecture. The individual studies are sound. Consciousness studies as a field of inquiry is not, and never will be until its practitioners can manage to agree on such a fundamental notion as what conciousness is. "Sentience" is defined. "Sapience" is defined. Hell, even "life" is better defined than "consciousness". In fact, from what I've read of the findings, it sounds like what the scientists actually mean is something more akin to, "We found similar biological underpinnings for non-instinctual responses to sentience across broad taxonomic categories," than "look at all these conscious animals." The former is a perfectly fine and really interesting announcement. The latter is bullshit. It is in fact such bullshit that almost every response I've come across has fallen into one of three groups. Scientists in related fields who are wondering why this is even news. Vegans jumping up and down in glee. And the PETA crowd demanding legislative changes.

                            And given the rest, Hawking's inclusion smacks a lot more of an attempt to get headlines because he's a recognizable name that news editors associate with SCIENCE!!!
                            1. I nowhere jumped up and down and screamed "look at the conscious animals", nor did I jump up and down in glee, or demanded legislative changes, and nor am I a member of the PETA and I never will be.

                            2. Stephen Hawkings is not a man who goes to conferences simply to lend a hand at marketing. It is REALLY hard for him to appear at these kinds of gatherings these days, he doesn't do it just because someone asks him and because it might grab headlines.

                            3. You are right. Many scientists in similar fields are wondering why this is news, because they thought everyone already knew.

                            Michael Mountain was as incredulous as I and many others about something we already knew. It's interesting to note that of the 15 notables who spoke at this conference only one has actually done studies of wild animals. It would have been nice to hear from researchers who have conducted long-term studies of wild animals, including great apes, other nonhuman primates, social carnivores, cetaceans, rodents, and birds, for example, to add to the database. Be that as it may, I applaud their not so surprising conclusion and now I hope it will be used to protect animals from being treated abusively and inhumanely.
                            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...nscious-beings

                            Some might say we didn't really know that other animals were conscious but this is an incredibly naive view given what we know about the neurobiology and cognitive and emotional lives of other animals. Indeed, it was appeals to these very data that led to the conclusions of this group of scientists. But did we really need a group of internationally recognized scientists to tell us that the data are really okay? Yes and no, but let's thank them for doing this.
                            That is what they have done for the general group of people researching these fields with this declaration. They've declared it sound. Which is good, because obviously people have no clue animals are more than biological machines. Scientists in these relevant fields already knew it, have published their articles, but these things rarely reach the public in its fullness. They didn't rely simply on their own research, they took into consideration all the research being done into the emotions, cognition, self-awareness, problem solving abilities and similar things that animals do have and declared that, yes, we do seem to have proof that indicates humans are not the only animal with consciousness because the neural responses people consider to be indicative of consciousness and thought were only possible in humans have now been observed in non-human animals. So what they have done is taken what people say points to consciousness in humans and found similar things in animals, neurologically speaking. If you want to argue semantics, that is fine. So let's say that they have found that the neural responses humans exhibit during a wide range of emotions, experiences and things of that nature in non-human animals, indicating that what we consider to be special in humans, what sets us a part from non-human animals is not that special to humans after all. There is a wide range of animals out there having similar experiences as we have. Should those indications not lead to us regarding our treatment of them in a different light? Happy?

                            Other significant examples of versatile behavior
                            suggestive of conscious thinking are scrub jays that ex-
                            hibit all the objective attributes of episodic memory, evi-
                            dence that monkeys sometimes know what they know,
                            creative tool-making by crows, and recent interpretation
                            of goal-directed behavior of rats as requiring simple non-
                            reflexive consciousness.
                            http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rc...Ji0tIg1mlHOkbA
                            Last edited by Aeon Flux; August 17th, 2012, 01:40 AM.
                            Previously known as Njorun Alma


                            "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here's a third party observation.


                              OP: Here's a thing! What do you think?

                              Poster: I think--

                              OP: YOU'RE ATTACKING ME FOR MY BELIEFS BECAUSE I'M VEGAN AREN'T YOU.

                              Poster #2: Here's my thoughts, and I think you might be overreacti--

                              OP: I'M SHOWING YOU HOW I DON'T OVERREACT BY QUOTING A LOT OF THINGS AND BEING EXTREMELY DEFENSIVE THE ENTIRE TIME!

                              Posters: ...
                              ---

                              [you have been visited by a heliotrope]



                              [hi]

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