Denial of evolution II

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Hercules Rockefeller, Mar 9, 2009.

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  1. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I think that lesser than ape animals do learn and can be taught, but the examples you give do not seem to me to be only learning from watching or pure teaching without concurent practice. (Trial and error learning.)

    For example, for a cat to learn by watching instead of practice in killing prey, I would need to have data showing that a cat which has been shown many movies of other experienced cats killing prey performs well on its first try. Yes dog learn where food is kept, what sounds precede its owner returning from day at work, etc. but this is what I would call "correlation" learning. Most dogs are not very visually oriented to the world - their world is more one of odors as far as I can tell. It is hard to know that birds learn from watching.

    For example, the Baltimore Oriel makes a very distinct hanging nest. Some Baltimore Oriel eggs were transported to large aviary cage in Florida, as I recall, where none are naturally found and raised with dozens of other species in that cage. When they mated and made their nest, they were the standard hanging nest of the Baltimore Oriel, not like any they have seen. (Obviously they did not learn from watching.) How do you know that the birds you claim learned from watching really did learn only from watching? (Instead of just followed the instincts of their species or learned by trial and error?)

    I am not saying that only Apes (man being one) can learn from watching, but I do think that true, until given some evidence that can not be explained otherwise.

    PS I added footnote *** by edit to my prior post, probably while you were posting. It seems to indicate dogs have zero ability to learn from watching alone.

    The octopi are quite smart, I think. If the colored boxes were outside the tank (no odor clues) and it reached over tank wall to get the correct color coded food box after only watching another, I would agree that octopi also can learn only by watching. (Provided also it is known that they even have color vision. As I recall cats* see only in black and white - not uncommon for nocturnal hunters as rods are more sensitive than cones. Octopi live in a dim light enviroment so I doubt they even have color vision, but I am just guessing. I know they have relatively large eyes to collect a lot of light,with a more intellignet design than human eyes. I.e. their retina is in front of the nerve net and blood vessels, not behind them as in humans. -If there is an ID, He was more concerned to do the eyes of octopi more intelligently than human eyes)
    *Cats have a reflective layer behind the retina. The light that is not absorbed scatters off it to give a second chance to activate the rods before passing back out of the lense in the general direction of the light source. (Why cat's eyes shine in the dark for people near the flashlight shinning into their eyes.) This scattering back of light lowers their visual resolution, but is worth it for night hunting. Humans, in contrast have a black layer behind the retina, to avoid loss of resolution. Humans hunted during the day, more than at night when there was plenty of light and resolution was more useful. I bet octopi eyes also shine if a diver has a flash light beam on them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2009
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  3. FelixC Registered Senior Member

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  5. Roman Banned Banned

    "It is proven that cats learn by trial and error, observation and imitation.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] recalling certain information much longer than dogs.[14] In one study, it was found that cats possess visual memory ability comparable to that of monkeys.[15] However, for short term working memory, at least one study showed that dogs outperformed cats for periods of time up to 60 seconds.[16]"

    How's "correlational" learning any different than a chimp watching another chimp do X and receive Y? I'm fairly certain dogs have been shown to be able to watch someone do something and learn from it.

    Because behavioral scientists published papers on it.

    Here's a paper summarizing octopus as a model for comparative analysis for cognition:

    It's written by the two guys who did the octopus experiment with the red & white balls.
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Do any of these reference give evidence tht cats can learn by observation only?

    Thanks for the reference on Octopi learning. I knew and posted that octopi were quite smart and have already indicated my willingness to accept that they, like some apes, can learn by observation only. I now think that has been well demonstrated by Graziano Fiorito and Pietro Scotto in their Science paper:
    “Observational Learning in Octopus", available on line at:

    I was also pleased that my logically based guess that octopi are color blind is correct. That is confirmed by Ref(9) of that paper, which in part states:
    “Because Octopus vulgaris is color blind [J. B. Messenger, J. Exp. Biol. 70, 49 (1977)] this task {discriminating red from white balls} is to be considered a brightness discrimination.”

    I have not yet looked into your opinion / claim* that dogs are intelligent enough to learn by observation only, so still doubt that, but will try to follow up if you have any references supporting it also. I tend to be of the unpopular opinion that the selection process which made dogs out of rather clever wolves, made them dumb but affectionate.

    I have a calopisita (bird of the parrot family, called cockatiel in English, I think) that is as smart as any dog I have ever owned and with much more self will and personality. It is quite attached to me (and I to it). It has free range of the house during the day. It has its own chair at the breakfast table, but is not allowed on any table. It likes to eat from my plate (and when on my shoulder I often hold plate up so it can). It sits on the back of its chair ocasionally asking me to pet its head (by lowering it head) which I usually do. It watches me carefully. If I get up to get second cup of coffee etc. their is high probability it will fly to the table as soon as my back is turned and taste what is on my plate even though it knows full well I will try to swat at it with napkin etc. Like a two year old child, it does not like to go to bed in its large cage for the night. So often it is hard to catch at that time of eve. Once after illuding me several times with quick flight, it went into the kitchen and hid in a box.

    It has several distinct crys. One means either "thank you" or "that was nice" others have completely clear meanings. It knows it name and will always say the cry that means "I am here" when I call it. (I like to know where it is but 15 minutes or so may pass and I do not as I have been busy.) If I sleep late it has a loud screech that it calls me from bed with, which clearly means let me out of this dam cage. If I do not come in 20 minutes or so, when I do, it will bite me or turn it back to me. It is a very smart bird.

    * I'm fairly certain dogs have been shown to be able to watch someone do something and learn from it.”
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2009
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    According to this guy , ravens learn by watching - certain things.

    He retails some anecdotes of very careful observations, and I refer you to his book "Mind of the Raven" for them.

    Most bats have perfectly good vision - maybe not as specialized and acute as most birds, but better than most flying insects, and better than many other mammals.

    There is no "transition" involved in dolphins picking up sophisticated sound-processing abilities over millions of years - mammals in general are very well suited to sophisticated sound processing, with their uniquely sensitive and capable ear structure (one of the ways a skull can be labeled "mammalian" is by its ear structure ), and given that enormous evolutionary head start the remaining few steps to echo processing are comparatively trivial, and the wonderful richness of the aquatic auditory environment an obvious selection driver.

    Almost all mammals hear "better" (a wider range of frequency and volume, finer frequency discrimination) than almost any other creature, and most mammals can "echo-locate" in at least rudimentary fashion. Most evolutionary theorists accept the hypothesis that the early mammals were nocturnal, for that and other reasons.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  9. stereologist Escapee from Dr Moreau Registered Senior Member

    No problem Billy T, I often get help. I like your posts.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And the snowflake "spontaneously" forming in midair from randomly moving molecules of gas is embedded in a larger system as well. Whether the universe as a whole is a closed system is not known at present, but that hardly matters in discussions of the events within the biosphere of this planet over the past 4 billion years - that is definitely and spectacularly not a closed system.
    Very good question, at least partly answered by Darwin in his theory of evolution by natural selection.
    It doesn't.

    Sometimes I have found the following visual aid comes in handy: get a small plastic pill vial, and buy some red and some white cake decorating beads - those little round sugar BBs people sprinkle on cupcakes and such, identical except for the color. Fill the vial half full of the red ones, fill it the rest of the way with the white ones. Have the student shake the vial. A few of the red ones will be seen to migrate throught the white ones - often one or two will seem to have set out on a journey, far from the main bulk of red. Likewise a couple of white ones, isolated in the red section. Ask the student to explain this - very often, you will hear a dedicated, elaborate attempt to construct some kind of causal, goal or force driven explanation. It can take quite a while for the human intuition to exhaust itself in its search for goals and causes, in even the simplest situations.
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Bernd Heinrich page at wiki was probably written by him to promote his books. It does not provide any support for the idea that ravens learn by watching, but they may. I think they are smart birds.

    My cockatiel has better hearing than I or my wife. I get up between 7 and 8 AM usually. He lets me sleep until 8, without the demanding screech which means "Come let me out of this dam cage." If I wake about 7AM and get up very quietly so wife can sleep still, he will hear me. The slightest clearing of my throat (mainly low frequency, I think, as those are all I can hear) will tell I am awake and start the demanding screeches. His cage is in the most remote part of the living room from bedroom down a hallway which passes by two other bedrooms first. No human could be where he is and hear my gentile clearing of my throat. He also hears (I see him startle for no reason I can discern) high pitched sounds I cannot. (That is to be expected as his hearing apparatus is smaller than mine, but this makes his hearing of the lower frequencies of my throat clearing all the more amazing.)

    If you have a copy of BH's book on ravens, quote section that supports idea that they can learn ONLY by watching. My bird, sunshine, may do that, but it is hard to tell. He loves peanuts and knows the closet in which they are kept, obviously just by watching. If my wife goes towards it, he will usually fly to her shoulder before she can even reach the closet* door. Most of the time he is disappointed as she is just getting a can of tomatoe paste etc. He only gets one peanut as Fraggle, who knows a lot about birds, has told me in PM that cockatiels will eat many and possibly even rupture their stomach.
    *It is not in a convenient place so we only keep fancy wine glasses, etc. liquor and seldom used foods there. Wife will walk across the living room to reach it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2009
  12. Pteriax Registered Member

    sorry, guys. something happened while I was away. the forums just seem hollow and meaningless now. sorry if anyone is disappointed. best of luck to you all.
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I still would like to see your table of duration in our years of each of God's days, even if you are not here to discuss it.
  14. Roman Banned Banned

    I looked up those octopus experiments in more detail, and it seems that the one with red & white balls by Fioritio & Scotto were pretty flawed, and that it's actually a controversial study.
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I think they are quite smart, but forget what I read to make me think that. Evolution develops different intellectual abilities in different creatures. The octopus lives a solitary life, except for mating, I think. Thus, there is not much evolutionary reward for learning by watching other octopi.

    My bird is quite smart, but I do not think he has any concept of self. I have been giving him a mirror test, and thus far he fails to understanding the bird reflected is him. I.e. If I bring him close to mirror, he will pick at it and sometimes make his hostile, "I am angry at you" sounds when doing so. Only a few animals, only those naturally living in social groups I think, have a demonstrable concept of self, as show in mirror tests. Young humans also fail, but I forget how young they are when they learn. I strongly suspect even an old octopus has no concept of self. Having a concept of self vs. others is rewarded by evolution for social group animals only I think.
  16. Pteriax Registered Member

    Of course. I forgot, sorry. I have it right here...

    Note that the sequence is precisely the same as what is laid out in Genesis ch 1. The italicized bit is relevant to the request, but I have included the whole document. I can imagine the flames at the part at the end, I really regret that I won't be here to debate it with you. Enjoy.

    Big Bang (Creation) 15,748,000,000 BC (day 1)
    Solar System 8,000,000,000 BC (day 2)
    Earth Formed 4,500,000,000 BC (day 3)
    Water forms /with life 3,500,000,000 BC (day 3)
    Clouds clear up and the skies are cleared 1,200,000,000 BC (day 4)
    First water Animals Fossils 600,000,000 BC (day 5)
    Cambrian Explosion 543-490,000,000 BC (day 5)
    Mesozoic Period 545-65,000,000 BC (day 5 into day 6)
    Animal Life on Land Fossils 250,000,000 BC (day 6)
    Ice Age 70,000-8000 BC (day 6)
    Paleolithic Period- 160,000 -5000 BC (day 6 into day 7)

    160,000 Years Ago Modern Man in Africa, Neanderthal man dominant in Europe (Found to be completely human about 7000 years old and has been removed from the Journal of Science as a feasible factor in computing the timeline of man.)
    40,000 Years Ago Cro-Magnon Man dominant, Advanced stone tools. Cave painting. (Found to be completely human/ with arthritic condition about 6-5000 years old and has been removed from the Journal of Science as a feasible factor in computing the timeline of man.)
    Stone Age 5000-1500 BC
    Adam / Eve 4000 BC
    Noah & Flood 2945- 1995BC Flood 2300 BC
    First Pyramids starts being built 2750-360BC
    Peleg 2212-2004 BC World Wide Event 2100 BC
    Abraham & God 1952 BC 2048-1873 BC
    Ishmael 1962-1825 BC
    Bronze Age 1500-600 BC 27,000,000 Population
    Moses 1412-1292 BC Egypt 1372 BC
    Torah (Early edition) 1000 BC
    Homer 800 BC 50,000,000 Population
    The world is flat
    The universe is eternal
    There are higher thinkers
    The ether is not available to the common man
    Buddha 563-483 BC
    Confucius 551-479 BC
    Iron Age 600 BC-500 AD 100,000,000 Population
    Higher thinkers are the ruling class
    Torah (Modern) 450 BC
    SOCRATES 469-399 BC
    Council of ether thought
    PLATO 427-347 BC
    Council of thought
    ARISTOTLE 384-322 BC
    Senate Rule
    Jesus the Christ 4BC -30AD 150,000,000 Population
    Emperor Constantine 280-337 AD
    Bible Compiled 350 AD
    Emperor Augustine 354-430 AD
    Middle Ages & Medieval Period- 500-1500AD 275,000,000 Population

    Mohammed Eben Abdula 570-632 AD
    Born poor
    Married a business woman
    Began spiritual journey, retreats 610 AD
    Begins to preach (first Muslim group, Mecca) 612 AD
    Message of peace
    Chased out of Mecca by city leaders, Migrated to Yathrib 612 AD
    Yathrib changed name to Medina (City of the Prophet)
    Message changed to rules and original ‘Islamic Law’ was created
    Mecca wars against Medina 622-630 AD
    Message changes to warring
    Prophecy ends 632AD
    Koran compiled 651 AD All other writings of Koran scripture destroyed
    Koran is Published 660 AD
    Crusades 1096-1270 AD *
    Martin Luther 1450-1546 AD
    World is proven to not be flat 1492 AD
    William Tyndale 1494-1536
    Renaissance 1500-1700 AD 375,000,000 Population
    Georgian Period 1700-1830 AD 600,000,000 Population
    The Great Awakening 1734-1775
    The Second Great Awakening 1800-1840
    The Welch Revival 1904-1912
    Victorian Period 1830-1900 AD 900,000,000 Population
    Modern Era 1900- Current 6,000,000,000 Population
    The Welch Revival 1904-1912
    Azusa Street Revival 1906-1908
    Atomic Age- ???1945???
    Space Age- ???1960???

    Big Bang Theory 1965AD
    Eternal Universe is debunked 1965 AD
    Theory of relativity proven 1971
    Evolution debunked (First time) 1973
    Cosmologist and Mathematician Confirm a Creation 1992 AD
    Science proves 6 day creation of Universe 1992 AD (see top section)
    Toronto Blessing 1994 AD
    Evolution Debunked 2000AD
  17. Roman Banned Banned

    I've always thought the mirror test was a superficial and inconsequential test. Even a sponge has self/not-self capabilities of recognition.
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    To Pteriax (hope you still read):

    Thanks for time table. I think 1492 is the wrong date for "World is not flat." time. Perhaps you can correct the day to time list. The radius of the Earth was quite accurately measured by the ancients back in BC. Here is how it was measured:

    There was a deep well in Egypt and it was known that on noon of four certain days each year the sun would shine all the way down and briefly fully illuminate the entire water surface. I.e. the noon sun was directly over head. On that same day some distance (a few hundred miles as I recall) due north at noon the sun was NOT 90 degrees above a water surface. By measuring** the noon difference from 90 degrees the sun did reach that day and drawing an isosceles triangle with that angle, (the base corresponding to the separation between the well and the northern measurement point), the radius of the Earth was determined. You should be able to get history more accurately with a little searching about the history of the Earth's radius measurement efforts.

    Also Columbus only believed the Earth was round. He had no accurate clock, so he could not determine his longitude. If the world were flat, his log book would not be any different. He even died, after three voyages, still thinking he had found the Asian continent. He had no way to know how far around the Earth he went or even if his belief that it was Earth was round was correct. Some of Magellan's crew were the first to prove beyond all doubt that the world was round, by circumnavigation. Magellan died in the Philippians. From Wiki:

    "Four crewmen of the original 55 on Trinidad {name of a ship} finally returned to Spain in 1525; 51 of them had died in war or from disease. In total, approximately 232 Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, English and German sailors died on the expedition around the world with Magellan. ..." {They started with five ships.}
    * Old "bucket wells" are quite vertical as dug by hauling dirt up in a bucket, which serves as a plumb bob.

    **Length of the shortest shadow of simple vertical pole of known height will do as the measurement. I suspect that Chinese astronomers had computational proof that the Earth was round even 1000 BC. I.e. 1492 AD is wrong date for many reasons. Some ancient Greeks (and Chinese too) knew what caused an eclipse of the moon and watched the curve of the Earth's shadow cross that surface but it is hard to get accurate Earth size from that observation. As I recall the sun-over-well method was better than 90% accurate. The French hardly did any better after their revolution when the meter was created to be a decimal fraction of the diameter or circumference or distance to the N. pole - I forget which.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2009
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Just watching the reaction of animal to its mirror image does not proof much, beyond reasonable doubt, I agree. However, the standard test is objective. After an animal with arms and hands has seen his mirror image many times, while he sleeps you paint a small spot on his forehead. Then when he looks at image and nearly immediately plucks at the spot or otherwise investigates you know two things.

    (1) He has a concept of "me" or self.
    (2) He knows that it is him he is seeing in the mirror.

    I am not sure what you are saying /claiming for the sponge. If only that when I jab it with stick it will react more than if I jab a nearby sponge, I will accept that as fact, but so will one of two nearby rocks, when it is jabbed with a stick. So I hope you can tell me something entirely different than "if I jab it ...." type of argument to support your claim.

    It is possible my bird has a concept of "me" (self) and just does not understand the bird he see in the mirror is him. Occasionally one of his very fine fluffy small feathers will get stuck on his beak, but he makes little effort to remove it. This plus the fact that he has no hands plus fact he would strongly resist me doing so has prevented me from putting a dot of paint etc on his beak to test with. I also have a lot of empathy with him and do not want some experimenter to put a drop of paint on my nose, so don't do it to him for that reason also.

    You can be quite intelligent, solve problems, have different vocalizations for different conditions, even defend "your" territory, etc. (My bird does this and more)* without having any concept of self, I believe. Thus I find your claim about the sponge hard to believe of at least think it impossible to demonstrate.

    *For example, he will ask, mainly by coming to me and lower head, but sometimes with a soft vocalization also, for me to pet his head. He will not allow me to touch his back or wings. This does not show that he knows they are "his." (During the day he flies where ever he likes inside the house, but usually remains in the room I am in or even on my shoulder for few hours. His open cage, or of anything high, like top of a picture frame or a window sill of our 14 floor apartment are his favorite spots.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2009
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Well - again, leaning to NOMA - I'll say "God's glory to conceal a thing, but the honour of kings to search out a matter".

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Since we live in the "real world" (described as fundamentally flawed from the get-go because of that whole "apple thing"), perhaps the system is flawed merely because the real world is. I follow Gould's advice and I don't use theology to define science or science to define theology.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Or perhaps you're a horrible sinner! Speak, denigrate! What hast thou done against God? Fetch the Kettle of Trials!

    The smallest unit is the gene. The smallest interval is the generation - although you could argue a sort of epigeneration, perhaps, due to methylation. A dam might produce offspring without methylated genes in one breeding cohort, and a series of offspring with variably methylated genes in another.

    "Epigeneration"? Hmm. I suppose someone will steal that now.
  21. tuberculatious Banned Banned

    Thank you. I will send in a patent on that. So be careful when using this concept in the future.
  22. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Epigeneration epigeneration epigeneration.

    First use. Tooooo late!
  23. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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