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Re: [evol-psych] Re: Were we all BLACK once?

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  • Edgar Owen
    Sonny, The conscious of all species is distinct from that of other species. And the variation between species is much greater than that between humans and
    Message 1 of 37 , Nov 22, 2012
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      The conscious of all species is "distinct" from that of other species. And the variation between species is much greater than that between humans and many other closely related species....


      On Nov 22, 2012, at 8:04 AM, clarence_sonny_williams wrote:



      I agree that human communication is distinct from other animals, and
      that it's important to know exactly how. I'm impressed by the fact that
      baboon vocalizations upon encountering a conspecific vary by each
      individual's place in the hierarchy...and those places frequently
      change. Moreover, the nature of the encounter also modifies the
      vocalization. That's pretty sophisticated information carried by a
      simple vocalization. I'm not sure if vocalizations are modified in
      order to alter future behavior of the encountered conspecific, but we
      know that in chimps other behavior like looking and action is designed
      to deceive another. It would not surprise me to find that other species
      do this as well.

      That does not weaken my agreement with your assessment, but merely
      indicates caution in identifying those aspects unique to humans. I
      would be cautious in saying, "planning and creating" are unique human
      attributes. I think those need to be qualified or clarified, and may
      just come down to "more" (of whatever) rather than "different." We have
      greater capacity for recursive speech and adding several potential
      visions of a future.

      --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, "jimdehn" <jimdehn@...>
      > To me, calls and cries and not really language. They are, for the
      > part, involuntary, and triggered by immediate sensory imput, they
      > convey what just happened across the savanna, or the events of
      > yesterday. Human language must, or course have a precursor, but I'm
      > sure where that lies.
      > What makes us human is our ability to freely access remembered
      > information through internal dialog, and that is due to our remarkable
      > conversational skill, we can recall the past and ponder the future. To
      > me, planning and creating are the skills that make us human. So, for
      > the first signs of human behavior are events that involve those
      > Certainly petrogliphs and cave painting, but even before that, the
      > evidence that Neanderthals buried their dead with flowers.

    • Julienne
      ... Cats have absolutely different sounds for different messages - and they are recognizable to humans paying attention. I can tell whether one is angry,
      Message 37 of 37 , Nov 23, 2012
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        At 06:53 PM 11/19/2012, clarence_sonny_williams wrote:

        Yes, but then language must be defined.  Vervet monkeys have different
        calls for different predators, as each one calls for a different escape
        tactic.  Baboon confrontations involve different communications
        depending upon whether it is kin, the dominance of the individual, etc.
        Chimps are also "forward thinking" to some extent, as they will feign
        knowing where food is located just to throw off the dominant male.
        Several species have knowledge of "self," as established by spots
        painted on their faces.

        Cats have absolutely different sounds for different messages - and they
        are recognizable to humans paying attention. I can tell whether  one is
        angry, impatient, irritated, calling to babies, soothing babies or each other.
        Sometimes I don't know what one wants. One came up to me several times
        outside  yesterday and lifted his head and made a quite demanding cry.
        The "demanding" part came from the direct look into my eyes, and the
        very firm body language. He clearly wanted me to do something. My son
        interpreted it, "Mom - he wants to go inside." Sure enough, my son went
        over to the front door and the cat followed him with great relief and
        went inside. The other cats who were outside with us ignored the chance
        to go in - they were having a wonderful time chasing around in the sun.

        As to animals remembering, or thinking forward, that is clearly
        something they can do. What the details are, what they think while
        sitting around, i wish I knew. It reminds me of when my sons were
        tiny, and couldn't yet speak, and I couldn't wait to know what
        was going on inside their minds. But I watch them go back to a place
        where they wanted to repeat an experience - such as finding a mouse,
        or food, or just to get into a space where they aren't normally
        allowed. They absolutely plan and plot.

        Everything from bees and ants and elephants are known, aren't they,
        for repeating behaviours and events. And animals (chimps, orangs, lions)
        are known to remember each other , and humans after long periods of time.

        I think we have a great deal to learn about the language of other animals -
        and their internal "language" as well.

        I have to say I feel awful when, as yesterday, an animal is so clearly
        trying to tell me something and I don't know what it is. Feel I'm
        letting him down. Luckily, there are many times when I do know, as I
        think my son did yesterday.

        I'll give you an example of animal planning. I don't let any of the
        cats sleep in my room. Some of them, especially Serena, Annie, Mercury,
        and Wolfgang, all feel this is not in their best interests. Every one
        of them has worked out ways to sneak in and hide in different places -
        and then creep out in the night. This takes planning, and it also takes
        purposeful deception, and a degree of intelligence. Something sure is
        going on in their heads - including remembering how they did this
        before, and advanced planning.


        Those recent rock shards found in S. Africa that were apparently used in
        tools strongly suggests that the technology was transferred via
        language, and those are dated to 70 kya.

        There's lots of interesting speculation in anthropology, isn't there?

        --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, "jimdehn" <jimdehn@...>
        > I can't really imagine, what I think of as human behavior without self
        > directed thought, and that requires internal language. So the question
        > to me, is when, or how did humans develop language, I don't know if
        > will ever be answered, but I like Bickerton's idea that it arose out
        > the need convey information about events that were distant in both
        > and location, due to the hunting and killing of very large game.


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