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  • Chimps make weapons for hunting.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...022201007.html

    Interesting that they distinguish between a weapon and any other tool. I remember seeing chimps putting sticks into termite mounds to get the termites out to eat (like the article mentions). Does this really sound like it's much different?
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  • #2
    Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

    I think it's more intriguing than sticks-in-termite-mound because we associate spears with homonids, not chimps.
    A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

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    • #3
      Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

      I think it seems fuzzy because it is. For the longest time humans have been seen as distinctly different and apart from other animals.

      As time went by those things that where claimed to make us distinct have been found in other species. At first it was the simple claim that only humans use tools. When it was discovered that other animals use tools they refined the claims.

      It ended up being a splitting of hairs as we see in this article.

      Eventually logical people will have to conclude that it is only degrees of refinement that separate us from animals.
      I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
      - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
      - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
      - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
      - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
      - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
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      • #4
        Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

        How many degrees?

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        • #5
          Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

          About 1 when compared to pro wrestling. (Chimps don't where tights.)
          I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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          • #6
            Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

            We are animals.
            A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

            "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

              Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
              We are animals.
              Speak for yourself! I consider myself more of an elite chimp.
              Peace through fear... since 1947!

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              • #8
                Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

                I am a advanced Bonobo. We get more.
                I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                Comment


                • #9
                  Crows are better

                  I'm not sure what's so special about this, it's just another tool. I guess the chimp researchers are getting desperate to reclaim the chimp's special place in zoology, since it now seems likely that they're outsmarted by the common crow. Chimps have been known to use tools for a long time, but a critical distinction between chimps and humans is chimps lack novelty in their tool use, that is to say, they are tool users but not inventors; they pretty much only reproduce tools they've either seen or have discovered serendipitously. On the other hand, crows do display novelty and inventiveness in their tool use, and seem to understand principles such as cause and effect. And while nobody's ever taught a crow sign language (they lack the requisite thumbs), we know that crow calls are extraordinarily complex (and as of yet, undeciphered). My avatar was a crow for a long time for that reason. :)

                  Linky 1
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                  Betty sees the chimps' spears and raises them a small nuclear device. :p

                  "Gently does it... gently..."

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                  • #10
                    Re: Crows are better

                    Originally posted by jepzilla View Post
                    ... chimps lack novelty in their tool use, that is to say, they are tool users but not inventors; they pretty much only reproduce tools they've either seen or have discovered serendipitously.
                    This is pretty much true of humans as well. There is some evidence that humans without it's social support is not all that genius either. Even with that support many humans find it very difficult to use the things around them outside their intended purposes.

                    I do agree that some birds such as the Raven and Grey Parrot do show some amazing abilities when it comes to solving puzzles. As do some types of squirrels. And if you consider the size of their brains it is easy to come to the conclusion that using tools in novel ways just is not that special.

                    In simple terms it is likely the larger/more complex the brain the more intricate the social networks an animal can create. And that is the genious of humans. Our wonderfully complex social networks.
                    I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

                      Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                      I think it's more intriguing than sticks-in-termite-mound because we associate spears with homonids, not chimps.
                      Intriguing might be the right word, but is intrigue something that science should really be concerned with? Or is this just publicity to get more funding, or what? I don't get it...
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                      • #12
                        Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

                        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                        Intriguing might be the right word, but is intrigue something that science should really be concerned with? Or is this just publicity to get more funding, or what? I don't get it...
                        Science is like that. Much of it seems like "so what"? And much of it probably is "so what"? But sometimes the intrigue leads to discoveries that benefit all humans. Or maybe just a few humans will benefit. Or maybe it will just pique the interest of some other scientist that goes on to discover something really neat.

                        Serendipity doesn't just happen. If it did rocks could use tools. It takes one "thing" interacting with it's surroundings in different ways. Intrigue is one of the better motivators to get us humans interacting over the long hall. Hunger, sex, fear, they are good only to a point. But once those basic needs are satisfied the interaction stops so they miss much of what is out their.
                        I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                        - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                        - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                        - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                        - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                        - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                        - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

                          Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                          Science is like that. Much of it seems like "so what"? And much of it probably is "so what"? But sometimes the intrigue leads to discoveries that benefit all humans. Or maybe just a few humans will benefit. Or maybe it will just pique the interest of some other scientist that goes on to discover something really neat.

                          Serendipity doesn't just happen. If it did rocks could use tools. It takes one "thing" interacting with it's surroundings in different ways. Intrigue is one of the better motivators to get us humans interacting over the long hall. Hunger, sex, fear, they are good only to a point. But once those basic needs are satisfied the interaction stops so they miss much of what is out their.
                          I understand that on the personal level, but science is (supposed to be) cold and logical. I just think that there should be a difference between reporting scientific facts and making a speech to intrigue people to support their research. This reminds me of all the global warming BS that gets reported...
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                          • #14
                            Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

                            Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                            I understand that on the personal level, but science is (supposed to be) cold and logical.
                            On reflection, I have never met a purely cold and logical scientist. Plenty who were passionate, easily excited, prone to mood swings, and just plain crazy. Logic is a tool to be used in the pursuit of one's passions.
                            In game handle: Steel Scion
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                            • #15
                              Re: Chimps make weapons for hunting.

                              Originally posted by Steeler View Post
                              On reflection, I have never met a purely cold and logical scientist. Plenty who were passionate, easily excited, prone to mood swings, and just plain crazy. Logic is a tool to be used in the pursuit of one's passions.
                              Right, that's why I said "science" and not "scientist". I understand that individuals have all those traits. But if they're doing something in the name of science, they should strive to contain them, no?
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                              Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
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