Animal Inteligence Essay, Research Paper
The debate about the intelligence of animals has been one of the most frequently talked about subjects in the study of animal behavior. Are animals intelligent, or are the just doing what their instincts tell them to do. But if an animal only reacts on instinct, how have some animals been able to survive even though their environment has changed. How could these animals survive they are not able to learn from and recognize the changes to their environment. Too me the idea that animals are just mindless robots just doing what their instincts tell them to do is preposterous. Animals have a long history of learning, communication, and other signs of intelligent behavior.
Scientist trying to understand their behavior has studied animals around the world.
Some scientists have been studying conditioning animals to do certain action and remember
long string of characters. Pavlov a behavioral physiologist discovered that when he rang a bell
just before feeding his dogs began to salivate and expect food. While most people think of this
as just a simple reflex it shows that the animal has linked the two actions. The Skinner box
showed the learning capability small animals. It used operant conditioning to teach mice to
remember patterns to switches. If a creature can remember and figure out how to activate a
switch it clearly shows a capacity for higher thought.
If animals only act on instinct what does it due when it encounters an event that it has never come across before. The whole idea of adaptation would not exist. When the first gazelles appeared on earth did they right from the start that know that moving in herds would be their safest option. Highly on likely, it probably took a few gazelles being eaten before the learned that. While I will admit that there is a possibility of this knowledge occurring naturally I still doubt it very much. Did ants suddenly organize the complex social system they use to survive? Human have yet to achieve the social harmony that ants enjoy yet most believe it is mere instinct that guided them to this achievement. Many animals display knowledge of their surrounds far to complex to be mere gut instinct.
My point about the intelligence of animal is most clearly seen when we look at the dolphin.
Man s fascination with this animal has been as long when man first ventured out to see. These aquatic mammals have saved many sailors lives. They seem to have almost human characteristics. Their way of life is a complex form of shifting alliances alliances among dolphins seemed flexible, shifting from day to day. Dolphins are by far one of the most devious animals often ganging up on smaller groups of dolphins.
The democracy of a dolphin is rather amazing. As they have a fission/fusion society it is truly astounding that the entire group agrees all their decisions. They are able to debate issues that the group does not agree on and will not stop until they all agree. This by proves that they have the necessary critical thinking skills prove that their decision is best for the group. A very merciless but still intelligent aspect of the dolphin is the way they mate. After finally capturing a female the male dolphin will herd it carefully so that it does not escape. By swim closely against the female they effectively fence her in and prevent her from making a quick egress from the situation.
While simple actions such as walking and eating are definitely instinct. Most actions animals under take are far too complex. Does instinct remember combinations of numbers are signals for when food is ready to be consumed? It should be clear to all that animals are very intelligent. They may not be on the same level as humans, but they clearly do not lack certain degree of intelligence.