Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Humans, the intelligent species?

A lot of non-human animals out there will find this a very baffling notion. They see humans as having dull senses and very poor observational skills. But I say, just look at some human inventions, such as television, yo-yos and twenty20 cricket. To investigate this anomaly let's look at Clever Hans.

Clever Hans was a horse that was taught to do difficult mathematics. He would stamp his foot to give the correct answer. It turned out he was picking up on subtle body language from the humans around him to know when to stop stamping his foot and give the correct answer. He couldn't do maths at all. 

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas makes a good point about Hans in The Social Lives of Dogs, "Today his name is synonymous with hoax and fraud, since few seem willing to acknowledge that, as the only one in the barn who noticed the various, extremely subtle signals in the body language of questioners, he proved himself to be a better observer than the most prominent scientists of the day." 

It is not that humans are less intelligent, it is just that they have a different intelligence. Because they are sometimes wrapped up in their thoughts, ideology, worries, selves and stress, they can appear to be a few kangaroos short in the top paddock. Yet they show flashes of genius. So the jury is still out.

Life is great when you go on a morning walk.


Ruby said...

Hi Ruby Isabella
Yes, sometimes humans can be wrapped up in temselves and forget to remember the good things in life. Like us doggies.
I love that picture of you with your tongue hanging out.
Love Ruby

Mango said...

It is not easy to train the peoples, but once accomplished, we can get them to do pretty much anything.


Ruby Isabella said...

Ruby- Sometimes it is our job to remind them of good simple things.

Mango- Yes, We must be calm and patient with people.

Amber said...

Very true....humans do get caught up in their own thoughts quite a bit and miss out on lots of stuff. :) They could all learn some lessons from their other animal relatives...especially us dogs! ;)


Ari_1965 said...

There appears to be a lack of dust bunnies under your furniture and near your baseboards. What's up with that?

happy said...

How true! You're very perceptive!

Ruby Isabella said...

That's because Tim is thorough and frequent with vacuuming (I used to be a bit scared of the vacuum cleaner) or he happened to do it that day or the camera doesn't see the dust.
Amber- yes dogs are good teachers. Humans can teach dogs things too.

Dughallmor Beagles said...'s taken a visit to Ruby to de-stress Mum! Glad you enjoyed a morning walk, it's sunny here so we're going to the BEACH!! So excited!
Anyhowl, we have ann award for you, if you wants it, come and gets it!
Slobbers xx

Ruby Isabella said...

Thanks for the award. I will gets it.

Lee said...

Is that what they mean by "horse sense"?

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