[extropy-chat] Animals

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 12 14:50:29 UTC 2004

--- "Robert J. Bradbury" <bradbury at aeiveos.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 12 Feb 2004, Avatar Polymorph wrote:
> > Humans are not "actively selecting" for intelligence in dogs and
> cats, not
> > even in sheepdogs.
> Ca-ca.  Go to any dog show and watch the performance of the animals
> --
> I doubt you would be able to claim we are not selecting for
> intelligence.

Yes. There is a show on Animal Planet called, I think, Dog Star or
something like that. Its a dog talent show. One dog, Heelboot, put on a
show of langauge comprehension that is quite amazing.

> > Otherwise some very smart cats and dogs would have come into
> existence some
> > time ago.
> Given the above I would argue that "intelligent" cats and dogs do
> exist.

I would say the only real restraint on their further development of
intelligence is the lack of speech capability, which is a genetic thing
and not a mind thing.

My german shorthair is highly intelligent, recognises whole sentences
as well as context. She communicates as she can with her own sign
language. The only reason she isn't a trick dog is that she is highly
willfull and self aware. She'll only do a trick if she wants to. She
even lies. If you offer a biscuit and tell her to roll over, if she
doesn't like the surface, she'll just spin around in a circle and act
like she did the work. She thinks she's a person, and will sit on
furniture like a person, leaning back on the backrest.

Dogs likely won't naturally evolve language only because without hands,
they have no need of a more complex language to deal with technology.

Mike Lorrey
"Live Free or Die, Death is not the Worst of Evils."
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"Fascists are objectively pro-pacifist..."
                                       - Mike Lorrey
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