Sunday, January 22, 2012

Who Needs Words?

Who Needs Words? Crows? You? Wild Gorillas? Alison

A wonderful piece
by Bill Blakemore and ABC News. Thanks to Jan Casey for sharing. Read the
entire article at the link below.

"But various
mammals, including not only dolphins and whales but African wild dogs and
Norwegian rats, many species of bird, and even spiders and insects are now
being discovered by scientists around the world to have complex vocalizations
and other sound-wave communication systems so complex that old notions that
human language is somehow fundamentally unique are being thrown in doubt.

It’s also opening
up a broad new field in which scientists are exploring that ancient question:
whether and how the mental experience of animals is different from ours:

Are animals’
thought-processes, self-reflections, feelings for others, sense of enjoyment,
and even possible moral systems and consciousness itself (whatever that is)
different only by degree and complexity from ours, or is there a more
fundamental divide?

These expanding
scientific studies can also be great fun. Animals tickle our fancy in many
ways, and often fascinate us.

Most recently, the
fact that countless millions of humans around the world click on thousands of
videos of animal behavior found on the World Wide Web is itself evidence of
some form of intense communication in them — often without “words” or any other
sounds from the animals."

by Bill Blakemore

Courtesy of ABC News and Bill Blakemore


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