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Re: Why don't apes have the ability to learn visually? PostThu Sep 19, 2013 11:33 am Offline
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Tue May 24, 2011 1:49 pm3867In range of my WiFi
It's a very interesting question but there are probably better places to ask it. Google scholar may give better answers? The apes vary in their abilities a lot, although none can learn the way we do so the answer for Chimps, Gorillas and Orangutangs may differ.

Someone has to win the lottery. The enzymes that use oxygen to burn fuel or use light to make sugar only evolved once. They lucked out so now most living things descend from one or the other of those individuals.

It only took a very small change to give bacteria the power to use oxygen or light as energy which gave them a humungous benefit. Another small change let things be multicellular or have internal compartments. So a 1% difference in DNA can be big, depending on just what that 1% codes for. It's not the level of change so much as exactly what is changed. It shows that only a small change is needed but

It takes a long time for all the information needed for these complex things to build up too. Like a school that's had more buildings added to it every few years, the brain has had more and more subunits added over time. Chimps just don't have the hardware for our kind of thinking. Humans almost went extinct a few times despite our intelligence so i used to wonder if dinosaurs or other ancient species got as intelligent as us but died out without leaving a trace; then I realized their relatives and species of that time didn't have nearly enough brain bits to make the leap. It didn't take long ('only' a few 10s of millions of years after the cerebral cortex) after the pre-cursor was there, we made the leap.

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maybe that "extraordinary revelation" wasn't extraordinary at all.

Although the same process that made those small changes probably produced this big one, the consequence of the change has been huge; just look at the number of humans on the planet compared to the number of any other mulch-cellular animal and remember homo sapiens is a sub-species not even a species. Intelligence has been very successful for us.

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Four words: Planet of the Apes

Otherwise known as Planet Earth both in movie landand real life. We're apes after alland this is our planet.

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If the jerking off was done in front of them to imitate

Fapping is fairly instinctive. Pretty much any animal that can push it's pleasure button will do so, I hear even fetuses of some species do it. No need to learn that behavior.

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I'm pretty sure that gorilla didn't "learn" sign language

Steven Pinker talked about this in an interview. It learned several words of sign but it had no real grammar, like young children who can say "bottle" to get their bottle but can't construct sentences.

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Humans evolved in a situation where we were physically inferior to many other animals

I think we became physically inferior after we got our huge brains; we wouldn't have survived if we'd been weak before we had this to compensate, this being there meant we didn't need to buff up which is itself expensive. We specialized in the brain which seems a huge strength given the outcome.

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The apes' ability to imitate as a form of learning has been sufficient for their survival

Many animals can imitate and learn or even be creative. The difference between them and humans seems more quantitative than anything.

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We do know that apes and other monkeys can pass their knowledge on to their young, and they can make simple tools, but we don't know if we want them, who are already stronger than us, to be as smart

(slightly off topic). This reminds me of how people say human-level AI would lead to the exterminaton of humanity, whereas I think it'd lead to many benefits. There are lots of resources humans can't use and tasks we can't perform that AI and other species could; if society included species that could go to the bottom of the sea or eat cellulose, we could grow the global economy in many ways. Species could specialize in what they're good at, giving everyone a comparative advantage. I suspect it won't be long before humans can't grow the economy anymore and deliberately start engineering animals to be intelligent so they can contribute to it. I suspect that humans are selecting other animals to be smarter by being such an efficient hunter. At the very least, it'd help humans overcome our racial divisions by showing how small they are /sci fi fantasy in a science thread

Human evolution took a few million years so it wasn't 'something clicked' overnight. Which is still relatively rapid as evolution goes I suppose. Tool use is done by many species, I heard one hypothesis that the main benefit of our intelligence was it helped us raise more children to adulthood because we could have grandparents rear kids while the parents bred them. Not sure if i agree, it's hard to tell why any specific trait happened like it's hard to say why any specific event in history happened in general.
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Re: Why don't apes have the ability to learn visually? PostFri Sep 20, 2013 7:22 am Offline
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Tue May 24, 2011 1:49 pm3867In range of my WiFi
Just saw a video oftwo guys arguing about a very similar topic. Some viruses have 2 copies of their genome, so if errors are made in one copy the other one can be used as a backup to fix them. The vast majority of viruses don't have this feature and they're unsure why other viruses don't have this seemingly advantageous trait, which is pretty much what you're wondering about intelligence in apes and other animals. In an earlier video they wondered the same thing about the exact opposite trait; since really simple viruses aren't likely to be detected by the host and can replicate quicker (if with more errors) they wondered why not all viruses did it that way. Here they conclude that there are costs associated with each way of doing things so diversity will be expected. The brain uses up 1/3 of all the food we eat, so perhaps the costs of being smart deter other species from this path and lead to diverse levels of intelligence in animals?
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Re: Why don't apes have the ability to learn visually? PostFri Sep 20, 2013 6:50 pm Offline
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Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:26 am585
Unassumption wrote:
Fapping is fairly instinctive. Pretty much any animal that can push it's pleasure button will do so, I hear even fetuses of some species do it. No need to learn that behavior.

That's interesting, because I learned that behaviour. I didn't know how to finish at first because I never looked at porn.

Unassumption wrote:
Human evolution took a few million years so it wasn't 'something clicked' overnight. Which is still relatively rapid as evolution goes I suppose. Tool use is done by many species, I heard one hypothesis that the main benefit of our intelligence was it helped us raise more children to adulthood because we could have grandparents rear kids while the parents bred them. Not sure if i agree, it's hard to tell why any specific trait happened like it's hard to say why any specific event in history happened in general.

But there had to be a time when the ancestors of chimps and humans went their separate ways. Probably not right to call it a click, but a very small change indeed.

Your argument of 'more fuel for brains, less fuel for other stuff' is a good one though. Makes sense.

There's going to come a time when more of an ape's food/energy goes towards their brain, though...then they might start learning how to speak and sh*t.

Will respond to other points in this thread later.
My name is Brendle, and I think Trey Parker is a genius.
Re: Why don't apes have the ability to learn visually? PostFri Sep 20, 2013 7:31 pm Offline
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Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:26 am585
triplemultiplex wrote:
There was selective pressure for teaching and learning the way humans do and that's really all you need to make us so different from the apes.

The apes' ability to imitate as a form of learning has been sufficient for their survival (at least until humans really started messing with their shit.) Smart as they are, they also can kick a little ass when push comes to shove. With humans, it was more like, "Learn how to sharpen this rock or get eaten by a cheetah."

Why was there selective pressure on us, though? At one point there were a bunch of apes in Africa...why was there selective pressure on one sub-group of these apes to learn and teach things to their young? Surely all the other apes were in similar situations?
My name is Brendle, and I think Trey Parker is a genius.
Re: Why don't apes have the ability to learn visually? PostSun Sep 22, 2013 9:02 am Offline
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Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:24 pm5686The Mormon Homeland
Brendle wrote:
Why was there selective pressure on us, though? At one point there were a bunch of apes in Africa...why was there selective pressure on one sub-group of these apes to learn and teach things to their young? Surely all the other apes were in similar situations?


It has to do with hominids being in a different environment than the other great apes. We cut our teeth on the savanna with its open spaces and long distances between food sources. Other apes stuck to the tropical forests where it's a lot easier to escape predation in the trees. Out on the plains, the margins are a little more unforgiving, so there's just one of the many factors that shaped the human mind.

It's a wonderfully complex and interesting scenario. I love hearing people smarter and more knowledgeable than me talk about human evolution.
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