Research reveals new insights into animal intelligence

This article suggests that each time a claim of human uniqueness bites the dust, other claims quickly take its place. Meanwhile, science keeps chipping away at the wall that separates us from the other animals. We have moved from viewing animals as instinct-driven stimulus-response machines to seeing them as sophisticated decision makers. The author discusses the growing body of research that indicates that species of animals operate beyond instinct, and demonstrate decision-making and cognitive skills. There have been so many attempts to justify the abuse and mistreatment of animals under the banner of speciesism. This article points out the flaws and limitations of many studies that have attempted to analyse, minimise, or even dismiss, the notion that animals possess intelligence.  For those of us fortunate enough to live with animals, I think that we have plenty of empirical evidence of our own to demonstrate that our animal companions are not just instinct-driven automatons.  The author suggests that these new findings are no insult to human superiority. It is long-overdue recognition that intelligent life is not something for us to seek in the outer reaches of space but is abundant right here on earth, under our noses.  Maybe Douglas Adams was right about those rats.

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