At 02:17 AM 00/01/10 , Fred Chen wrote:

>Animals can display signs of self-awareness and consciousness. They do not
>possess all the mental faculties that humans have that we may take for
>granted. For example, as mentioned by Bruno, introspection and
>inquisitiveness.

Is inquisitiveness different from curiosity that is common to all
animals?  Is introspection an analysis of internal states that is
implicit in anything alive, and as an explicit topic suggested to
humans most often brings angry and "Huh?" reactions?


>  But the hard evidence for being human lies in written and
>symbolic language and the ability to generate permanent records using this
>language. Most animals are physically incapable of writing, e.g.,
>quadrupeds.

Come one, who cares about writing - it's just one particular kind of
symbolic expression.   Most animals, starting from bacteria, heavily
rely on symbolic communications, both genetically and culturally
programmed.   Check www.paleopsych.org

>  A substitute for written language could be a very good memory
>capacity for communication by sound (oral language). The limitation of oral
>language is that it is inherently one-dimensional, while written or
>symbolic language is two-dimensional.

Incorrect and irrelevant, IMO. Writing is actually three-dimensional,
counting the necessary thickness of ink, but it's irrelevant - it's
still reproduction of consecutive speech.  Which is consecutive because
it used badly designed output channels.   Images are inherently
two-dimensional.  All animals see in 2-D.  Mating rituals are 4-D
symbolic communicative processes.

Most humans are better at some symbolic processing methods than most 
animals, but I don't see any quantum leaps.



-----------------------------------------------------------
Sasha Chislenko   <http://www.lucifer.com/~sasha/home.html>

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