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Ape Genius - Nova online

  1. Jun 23, 2009 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    A fascinating look at the mind of our cousins; how we differ, and what we have in common.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/apegenius/
    [watch online]
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2009 #2
    A great production, but typical of much of the fine work shown on PBS.

    I was particularly interested in the way chimps can learn some human language and use tools, but fail at some tasks that dogs can perform. This tends to support the idea that "intelligence" is a multi-faceted thing that probably only exists in the eyes of those who try to measure it as a global entity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  4. Jun 26, 2009 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    My favorite part was when the children were tested to see if they could resist one piece of candy so that they could receive four pieces later. They didn't do much better than the apes! :rofl:
     
  5. Aug 22, 2009 #4
    Extremely fascinating. Well worth watching.

    I find it very interesting that the apes, when presented with the transparent puzzle box, ignored the instructions and just went straight for the candy, while the children continued to follow instructions.

    At first glance, the apes' approach seems to be the more reasonable one, but when you take into account the reason behind the children's actions, much more becomes apparent. Being hard-wired to look to adult or 'teacher' figures as a child and unquestioningly absorb what is being taught would lead to knowledge being more efficiently passed on to future generations, who could then build upon it.

    Interestingly enough, I think the same mechanism may be responsible for the prosperity of religion...
     
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