What is the social and ecological context in nature of this bird's remarkable mimicry and problem-solving abilities? Its intelligence and sentience didn't arise in a vacuum. Further, do African Greys play an important role in these forests?
Despite resounding blows against the Cartesian system from giants such as Charles Darwin and B. F. Skinner, countless researchers have continued to march, zombie-like, in Descartes's footsteps, insisting that animals lack conscious minds and cannot think, feel, or reason.
Accumulating evidence suggests that animals are a lot smarter and humans are a lot dumber than we previously thought. A recent study shows that the short term memory of chimpanzees far exceeds what we can expect from ourselves.
People tend to believe that our species is superior to and separate from the animal kingdom, that we are the end point of the evolution of life on earth. That notion is not only false but extraordinarily dangerous.
Can any human speak even one word of another animal's language? No, but perhaps it's better that way, because if we could speak to them, how would we explain our systematic use and abuse of all the other species?
Which are smarter: dogs or cats? This IQ debate has been raising the hackles of dog and cat lovers for decades, if not centuries. And dogs usually win paws-down. For one thing, dogs have larger brains than cats, and the larger the brain, the smarter the animal -- or so the theory goes.
Scientists are mistrustful of anthropomorphism, the tendency to attribute human qualities to animals and other non-human entities. But what about the equal danger of the insistence that certain abilities are unique to humans?