Clever Ravens

Animals are smart, much smarter than we usually give them credit for…

These Ravens show advanced planning, and more impressively, self-control.
Our last common ancestor was over 300Million years ago, so they are basically alien thinkers, most similarities are due to convergence of evolution.

That some animals might be ‘people‘ is one of the premises of my Singularity’s Children series.

These studies were carefully set up to show that the ravens could plan
under flexible conditions—different time delays, and solving either a
mechanical (puzzle box) or social (bartering) problem. They didn’t just
match apes in their performance; they beat them. The ravens even
performed better than 4-year-old children.

Can we know what animals are thinking?

A nice article from the economist on animal minds. 
“In 1992, at Tangalooma, off the coast of Queensland, people began to throw fish into the water for the local wild dolphins to eat. In 1998, the Dolphins began to feed the humans, throwing fish up onto the jetty for them. The humans thought they were having a bit of fun feeding the animals. What, if anything, did the Dolphins think?” 
It is astonishing to me how fashion, peer pressure, and group think mentality, inhibit even supposedly critical thinkers. Only slowly are we coming out of this cloud of denial regarding the minds of animals. I am far from being anti-science, but just because subjective mind is currently beyond the realms of what Science can opine on, doesn’t mean it is not real. Denying animal consciousness because we don’t understand human consciousness is just another ravenous bugblatter beast of traal. 

Dogs Understand Tone And Meaning Of Words

Dogs understand not just the tone, but also the meaning of words.

“Dogs process both what we say and how we say it in a way which is amazingly similar to how human brains do.”

This is a key theme in the Singularity’s Children series – forget aliens for the time being (its OK, calm down, they are coming!) we are already not alone – animals are much smarter than we give them credit for.