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Crows are capable of conscious thought

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by public hermit, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    "New research into the minds of crows has revealed a jaw-dropping finding: the canny corvids aren't just clever - they also possess a form of consciousness, able to be consciously aware of the world around them in the present. In other words, they have subjective experiences

    This is called primary, or sensory, consciousness, and it had only previously been demonstrated in primates - which means we now may have to rethink our understanding of how consciousness arises, in addition to reconsidering the avian brain."

    Crows Are Capable of Conscious Thought, Scientists Demonstrate For The First Time

    If accurate, this could be used as support for functionalism. In philosophy of mind, functionalism, as a theory, holds that mental states are essentially functions. That being the case, entities with different cognitive mechanisms can produce similar mental states so long as they have the same function.

    For example, humans and nephilim might have different cognitive equipment, and yet both experience the same red when appeared to redly.

    In this case, not only does it appear that crows are subjectively aware (conscious), which was previously only demonstrated in primates, but their brains are significantly different than primates. Different mechanisms, same function. And, most importantly, similar experience (presumably).

    Functionalism (philosophy of mind) - Wikipedia
     
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  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I had heard that years ago, but...crows????? You'd think that if something like this was discovered it would apply to apes or dolphins or parrots or who knows...but crows? (no slight intended towards crows, you understand; they seem nice enough)
     
  3. Jok

    Jok Well-Known Member

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    “Consciousness is difficult to pin down in animals that don't speak.”



    Apparently the article is pretty dated. There are some crows that speak now.

    1B7B0AB3-7155-49BA-8FB3-66419351725A.jpeg
     
  4. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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  5. Aspzan

    Aspzan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This makes that video I saw of a cat hunting a crow a bit more haunting...
     
  6. jacks

    jacks Er Victus Supporter

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    There is no such thing as conscious thought. Not knowing what "Conscious Thought" was I did a Google search and this Scientific American article was the first hit. I'm convinced whatever it is my dog has it, she is definitely more conscious of some things than I am. However, if conscious thought is what is necessary to untangle herself from a leash around a pole...well then crows rule!
     
  7. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    It might make it more difficult for the cat but haunting ? Why ?
     
  8. Aspzan

    Aspzan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was just joking. Let's just say the crow suffered. I won't lose any sleep over it.
     
  9. Jok

    Jok Well-Known Member

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    This could be like comparing a diesel generator, and a solar generator, and a wind turbine, etc. Where we are accidentally focusing on what is different instead of what is similar (organic material, cell synthesis and reproduction, enzyme activity, etc).

    I do remember watching some videos where a crow was purposely (and cleverly) instigating a fight between two cats.
    That makes sense. Like getting a similar effect from electromagnetism and gasoline. However Functionalism still is not giving me any physical description of mental states. I still would have to take the word of the entity in question that they were really having the phenomenal experiences.
     
  10. Jok

    Jok Well-Known Member

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    Stop allowing your astute nature to ruin my jokes! Lol
     
  11. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    I just got a little excited myself, thinking about maybe one out here might want to play chess tomorrow (as long as he brings his mask) !!!!
     
  12. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Yeah, it's convenient like that.:)

    Good point. In this experiment (if I understand it) they are making a direct link between certain neuronal activity and subjective experience. I would say the assumption is warranted, but not fool proof. Maybe crows are so smart they can simply appear conscious. Lol.
     
  13. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hmmm, if crows really are smart and self-aware, then why are they carrion-eaters :scratch: I suppose the old adage is true (even in the case of self-aware crows), there truly is no accounting for taste :D ... but, YUCK :sick:
     
  14. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Angels Team Supporter

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    Crows have a lot of problem solving capability and general intelligence, like as much as a 7 year old human according to this bird Vlogger.


     
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  15. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    I recommend reading The Genius of Birds by Julia Ackerman. There is a lot of insight intoncrowsninntjere, especially the Caledonian Crow, a new Zealand specimen of corvid
     
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  16. Jok

    Jok Well-Known Member

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    Someone in here just told me that bird neurons are much smaller than ours, so that a bird brain can be more impressive in a smaller relative size compared to its body. So calling someone a bird brain is actually a compliment I guess lol.
    Oh I’m not objecting to the assumption. I was just pointing out that basically we can point to physical “correspondences“ of mental states, but we can never physically point to the actual mental state itself. A brain state and a mental state are two different things. Just a side rant against empiricism lol, but I accept the assumption.
     
  17. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    That's hilarious! Lol

    I completely agree. And, I agree that functionalism is wanting, as far as theories go.
     
  18. Jok

    Jok Well-Known Member

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    Pointing out a crow won’t demolish Functionalism but AI will. Hey let’s painstakingly design something down to the tiniest detail to “Look like” consciousness and then say “Oh my God it’s consciousness!” This is like dressing up in a Big Foot costume and then looking into a mirror and screaming “Ahh it’s Big Foot!”
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  19. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think consciousness comes from deeper than our physical brains. But the brain operates along with one's conscious experience and desires. And so it can look as though the brain is the cause of it all.
     
  20. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    I tell people that species differences are just arbitrary labels based on how different species look depending on the technology-of-the-day on the day they do their observations. I guess people do research to support my claims, even if I don't ask them to.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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