Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Great apes might be just as smart as humans

hooooooooo boy, you want to really get a heated discussion started...start with that statement. And until recently the belief was supported by scientific results. Intelligence is very difficult to quantify. Many scientists can not even agree on what intelligence is let alone how to measure it. One of the strongest indicators of overall cognitive development, appears during infancy. This ability is known as joint attention. To put it simply it is the ability to get another person to focus on something simply by pointing at it. Humans have always out performed the great apes at this ability and there for these results were used as proof that humans were more intelligent. Recent studies however have questioned these results. Researchers may have been tilting the tests in favor of humans. Test subjects were often whatever was available. For apes, these were always laboratory grown animals where as humans were almost always from western countries with strong family ties. That seems to be what could have twisted the results. Psychologists at the UK's University of Portsmouth hope that new research will fix the errors of earlier researchers.

IO9 article
wiki on inteligence

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