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Author Topic:   Question about the Chimpanzees?
NewYorkCityBoy
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 14 (362768)
11-08-2006 11:48 PM


I know that chimpanzees(and other apes) can learn sign language. But the cool thing is that they can make simple sentances and even teach other chimps sign language after they learn it.

So my question is, if we teach alot of chimps sign language, and other skills, like how to make simple tools, and then if we released them back into the wild, could they teach more chimps and then evenutally a whole area of a chimp population these skills. And then they could pass it down from generation to generation. Is his Theoretically possible?


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AdminNWR
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Message 2 of 14 (362769)
11-08-2006 11:50 PM


Message copied here from Forum Proposed New Topics.
  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1400 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 3 of 14 (362773)
11-09-2006 12:13 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by NewYorkCityBoy
11-08-2006 11:48 PM


Can't say I know a whole lot about this, but I do know that in Britain there have been reports of crows starting fire in hay barns by picking up cigarette buds that were still burning and drop them into the hay. Researchers have shown that you can train the birds to do certain behaviors and that these birds could actually somehow teach other birds these behaviors. I got this off of a program on the discovery channel a few years back. Aside from this, I don't know much else about it.


Place yourself on the map at http://www.frappr.com/evc

The thread about this map can be found here.


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nwr
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Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 4 of 14 (362774)
11-09-2006 12:15 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by NewYorkCityBoy
11-08-2006 11:48 PM


It probably depends on what you mean by "theoretically possible."

For chimpanzees, I think it highly unlikely that they would maintain language after release into the wild. Apparently the bonobos do better at language than chimps, so there is more of a possibility that bonobos might retain language.

Humans appear to be built (i.e. to have evolved) to acquire language in early childhood. If you were to start a colony without a language, the children in that colony would soon invent their own language. However, chimps and bonobos won't do that. So a reasonable conclusion is that they have less evolved support for language than humans.

If a group of bonobos were trained in sign language, and were trained in such a way that they were able to use their sign language to communicate with one another and improve their lives by means of this communication, then perhaps they could retain it when released in the wild. But if their life in the wild finds no particular benefit in the use of sign language, then that language would probably die out.

At least that's my best judgement. I could be mistaken. It might be an interesting experiment, if it can be done humanely.

In the meantime, here are a couple of links to reports on the use of language by apes.
http://www.pigeon.psy.tufts.edu/psych26/language.htm
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn3218


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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2185
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 5 of 14 (362776)
11-09-2006 12:28 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by nwr
11-09-2006 12:15 AM


nwr writes:

Humans appear to be built (i.e. to have evolved) to acquire language in early childhood. If you were to start a colony without a language, the children in that colony would soon invent their own language.

Just to reinforce this point, deaf children in Nicaragua appear to have invented their own sign language without any known external influence. I believe that was on 60 Minutes a few years ago.


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ReverendDG
Member (Idle past 2219 days)
Posts: 1119
From: Topeka,kansas
Joined: 06-06-2005


Message 6 of 14 (362786)
11-09-2006 3:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by NewYorkCityBoy
11-08-2006 11:48 PM


I know that chimpanzees(and other apes) can learn sign language. But the cool thing is that they can make simple sentances and even teach other chimps sign language after they learn it.

they are quite smart, i don't know if i read it here or on another site, but someone did a test, wherein a trainer showed a chimp how to own a box to get food, the case being clear, the chimp could see everything the person did. while showing the chimp how to do it, the person would do things that don't open the box or do it wrong on purpose
the chimp watched him and didn't do the mistakes the person did on purpose

So my question is, if we teach alot of chimps sign language, and other skills, like how to make simple tools, and then if we released them back into the wild, could they teach more chimps and then evenutally a whole area of a chimp population these skills. And then they could pass it down from generation to generation. Is his Theoretically possible?

i doubt it, chimps don't need sign language to speak to other chimps, they only need it to speak to us
in the case of comunication, you wouldn't use something that others don't use.
namely you wouldn't talk around a deaf person, its pointless to do so, you'd use sign language
its a matter of use of something after all, what good would sign language be to chimps in the wild?

its a good question, but the fact is, in the jungles, sign language would be useless over long distances, they i believe, use calls to communicate long distances

Edited by ReverendDG, : No reason given.


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ReverendDG
Member (Idle past 2219 days)
Posts: 1119
From: Topeka,kansas
Joined: 06-06-2005


Message 7 of 14 (362787)
11-09-2006 3:15 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by anglagard
11-09-2006 12:28 AM


Just to reinforce this point, deaf children in Nicaragua appear to have invented their own sign language without any known external influence. I believe that was on 60 Minutes a few years ago.

hmm a question, would you say we have a evolved this way to need a spoken language to communicate?
that our envirment dictates we need to use our vocal cords in this way?
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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2203 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 8 of 14 (362795)
11-09-2006 4:27 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by ReverendDG
11-09-2006 3:12 AM


namely you wouldn't talk around a deaf person, its pointless to do so

What about lip reading?

TTFN,

WK


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ReverendDG
Member (Idle past 2219 days)
Posts: 1119
From: Topeka,kansas
Joined: 06-06-2005


Message 9 of 14 (362911)
11-09-2006 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Wounded King
11-09-2006 4:27 AM


What about lip reading?

it depends on if they know how to, i know a lot of deaf people learn how to, but from what i understand its very frustrating to learn and use, some people talk too fast for people to lip read
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tudwell
Member (Idle past 4087 days)
Posts: 172
From: KCMO
Joined: 08-20-2006


Message 10 of 14 (362970)
11-09-2006 8:38 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by NewYorkCityBoy
11-08-2006 11:48 PM


I don't know about chimps, but there are dolphins off the coast of Australia that bite off sponges when searching for food at the bottom of the ocean. They hold the sponge in their mouth presumably to protect themselves from sharp objects. This isn't inherited instinct, but rather knowledge passed down from one dolphin to another (usually female).
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19818
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 11 of 14 (362983)
11-09-2006 9:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by NewYorkCityBoy
11-08-2006 11:48 PM


Is his Theoretically possible?

I seemed to recall a story of a aml-sign educated ape teaching a child to sign and did a google ...

... yep: http://www.friendsofwashoe.org/ (sidebar):

quote:
Loulis is the youngest, at 28. He is Washoe's adopted son and acquired sign language from her.

This should not be a great surprise, this is a cultural behavior, and is passed along within cultural groups.

Enjoy.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16093
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 9.2


Message 12 of 14 (363137)
11-10-2006 8:08 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by NewYorkCityBoy
11-08-2006 11:48 PM


Here's a story about a study of skill transmission in chimps.
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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16093
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 9.2


Message 13 of 14 (363138)
11-10-2006 8:11 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ReverendDG
11-09-2006 3:12 AM


they are quite smart, i don't know if i read it here or on another site, but someone did a test, wherein a trainer showed a chimp how to own a box to get food, the case being clear, the chimp could see everything the person did. while showing the chimp how to do it, the person would do things that don't open the box or do it wrong on purpose
the chimp watched him and didn't do the mistakes the person did on purpose

You read it here.

Linky.

Same researchers.


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RAZD
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Posts: 19818
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 14 of 14 (363236)
11-11-2006 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Dr Adequate
11-10-2006 8:08 PM


we also have skill invention and transmission in Japanese Macaques

http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/japanese_macaque.htm

And they also play with snowballs.

Enjoy.


Join the effort to unravel {AIDS/HIV} {Protenes} and {Cancer} with Team EvC! (click)

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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