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Author Topic:   Do Animals Believe In Supernatural Beings?
Member (Idle past 4618 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009

Message 239 of 373 (602379)
01-27-2011 10:22 PM
Reply to: Message 238 by Jon
01-27-2011 9:55 PM

Re: Frauds & Hoaxes
Jon writes:
Yes; a lot of the supposed demonstrations of animal language use are nothing but hoaxes. I am not aware of any that have stood up to scrutiny.
Not true at all. Chimps absolutely can learn and use language. This is from the Chimp and Human Communication Institute.
Under double-blind conditions, we have found that the chimpanzees communicate information in American Sign Language (ASL) to human observers. They use signs to refer to natural language categories: e.g. DOG for any dog, FLOWER for any flower, SHOE for any shoe, etc. The chimpanzees acquire and spontaneously use their signs to communicate with humans and each other about the normal course of surrounding events. They have demonstrated an ability to invent new signs or combine signs to metaphorically label a novel item, for example: calling a radish CRY HURT FOOD or referring to a watermelon as a DRINK FRUIT. In a double-blind condition, the chimpanzees can comprehend and produce novel prepositional phrases, understand vocal English words, translate words into their ASL glosses and even transmit their signing skills to the next generation without human intervention. Their play behavior has demonstrated that they use the same types of imaginary play as humans. It has also been demonstrated that they carry on chimpanzee-to-chimpanzee conversation and sign to themselves when alone. Conversational research shows the chimpanzees initiate and maintain conversations in ways that are like humans. The chimpanzees can repair a conversation if there is misunderstanding. They will also sign to themselves when alone and we have even observed them to sign in their sleep.
They're not Milton or Shakespeare, but they are communicating using language. You can read the book Next of Kin for a detailed account.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by Jon, posted 01-27-2011 9:55 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 240 by Jon, posted 01-28-2011 12:24 AM ZenMonkey has not replied
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