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sci / tech + environmental news > Decoding the Call of the Wild

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

A wolf’s howl is one of the most iconic sounds of nature, yet biologists aren’t sure why the animals do it. They’re not even sure if wolves howl voluntarily or if it’s some sort of reflex, perhaps caused by stress. Now, scientists working with captive North American timber wolves in Austria report that they’ve solved part of the mystery.

http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-beha...


message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling IMO the basic premise that animals are reflex without thought and people are the pinnacle of blissfully successful positive thinking creates a cornerstone that corrupts everything that comes after it.

“The paper provides the first experimental evidence … that the main reason [for howling] is to help the pack assemble after a long hunt,” says Dave Mech, a wolf biologist at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He proposed the notion in 1966 after witnessing a pack of 15 wolves hunting." Duh, 1966 to 2013 is 47 years.

Scientists apparently take stupid pills so they can over look all the normal natural rational solutions to a problem so they can add a layer to the event they are studying that masks the true intent of the event and allows them to milk it for all it is worth and all without damaging the sacred pyramid of isolation that puts man at the top of the slag heap called civilization.

Kinda like the swimming ape story where people and apes have been eyeballing each other for countless thousands of years and yet, only now has it been documented in video so it can be publicly said that apes can swim just like people without being ridiculed by supposedly knowledgeable people.


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 31, 2013 09:11PM) (new)

There is a long history of thinking of humans as the pinnacle of evolution/creation, but I think research in the past decade or so, both into animal behavior and into our own neurology, is swiftly eroding the notion.

Edit: I also don't necessarily think that those who doubted that apes could swim were being ridiculous, as the reason they doubted was that it had never been witnessed (? or at least documented). Skepticism in the absence of evidence is a reasonable response.


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling Not ridiculous, I would say just highly discriminatory.

-Skepticism in the absence of evidence is a reasonable response- with inert material it's fine but not when you are dealing with living entities who might be as "smart" as you are.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Robert wrote: "-Skepticism in the absence of evidence is a reasonable response- with inert material it's fine but not when you are dealing with living entities who might be as "smart" as you are."

I'm not sure what you're driving at. Why would I not be skeptical of an intelligent subject for something for which there is no evidence? There are people who claim to be psychic, but as there is no evidence I remain unconvinced. Why would that be different when it comes to animal behavior?


message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling Just wondering...
--Why would that be different when it comes to animal behavior?-- Does the same skeptical behavior apply to all kinds of human behavior?

-There are people who claim to be psychic, but as there is no evidence I remain unconvinced.-

I would say that the physic example has nothing to do with an ape swimming under water, an activity that no one challenges as being a real, verifiable activity.

I am just saying that animal brains (which strangely enough we have one) are more complicated than people give them credit for and the main reason why we can't communicate with them is because we simply don't speak their languages so we artificially think that animals can't communicate abstract ideas.


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