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Monday, February 5, 2007

Divided people

Today while I was reading the most amazing paper about mind states and consiousness in chimpanzees (for that is what I study, chimps not all that mind nonsense) I had an epiphany. I realised that scientists are prone to a split mental and belief existence. I know, you are all like 'Huh...?'

What I mean is that we tend to learn about all these things about how the world works and stuff and at the same time, we retain our own beliefs. I realise that belief and knowledge are VERY different things but a lot of the time, they are not that easy to dissect, particularly if it's your beliefs and ideas. The paper was all about how our interpretation of a chimps ability to understand the mental state of others may actually be an artifact of our own mental processes and that chimps probably can't understand the mental states of others at all.

Now, how this generates a problem is that it essentailly is saying that chimps can't think but instead understand social and behavioural processes very well, and thus can manipulate them. But I really think that many animals, especially chimps, can think. I've watched them do amazing things and manipulate each other to their own ends in brilliantly complex ways which makes me ask, 'How can they NOT think?'

This is where my little problem comes in. I know, through my studies, that they don't think, but I honestly do believe that they think! Similarly, I know that evolution happened and that it continues to happen, but I believe that there is an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, creator God controlling the universe.

I guess that this little internal dialogue just has to be resolved internally (fancy that! Internal dialogue resolved internally!). Any thoughts, you lot?

By the way, dolphins are actually really dumb. They just have big brains for insulation - someone did research on it!

And now, before the next amazing Random Fact For The Day:, here is another picture of Josh being adorable! That's Althea, his 'mommy'.

Random Fact For The Day:
Chocolate kills dogs! True, chocolate effects a dogs heart and nervous system, a few ounces enough to kill a small sized dog

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