Wouldn’t it be good if science were more scientific? As has been written many times now by many people, we are well out of the last century and ought therefore to act more twenty-first century.
Especially we should think more of the world as a whole instead of imagining humanity as the center pinnacle.
When it comes to intelligence, however, science still has humans at the ‘top’ of some ladder. We submit that that is not scientific. One hears often that a dog has the intelligence equivalent to that of a five-years old child, or that a cat has intelligence similar to a three-year old child.
Not only to we then treat animals as though they were like children; referring to dogs and horses as ‘boy’ or ‘girl’, but we think that we are the intelligent ones.
An adult horse is much smarter at horsesense than anyone. If a horse were intelligent IN THE WAYS THAT A HUMAN IS INTELLIGENT it would not be good at being a horse. Neither would a human ever pass the tests to measure horseness, obviously.
Humans are not ‘purely’ intelligent. Intelligence as we think of it is tied to primate biology. Our hands, our reliance on visual data, our use of verbal language (as if it were the only language) and all of the abilities which have evolved from these characteristics, are strictly primate. The smarter dolphin would be stupid to think to use them when she has not the physical body of a human. But most especially when communicating with other dolphins.
Human intelligence is just that; not more, not pure. In the last century so much energy was put into discovering which animals could pass which tests to prove they were as smart as us (actually, to prove that they were not as smart as us).
Not very scientific.
What if biological sciences were to concentrate on how we humans might communicate to various other animals instead of trying to teach animals how to speak human language