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Time Magazine Article Review - "can Animals Think?" by Eugene Linden

Autor:   •  November 14, 2011  •  Article Review  •  871 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,137 Views

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"The question is not, ‘Can they reason?' nor, ‘Can they talk?' but rather, ‘Can they suffer?'" Animals are a lot smarter than society believes. They do not speak English, nor do they burst into song or action as soon as we turn our backs; but many of them do display intelligence and a desire to learn, as well as an ability to apply past experiences to present moments and future expectations. Intelligence is a very broad subject although it may seem easily defined. Throughout history people have been trying to devise a way to reveal the level of intellect animals and humans possess. Animals are smarter than people think they are. As animal studies continue, scientists find out more and more on how animals are close to our level in thinking. "Can Animals Think", "A Conversation with Koko", and "Elephants Outwit Humans during Intelligence Test", are all valid sources which can help the public see what the scientists are learning every day about animal intelligence.

To begin with, the Time Magazine article "Can Animals Think?" by Eugene Linden relates several accounts of remarkable animal intelligence. In on example, an orangutan name Fu Manchu escaped from his cage at the Omaha Zoo by picking the lock with a metal wire. By using his intelligence and observational skills, Fu Manchu was able to extricate himself and his family from their cage so they could enjoy an afternoon of freedom. He also saved the wire for future use, further revealing the ability to plan ahead, an unmistakable higher order thinking skill. Another instance of animal intelligence is show by the story of Orky, a killer whale who helped save his baby by positioning his body as a platform for workers trying to reach and assist the struggling baby. Orky assessed the problem and devised a solution for getting help to his offspring. He also exhibited the same concern and emotion toward his baby as a human parent would towards their own child. When confronted with a problem, these animals demonstrated high level thinking skills.

Next, the documentary "A Conversation with Koko" by PBS shows how much alike animals can actually be with humans. Koko, a female gorilla raised by humans, knows over one thousand words in American Sign Language and understands the English language. Her vocabulary was one year behind a child her age when she was five years old, proving that an animal's ability to learn and their brain capacity is not much different than humans. At one point, Koko even found the ability to form compound words by herself, demonstrating the ability gorillas


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