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Re: Re3: Behavioral Bias

At 06:25 AM 3/12/97 -0600, Richard L. Dieterle wrote:
>My reply: 
>I gladly defer to your expertise on this matter.  
>The purpose of my remarks was to advance a <<weak>> thesis: that 
>there is a range of intellectually impressive behaviors that will
>not be reflected in mere  brain size, and that being so, we cannot
>conclude without further argument that this kind of sophistication
>is impossible for Dinosaurs.  I don't know whether any Dinosaurs
>could exhibit behavior as sophisticated as that of an African Gray, 
>but I also don't know that they could not. ...

The problem is that these birds really don't support that idea.  As another
poster suggested, the African Gray may have a relative brain size
comparable to that of a gorilla. And even if not precisely correct, it is
certainly true that it has a very large brain for a bird.  And this pattern
holds for birds in general - the more intelligent ones have relatively
larger brains.

>I referred to the <<straw man>> explanation that the African Gray >might
perform symbolic behavior -- and I am doubly cautious about 
>describing this as reasoning -- entirely through rote memory.

Answering the question "which one is different" is, if not reasoning,
something very close to it!

> The
>reason for considering this possibility is that the initial studies
>of similar behavior among the higher primates were attacked along
>just those lines. 

I think the data here are rather stronger than the early primate data.

May the peace of God be with you                sarima@ix.netcom.com