Animal Intelligence

Human intelligence is freewilled and based upon a prime distinction of light and darkness in the furthest extent and meaning of the words, which gives humans a potentially unlimited range of perception and discernment, with ability to develop an unlimited intellect and potential to comprehend all things.

Animal intelligences do not have black and white prime distinctions like human intelligence does; instead, each species of animal has a prime distinction of two contrasting shades of colour.

On left is the prime distinction of light and darkness which underlies human intelligence. On the right is an example of contrasting colours of an animal's intelligence.

On the left is the prime distinction of light and darkness which underlies human intelligence.     On the right is an example of contrasting colours of an animal’s intelligence.

As the prime distinction of human intelligence contains the full meaning and qualities of light and darkness, so too, the prime distinction of each animal intelligence contains the meaning and qualities of its two colours, or equally true, the colours are the result of the qualities of the intelligence.

The prime distinctions of animal intelligences are not open and unlimited as is the human black and white prime distinction, but are narrower and more specific. Therefore, between the intelligence of the species’ prime distinction and the intelligence of the individual animal (the individual’s discerning ability) exists an automated and mostly unconscious question for the purpose of including or excluding things for consideration, so that the animal can bring its intelligence to bear upon the subject. In other words most animal prime distinctions take the form of two contrasting questions, such as, Is it something? or something else?

The natural and logical order of questioning is to first ask, “Is it?” And later ask, “Why is it?” This is why when commencing an inquiry into something our question should start with “Is it…?” not “Why is it…?”, because this is the natural order of building knowledge and if we disorder the natural order of building knowledge we will stall or become illogical. Also, Is it? is to Why is it? as What? is to How? So we should ask, Is or What, before asking, Why or How.  It is good practice to drop the “Why” from our question and let the first word be, Does, Is, Are, so as to drop our question back a layer. Because humans have freewill, one way we can become illogical is when we get our questions out of natural order. Animals though, do not have active intelligence but passive intelligence so they inquire according to natural order.

The fox: The fox is a good example to study of animal intelligence.

The prime distinction of the fox’s intelligence is: “Is it prey?” or “Can it hurt me?”

As intelligence is a quality of awareness, the fox only identifies and discerns within the context of its prime distinction, and that which the fox does not identify as threat or prey merely becomes part of the canvass upon which the fox’s world is painted.

The intelligence operates within the context of the prime distinction, while the intellect weighs and works with options which are relevant to the prime distinction. In animals this field of relevance includes, borders and marginally extends from the prime distinction, and is like a skin separating the prime distinction from that which is irrelevant and unnoticed. The weighing of relevance to the prime distinction is the same as assessing something’s value/priority/importance and comparing it to a standard. In animals their values are set by the specificity of their prime distinction, but in humans with our all inclusive prime distinction we are free to assume high or low value upon anything, and are free to be right or wrong. Therefore animals have a narrower and specific intellect and humans have a wide and general intellect.

Functioning in accordance with its prime distinction, the animal’s intellect has a width and a depth. The width is the face value of comparative options, and the depth is the layering or sequential value of options. In other words, the width is how many options can be considered on an occasion, and the depth is how many steps can be foreseen within those options between where the animal is and obtaining the objective of its prime distinction, such as to escape the harm or to catch the prey. In other words, the fox’s intelligence perceives and discerns in accordance to its prime distinction, and its intellect weighs and calculates options and steps as to how it might obtain prey and avoid harm.

Within the context of its prime distinction, the fox’s intelligence is able to make very subtle distinctions, and although its intellect is narrow compared to ours, it is wide compared to many other animal species and can seem to weigh several options and foresee several steps ahead relevant to obtaining prey and avoiding harm. For instance, a fox may discern that it can jump onto a tree stump and from there walk along a rail to get on the shed roof and from there jump down into the chicken coop. But such options are weighed in pairs in a rapid series of mental moments, giving the impression that they are weighed at the same time, for all intelligences work on a binary basis, and immediate memory of the previously thought option together with comparative foresight to the next option, and the same process added again, make it seem that more than two options are being weighed simultaneously, when it is actually one after the other.

Many other carnivores also have a prime distinction somewhere along the spectrum of, “is it prey?” or “can it hurt me?” But the fox’s prime distinction is amongst those animals with the most contrast in its prime distinction, due to the fox being both predator and prey – having to both catch prey and outwit other predators. This greater distance between the polarities of its prime distinction gives a wider range to its intelligence, compared to some predators such as lions who’s prime distinction is narrower, such as, “Is it food or isn’t it?”

In summary, compared to many animals the fox has a contrasting or wide apart prime distinction, fine discerning ability, and has an intellect with potentially several divisions and layers, due to its memory and foresight, meaning for practical purpose the fox can weigh several options and foresee several steps towards obtaining its prey or escaping its pursuer.

Well known other influences come to bear on animal’s intellects such as, the nature of its environment, is the animal solitary or a pack animal, does it live alone and solve its problems alone, or does it live in a pack or herd, does it cooperate or compete with its own species, does it compete with other species, and how it communicates with members of its pack or herd, and the versatility of its body.

The Horse: The prime distinction of the horse’s intelligence is, “Should I flee?”

Horses are highly observant and discerning. They have acute pattern recognition and difference identification, in other words, they generalise and discriminate very well. They will notice if you have a new lapel pin, will notice your facial expression, and notice the smallest difference on a walking track to the last time they walked along it, and they will notice anything out of keeping with the surroundings, and any movement, and even notice any movement that is out of harmony with surrounding movements. As soon a distinction is detected the horse’s reflexive thought is, “Should I flee or not?”, or put another way, “Is it safe or should I flee?”

The horse’s acute discerning ability in accordance with its prime distinction make the horse potentially both flighty and steady. The horse’s intelligence excels at observation but his choice is limited by, “Should I flee or not?” If the rider controls the horse’s flight reflex and becomes the horse’s security, making it clear to the horse through demonstration and experience that in obeying his rider the horse is safest, then the horse will go anywhere and do anything for its rider, even charge into battle against cannon fire and pit his front hooves against ranks of men with swords and spears. But if his rider is killed then the horse will flee the battle.

The horse’s eye for patterns and discrepancies, and his willingness to do anything asked of him by someone he trusts, has enabled the horse to observe and be involved in everything that we have done throughout our history. The horse’s eyes have seen it all. horse intelligence,

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9 Responses to Animal Intelligence

  1. Betsi M says:

    You offer a very useful model of intelligence here –thank you. It makes me wonder about the way man intrudes on a species’ natural intelligence, say dogs, to make them meet our whimsied needs.
    Do you add to your analysis, species by species, discovering what part of the spectrum of intelligence their species has? that would be fun!

    • crossbow says:

      Hello Betsi. Yes I do. As I understand it, the spectrum/field of cosmic intelligence is infinitely extensive with every part of it being expressed through different creatures and species, and freewilled creatures like us having potential to range over the infinite. I intend to write more posts on the intelligence of different creatures, contrast them with human intelligence, and contrast the different expressions of human intelligence, and contrast the component parts of the human psychological mechanism. Lay it out as a clear map so that those interested can follow it and go within themselves to wherever they want to go, and find any part they want to find.

      We are meeting dogs needs too though aren’t we; a mutual benefit.

  2. Betsi M says:

    Your graphics in this and other articles are very informative.

  3. Betsi M says:

    ? So if I understand this, animal intelligence is busy differentiating–cognitively it must determine predator/prey relationships, and visually it must determine differences between background field and subject (main subject being predator or prey.) Only when it has developed these differentiations successfully enough to survive, can it (almost instantaneously) emphasize choosing and reactions?
    So it seems that human interactions involving trust with the animals allows them a finer range of choices and reactions beyond survival, so in a way we are helping them develop their ‘souls’?

    • crossbow says:

      Yes, that’s how it seems to be Betsi. Mutual assistance, in many respects. Have you ever observed a pet sheep? Whereas the intelligence of paddock sheep seems to display a narrower width and chunkier discernments, a pet sheep may notice all sorts of subtle things about you, something hanging out your pocket, the car keys in your hand, and will even show interest in a job you may be doing.

      Thanks for your feedback on the graphics.

      • Betsi M says:

        So sheep are not just milling around, bleating, and fearfully watching for nearby predators? If they keep watch on what their herdsman/head sheep wears, then they may also be evaluating other members of their herd constantly for such as sticks (keya?) stuck to their wool that might impede agility or speed, for pockets(?) or gaps in wool that could refer to a deeper wound that might attract predators–? Now I’m happy to think more highly of their intelligence.

  4. Betsi M says:

    I’m still pondering your ideas on animal intelligence. (I like animals but have had a limited understanding of them.) If an animal species has a main type of thought and that species goes extinct, then I wonder of that type of thought is lessened in this world. Is that a sic-fi kind of idea to think that when the last songbird on earth would die, no one could sing again? I don’t mean that, it’s just an exaggerated example.

    • crossbow says:

      It sounds a bit sci-fi, but interesting.

      We can do what animals can and can’t. They are limited; we are not.

      I suppose this sounds sci-fi too:

      Many species have left this planet to go elsewhere, and many more will go, and are in process of leaving. Other’s bodies evolve or are changed. Even some races are leaving. But we will likely meet again, in circumstances similar but different to last time. Others are arriving.

      In a sense, the planet is a mill, for refining consciousness and intelligence. And is not the only one; different mills for different stages and types of refinement.

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