Tag Archives: Evolution

What is it like to be a bat? Ask David Kish!

The philosopher Thomas Nagel posed, and prematurely answered, a question that has vexed philosophers and animal scientists ever since: what is it like to be a bat? A mammal not so very distantly related to us (our nearest living non-primate … Continue reading

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Apes on Film | Project Nim vs Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This week saw the back-to-back UK release of two films about signing apes raised in human families: Project Nim and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Nim is a documentary aimed at the arthouse audience (very Erroll Morris style … Continue reading

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The ancient intelligence of dinosaur-birds

In the last couple of decades increasing numbers of articles have made it to the popular press about the intelligence of birds, be it tool-making in Caledonian crows or the obituary for the talking, counting, African Grey Parrot, Alex, in … Continue reading

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Mammalomorphism

Mammals are excellent initial candidates for us to start looking for moral neighbours, as human moral capacities are built on mammalian physiological foundations, especially the close, oxytocin-fuelled, emotional and empathic ties between mammalian mothers and their breast-fed offspring. Mammalomorphism vs … Continue reading

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Who’s in the menagerie? | The convergent evolution of moral intelligence

This site investigates the evolutionary structures which make human morality, intelligence and sentience possible, and also explores those evolutionary convergences which have brought other animals to share similar structures and attributes with us. Much human energy and ingenuity has been … Continue reading

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Terminating the Terminator: why intelligent machines won’t be good or evil (and why some animals might be)

To help clarify what intelligence and morality mean, and whether animals qualify as possessing them, I’m going to take an unusual, but I hope illuminating, detour through some of the setbacks and advances in building intelligent machines. In his award-winning … Continue reading

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Evolving empathy

The following post is reproduced from a response to Professor Raymond Tallis’s column in the Jan/Feb edition of Philosophy Now Magazine Dear Editor: I was dismayed, reading Raymond Tallis’s column last week, to see him misrepresent the state of the … Continue reading

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