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PUBLIC OPINION > Atheists Think Apes Can Outthink Humans; Christians, Not So Much

News 2012/06/26 15:00:00
Scientists are investing an increasing amount of time and money into the study of animal cognition, and with nearly every new investment comes a new discovery. More and more, it's becoming apparent that we've been underestimating animals, and that's especially true with apes. Recently, studies have shown that there is only a 1.3% difference between human DNA and the DNA of a bonobo ape. We asked the public if apes could possibly outthink humans.



Believe it or not, this was a split decision. Maybe apes can outthink humans, after all. Some respondents did take this as an opportunity to joke about specific types of people, but there were plenty of serious believers. In fact, some suggested maybe other animals can outthink humans, too. Of course, it depends on the person as much as the animal. As many respondents were adamant that it's just not plausible.

Drinkers Don't Think So

Drinkers were a good 16% less likely to believe that apes can outthink humans. Interestingly enough, alcohol is one thing apes have in common with humans. Some species of monkey that have been exposed to alcohol not only enjoy the substance, but express as many attitudes toward alcohol as humans. Some just drink to relax, some become addicted, and some won't touch the stuff.

Atheists Are Convinced

In some ways, this poll is predisposed to intrigue some people, and turn others off. A major tenet of some religions, particularly western religions, is that humans were created special. On the other hand, a major tenet of science is that humans evolved directly from apes. Where you stand on that paradigm is likely to affect how you respond to the question.

Men Have No Faith in Monkeys

Men were a bit more reluctant to agree that apes could ever outthink humans, while women were a bit more willing. It could be that men have a little more pride in human achievement, or it could be that women can better see the flaws in human achievement. It's not a huge difference, though, so whatever the reason, it's of marginal value.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about apes. We'd love to hear from you!
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  • -(*Peac... Bill 2012/06/30 10:07:46
    -(*PeacE4LovE*)-
    ABCABC


    ROSE



    My friend . at that time in the sands of Desert your heart also knows there was No technology or instruments ...

    Rest of the Matter is on ur heart - Weather you believe the 1 God of Abraham,Moses,Jesus & Mohammed .

    The message is Clear . Thanks for understanding My Friend
  • Bill -(*Peac... 2012/06/30 19:13:56 (edited)
    Bill
    +1
    In the (?) paths you created you should be able to answer your own question.

    EvolutionBranches

    The branches to the left and right are linear and there is no great divergence until about 2M years ago in differences between different types of apes and chimps.
    The other question marks for the human evolutionary phase indicate extinction.
    Australopiths died out, as indicated in its unclosed branch, as well as Homo Habilis - extinction. Then, Homo Sapiens branched out to Neanderthal and Modern Man. Neanderthal became extinct. We are what remains. The question marks are meaningless. They indicate nothing. No man-ape to be found.
    The top of the chart indicates those that survived. Others dropped out of the race to the top.
  • Scatter... -(*Peac... 2012/07/04 05:23:05
    ScatterJoy!
    +1
    Aliens are the missing link in that genealogy - yep, the aliens caused the increase in brain size and the opposable thumbs.
  • Ben -(*Peac... 2012/07/06 13:28:40
    Ben
    Let's see....

    Why have you got modern humans and Homo sapiens as separate species? modern humans ARE Homo sapiens.

    Modern Apes (by which I assume you mean the Great Apes, of which we are one by the way, but thats a different discussion) are still around today because both they and we are evolved from the same original species. We have evolved separately as we fill different niches in Nature.

    Therefore the other Great Apes are our cousins, not our ancestors so finding a direct link between them can't easily be done any more than you can find a direct link halfway between you and and your cousins without going to your predecessors.

    There are no Australopiths living today because they have gone extinct. Like over 99.9% of all species that have lived on Earth have gone extinct. A species goes extinct when it is no longer adapted to its environment. This can be due to a change in the atmosphere, the introduction of a new predator or rival, the loss of a prey species, disease, a change to the climate or loss of habitat. Considering the earlist Australopithicus we've found is over 3 million years old, that's a lot of time for these changes to occur and render the species extinct. Considering that the long a species is around, its chances of survival fall steadily towards less...






    Let's see....

    Why have you got modern humans and Homo sapiens as separate species? modern humans ARE Homo sapiens.

    Modern Apes (by which I assume you mean the Great Apes, of which we are one by the way, but thats a different discussion) are still around today because both they and we are evolved from the same original species. We have evolved separately as we fill different niches in Nature.

    Therefore the other Great Apes are our cousins, not our ancestors so finding a direct link between them can't easily be done any more than you can find a direct link halfway between you and and your cousins without going to your predecessors.

    There are no Australopiths living today because they have gone extinct. Like over 99.9% of all species that have lived on Earth have gone extinct. A species goes extinct when it is no longer adapted to its environment. This can be due to a change in the atmosphere, the introduction of a new predator or rival, the loss of a prey species, disease, a change to the climate or loss of habitat. Considering the earlist Australopithicus we've found is over 3 million years old, that's a lot of time for these changes to occur and render the species extinct. Considering that the long a species is around, its chances of survival fall steadily towards less than 0.1%, it's far from certain even modern humans will escape this fate.

    Becoz? Surely the use of words like that should've given the game away that this is hardly a serious scientific article.

    And a billion billion billion years? That would be an Octillion I think, so 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000... years? Considering the Universe is only about 14 billion (14,000,000,000) years old and the Earth a mere youngester at 4.54 billion (4,540,000,000) years old, how does the maths work out?


    And finally, here's something random to wrap your head around, DNA investigation has shown that Homo neanderthalensis, Homo denisovan and Homo heidelbergensis have all interbred with modern humans (Homo sapiens), so chances are you have the DNA of at least one, if not more, of these earlier human species inside every one of your cells (except red blood cells, obviously!). Just thought I'd mention it.
    (more)
  • ZachStowe bennett... 2012/06/28 03:33:59
    ZachStowe
    The dude said "Iron coin evolved to GOLD" he is obviously not worthy of wasting time talking to :)
  • bennett... ZachStowe 2012/06/28 19:47:48
    bennett.dunn1
    I know... Well one does what one can, haha
  • ZachStowe bennett... 2012/06/28 21:36:36
    ZachStowe
    +1
    Lol, I find it best not to even argue with people who have no understanding of even the most elementary sciences :)
  • -(*Peac... ZachStowe 2012/06/29 03:58:37
    -(*PeacE4LovE*)-
    [Baqarah 2:6-7] As for those whose fate is disbelief, whether you warn them or do not warn them - it is all one for them; they will not believe. Allah has sealed their hearts and their ears, and on their eyes is a covering; and for them is a terrible punishment.

    [HMSajdah 41:5] And they say, “Our hearts are covered against the affair you call us to, and there is deafness in our ears, and there is a barrier between us and you - therefore mind your own business, we are minding ours.”

    [Zukhruf 43:40] So will you make the deaf listen or show the path to the blind, and to those who are in open error?

    [Aa`raf 7:179] And indeed We have created many jinns and men for hell; they have hearts in which there is no understanding; and the eyes they do not see with; and the ears they do not hear with; they are like cattle - in fact more astray; it is they who are the neglectful.
  • Bill -(*Peac... 2012/06/29 12:03:12 (edited)
    Bill
    +1
    {Allah has sealed their hearts and their ears, and on their eyes is a covering; and for them is a terrible punishment.}

    2 Thessalonians 1
    11 Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false,
    12 so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    So, what your saying is that is not my fault. In fact, it is impossible to be my fault for what I believe. If Allah (God) whether through Islam, Judaism or Christianity CAUSES us to believe something which is untrue, then who can stand against Him. Not my will but His. I don't get it.
  • ZachStowe Bill 2012/06/29 18:38:42
    ZachStowe
    Good point :)
  • Bill ZachStowe 2012/06/29 19:31:56 (edited)
    Bill
    I answered PeacE4Love's question (about the evolutionary tree) above. You might want to take a look at it.

    It starts off with, "I think I get your point."

    Thanks.
  • ZachStowe -(*Peac... 2012/06/29 18:38:14
    ZachStowe
    ?
    Congratulations brah, you can copy and paste Quran verses
  • -(*Peac... bennett... 2012/06/28 18:41:51
    -(*PeacE4LovE*)-
    Read & See the Whole Chart Friend . I Pray God to remove the seal from your Heart

    graph
  • elijahin24 2012/06/27 18:56:09
    elijahin24
    It stands to reason that eventually, apes could even become smarter than humans, as a specices. Evolution of each species doesn't occur at the same pace. If humans plateau, but apes continue to evolve; they could theoretically surpass us.
  • Frank 2012/06/27 18:14:48
    Frank
    Maybe we need one in the white house.....
  • stevegtexas@aol.com 2012/06/27 18:10:48
  • Bill stevegt... 2012/06/30 18:53:02
    Bill
    Where do I sign up?
  • Elleryqueen 2012/06/27 18:06:59
    Elleryqueen
    +1
    Only because they outthink the atheists.
  • Iamfree 2012/06/27 17:05:40
    Iamfree
    +3
    Hmmm, let's see...humans have gone to the moon and send their machines even further. They have invented life saving cures for disease, written remarkable plays and music, sent men in submarines deep into the world's oceans, created a method whereby millions of people can literally be in contact with each other instantly (the internet), etc. Then there are apes...who have, um, well let's see, I think they do a great job picking ticks off each other.
  • thє вluє wαndєrєr 2012/06/27 16:52:18
  • Merryl thє вlu... 2012/06/29 11:13:50
    Merryl
    +1
    Yuck to you!!!!
  • thє вlu... Merryl 2012/06/29 22:40:47
  • Leantom, the Economic Ratio... 2012/06/27 16:26:04 (edited)
    Leantom, the Economic Rationalist
    +1
    I think most atheists were joking.



    Cynical humor, if you will.
  • Denny Lukman 2012/06/27 16:21:59
    Denny Lukman
    Probably. who knows what will happen at future. if really promising, we must discover how to increase the effect to something
  • Phoenix 2012/06/27 16:19:08
    Phoenix
    +1
    The statement is confusing as it sounds in the present tense, of course apes can't out-think humans now but who knows where evolution will take us and them in the future?

    "Atheists Think Apes Can Potentially Out-think Humans" - that sounds more reasonable.
  • Miguel Angel Martin Jimenez 2012/06/27 16:07:06
    Miguel Angel Martin Jimenez
    Sorry hit comment, continue

    To the apparition of men over earth, that's point two.

    Finally we have to accept two things, One is that there are aspects and phenomenons in our universe that we cannot scientifically explain, and we call them miracles. Maybe some day we can, as we did with so other things but nowadays it's that simple, so if some people is happier thinking that his life and existence has a true mining and purpose, let them be happy. So if other people rather prefer to believe that life is meaningless and we are only an accident, lucky, very lucky indeed, accident in this whole process that we call evolution, well let them be happy too. In my humble opinion the two points of view have an ingenuity point, but the two of them requires a simple but powerful thing: FAITH; rather in god or in probabilities.
    As number two, I believe that this whole discussion its pointless because after 4500 million years, after a global extinction, after billions of years of evolution, we humans remain for over almost 5000 years as the only an single consciousness species in the planet. If evolution is random why suddenly that far a mutation takes effect and never repeated? That is the real fact. If intelligence and conscience are merely the result of mutation why no other ape species or cats or dogs never reached that level of evolution? And that my friends is point three.

    A catholic believer and humble man of science
  • Rebel [SHP] 2012/06/27 15:57:32
    Rebel [SHP]
    +2
    I still find this dumb no matter what the supposed facts are. Monkey's can out think humans? Yeah ok....lets see THEIR cell phone, computer, internet,.....house....anything? If they are so smart....why are they still dumb animals? They should have their own metropolis by now.

    I think this just shows people are stupid enough to believe anything...as long as you stick the hash tag "science" behind it lol.
  • alicynx Rebel [... 2012/06/27 16:44:00
    alicynx
    +7
    Apes are not monkeys. Strike one.
    Animals are far more intelligent than any human gives them credit for - that is the failing of humans, that they haven't learned exactly how intelligent many animals are. Just because they do not function with their environment as we do does not mean they are "dumb animals". Can =/= Do. You understand that, don't you?

    Science has kept your ass alive and healthy on this planet, and given you the creature comforts you laud as a sign of intelligence today. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
  • Rebel [... alicynx 2012/06/27 19:31:18 (edited)
    Rebel [SHP]
    +1
    Wonderful, a rude person has come to lecture me. Maybe said rude person should learn this is an opinion site, and that my opinion is there. She has no part in this equation at all. You understand that, don't you?

    Oh btw....they're still stupid animals. Get over it.
  • -(*Peac... Rebel [... 2012/06/27 19:59:30
    -(*PeacE4LovE*)-
    Dude they are blind and not read the Genesis Bible & Quran when God want to create Man and blessed him & Gave him DOMINIONS over ALL his creations .
  • -(*Peac... alicynx 2012/06/27 19:55:45 (edited)
  • andrea.... alicynx 2012/06/30 20:13:16
    andrea.blackwell
    I can only imagine how unevolved we appear to primates in their world. If you dropped an average human in the jungle, smart money wouldn't bet on a human's survival.
  • Proggy 2012/06/27 15:54:13
    Proggy
    +3
    Valid hypothesis. I don't see apes mindlessly slaughtering each other, lying their country into frivolous wars, and killing, maiming, and murdering each other in the name of fantasy spirit in the sky to gain entry to whatever gated community or another.
  • Miguel Angel Martin Jimenez 2012/06/27 15:53:14
    Miguel Angel Martin Jimenez
    +2
    Sorry to dissapoint you guys, but I believe that you are avoiding one little fact. Catholics nowadays didn't believe that all the stories in the old testament are historically true, but allegories that help us to comprehend our origin in God. That's point one.

    Besides nowadays Catholics have no problem accepting evolution as a fact, but we also propose that this evolutionary process is a guided process we call it intelligent design. That means that evolution it's not a blind rather random process, instead we think that is guided to deliver us to reach our best potential and als
  • -(*Peac... Miguel ... 2012/06/27 20:06:20
    -(*PeacE4LovE*)-
    Evolution is Curse on Heart . Seal of Heart . due to the Sins which people Use to do .
    Do u forget the Nation of Thamud , Lot & Noah . What happened to them in which GOD saying in Bible & Quran & Torah 1000 years before and we came to know NOW with the help of SCIENCE ,

    Dont think that People are not Following GOD . but its the GOD who discard people to be his Followers ( due to there GRIEVOUS SINS) .... People today throw there scriptures at there back , become worse than animals , gays lesbians , homosexuals that GOD curse there hearts - and "the Curse is Evolution" ...& in the End --> Hell is prepare for every TRANSGRESSOR . & REJECTOR of 1 GOD - not 3 but - just 1 GOD
  • ThinkAboutIt! 2012/06/27 15:39:49
    ThinkAboutIt!
    +2
    Shows the intelligence of the atheist.
  • Nika 2012/06/27 15:37:36
    Nika
    +2
    Well, I think some people hold too much pride in our intelligence. Just because we don't give animals a chance to prove their wisdom, doesn't mean that they don't have the potential.
  • stevegtexas@aol.com 2012/06/27 15:19:44 (edited)
  • sundance 2012/06/27 15:19:35
    sundance
    +3
    Again I am amazed at the sheer and unbridled stupidity. "Atheists think apes can out think humans". Atheists, have a hard time with a supreme being folks, not intelligence. I know quite a few that side with that opinion, and none of them (no, not even one) believe that apes are smarter than humans. Oh yea. And Christians don't believe it quite so much?... This is mundane.....Just a thought.....
  • Merryl sundance 2012/06/29 11:18:18
    Merryl
    I am not an Atheist,but I am also not a closed-minded fool that calls people "stupid" if they don't agree with my view!

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