Do animals have 'consciousness'?
by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi
The debate about the issue of whether or not an animal is conscious is increasing as the intelligence of the animal and its response to the external world become apparent. Ross Andersen , a writer at The Atlantic , is thinking about animal consciousness, with a reflection on Jainism , an Indian religion that adheres to the doctrine that does not harm living things.
Do Animals Have Feelings?-The Atlantic
Jainism is a religion known by thorough assault and asceticism, and it is believed that Ahincer 's teachings that do not harm not only human beings but also other living things are important. Mr. Andersen who visited the Jain province of Gujarat, saw a Jain monk dressed in a white coat walking barefoot without using a car so as not to affect the ground creatures as much as possible. The Jain monks, who believe that all living things have a sense of emotion and desire, place emphasis on spending as little as possible on other living things.
While the idea that animals are conscious in Asia has developed, in the West it has long been thought that animals do not have consciousness. Consciousness is a gift of God given only to humans, and even after Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution based on the natural selection theory , many scientists believed that consciousness was unique to humans. about.
However, in recent years, mammals such as primates, dogs, elephants and whales have high intelligence and there is a strong claim that they are highly likely to be conscious. Non-mammalian octopuses are known to have high intelligence, and there is no answer to the argument as to which animals are conscious and which are not conscious. Also, scientific research on consciousness is difficult, and for some time in the future there may be no clear scientific explanation.
Interested in animal awareness and Jainism, Mr. Andersen visited the “Hoven's Hospital” run by Jain followers. A bird's hospital is visited by a large number of Jainians with injured birds, and a specialist doctor is treating the birds. The veterinarian Dheeraj Kumar Singh, who works at the bird's hospital, is treating birds that have been carried, such as pigeons, parrots and crows, and is naturally released when he can fly again.
It is well known in the past that some of the birds have very high intelligence. The Magpie has passed the " mirror test " to find out whether animals have visual self-cognitive ability for the first time except mammals, and there may be "birds hunting using fire" in Australia. It has been confirmed.
The presence of birds hunting with fire is confirmed-GIGAZINE
Also, crows are also known to have a brain that is quite large compared to the size of the body, has a high density of neurons, and has high intelligence. In 2018, research results have been announced that crows can combine multiple tools to create the tools needed to take food.
The crow can assemble disjoint parts to create a convenient tool-GIGAZINE
One crow cared by Mr Singh is very smart and seems to urge food with a unique cry when he is hungry. Among the crows that have nested so far, there is a solid that appears around the bird's hospital for a while after being free, and moves as if to look for Mr. Singh who has been indebted.
Thus, birds appear to be very intelligent, but the cerebrum, which plays an important role in the human brain, is underdeveloped in birds, and the bird's brain is very different from the human brain. Mr. Andersen states that if the crow is conscious, then two patterns of bird consciousness can be considered. The first pattern is that humans and birds developed different brains, and they generated separate consciousness in them. The second pattern is that animals were conscious before the evolution of humans and birds as separate entities.
"In any scenario, I believe that it is easier for the animal's brain to generate awareness than ever before. Perhaps, large and small animals from around the world are still vivid. You may be experiencing consciousness, ”said Andersen.
Also, fish that seem to be more distant from humans than birds are suspected of being conscious in recent years. In addition to the widespread opinion among scientists that fish also have pain sensations, there are situations where the presence of fish that have passed the Miller test shocks researchers.
The view that "fish also feel pain" is spreading among researchers-GIGAZINE
24 people that are Jain And Teal Tan color , one of the Neminatha is, listening to the cry of the killed animals for use in the cooking of the banquet at the time of the wedding, is and was ordained by grief You are When the wedding was stopped and fled, Neminatha released the surviving fish to the river.
It is said that Gilnar mountain where Neminatha is destroyed is a sacred place of Jainism, and Mr. Andersen actually climbed Gilnar mountain. According to Andersen, there are Jain believers who came out on the trail and the mouth was covered with a white cloth so that the believers would not inadvertently inhale the creatures.
On the way to the Jain temple on Mount Gilnar, Mr. Andersen saw a hornet flying. Bees are thought to have little in common with humans, and in order to reach a common ancestor to bees and humans, they have to go back over 700 million years.
However, it has been found that such bees can understand the "concept of zero" and even teach their knowledge to other individuals.
Honey bees found to understand the concept of "zero"-GIGAZINE
Although the way in which human beings and bees have consciousness may be quite different, Andersen said that now that various research results have been published, it can not be said that bees are not even conscious.