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Re: [APD] Disposing of Unwanted Fish

The rub here is the degree of complexity of the nervous system. It's easy to anthropomorphize but it's not always correct. It had for a long time been suggested that ants organizational compacities for finding food was evidence of intelligient planning, yet the behavior can be explained with resort to only a few simple principles regarding stimulus/response re formic acid. The computer model is relatively simple. Ants lay down a bit of formic acid werever they go and they tend to follow along any trail of it already laid down. They also tend to feed and bring food back along the same trail to the nest. With this, random roamings tend rather quickly into regular lines between the nest and any found food.

Ascribing mimicry of human speach to parrots is easy; ascribing word speach, much tougher.

Is an ant aware of its own existence? I don't think it's very clear what would count and necessary and sufficient conditons for ascribing such a conscious state. It's easier with complex organisms and harder the father away one goes. Rocks--no nervous system at all an imputing consciousness would be farther than one could reasonbly stretch the notion. Ants, not as much of a stretch but still, the applicability is is a tough one -- some sort of sentience but existential consciousness, 2nd order intentions (thoughts about thoughts; thoughts about desires, desires about thoughts, etc.) -- for that there is little evidence in the behavior. Dogs, easier still. The folks behind the Apple Genius Bar? From what I've seen, that's a tough one as purely mechanical descriptions seem able to fully explain their behavior. But except the rock, all these things respond to stimuli.

Compared to an apisto, a cardinal tetra is positively moronic in its behavior. I don't know what awareness a cardinal has of pain because it's unclear what sort of conciousness a cardinal might have. Given how much I don't know, I'd prefer the swiftest and surest method of killing a cardinal should the need arise. But I am not compelled to attribute human qualities or full rights of personhood to cardinals.


----- Original Message ----
From: Terry S. <tgs1 at rni_net>
To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 8:16:34 PM
Subject: Re: [APD] Disposing of Unwanted Fish

According to the latest research, the limbic system is where we feel whether
something is agreeable or disagreeable, i.e. "good or bad."   It's also the
location of emotionally charged memories.  Fish have limbic systems, though
not quite as developed as in mammals.  Parameciums, earth worms, mushrooms
etc do not.

You can draw your own conclusions, but it seems very likely that fish do
'feel' fear (an emotion), let alone pain (a sensation) which as Jerry says
is just a response to stimulus.  There's been a lot of research on animal
emotions in the last 10 years and the conclusions are pretty amazing.

Terry S. in AZ

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