Re: whale brains

Benjamin H. Diebold (
20 Nov 1995 20:36:25 GMT

Well, I hate to get into a 'you said - no I didn't' debate, but I think
Hubey is changing his story here.

H. M. Hubey ( wrote:
: If you want to meas0ure inteligence you first have to start
: with some observations that humans have more of it than
: chimps, and that chimps have more than dogs, which in
: turn have more than lizards. You first have to be able
: to observe that dolphins have more than turtles and that
: turtles have more than fish.

This pretty clearly says, if you want to measure intelligence you first
have to start by assuming that humans have more of it than chimps, chimps
more than dogs, etc. That is, you have decided, before any measurements
have been made, what the comparative results will be.

I can't see any difference between what Hubey has written above, and me
deciding to figure out which is farther from New Haven, California or
New York, but deciding ahead of time that the answer is New York and
then devising a test that provides that result.

So then I wrote:

Ummm....I'm sorry, but I have a little problem with this. If you want to
measure intelligence, why should you decide ahead of time that species x
has more of it than species y? What on earth would be the reason to
measure anything when you've already decided what the answers are?

To which Hubey responded:

H. M. Hubey ( wrote:
: And if you wanted to measure distance, or temperature
: or time, where would you start?

: Don't you first have to decide that when the fluid goes
: up it shows that temperature goes up? And how do you
: decide that temperature is going up except via your
: naked senses?

: What's changed?

What's changed is your story. These examples do not presuppose an answer,
the way your example on intelligence does, where you have cooked your
results before taking the measurements.

If you can devise a measurement for intelligence, first explain what you
mean by intelligence, and then provide a mechanism to generate the