Evolutionists Won't Hear This Bird's Argument

on September 22, 2007

LiveScience: “This Bird Made a Monkey Out of Humans

An obituary for a grey parrot named Alex reminds us that evolutionists’ ideas about human origins don’t always—or should we say don’t often?—line up with reality. LiveScience has the story:

Alex was best known to the public as the amazing talking parrot. Way beyond “Polly want a cracker,” this bird knew more than 100 words and could hold a decent conversation.

"Here was a bird that in many ways did better at language than chimps."

Rather impressive, huh? LiveScience columnist (and Cornell University anthropologist) Meredith F. Small goes on to explain that Alex and her owner, chemist Dr. Irene Pepperberg, faced “an uphill battle getting academics to listen” to her argument that Alex was notable. Why? Because “[s]he was [...] up against a particularly difficult audience—the chimp people,” who, based on evolutionary theory, considered chimps the closest living relatives to humans and the unchallenged smartest animals:

Chimp researchers are the kings and queens of primate research because their subjects share more DNA in common with humans than any other animal on earth. From that exhaled pantheon, a woman with a parrot simply couldn’t play well.

We’ve reported on sometimes forgotten/ignored avian intelligence in the past—most prominently with crows (whose intelligence seems to be of perennial note, including in item of the August 25, 2007, News to Note), but also with cetaceans and elephants. The question is, if animals other than apes are also intelligent, why is it that apes are so frequently characterized as unique among animals as having (as it’s sometimes construed) “near-human” intelligence (though, of course, no animal intelligence even approximates that of humans)? Perhaps the LiveScience article unwittingly sheds light on the answer:

Here was a bird that in many ways did better at language than chimps. What did that say about human evolution?

We’ll give you a hint: Alex’s intelligence said something about human evolution that evolutionists just didn’t (and still don’t) want to accept!

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