Raven Mavens

on May 1, 2018

Study after study reveals the remarkable intelligence of certain birds. Experiments at Lund University in Sweden now show that ravens can plan for the future, even in situations they never encounter in the wild.

Ravens in the lab learned to drop a pebble into a box to release a food treat. Later, they were put in a place without any box of treats and offered a tray of objects. They chose the pebble and set it aside, apparently for later use when the box with the treat reappeared.

It gets better. When they were offered a choice between a small treat and a pebble that would release a better treat later, they chose the pebble. They even learned to barter. In 143 out of 144 trials, when offered a choice of several objects, the birds chose a token that they could trade to get a better reward.

These tightly controlled experiments indicate that birds possess general intelligence, not just instinct. In fact, the researchers claim ravens’ ability to plan for the future is about as good as that of a four-year-old child. Our all-knowing, all-wise God placed within creatures a spectrum of intelligence that does not depend on brain size and certainly has nothing to do with some higher or lower position on an evolutionary scale. Indeed, the marvelous intelligence of some birds surpasses that of many, supposedly more highly evolved mammals with much larger brains.

The all-knowing, all-wise Creator gave every creature the intelligence it needs to serve its purpose, and the limits of all creatures remind us that there must be a greater intelligence that exceeds everything we find in creation.

This article was taken from Answers magazine, November–December, 2017, pg 31.