From: Wesley R. Elsberry (
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 11:54:39 EST

  • Next message: Stephen E. Jones: "Re: An Alternative to Dishonesty as the Cause of Persistent Misrepresentation of Ideas and Arguments"

    Steven Jones wrote:


    SJ> [Chimps are intelligent animals. But being able to handle
    SJ>random numbers does not seem to be much of a test of
    SJ>mathematical ability. And who says that an average adult human
    SJ>given the same training as this chimp, could not remember far
    SJ>more than seven random numbers? My take is that if this is
    SJ>the *best* that chimps can do, then it just underlines the
    SJ>enormous gulf between humans and chimps, even though we
    SJ>allegedly share 98% of our DNA. As Elaine Morgan asks, "If we
    SJ>are so closely related to them-and everything we have learned
    SJ>since suggests that the relationship is even closer than
    SJ>Darwin supposed - then why are we not more like them?" (Morgan
    SJ>E., "The Scars of Evolution", 1990, p1)]


    This refers to tests of the capacity of short-term memory.
    Human performance *has* been extensively studied in this area,
    and the results are known to center around the number seven.
    "Seven plus or minus two" is how I recall seeing the results
    from human research characterized. Some people apparently get
    along with as little short-term memory as Ai does, while
    others may have up to four more short-term memory slots. In
    any case, human and chimp short-term memory performance
    appears to overlap, given the results stated. No "enormous
    gulf" is supported by the available evidence.

    Would that be the same Elaine Morgan who is an Aquatic Ape
    Hypothesis enthusiast?


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