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Do they feel

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Robert V View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 Jun 2016 at 6:08pm

Let me ask you all this.

Do you think snakes possess an understanding beyond that of just instinct?

If they do not, how come some snakes appear to become 'tame' when kept as pets? Or is it just that they lose a sense of fear when picking up a familiar scent of a handler? Is that they tameness they display.

And if they do have an understanding, how far could it go? Would they for instance understand when kept in familiar surroundings for a couple of years, the difference if then taken to a pet shop? Would they miss their familiar surroundings ie their home?

Or should we just assume that everything they do is governed by survival instinct and humans would always be regarded as predators if the scent is not know to them?

Deep man.... R
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Iowarth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2016 at 6:53pm
I can only give personal opinion regarding this. But, I have found over many years of keeping reptiles and studying them in the field (albeit mainly lizards) that there is a degree of intelligence - albeit not greatly advanced! But, one way in which I feel it shows is that with long term acquaintance with herps both wild and captive, is that they all have distinct and different "personalities" and will often react to certain stimuli in individual ways.

It has to be said that not too many years ago, ascribing "intelligence" to any animal was sneared at by scientists as anthropomorphisation. Most naturalists felt that the scientists were talking through their backsides! A common and major scientific fault - if it's not scientifically proven it ain't so rather than if something appears to be the case it remains potentially true until scientists prove or disprove it!

The most outstanding example is nothing to do with this particular question but serves as a very good example. I am an agnostic (albeit with atehist leanings!) since as a scientist I have to accept that irrespective of practicalities the existence of a god or gods has neither been proven nor disproven . Many scientists say there isn't purely because such existence has not been proven. THAT is bad science!

All the best
Chris
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Robert V View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2016 at 10:28am
Hi Chris, thanks for that, all makes sense, and like you say, they definitely appear to have different personalities to a certain degree.

So in taking the second part of your summary, I assume you prefer that the fact that the moon's distance from Earth, proportionately four hundred times less that of Sun's distance from Earth is coincidental with the fact that the Sun is four hundred times the size of the moon and which creates the perfect solar eclipse from time to time is just the science of chance in creation of the universe rather than by design of some kind then?

And that the infinitesimal chance of also having a revolving molten metal core producing enough magnetism to deflect the solar winds and layer of ozone to protect the various living bodies on the planet is also a result of chance?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2016 at 1:02pm
Hi Rob

While this isn't really the place for what is both a scientific and philosophical discussion then yes, I can accept your latter two paragraphs as providing a totally reasonable scientific and philosphical explanation. The one proviso is that given the enormity of the universe the the otherwise "infinitesimal" probability is actually quite large.
Having said that what we still have is a (great) probability. It does not rule out the possibility of some sort of directing intelligence - even one the nature of which we cannot fathom using our current knowledge in scientific terms - although this is what I regard as the infinitesimal chance, and should such an entity exist I feel its resemblance to that of the monotheistic religions would probably be rather remote.
After all, even some perfectly competent scientists theorize that we actually are living in an amazingly complex computer simulation - a sort of super Matrix and that sort of requires a directing intelligence!
Finally of course, it is probably best summed up by Shakespeare - "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy". And that concept should never be forgotten, we should retain and use our intelligence and curiosity while remembering that only the demonstrably proven impossible actually is (and even that might not be!)
Enuff philosoffy I say!!
Chris


Edited by Iowarth - 07 Jul 2016 at 1:03pm
Chris Davis, Site Administrator

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Robert V View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2016 at 7:44pm
haha, well put Chris,

just before we put the filosofickal debate to bed,

I agree regarding the appearance of any potential directing intelligence to be far removed from our existing idea of Gods... And in looking at the sheer enormity of the universe, I would just liken our existence to that of the ants nest that was at the bottom of the gate post of the cottage, in that little Cornish village that you drove past last year... certainly they exist, but do they know you were there, passing in the car? Of course not, other than the passing of a blurry shadow momentarily blocking the sun... and did you know they were there? Who cares, they were of no consequence to you, you weren't interested in ants.
RobV
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2016 at 12:41pm
Hi chaps in my youth many years ago when I kept a few sandies as pets the few I kept would run up my leg to me and take food from my hand from the floor, also a greeny use to like licking jam from a spoon and follow it if I move away, so I am sure snakes know when its monthly food time, how I miss those uncomplicated days of catching a train or buse to some new unexplored new site keith.
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
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