The Evolution of Animal Intelligence


    The study of animal behaviour has two problems, description and interpretation. Both give opportunities for error. Thus on the one hand Binet's discussion of the mental life of Protozoa is largely based on a mistaken view of the facts. Didinium does not “hunt” its prey or “cast darts” at it. On the other hand Thorn-dike, on the basis of his well-known experiments, argued that his animals showed no high degree of intelligence because there was no sudden drop in their learning curves; Hobhouse opposed this conclusion on the ground that the curves did show a sharp drop. But in a recent article comparing human adults, children, and rats in learning a maze, Prof. Hicks finds that “the relation between the abruptness of slope and the degree of rational ability is just the inverse of that assumed by Thorndike and Hobhouse.”

    The Evolution of Animal Intelligence.

    Prof. S. J. Holmes. Pp. v + 296. (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1911.)

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