Social Question

stanleybmanly's avatar

Is our war with the rats driving them toward intelligence?

Asked by stanleybmanly (21847points) June 2nd, 2019 from iPhone

Do you think they’re getting smarter?

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23 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

They would adapt at survival, and yeah I guess that would count as intelligence.

kritiper's avatar

Intelligence, as in reasoning? No.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I wouldn’t be so sure. Whether you prefer to call it reasoning or not, it’s tough to find a human environment to which rats haven’t adapted and thrived.

LadyMarissa's avatar

They are intelligent in may ways; however, as long as they continue to run down a wall & straight into a mouse trap, I doubt that they are getting any smarter. They’ll even climb over a dead comrade in order to get to the bait.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Aren’t we culling the dummies with traps and poisons?

Yellowdog's avatar

I had a question up about my two pet dead rats about a month ago.

You can kill two rats right next to each other, just five seconds apart.

The two rats came In where the washing machine hose enters the back hall. I knew there were two, so I set out two traps, with peanut butter.

The two rats came in together, The first trap, I can understand it wouldn’t know. But the second one sprung the second trap just five or six seconds later. There was ample opportunity to learn not to do this.

Maybe that’s why whatever rats do in a lab experiment becomes the acceptable standard for human social behavior.

Zaku's avatar

Animals are already intelligent. And they learn things both individually and as a group. e.g. Cattle guards used to injure many cattle. Now they avoid them. Deer in Ashland know how to cross the street. Rats have always been fairly clever, and yes of course they’ve been learning how to adapt to humans.

It seems to be taking a long time for most humans to let go of the comfortable (for them) idea that animals aren’t intelligent.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Yellowdog There is no poetry in your soul. The second death was obviously a suicide—-grief and despair.

Zaku's avatar

@Yellowdog Humans often fail to learn from deathtraps in time to avoid multiple humans being killed, too.

kritiper's avatar

I’ve mentioned this here before: If you take two rats (1 male, 1 Female, natch), put them in a box, feed them, they will multiply. When the box is full of rats, they will turn on each other and kill each other.
If there was truly some real intelligence at work with these critters, don’t you think they’d work something out??

SQUEEKY2's avatar

^^ @kritiper That would work the same on humans in the same situation.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@kritiper you mean like we do?

kritiper's avatar

Yeah, like we do. But they don’t realize what’s going on and we do!

Zaku's avatar

@kritiper No, that seems like a terrible and preposterous suggestion to me.

What do you suppose happens if you keep adding humans into a box until there is no room, without identifying yourself, explaining why this is happening to them, etc?

What do you suppose happens if you do that with one man and one woman, until they have children and more children with each other, never letting them out of the box for generations, until they run out of space?

What kind of severely delusional species does that to another species and then uses it as a context for judging that the other species is mentally deficient?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Rats moved in to our neighborhood when the neighbors behind us set up a chicken coop in their backyard, tucked in the corner between our and the next door neighbor’s back yards. The chicken owners would toss out food in the pen and leave. We would watch the rats run into the pen and gobble it up.

The rats started climbing up a shrub and trellis in the back neighbor’s garden and entering our’s and the neighbor’s on both sides. My partner is terrified by rats. When it reached the point where he wasn’t comfortable going out there, he purchased a pellet rifle. Over two years, he shot ~200 rats. We haven’t seen one for the past couple of years.

I suspect that they finally learned a lesson and moved on.

kritiper's avatar

@Zaku Whoa, Nellie! I never said humans in a box would do the same as rats. Somebody else threw that in.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Yeah @Zaku I said that and in the same situation humans would do the same thing.
Tell me I am wrong if the over crowding was going to the death of all in the box,the stronger ones would kill the weaker ones just in order to survive, humans or rats.

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