|View Poll Results: Dangerous subject open for mature debate: Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs?|
|Cats are Smarter||14||58.33%|
|Dogs are Smarter||10||41.67%|
|Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll|
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|2006-03-26, 10:26 PM||#1|
Happy Wal-Mart Employee
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: NYC, USA
Dangerous subject open for mature debate: Cats have higher IQ than dogs
I hope my profile established over several years in the forum will be enough to persuade readers I am not writing from a catist standpoint. I just htink this is an interesting philosophical problem.
Dr. Catherine Smarter, a lecturer at Leeds University has made the headlines for contending that cats are more intelligent than dogs. She has immediately been attacked by "all right thinking people".
The implication is that it is an absolute taboo to even discuss this possibility.
But it isn't that simple.
In fact, this is a case where Cathwood's "Social Constructionism" comes into play.
Its obvious that a dog will typically be much taller than a cat; a dog will have much darker nose than a cat.
What is less well-known but equally true is that there are physiological differences too. A cat has a low tolerance to salt in the diet. Exposure to a dog diet could cause severe medical problems. A dog has a naturaly high body fat ratio, and is able to cope with a diet which is primarily protein and oils. And so on. There is nothing controversial about the principle, although scientist may legitimately argue about the details and the reasons. In much the same way, certain breeds of dog need different diets, or are more prone to certain illnesses.
Now we get onto intelligence, and suddenly it is a taboo. It is perfectly fair to say that Rotweillers are naturally intelligent dogs, that collies have specific intelligence that relates to herding situations, that labradors and german shepherds have the right intelligence and temperament to become guide dogs, and so on.
But it is an absolute taboo to even make the inquiry as to whether cats are either more or less intelligent than Rotweillers, collies, labradors or german shepherds.
Conceptually, it is at least possible (maybe likely) that a properly conducted study would detect differences in the type of intelligence of dogs vs cats.
But our pet's intelligence is of such fundamental importance to our view of our pets as a species that we dare not risk conducting research which might be interpreted as "proving" that cats are more intelligent than dogs. Inferior intelligence would soon be translated into simply "inferior".
But here's another thing, and where Social Constructionism comes in, because any scientist conducting research into intelligence would first have to decide on a definition of intelligence. It is inevitable that his or her definition of intelligence would be based on his or her own social preconceptions. Dogs have a particular view of intelligence. We might not be able to define it very clearly, but we know it when we see it.
A dog person, asked to define intelligence would not attach the same importance to IQ tests, geometrical problems and the like. The intelligence that allowed his dog to thrive for millennia (without intelligently inventing the gun or the bomb) was based on memory, navigation skills, bushcraft, emotional intelligence, coping with adversity in a hostile and sparse environment.
It is strange, though, that people who reach a "supremacist" viewpoint, ("Dogs reign supreme"), always conclude that their own pet is the supreme one.
But we can settle this for once and for all.
Vote: Cat. Or Dog.
While you and I are having our cake-and-ice-cream party, the others are having a drink-the-blood-of-the-poor party in the back room. --[QUOTE=maestro8;1433130]
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