Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nazis trained dogs to read and speak. And the existence of God.

I still can't believe they actually tried to do it.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8532573/Nazis-tried-to-train-dogs-to-talk-read-and-spell-to-win-WW2.html 

But I guess it makes sense, in a misguided sort of way.  If you don't believe that there is a fundamental difference between animals and people in a religious sense, for example, that people are children of God, while animals are creations of God, and if you don't have a good grasp of modern evolutionary science, which would also indicate the impossibility of training dogs to talk (without theoretical genetic mutations), then you might think... hey, dogs are smart.  Let's teach them language. 

Picture from: http://www.jeffbaj.com/2010_07_01_archive.html (on a blog titled: reflections of God)
I think the funny thing is the major error in Hitler's mind wasn't that he overestimated the intelligence of dogs, but rather, he severely underestimated the intelligence of humans. 

For me, one of the best evidences that God exists is us ourselves.  No dog, ape, or parrot will argue the issue with me.  There have been lots of studies by people to show how smart animals are.  Many of these studies focus on chimpanzees or bonobos, on the assumption that, because they are our closest genetic relative, they may be more intelligent than other species.  But I think most of the studies that show their increased intelligence could be replicated in other animals. 

As I read through the original article about what these dogs could do, as far as tapping out words and that, and I think it's a lot like the ape studies with talking apes.  If you really get into it and look at the communication abilities in context, you find a giant gap in speech, language, and cognition.  Does anyone really expect to find otherwise?

Image from; http://emergingsoul.com/blog/2011/01/21/marriage-your-presence-is-your-present-to-each-other/
So this article about the Nazis training dogs to speak is done by Brits, as far as I can tell.  Probably not a coincidence, as the obvious implication is that the Nazis and Hitler weren't very smart after all.  All the exceptional technological innovation that they had, and yet, here they are, trying to train dogs to speak. 

All the scientific advancement that we have today, and as far as I can tell, there is nothing at all that indicates that God doesn't exist.  It might be said that there isn't any that He does exist either... and then I think we get into probability theory over mountains of inconclusive but probable evidence, in my view. 

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