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Wasps are Smarter Than Previously Thought

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#1 LFC

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 12:59 PM

Looks like paper wasps can do comparisons previously thought to be restricted to higher order animals (i.e. not Trump when discussing inauguration crowd size).


Summer is approaching in the northern hemisphere, heralding the return of that great scourge of al fresco diners everywhere: the wasp.

Now, a new study out of the University of Michigan reveals that the striped critters aren't just pesky -- they're smart.

The research found that wasps can use a form of logical reasoning to infer unknown relationships from known relationships, according to a press release.

Essentially this means they can work out that if is X is greater than Y, and Y is greater than Z, X is greater than Z -- an ability that was thought to be a key human trait for thousands of years.

In recent decades, however, scientists have shown that vertebrate animals such as birds, monkeys and fish also have this ability, known as transitive inference (TI).

And Elizabeth Tibbetts, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Michigan, has found the first evidence of TI in an invertebrate animal -- namely the paper wasp.

The article continues to explain the difference in how this impacts their societal interactions as compared to honey bees.
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#2 George Rowell

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 12:34 AM

There is a lot going for hive intelligence in bees, ants wasps and their communications. Tail tagging, scents, and roles. Especially roles. I think sometimes our higher senses confuse us. Humans make decisions and base our feelings on data, lots and lots of it. The data is mingled in with noise, lots of that too but we filter that out subliminally and it works pretty well even if we are not sure how it works. That starts me thinking about the meaning of life and everything. I believe there are other ways we can analyze if people are honest or liars even in a World of interference, although with less certainty on the last several things they said and that is a constraint of the analysis.
Photographs are improved by overlays. Mr. Probabilistic. It is simple. The object is the same every time, the noise is not, however it is guaussian, and there are all sorts of transforms to get rid of it. In it’s simplest form the data is added in an overlay fashion. If a 100 pictures are added the object reinforces itself 100x but the noise to root 100 or only 10x. Eventually the image is quite clear. OK, we add a few rules to ensure we do not get chaotic interference by say ditching data that has a too high derivative with time. That usually means that two sequential bits of data are too far apart. (dx/dt).
The problem is life is not a still picture. Bear with me if this is painfully obvious. The target is moving and again there are transforms that can turn dynamic expressions into static ones that are easily understood. Remember Laplace. The receiving framework needs to be moved to keep up with the target so that they are synchronized and the data can be overlaid and added.
Again, there are provisos, but nothing too demanding. The sensors must be free from distortion, especially even-power distortion. It is like integrating a function and getting that drat ‘C’ at the end. If the sensor is not linear, as indeed with our thinking process, we will get a residual pedestal due to the distortion that is indistinguishable from the signal/fact.
In essence we may have a point that is deep in the noise. Say an utterance from a politician or in our news. Taken in isolation it is impossible to judge if the data is noise or not.
But although individual points are in the noise and the target is moving as above, we can move on to the next point (say a Farage utterance) and join the dots. We collect all of Farage’s words, and this is allowed if we are following a theme and we have synchronized with it. The points can be considered joined. Here it gets interesting because although each bit of data is suspect and deep in the noise, connected data can be treated as the same data field and overlaid. The points become a line. The basic overlay principle still holds and the noise is dramatically reduced. In Nigel’s case the theme is obvious anyway but the same goes for analyzing government policy, laws and so on.
While a single piece of information may seem unlikely or unwelcome, given enough similar events there must come a time when we have accept it as a fact, no matter how unpleasant. It is just the maths of it. Our primordial mind is pretty good all considered, but we are using our smarts, convictions and prejudices instead of history. Yeh, and wasps do not have this problem.

I went a bit tangential there! Too much coffee too, much much too much.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

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