Re: Does your dog or cat have conscious thought?
"They see and understand the patterns of activity around them and adapt to them just as we do. It's beyond just classical conditioning."
Adapt is the same as react. Again they can learn and have memory. If they see the same thing twice they will probably react the same way twice.
They have different levels of intelligence because they learn at different rates and retain different levels. Same as humans. Rats learn to rum mazes thru repetition. They use different signals to remember such as color, smell, sounds etc.
Human twins have been separated and although they have the same DNA, same ability to learn genetically, they learn at different rates depending on experiences. What separates us from the others is the ability to learn to think and have thought. There may be a fine line between cognitive thought and learning but humans that have been injured are said to be in a "vegetative state" This is harsh but they have lost their reasoning skills. As I said this is my opinion from my education classes, psychology and sociology classes. Feel free to develop your own opinion. You do have those reasoning skills.
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