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  1. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    06 Feb '19 22:35
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/06/spelling-bees-no-but-they-can-do-arithmetic-say-researchers

    "Spelling bees? No, but they can do arithmetic, say researchers
    Study says honeybees can learn to carry out exact numerical calculations"

    "Honeybees can learn to add and subtract, according to research showing
    that while the insects have tiny brains, they are still surprisingly clever."

    "Dyer said the prevalence of numerical competence across the
    animal kingdom was “suspicious”, leading him to believe it might
    be a widespread phenomenon in animals that aids survival."
  2. SubscriberPonderable
    chemist
    Linkenheim
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    07 Feb '19 07:27
    @Duchess64

    link to original paper: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/2/eaav0961

    The actual test:
    1) Addition: Incorrect option in same numerical direction as correct option

    Sample = 3, correct = 4, incorrect = 5

    2) Addition: Incorrect option in opposite numerical direction as correct option

    Sample = 3, correct = 4, incorrect = 2

    3) Subtraction: Incorrect option in same numerical direction as correct option

    Sample = 3, correct = 2, incorrect = 1

    4) Subtraction: Incorrect option in opposite numerical direction as correct option

    Sample = 3, correct = 2, incorrect = 4

    It is really a sensational finding that bees can find the correct answer in statistical meaningful number of cases.
    When I went to school abstract thought was only ascribed to mammals.
  3. Joined
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    07 Feb '19 09:31
    @duchess64 said
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/06/spelling-bees-no-but-they-can-do-arithmetic-say-researchers

    "Spelling bees? No, but they can do arithmetic, say researchers
    Study says honeybees can learn to carry out exact numerical calculations"

    "Honeybees can learn to add and subtract, according to research showing
    that while the insects have tiny brains, they ...[text shortened]... cious”, leading him to believe it might
    be a widespread phenomenon in animals that aids survival."
    I am skeptical of the claim. They probably recognize shapes rather than actually adding and subtracting. Someone once had a horse he claimed could count. Horses are pretty smart, but it couldn't really count.
    If a horse cannot count I doubt a bee can.
  4. SubscriberPonderable
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    Linkenheim
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    07 Feb '19 10:13
    @metal-brain said
    I am skeptical of the claim. They probably recognize shapes rather than actually adding and subtracting. Someone once had a horse he claimed could count. Horses are pretty smart, but it couldn't really count.
    If a horse cannot count I doubt a bee can.
    Read the paper, which is well written, I presume that an average educated Person can understand nearly everything.

    They experimented with different shapes to Show the Independence of shape recognition.

    If Bees can count or subtract is a question which is dependent on your Definition of counting or subtracting.
  5. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Cosmopolis
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    07 Feb '19 10:42
    @Metal-Brain
    Ponderable is right, the original paper is a hoot. Consider this couple of sentences:
    Once bees had completed the training, there were four tests of 10 unreinforced choices. Between each of the four tests, there were 10 refresher reinforced choices to maintain bee motivation.
    I love the idea of unmotivated bees, that just can't be bothered any more and get all lethargic and want to sign on the dole.

    The actual difficulty with this is that they had to add or subtract one, and the sample of dots was small enough that enumeration, rather than counting, can be in play. Counting is an algorithm, in enumeration one can just see how many dots there are without having to count. So I don't think there's strong evidence of abstract thinking here, in the sense that humans have a formal language with a set of rules for solving these problems, I think bees just use enumeration. Although it's interesting that they aren't just going for more and less, but do get the idea that there's a precise answer.
  6. Zugzwang
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    07 Feb '19 22:37
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/07/scientists-find-some-fish-can-recognise-themselves-in-mirror

    "Scientists find some fish can ‘recognise themselves’ in mirror
    Wrasse passes intelligence test in disputed study, challenging ‘vacant’ reputation of fish"

    "They are often said to have a three-second memory, but the brain power of fish
    has been considerably underestimated, according to scientists who found some
    fish can recognise themselves in the mirror."
  7. Standard memberlemon lime
    ookookachu
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    07 Feb '19 23:15
    @ponderable said
    Read the paper, which is well written, I presume that an average educated Person can understand nearly everything.

    They experimented with different shapes to Show the Independence of shape recognition.

    If Bees can count or subtract is a question which is dependent on your Definition of counting or subtracting.
    It was proven years ago that bees can not only add and subtract, but are also capable of exponential math. Food sources were placed at changing locations along a straight line and the bees were able to anticipate where the food would be the next day.

    I don't know if this is true for ants, but apparently ants are able to find their nest after leaving by counting steps. Once they've reached the same number of steps back they move around in the same area until they find their nest. Some ants were selected and the length of their legs altered, then placed back where they were found. Ants that had tiny splints glued to their legs (making them longer) typically over-shot the nest, and ants that had their legs shortened (don't ask) would stop short of the nest before searching for it... both sets of ants couldn't find their nest because they were looking in the wrong area.
  8. Standard memberlemon lime
    ookookachu
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    07 Feb '19 23:341 edit
    @deepthought said
    @Metal-Brain
    Ponderable is right, the original paper is a hoot. Consider this couple of sentences:
    Once bees had completed the training, there were four tests of 10 unreinforced choices. Between each of the four tests, there were 10 refresher reinforced choices to maintain bee motivation.
    I love the idea of unmotivated bees, that just can't be bothered any ...[text shortened]... ng that they aren't just going for more and less, but do get the idea that there's a precise answer.
    Bees will always fail a math test because they never show their work. Coming up with a correct answer isn't enough, you must always show your work...






    #$@%& math tests...


    Phooey!
  9. Zugzwang
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    08 Feb '19 05:161 edit
    @lemon-lime said
    Bees will always fail a math test because they never show their work. Coming up with a correct answer isn't enough, you must always show your work...

    #$@%& math tests...


    Phooey!
    "You must always show your work..."
    --Lemon Lime

    FALSE. The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) sponsored a multiple-choice
    test (then known as the National High School Mathematics Exam) that was
    the qualifier (the top 100 students) for the USA Mathematical Olympiad.
  10. Joined
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    08 Feb '19 15:20
    @deepthought said
    @Metal-Brain
    Ponderable is right, the original paper is a hoot. Consider this couple of sentences:
    Once bees had completed the training, there were four tests of 10 unreinforced choices. Between each of the four tests, there were 10 refresher reinforced choices to maintain bee motivation.
    I love the idea of unmotivated bees, that just can't be bothered any ...[text shortened]... ng that they aren't just going for more and less, but do get the idea that there's a precise answer.
    Recognizing patterns is not counting. Bees probably have a very strong ability to recognize shapes to identify the type of flower. Remembering these flowers and where they are placed relative to one another probably helps them navigate through a field of flowers. Bees do not want to waste time visiting the same flowers.

    There is little evidence they are doing basic math. Their ability to notice patterns and learn from them is rather remarkable, but this is not evidence of counting.
  11. Joined
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    08 Feb '19 15:21
    @duchess64 said
    "You must always show your work..."
    --Lemon Lime

    FALSE. The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) sponsored a multiple-choice
    test (then known as the National High School Mathematics Exam) that was
    the qualifier (the top 100 students) for the USA Mathematical Olympiad.
    Now all you have to do is teach bees to read.
  12. Standard memberlemon lime
    ookookachu
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    08 Feb '19 17:51
    @duchess64 said
    "You must always show your work..."
    --Lemon Lime

    FALSE. The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) sponsored a multiple-choice
    test (then known as the National High School Mathematics Exam) that was
    the qualifier (the top 100 students) for the USA Mathematical Olympiad.
    I was being factitious... wasn't it obvious?
    In jr high and high school I got less than perfect scores on math tests for NOT showing my work.
  13. Zugzwang
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    08 Feb '19 20:07
    @lemon-lime said
    I was being factitious... wasn't it obvious?
    In jr high and high school I got less than perfect scores on math tests for NOT showing my work.
    Did Lemon Lime not know which mathematics tests required him to show his work and which did not?
  14. Standard memberlemon lime
    ookookachu
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    08 Feb '19 20:511 edit
    @duchess64 said
    Did Lemon Lime not know which mathematics tests required him to show his work and which did not?
    They (the math tests) all required us (the [math] students) to "show your work".
    I at least had the sense to not show MORE work than was required, although at times I was sorely tempted to do so.

    2x + 5 = 11
    2x + 5 -5 = 11- 5
    2x + 0 = 2x
    2x = 11 - 5
    2x = 6
    6 = 1+1+1+1+1+1
    2x/2 = (1+1+1+1+1+1)/2
    1x/1 = x = (1+1+1+1+1+1)/2
    (1+1+1+1+1+1)/2 = 1+1+1 = 3 = x
  15. Zugzwang
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    08 Feb '19 21:08
    @lemon-lime said
    They (the math tests) all required us (the [math] students) to "show your work".
    I at least had the sense to not show MORE work than was required, although at times I was sorely tempted to do so.

    2x + 5 = 11
    2x + 5 -5 = 11- 5
    2x + 0 = 2x
    2x = 11 - 5
    2x = 6
    6 = 1+1+1+1+1+1
    2x/2 = (1+1+1+1+1+1)/2
    1x/1 = x = (1+1+1+1+1+1)/2
    (1+1+1+1+1+1)/2 = 1+1+1 = 3 = x
    If I was asked for a proof, then obviously I would "show my work".
    If I was asked, for instance, "If a convex polygon with 100 sides has all its diagonals
    constructed, then how many are there? I would write 4850 a few seconds later.
    I would not necessarily be asked to 'show my work' because arriving at the correct
    answer would be enough to show that I understood how to solve the problem.
    (What's the probability that I could guess '4850' out of the blue?)
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