Today during my lunch break I was walking to my local supermarket to get some food. The weather was a sweltering 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the neighborhood around my office isn’t exactly the most affluent neighborhood of the city. Sweating my way through the sun trying best to briefly clear my mind from the hectic day of work I noticed a man with his shirt open laying on his back on the concrete. At first I thought he might need some help, but then I saw a women sitting with him on some front porch steps. The two were clearly three stages past drunk and mumbling in Spanglish to each other. They muttered nonsensical gibberish my way when I passed and it got me thinking. When I left the office I had just finished a mentally stimulating conversation regarding a new form of marketing. The ideas passed between the other people I work with involved a high level of thought, strategy and focus to understand and implement. The difference between the conversation that ensued before my lunch walk and the one I witnessed during my lunch walk were literally like that of two different species. In fact I was thinking if I could replace one of the homeless, drunk persons with one of my business colleagues, they would be on a completely different wave length and have trouble seeing eye to eye on anything. Now I bring this up not to debate the reasons why both members of the same species have completely different outcomes in life, but rather to show the range of development within our species.
My question is, does this same range of development apply to other species? For example, let’s look at the life of a dog. While some dogs are clearly brighter than others, does there exist some dogs that are capable of making strategical decisions and others that hardly think at all? What about a giraffe? Are animals able to tell when one is more intelligent than the other?
Just a random philosophical musing for the day to take my mind of the grind… What do you think?