Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Humans aren't the only ones who pass on knowledge...

Okay, so we've known for a while that other animals are capable of social learning, that is passing on non-genetic information to other individuals.  Like teaching your kids to fish, or how to build a hut.  This type of learning is responsible for all of the great advancements of human culture and society, and has moved from teaching your children to fish to the widespread dissemination of information on all topics (from fishing to physics) that is our network of public schools, libraries, universities, and yes, of course, television and the internet.  For a long time, we thought we were special because we could pass on information from generation to generation, building upon what the previous generations taught us.  As it turns out, lots of animals can do this... even, as it turns out, the lowly fruit fly.  Check it out: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090916103428.htm

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