Joined: Jan. 2003
Thanx. I downloaded and read the whole book; it was nice to discover that it also referred to mental modeling as an important ability.
There was an interesting experiment mentioned in it (chapter 9) for finding out how chickens and chimpanzees find their way around obstacles:
It turns out that chickens and chimpanzees differ markedly on the Umweg task. Whereas chickens can solve the problem only if their frantic movements bring them by chance to a spot where they can see the path around the obstacle, chimpanzees can more calmly examine the situation and then simply walk around the barrier to obtain the object. So chickens must rely on the variation and selection of overt behaviors, but larger-brained chimps are able to substitute the variation and selection of mental processes for overt behavior.
Thus, chimps can do intelligent designing, while chickens cannot -- at least as judged from their behavior.