Ayesha Sayed

Student, UAEU

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When will we understand animals? Their languages and how and what they feel? Do they even have languages?

I was watching Chris Anderson's TED ED talk about questions we don't have answers to, and it got me thinking about animals (my cat in particular). why is it that we can't figure out what they're saying? They're clearly communicating but we can't decipher it! Will we ever be able to?
P.S: I realize this isn't technically a question but TED conversation should have a 'musings/thoughts' section here!

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    Mar 28 2012: Over 90% of communication in humans is non-verbal, so in animals it is probably the same or more. The thing is, we try and understand and rationalize with words...if we can't put something into words, then it is somehow less tangible. It is as if only that which can be defined is worthy of being known or studied or communicated. Feelings however can be used to understand and communicate. You can understand your dog and he you, purely on an emotional level. This is very real communication and no less valid for being indefinable. You can tell if you're cat's nervous, excited, hungry, tired, happy, in heat...what more do you need to know?
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    Mar 28 2012: I'd say some animals already have words, but not language. If none have a language as of yet, I'd bet that we will teach language before it can develop naturally.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lsF83rHKFc
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    Mar 26 2012: Animals do understand emotions and they reciprocate for the same.I can say this from my personal experience like when I am not so well after a tiring day, I don't know how my dog understands it so well and do not push me to play. There is a communication beyond words which we establish with strangers also. In any case, lets assume if this communication barrier is sorted out by technological advancements, and you are able to decode what your cat is saying, don't you feel that the relation which we share with animals will be at risk?
    Just imagine your cat telling you, "Listen Ayesha, I have been at home since so long, please take me out for a walk otherwise I am planning to move to your neighbors house, I can see it in their eyes, they do adore me. "

    That was on a lighter note, there are some things for which any developments are restricted by our nature only, and there are reasons for it, I feel, to have a sustainable world around us. This is similar to number of universe questions,which we can guess, but we will never be able to reach an absolute figure.