Sires and Dams: How Intelligent is the Horse? Prof. Warden Ranks Him Tenth Dog is Fifth And, Daily Racing Form, 1944-06-28


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SIRES and DAMS By Nelson Dunstan J How Intelligent Is the Horse? Prof. Warden Ranks Him Tenth Dog Is Fifth and Pig Rated Ninth Thinking Horse of Elberfeld NEW YORK, N. Y., June 27. Ever so often scientists will compare the intelligence of animals and usually the horse is far down on the list. The latest to offer his ratings is Professor C. J. Warden, director of the Animal Laboratory at Columbia University. He places the chimpanzee asthe most intelligent of all animals and follows with 2. the orang-utan, 3. gorilla, 4. monkey, 5. dog, 6. cat, 7. racoon, 8. elephant, 9. pig and, of all things, the horse in tenth and last place. The professor says "doubtless some will resent the horse being given last place, but that is what the tests show. Our quiz ratings are based not on beauty and utility, but on brains. It seems that Professor Warden gave the same test to all the animals. Just 10 years ago Dr.. Reid Blair, director of the Zoological Park in New York, gave his ratings and while he agreed on the chimpanzee and orang-utan as first and second, he had the elephant in third place and the horse in seventh place, followed by the sea lion, the bear, and the domestic cat. It is not our intention to seriously dispute the findings of these scientists who are wise in the ways of animals: But apparently there are other scientists whose findings thoroughly disagree with those of Professor Warden and Doctor Blair. Scientists agree, generally, that all animals think, with some holding it as a mistake to assume that man and the beast have nothing in common intellectually. Montaigne claimed they boih had thought and reasoned, while such authorities as Humboldt, Helvitius, and Darwin maintain, that animals act as a definite result of actual reasoning. All men do not think alike and certainly all animals do not. We contend these tests are detrimental to the horse for the simple reason that a horse is ever suspicious of anything he is not acquainted with. Unlike the dog, which has fangs, he is no fighter hut rather a creature of flight and knowing his safety depends upon his speed, he is ready to run from anything he suspects, or, again, shy away from anything which has not been taught to him over and over again. It is for that reason that even some trainers who lack the patience and understanding of others in their profession, will tell you that a liorss is "the dumbest of beasts." Still, how do these scientists account for horses who have mystified learned societies and the large crowds with their displays of high intelligence. One of the most celebrated horses was the famous Hans of Elberfeld, Germany, who was often called "Clever Hans" and "The Thinking Horse of Elberfeld." This horse performed such amazing mathematical stunts that onlookers simply refused to believe that there was no trickery involved. Finally, a committee appointed Drs. William McKen-zie and A. Assaglioli to devote a week to searching experiments. The opinion of these scientists was that no trickery was involved when the horse gave correct answers to every mathematical test put to him. They furthered their opinion by stating that the horse had a higher order of intelligence and was possessed of a very fine animal brain. They said it was a new chapter in animal psychology, showing extraordinary powers of the horse in precise attention, concentration and memory, plus a genius for dealing with numbers. Professor Warden almost apolgizes for the fact that he had to give the dog and the horse such a low rating. We see no reason for any apologies on his part. There is no doubt that a chimpanzee is a very smart animal. They tell in the Bible Job 39, Verse 25 of a horse who talked. If, of course, talking was the test of intelligence, a parrot would make all animals seem very dumb in compari-son. But the parrot does not know what it is talking about, and we often wonder if these animals who in scientific tests seem highly intelligent, actually know what they are doing. We have never known of books to be written about the chimpanzee, nor have we ever know of. monuments to be erected to them. Throughout the world, however, there are monuments erected to horses and dogs. Books have been written about them and they have earned the love of man that no chimpanzee or orang-utan could ever hope for. So, why worry about trick scientific tests which favor the lighted and possibly quicker thinking am? mals as against the most glorious ot all animals.

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