Unique behavior in highly intelligent species is largely learned, not instinctual
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Unique: exclusive to a particular group.
Behavior: all the ways animals interact with other organisms and the physical environment; a change in the activity of an organism in response to a stimulus, an external or internal cue or combo of cues.
Highly intelligent species: Animals that are widely considered to have human or near-human intelligence, such as corvids, primates, and cetaceans.
Learning (in regards to behavior): The acquisition of knowledge and skills based on observation and experience.
A few other intelligent animals’ maturities and life expectancy (some numbers are based on sexual maturity when I was unable to find a definitive range of when they become independent of their parents):
Species: maturity, life expectancy (oldest age noted in captivity), % of life in childhood
Crows: 3-5, 20-30 (59 in captivity), 25-10% (5% in the case of the captive, but this is the only number here that comes under 10%)
Elephants: 18, 60-70 (89 in captivity), 30-20%
Bottlenose dolphins [Link #2]: 5-13 female, 9-14 male, 40-60 (captive dolphins live equal or fewer years than wild), 35-12%
Chimpanzee [Link #2]: 10-13, 40-50 (79 in captivity) 32.5-12.7%
Humans: 18-25, 79 (122 record), 32-15%
Reptiles are largely self-sufficient from hatching, which should be noted, but is hard to gather statistics on
In less intelligent bird species, the percentage drops.
Chicken: 6-12 weeks, 5-10 years (record 14), 2.3-1.6%
Mouse: 6 weeks, 1-3 years (7 years), 11-1% (Mice like all mammals are fairly intelligent, so it makes sense for this number to be moderately high)
Humans learn in school and from their parents and peers. Even fairly basic skills like walking on two legs require models to learn from. Oxana Malaya, a feral child raised by dogs, was unable to walk on two legs when she was found. So clearly it was a learned behavior, not instinct. Parents serve as teachers and models.
All of the intelligent animals above tend to live in communities (in the case of the crow, they are largely solitary, but other corvids such as the pinyon jay live in large permanent social groups), which preserves and aids learning across generations. Humans are once again the prime example. If you would like sources for these claims I can link them in the next round but right now I just want to get the ball rolling.
[Pro] can only prove that learned behavior can overcome instinctual, not that unique behavior is largely learned. Keep in mind that even experts agree that walking is BOTH learned AND instinctual. Pro must prove majority overcoming in order to win this debate.
Learning IS instinctual
If this debate was "the universe's continuation is largely due to the Big Bang", pro would likely win, because even if Big Bang was only a split second compared to 13 billion years, it was still the crucial cause to ALLOW the universe to continue in the first case.
Pro asserts that because we are more complex this learning must be necessary
dropped my contention of Texas Sharpshooter fallacy.
con can only prove that learned behavior can overcome instinctual, not that unique behavior is largely learned.
Babies already have developed instinctual grabbing of furniture to stand upright, gradually moving onto the process of walking.
In some animals, walking is instinctive... In humans, walking, like most of our behaviors, is learned
man has an instinctive tendency to speak, as we see in the babble of our young children; whilst no child has an instinctive tendency to brew, bake, or write."
if a battery powers the car, is it "largely" the car that is moving?
As "instinctual behavior" shifts to "learned behavior", we have a "Ship of Theseus" problem where con argues merely because the behavior has seemingly changed, that it is no longer the same instinctual behavior.
Votes Considering Outside ContentThe voter must assess the content of the debate and only the debate, any reasoning based on arguments made or information given outside of the debate rounds is unacceptable.
because the behavior has seemingly changed, that it is no longer the same instinctual behavior.