Alex and Griffin
Under the tutelage of Psychologist Irene Pepperberg, the birds Alex and Griffin are able to speak English clearly. However the article of Caldwell and Lowe (2000) notes that this is not parroting speech where parrots might just repeat what is being said to them. These parrots are capable of associating speech with objects. In addition to knowing techniques of association, the parrots also have a level of intelligence as seen with tasks conducted with a mirror image that even children might not master easily when they are three. They show a level of assertiveness when they stick to the right answers even when the human questioner tells them their answer is wrong. A model rival mode of teaching is used here, where a pupil would learn by watching another pupil being harangued and taught by a teacher. Using this mode the birds have learnt more than 50 different objects, 5 shapes and 7 colors and are able to associate and intelligently solve tasks and “Pepperberg’s research is focusing psychologists to rethink the boundaries between animals and humans” (Caldwell, & Lowe, 2000).
Human/ Animal Consciousness
Marian Dawkins argues that consciousness is the most elusive to study biological phenomenon. It can be studied with respect to animals but would need more scientific progress to do so (Dawkins, 2015). The opening argument of Dawkins makes sense as the discussions of Caldwell & Lowe (2000) only presents how birds displays intelligence traits, and shows a sense of awareness, but can this aware equal that of humans or can the same awareness be said to hold for all animals is not established yet.