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Dear Parrots magazine,

Beyond comprehension

The article by Svetlana Velichko in the August publication was truly interesting for me although, perhaps, in a somewhat oblique way.

I am a retired academic philosopher with an interest in IQ, intelligence, and the myths and facts surrounding it.  Her remarks about the intelligence and general worldliness of the NZ Keas provided me with much food for thought, most particularly with her last sentence "No matter how far we go down the intelligence ladder, into its enigmatic depths, I am sure we are never meant to see the bottom."

Ms Velichko will find herself in distinguished intellectual company holding such a view, if devoid of its creationist implication; "meant to see”.  As scientists step deeper and deeper into quantum mechanics, an area of truly painful scientific paradox, it is becoming plain, if that is quite the word to use, that the Universe is something not only that we do not fully comprehend, but is something we cannot fully comprehend.  Perhaps because, if we follow some of Professor Dawkin's comments, the selfish gene carriers that we are, have other fish to fry.

An ape may conceivably learn to manipulate a typewriter, but never to write a play on it, as the playwriting sector of its brain has never come into existence.  Why should it?

Similarly, there are puzzles about the nature of the Universe we human apes will never solve because we cannot, the part of our brain that could solve them has never come into existence.  Why should it?

And to think those tiny Kiwi Keas conveyed these views to Ms Velichko.  All of them should surely be awarded honorary doctorates.

Dr Trevor Artingstoll



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