Mon 11 Feb 2013
Posted by anaglyph under Philosophy
I see some evolving thought on the goldfish. I was going to have a few words about our aquatic cousins, Mr Rev sir.
Dunno if they (goldfish) are any more susceptible to snake oil claims, but they do possess reasonable memories, enough for them to know they are in a tank.
“My results strongly showed that goldfish can retain knowledge for at least six days,” Rory said.
“They can retain that knowledge indefinitely if they use it regularly.”
I do believe the memory capacity of goldfish is the template used by advertising executives – the 6 day cycle (even evil rests for a day).
The goldfish will still remember on Monday that the sea-chest was there on Saturday.
I believe that the Mythbusters addressed the goldfish memory myth some time back and declared it (quite accurately) Busted. My purpose here is not to comment on the memory of the fish, but rather on its capacity to speculate on its world.
Not so sure if Mythbusters tested this before school boy from Melbourne, as I am from Melbourne, I’ll be objective and lay claim to the school boy being first.
As for goldfish speculation, I’m thinking: “That lid is never going to open, I know because that green algae wasn’t there last week.”
I’m sure it’s been tested many times, really. I read somewhere (and I can’t find a reference, I confess, so take this with appropriate skepticism) that the myth about the short memory of goldfish came from a cartoon.
Personally, I think that all the goldfish is capable of speculating is ‘I wonder if there’s any food in that funny-shaped rock’. In fact, it probably doesn’t even have a concept of ‘funny shaped’.
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