Posted: Oct 01, 2010 6:06 am
by GenesForLife
And oh, regarding planning in animals... ... n1180.html

According to the 'mental time travel hypothesis' animals, unlike humans, cannot mentally travel backwards in time to recollect specific past events (episodic memory) or forwards to anticipate future needs (future planning). Until recently, there was little evidence in animals for either ability. Experiments on memory in food-caching birds, however, question this assumption by showing that western scrub-jays form integrated, flexible, trial-unique memories of what they hid, where and when. Moreover, these birds can adjust their caching behaviour in anticipation of future needs. We suggest that some animals have elements of both episodic-like memory and future planning. ... 01294.html

Groups of animals often need to make communal decisions, for example about which activities to perform1, when to perform them2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and which direction to travel in1, 6, 7; however, little is known about how they do so10, 11, 12. Here, we model the fitness consequences of two possible decision-making mechanisms: 'despotism'6, 7, 10 and 'democracy'1, 6, 7, 10. We show that under most conditions, the costs to subordinate group members, and to the group as a whole, are considerably higher for despotic than for democratic decisions. Even when the despot is the most experienced group member, it only pays other members to accept its decision when group size is small and the difference in information is large. Democratic decisions are more beneficial primarily because they tend to produce less extreme decisions, rather than because each individual has an influence on the decision per se. Our model suggests that democracy should be widespread and makes quantitative, testable predictions about group decision-making in non-humans.

There are evolutionary constraints, genetic constraints and environmental constraints which can determine potential behaviour to varying extents, and this really doesn't make "free will" free. Even Buddhist and Hindu woo about Karmic disposition , which is still irrational and rubbish, does a better job of explaining evil than Xtian "Free Willy" apologetics.