“Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high.”
According to modern thinking, intelligence is a product of several factors. Of course, the most important requirement is that the creature must be high on the evolutionary tree. Intelligence is also related to life span, the longer the better, and the fact that they are social creatures.
However, don’t tell this to a group of creatures who are considered very low on the evolutionary tree because they have very short life spans and are usually solitary. Various studies are showing that octopuses, cousin to the lowly clam, are among the most intelligent creatures on earth. Researchers have found that octopuses not only learn how to solve problems like mazes, but remember what they learn. They report that at one marine lab, some octopuses would sneak out of their tanks at night to eat fish in other tanks. But more indicative of intelligence is the fact that octopuses show personality. Different individuals may, for example, react to an unfamiliar item with curiosity, fear or even by attacking it. Another indication of intelligence is play. Octopuses will play with floating objects in their tanks in much the same way as a child will play with floating toys in the tub.
None of the traditional evolutionary explanations for intelligence apply to the octopus. Actually, none of those explanations apply to any creature since all received their intelligence from our Creator.
Father, I thank You for intelligence. Help me to use it wisely to number my days on Earth. Amen.
Discover, 10/03, pp. 46-51, Eric Scigliano, “Through the Eye of an Octopus.” Photo: Common octopus. Courtesy of Albert Kok. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic license.