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Old 05-07-2005, 08:07 AM   #11
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Humans have emotions and pain almost always elicits an emotion. As humans we have highly developed emotions. Animals display behaviours and we place our emotional values on animal behaviour. Fish can be conditioned and will respond well to stimuli, ie the person that feeds them walks in and they know it is chow time...... It is a very complex issue.

P.S. I believe it is an urban myth that fish have a memory of 7 seconds. Who put the electrodes on a fishes head and sat there with a stop watch???
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Old 05-07-2005, 08:24 AM   #12
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Interesting thought Brian. Let's take it a step further. Humans can also "learn" about pain through discussions like this one. In that light, we can communicate the things that cause us pain (both mental and physical). Add to that the fact that on a 24 hour basis, we can tune into the video medium and see painful things.

"I went to the dentist........." is all we need to hear and we automatically know what the speaker is about to say and we also visualize pain just by hearing the word dentist.

In the wild, we have seen video of predators going after prey. If they go after single prey or the herd, we see the reaction of the prey. I'm sure they are not running to escape a game of "tag". They know what is about to happen.

Why do we question whether fish can sense and/or feel pain is beyond me.
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Old 05-07-2005, 08:50 AM   #13
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Well I'm not talking about conditioning, learned responses, or survival instincts. A fishes intelligence might be for another discussion.

I'm suggesting that we as a species may FEEL pain differently than other species will. I don't know this to be true, but it is possible. For example.... the fish that takes a baited hook does not have the same nerve endings in its skin as you are I do. It may feel the hook as perhaps a slight discomfort. You and I might feel a hook through our mouth as excrutiating pain.
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Old 05-07-2005, 09:03 AM   #14
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Exactly...I would say that humans have hyper-sensitive nerve endings all over the body except in certain areas. However, I do know of stories where some very weird injuries have occurred and the victim claimed to have felt no pain..just a little discomfort. These are exceptions of course rather than the norm.

I think there is a link between the survival instinct and pain/discomfort. In theory, we only know if pain is present via our senses. If no sensory observation of pain is detected by humans, we just assume it isn't present. Not exactly fair to animals in general eh?
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