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Zoology/Do all living beings make mistakes?


Dear Walter,

Is there evidence that there is a living being (animal, plant, virus) that lives long enough to have plenty of opportunities to make mistakes, but which it doesn't? Or is there evidence that there can't possibly be such a living being?

Thank you in advance for answering these difficult questions.

Kind regards,


Hi Rick
It would seem that mistakes are made by those exhibiting conscious behavior Animals following strict instinctive behavior do not make mistakes. A robin building a nest never builds it wrong. You and I however will be able to make a choice before doing something and based upon our previous experience we could make the wrong choice. Some mammals other then humans carry out behavior that we may think is a mistake. When I was kid my dog got killed chasing a car ( he was old and deaf)Was that a mistake or did was it instinctive for him to chase things. He had no concept of cars.
The actions of Invertebrates and plants do not involve conscious behavior and virus particles are not living things.
 I cannot prove any thing I said here and this based upon what I know and have observed


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Walter Hintz


I can answer questions about both vertebrate and invertebrate zoology. I am an expert in animal behavior, especially birds.


I have taught for over 50 years. I teach college biology courses and I have led tours to the Galapagos Islands and the Belize rain forest

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