I would suggest that this experiment is essentially invalid inasmuch as virtually all modern humans have at their disposal a vast fund of idea complexes to draw upon, whereas this would not have been the case with our early ancestors.
That this embedded background knowledge of “how things work” has no direct relevance to the particular task studied is of little consequence and the relatively small contribution provided by teaching under modern conditions is reflected in the slightly better performance in that group.
The extensive reference database characteristic of we modern snout-less apes and possessed by no other organism is directly attributable to complex language.
A feature that can most properly defined as the import, export and external storage of imagination. Imagination being the ability to form and manipulate neural representations of the organism’s environment.
A feature that, perhaps surprisingly, originated in the transfer of primary food acquisition and pre-processing function from the snout to the hands in the early hominids, the generally obligate use of tools triggering the co-evolution of unusually extensive innervation of hands and vocal apparatus together with imagination, language and technology.
A detailed account of this fascinating evolutionary process can be found in my latest book “The Intricacy Generator: Pushing Chemistry and Geometry Uphill”
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