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is it possible that humans are not animals??


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I apologise in advance. Normally I find your posts to be thoughtful and accurate, but in this instance you are talking unqualified, anthropomorphic crap. If you wish to say that bats and chimps are not as capable as people in those things that people are good at, well that's accurate, but wholly uninteresting and unremarkable. But, as I have pointed out for both in this thread, they exceed our capabilities in many areas.

 

We may well be the first species in the history of the planet that has the capacity to largely obliterate the biosphere, but that's not a capability I want to boast about.

I think the cyanobacteria responsible for the Great Oxygen Event 2.3 billion years ago beat us to the punch on being first there, actually.

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I think the cyanobacteria responsible for the Great Oxygen Event 2.3 billion years ago beat us to the punch on being first there, actually.

Excellent point. I think this may be why, even today, I am reluctant to eat my greens. Or is that because I am Scottish?

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I apologise in advance. Normally I find your posts to be thoughtful and accurate, but in this instance you are talking unqualified, anthropomorphic crap. If you wish to say that bats and chimps are not as capable as people in those things that people are good at, well that's accurate, but wholly uninteresting and unremarkable. But, as I have pointed out for both in this thread, they exceed our capabilities in many areas.

 

We may well be the first species in the history of the planet that has the capacity to largely obliterate the biosphere, but that's not a capability I want to boast about.

I think when I wrote, "Bats and chimps aren't as capable as people," it was the result of blended thoughts. The OP is about species dominance/not, which blended with Top of the Pecking Order. In most cases a man is top of the pecking order, when species interact. However, TPO depends on the interaction of individuals, and TPO may change from interaction to interaction.

 

People think they are rational, whether or not they are. Neural nets compare input with stored memories, and similar memories are retrieved by queries, sometimes with data missing. A common error mode is caused by incomplete memories.

Edited by EdEarl
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after reading the comments i have figured out how to word myself, i was trying to figure out how to say, I think that people can be classified as something other then animals because we often separate ourselves form animals but in other cases we say we are just like animals.like plants are living things but they are not animals. its kind of a contradiction to have both. we are more aware of the world then animals, bats may have echo location but they are not even comparable when it comes to the amount of information we know about the world, no animal knows that much.

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after reading the comments i have figured out how to word myself, i was trying to figure out how to say, I think that people can be classified as something other then animals because we often separate ourselves form animals but in other cases we say we are just like animals.like plants are living things but they are not animals. its kind of a contradiction to have both. we are more aware of the world then animals, bats may have echo location but they are not even comparable when it comes to the amount of information we know about the world, no animal knows that much.

I think what you talk about is more of an ethics issue than a classification issue. From the scientific (evolutionary and biological) point of view there is no doubt that humans are animals. My 6 month old son is teething right now and he's the reason that Im writing this at 04:13 am. Chimps are born toothless and they go through basicaly the same process of teething as humans do (amongst many other evolutionary similarities) You say that bats which are also mammals by the way, are not comparable to the amount of information we know about the world. Humans developed various traits in the process of evolution which enabled us to survive...like passing information from one generation to another. The truth is that we are physically weak compared to other animals - take Gorillas for example which are pure muscle and their strenght is incredible. We had no evolutionary choice, it was either develop big brains, skills and eventually technology or we wouldn't be here on this planet. I draw a certain sense of privilage and dignity from being in the same basket as other animals on this planet. It also gives me a sense of being "one" with nature and not feeling alone. I'm proud that my brain is capable of grasping Einstein's relativity but I'm also proud that a bat or a puma have their own, unique evolutionary traits. We as humans were realy just lucky to get to the point in which we are at right now but don't be fooled...bats will be here long after we are gone killing oureselves with our "superior" minds.

To finish off on a slightly humorous note, take a good look at this photo:

 

http://m.imgur.com/MVMpe?r

Edited by koti
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Many archaeological evidences prove that we humans are animals, we are mammals, we evolved from the Cenozoic Era about 11.2-14.6 mya. Our earliest ancestors were the descendants of Australopithecus, with slightly little better brain and intelligence. It is interesting to note that the Hominines evolved so much time before, whereas the Homo sapiens developed only 200000 years ago.

However the Bible says that humans had evolved from Adam and Eve.

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after reading the comments i have figured out how to word myself, i was trying to figure out how to say, I think that people can be classified as something other then animals because we often separate ourselves form animals but in other cases we say we are just like animals.like plants are living things but they are not animals. its kind of a contradiction to have both. we are more aware of the world then animals, bats may have echo location but they are not even comparable when it comes to the amount of information we know about the world, no animal knows that much.

And you continue to look at this from the point of view of humans. Your argument is that humans have characteristics that are absent or poorly developed in other animals and this males us special. Because we are special we should be considered separate for them.

 

You entirely miss the point that the same argument can be made - and I have made it in relation to bats - about every other animal that would justify them being considered special and therefore separate from other animals.

 

Look here is the argument again: Bats have superior echo location location to other animals. Humans may know more about the world than any other animal, but they are not even comparable when it comes to echolocation - no animal can do it as well as bats.

 

That's the same argument you are using for separating humans from animals, but it works just as well to separate bats from animals.

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This 'Bats and Chimps aren't as capable as people' thing... I can't remember who said it here recently but I'd like to echo it again in reply to this.

 

Humans may well be more intelligent than sharks.... but drop a man, naked, into the middle of the Atlantic and you will see who is the better evolved to exist in that kind of environment.

 

In other words, yes, chimp or bats are not as capable as a human at doing human things, but the same is true if human tries to do what a chimp or a bat can do. Humans can't even fly! They aren't as capable as bats (at being bats).

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This 'Bats and Chimps aren't as capable as people' thing... I can't remember who said it here recently but I'd like to echo it again in reply to this.

 

Humans may well be more intelligent than sharks.... but drop a man, naked, into the middle of the Atlantic and you will see who is the better evolved to exist in that kind of environment.

 

In other words, yes, chimp or bats are not as capable as a human at doing human things, but the same is true if human tries to do what a chimp or a bat can do. Humans can't even fly! They aren't as capable as bats (at being bats).

Have you looked at the chimp photo I posted in my post above? It's not just sharks...drop any human with this guy into any environment which doesnt require abstract thinking and the outcome will be not so hot for the human.

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We are the dominant species on Earth. We use sonar, radar, airplanes, and other technology to do things we do not possess inherently. With communication, organization, and technology, we can and are destroying species after species. These things do not make us better, just more powerful; in fact, one can argue that power corrupts, and is therefore bad. Sometimes our actions are inhumane, and can be as ruthless as any predator, like a cat playing with prey before killing it. In my opinion, we are more super animal than non animal.

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QUOTE: "Did you look at the chimp photo.."

 

Yea I did - Testicles larger than tennis balls! I would not want to fight it - and without a weapon I would surely loose.

Edited by DrP
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Peter Singer has some intersting views on this subject that are worth looking into. I don't really agree with his utilitarian ethics applied to all non-human animals, but his positions on sentience and the difference between human and non-human animals are very provocative and worth looking at.

Edited by Tampitump
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I think we are more then animals, and should be put in a different category to distinguish us from animals.

 

It's just a scientific classification based on the biological characteristics of an organism, not the mental capabilities of an organism. Basically, it shouldn't mean anything outside of biology.

Edited by Thorham
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We are the dominant species on Earth. We use sonar, radar, airplanes, and other technology to do things we do not possess inherently. With communication, organization, and technology, we can and are destroying species after species. These things do not make us better, just more powerful; in fact, one can argue that power corrupts, and is therefore bad. Sometimes our actions are inhumane, and can be as ruthless as any predator, like a cat playing with prey before killing it. In my opinion, we are more super animal than non animal.

Ed, you have inherited a +1 which I did not intend to give. I was going for the Quote button. :). However, I'm sure I've failed to vote on posts of yours that did deserve it, so have that one on me.

 

Since the comparison in this thread is with animals, I presume you mean we are the dominant animal species on the planet. Given that rats are members of a number of species I shall reluctantly give you that. If you meant dominant species I there are a host of microbial species that would disagree with you. Indeed I am host to a number of such species.

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Ed, you have inherited a +1 which I did not intend to give. I was going for the Quote button. :). However, I'm sure I've failed to vote on posts of yours that did deserve it, so have that one on me.

 

Since the comparison in this thread is with animals, I presume you mean we are the dominant animal species on the planet. Given that rats are members of a number of species I shall reluctantly give you that. If you meant dominant species I there are a host of microbial species that would disagree with you. Indeed I am host to a number of such species.

I meant animal dominance, similar to top of the pecking order.

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I meant animal dominance, similar to top of the pecking order.

Yes, as I noted I broadly agree. If gorillas and cattle and tree shrews could discuss the matter I think they might agree with the OP that we are not animals, but insist we be classified as parasites.

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Yes, as I noted I broadly agree. If gorillas and cattle and tree shrews could discuss the matter I think they might agree with the OP that we are not animals, but insist we be classified as parasites.

Our record of habitat destruction for beauty and business puts us in the parasite-malefactor category rather than paladin.

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