Are human thought, reasoning and abilities of the mind so vastly superior to animals we observe in the wild and as pets that they deserve a separate classification from that of the animal kingdom? Human beings maintain a wide set of emotional states, thoughts and abilities, which we see in animals. Yet, seldom do we see all of these in all animals or at all times? One think tanker in an online think tank challenged a commenter with regards to emotion of “Empathy” as to whether humans and animals were all that different. Indeed the think tanker brought up some excellent points of contention, which do indeed require further thought and review.
The think tanker stated; “We could expand this further by considering the complexities of networked human characteristics in opposition to isolated ones. It is also important to keep in mind that as a species, humans are the quintessential element on this planet, and seem to have been since the beginning of recorded history.”
Indeed and humans without competition and with the use of those social characteristics developed it makes sense that humans would remain so, having now controlled many larger complex life forms on the surface of the planet. Also with the kill off rates of human’s next nearest competitor species (large complex life) it would seem that humans have had a good run and should continue this run, that is if they do not kill off them selves thru believing that they are invincible to other threats or do not cause issues of war or destruction of their eco-system needed to sustain the huge population bases. And in your statement we must also realize that there are top of the food chain ocean species, insects, viruses, bacteria, reptiles, birds and other smaller mammals, which are doing fine on their own and adapting to human control of the surface of the planet. As well as those species, which are being pushed to extinction due to the rapid expansion of the human domain.
Excellent points to consider and the think tanker takes this one step further and states: “I think we can use our own sense of judgment to determine that we are not rivaled in any way by other living thing on this planet. Even though some animals may demonstrate phenomenal abilities in some areas, the most magisterial example of our greatness is demonstrated by our superior abilities to study, construct and surpass that which we have observed.”
I agree that observations trump religious dogma and that humans do possess many very good uses of such traits and have evolved that way for a reason. Yet, the animal instincts humans possess, we sweep under the carpets and deny seem all too often come out at in-opportune times and if we fail to recognize these, as we tout our own human self-aggrandizement; we also fail to understand our place in the hierarchy of the animal kingdom. When you speak of humans in such a wonderful light, we fail to share the truth about over half of the human population, which cannot think themselves out of a paper bag. Indeed we have most all of the African Continent at an IQ level of 85. Only 20-25 points above chimpanzees we have trained. So, as an observer of the human race, indeed it is an interesting species, but as far as being impressed? Well for me, that would be rarely.
We see birds, animals of prey and social mammals think, problem solve and adapt. They use their genetic abilities to their fullest, where as many humans piss theirs away. If an animal or organism’s mission is to live, procreate and die; then one could say that the animals often fulfill that mission better and do so using complex thought, problem solving and strategic thinking. Empathy is one social emotional trait, which can be seen in almost all complex life, which has adapted to live in social groupings.
I would not mind seeing your experiment carried out, although agree in observation that humans are a cut above, only in my estimation only a slight cut above and that there are some humans that are a big jump above the rest. The difference between actual humans in my opinion is greater than the leap from a Dog to the lowest human. That is to say IQ wise. With dogs being 20-30; the lowest humans (not developing children or retarded) at 70 IQ, as we see some humans at over 140 IQ. And when looking at the masses, it seems to me that it is hard to debate that much of the human population simply is not using all it has available and/or is not trying. Worse off that particular group seems to be re-producing faster than the rest. This is not good for the on-going future of human evolution. This is a rather interesting subject for a think tank and perhaps you have some thoughts on this subject of your own and if so, consider this in 2006.
“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; http://www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs/