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Saggy

The differences between human and animal.

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Saggy

Whenever people try to summarize the difference between man and animal into succinct theories, or suggest that certain animals rudimentary grasps of specific traits should suggest the difference is not so great, I can't help but begin to obsess over some of the more amazing things that humanity has accomplished, that will never be akin to anything done in the animal kingdom.

 

Things like art, technology, communication, information, are all just words that don't convey a lot of the true significance behind them. Often times I see people look towards Koko the gorilla, that learned sign language, or certain monkeys that have apparently learned to recognize certain written signs such as “trash†or “restaurant†to find food in the city, and they say that it somehow makes little distinction between human and primate in “communicationâ€. Some even go so far as to suggest the only reason gorillas and monkeys don't posses the same prowess in communication that we do is because of their smaller brains.

 

However, to really analyze communication between humans, is a daunting task. Not only do we have quite an elaborate set of vocal communication, varying all over the world, but many people speak several languages. Not only do we rely heavily on subtle body language queues like body movement and tone, we also have very rigidly structure rules based on nothing but imaginary concepts that constitute this thing called “languageâ€. When you project that out further, and think about things like print and writing, and then the architecture behind things like pens and type writers, you start to grasp the inherent tendency for humanity's seemingly modest accomplishments to seem completely taken for granted

 

Once you get to the point where you consider modern times, it is even more complex, convoluted, and incredible to say the least. People take the idea of text messages, emails, and the world-wide web for granted, as if it is nothing special at all. We as humans created mathematics to engineer architecture to allow us to take advantage of a natural force like electricity, and build that into an advanced science, which ultimately required even more sophisticated manufacturing to create what we today take for granted as the modern computer. All of that which seems so simple in modern times, is so many thousands of times more complex than anything the animal kingdom has done, between the creating of math, the application of it, and building and managing infrastructure to support it all. Just the very fact that we are able to conglomerate all of these things into a final product, manufacture thousands of identical ones of them, and ship them to stores, in which people purchase them, carries even more subtle nuances and technicalities along the way. Do you think the animal kingdom has anything that even remotely resembles the trade market, let alone the harnessing of electricity, or complex things ideologies like language or math to use them with?

 

Then we have tendencies to create even more elaborate, intangible, and almost completely imaginary things like programming languages that will be placed on to those computers. In my mind, the idea of sending an electric current through thousands of little transistors and diodes, to somehow create even computers in the 1950s that ran on punch-cards was a complex undertaking that I doubt many of us could comprehend ourselves today, yet we find a gorilla's grasp of sign language utterly amazing. The fact that it has now evolved into something, that's essentially boiled down to a point and click or command-drive interface is steeped in so many details that I don't see how many could look at something even as simple as a wrist-watch or a toaster, and think, “Yeah, a bird building a nest out of cow sh*t is right up on par with humanity's accomplishments.†I mean, never mind modern computers, your average calculator has more complexities, details, and concepts involved in its making that it has taken advantage of nearly every amazing thing that humanity has come up with. Language, mathematics, electronics, manufacturing, and so much more is usually involved in even the design manufacture of something that most people seem to think is a relatively simple device: A pencil.

 

However, when you try to consider every minute technicality of it, and then consider the abundance of things just like it, I don't see how anyone could possibly even consider all of the steps involved in these things, let alone try to summarize the difference between humanity and animal, or draw parallels between the two. I mean, some people think it all boils down to problem solving, and that because a squid can figure out how to unscrew the lid of a jar, it is somehow on the same playing field as humans. Perhaps art is the defining factor? Then there's some baby elephant that seemingly learned how to paint that I've heard some announce to be a demonstration of elephants “unseen intelligenceâ€. But, when does anyone give any credit to Leonardo DaVinci, the guy was a painter, an inventor, a mathematician, etc. I mean, we owe a large part of our knowledge of human anatomy to him, something that I think is also petty exclusive to humanity; the study of ones own body and architecture. Apparently a squid figuring out how to unscrew the lid of a jar is far more incredible, and a baby elephant drawing what could be described as a stick figure elephant, is more amazing than the Mona Lisa.

 

I think perhaps people just don't think very hard when they try to assess the differences and similarities between man and animal, and I think that the differences are in fact so vast, that I think to really consider humans to be of the animal kingdom at all is a gross over-simplification. I mean, when you really think hard about it; everything involved in me simply writing this post, and publishing it here on the internet, is thousands of more times more complex than anything done in the animal world that we know of. After all, I think that all of humanity's most amazing and involved accomplishments have just become mundane in people's eyes.

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HomoUniversalis

Man is an animal.

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Saggy
Man is an animal.

I can't tell which is worse. The idea that you're arguing over semantics here, and stating that humans are technically animals, or that you might actually be trying to make the point that there is no difference without elaborating at all.

 

Come on, I've seen your other posts, you're capable of much more.

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Tony Mozzarelli 80

I will discuss this in more depth when i have the time. Suffice to say for now that i do think it's communication which makes the difference. When you consider primative man was not so different from animals. It is only as our capacity for communication grew, that we began to develop complexity of language, and we were able to co-operate to achieve our goals.

Consider that without the benefit of communication, you and i would have no knowledge of harnessing electricity. If you were to be dumped on your own in a foreign land, with nobody else around, would you be able to develop the internet? probably not, would you be able to build a fire? yes, but even that is a lot more difficult than you might think, and you only know how to do it because you have the benefit of Thousands of years of experience. It really is true, that "if i see further than other men, it is only because i have stood on the shoulders of giants."

 

So yes i think that language and communication, is the defining factor, it is what seperates us from all the other animals.

Send a human baby to be raised by a pack of dogs, that person will live, act, and bark like a dog.

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Seachmall

When people say how amazing a monkey is for learning sign language they are comparing it to your average monkey, not people. They are not saying that one minor feat (when compared to us anyway) makes that animal equal to us with what we've achieved. The one thing (and in my opinion there is only one) that humans have over other animals is a relatively evolved mind from the get go. As children we have the ability to use logic to calculate to possible outcomes of desicions and we have the ability to add it to memory. Most animals don't have this ability because either their mind is not as develop or they act purely on instinct and have no logical thoughts and so it makes it easy to appreciate what they can do given so little. You could argue that it was innevitable that the human race would make it this far with so many accomplishments under our belt simply because we have a mental ability much superior to other animals and so its not such an amazing feat after all. In saying that I'm often aw-struck at what we have accomplished, but that comes from a bias opinion with me being a human and all.

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Otter

I have to agree with Seachmall, here, Sag; I think you've created a counterpoint out of thin air here. It's like watching your autistic child score a goal in the soccer game - sure, Pele could kick his little mentally challenged ass, but we take pride in the underdog. It's all about celebrating the extraordinary.

 

And who's a bigger underdog, than, say, a dog? Some animal that's carted around as an accessory by many? So we're amazed when a dog can 'call 911' or bark out the bloody alphabet, because it's extraordinary - not the feat itself, usually, but the circumstances.

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Saggy

Well, I understand why people are so amazed when animals do extraordinary things, I just can't understand why so many people are willing to go one step further and attribute those feats to something the animal may have akin to humans.

 

In other words, I can't comprehend why people often stop in amazement at seeing an animal do something extraordinary, but so often discount extraordinary things that humans have accomplished in comparison as if they are just part of the natural course, and not to be celebrated as an accomplishment at all. Anyone hear the old saying, "If you put a thousand monkeys in a room with type writers, eventually they'll write Shakespeare"? I think that statement alone shows how some people are so willing to either trivialize human accomplishments or completely exaggerate animal accomplishments.

 

 

Anyway, I'm using the word "accomplishment" extremely loosely, and in any case, it's not the main focus of the conversation. I can understand why at the average glance, why a person would find an animal doing something extraordinary as amazing, and seeing a person doing math as mundane; not a lot of people are going to stop and take the time to realize all the implications in someone just doing math. However, I've literally heard people suggest that because an animal can do something ( paint, sing, ring a door bell, call 911, whatever ), that animals somehow posses the same intelligence that allowed humans to get to where we are now.

 

Usually the people saying that are just PeTA members that think your average pig is smarter than their child, but then of course there's the sentiment that, animals do in fact have every thing that humans do, and are just not as highly evolved. That's kind of the point of focus I want to look at. I mean, with everything that we've done, doesn't it stand to reason that there may be something inherently different in us in relation to other animals that has allowed us to evolve to this point, or if it is just a matter of time/evolution before another animal can step up and equal or surpass us.

 

 

As children we have the ability to use logic to calculate to possible outcomes of desicions and we have the ability to add it to memory. Most animals don't have this ability because either their mind is not as develop or they act purely on instinct and have no logical thoughts and so it makes it easy to appreciate what they can do given so little.

 

This is a much more concise way to say it than what I have said. Not necessarily the fact that humans do use logic and reasoning, while animals are limited to instinct, but why that is the case. When I speak about the "difference", I suppose I'm asking for the "reason" we're different, not really how we're different. I figured the best way to do that was to point out the vast contrasts with human and animal life, but I guess that didn't help any.

 

I know there's been a lot of speculation on the matter, though I've never read any of it specifically. I just wonder if it has or ever will be tracked down to something specific, or if there even is that big of a difference in the first place; perhaps these great differences in animal and human life were all instigated by one very small difference. I mean, just for a crazy example, what if scientists tomorrow found a hidden lobe in our brain that explains, physiologically, the reason why we differ so greatly from other animals. Or is it a purely social thing? Is the way that humans are raised and taught to attribute to it?

 

If there is a difference in human and animal physiology, what is it. If there's not a difference there, then what causes such vast differences in human and animal life?

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The Unvirginiser

Why though? Why do we have to be the one race who evolves greater and superior intelectually to all other animals? We havn't been here the longest.. why us?

Maybe on other planets there are numerous species of aliens?

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darthYENIK

There is a theory I've heard (from a friend so you don't have to take it serious), that humans are intelligent, because as apes we for some reason (that I don't remember, I think it had something to do with illness) became picky in what we eat. So the apes started figuring out what was good and what was bad using taste. They stuck to the good stuff, and found ways to get it. As this happened, the ape's taste became more and more scrutinizing. Slowly the ape started finding new ways to get their favorite food. Eventually using tools, like a rock to crack open a melon, or a stick to fish out termites from their colony.

 

This way, through natural selection, apes became more intelligent. They stopped climbing trees to get food they can just throw a rock at or poke with a stick. From there you can see where I'm going. In theory apes became man, because we like to eat, what we call, good food.

 

So if you were to ask me what makes us different, it's our fear of getting sick.

 

Go ahead poke holes in it. I know they're there somewhere.

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Seachmall
If there is a difference in human and animal physiology, what is it. If there's not a difference there, then what causes such vast differences in human and animal life?

Sticking by my theory that the difference is the mind then we may never know that answer because we don't know what the mind is. Some people (Dualists) believe the mind is an external 'spirit' with no physical connection to our bodies while Physicalists believe our mind is merely a complex exchange of electrical signals. If they are correct then we should eventaully be able to explain any and every thought we have on a biological level however if the dualists are right then I can't see how we could explain the mind. I tend to agree with physicalism because dualisms just sounds like a hippy-escape to answering questions we just don't know as of yet (*cough*religion*cough*).

 

@darthYENIK,

That sounds like a theory I saw on QI once about the reason children tend not to like green vegtables (brussel sprouts and the like) is due to evolutions way of protecting them from poisinous plants when humans were in the wild. This came from one of the contestants though and so could be complete BS tounge.gif.

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fred

 

Anyone hear the old saying, "If you put a thousand monkeys in a room with type writers, eventually they'll write Shakespeare"?  I think that statement alone shows how some people are so willing to either trivialize human accomplishments or completely exaggerate animal accomplishments.

The saying illustrates randomness and infinity. It's not suggesting that monkeys are great authors - in fact, quite the opposite since the monkey is merely a means of pressing keys at random and assumes no goal or intention.

 

 

 

If there is a difference in human and animal physiology, what is it. If there's not a difference there, then what causes such vast differences in human and animal life?

Clearly there are certain prerequisites needed for a society like our own. To pick the most obvious anatomical features, opposable thumbs give us a huge advantage in dexterity that most other species lack and the human larynx produces such a wide variety of sounds to allow language.

 

It's easy to look at anatomical features and see how they, if not necessarily essential, have certainly helped the development of civilisation as we know it. And I don't think it's too hard to apply the same criteria to other animals and imagine other species leading (eventually) to an equally complex society.

 

But it's also obvious that we need to consider the mental abilities as well and it's these that are less clear. For a society like ours, individuals need the ability (and maybe even drive?) to learn, apply 'higher' reasoning and communicate, to name a few traits.

 

We simply don't know to what extent other animals have these capacities or how to quantify them. It's difficult enough to know what another human thinks or feels, let alone if/what an animal does. All we can do is carry out experiments and monitor behaviours, from which we draw conclusions.

 

You mentioned earlier the amazement at seeing animals display certain "advanced" behaviours. The point here is usually that the behaviour displayed suggests a trait that we arrogantly think to be unique to humans.

 

There is nothing all that special about us. The advanced communication, learning, reasoning, (etc.) abilities can be displayed in other animals albeit to a lesser extent. It's not difficult to imagine how these traits could be gradually improved over time to produce the modern human brain. And similarly, how the same mechanism could create other similarly 'advanced' species on other planets, or perhaps more relevant to this discussion, at another time on our planet.

 

The exact neurological differences are not entirely understood but I think we can be confident that there's nothing else to it. Physiological differences brought about by the widely accepted process of natural selection seems to be a much more reasonable explanation than supernatural ideas of spirituality and religion.

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Machida

The only difference i'm aware of is that Human beings now, are at a stage where they are actually shaping their own enviroments and habitats. Where as amimals in nature will survive in a enviroment, human beings will actually change their enviroment to suit their own needs. This can be seen from human laws to the simple ways we live in society. Some would argue that it's Human's need to change our enviroment that has led us to issues of global warming.

 

As Human's we have a need to seperate ourselves from the animal kingdom in order to maintain this 'unnatural' habitat of ours. This is the only difference between man and animal I can see.

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Seachmall

 

The only difference i'm aware of is that Human beings now, are at a stage where they are actually shaping their own enviroments and habitats. Where as amimals in nature will survive in a enviroment, human beings will actually change their enviroment to suit their own needs. This can be seen from human laws to the simple ways we live in society. Some would argue that it's Human's need to change our enviroment that has led us to issues of global warming.

We, like all animals, adapt to our enviroment. We take what is given to us and us it to benefit ourselves. The change in our enviroment (i.e. Global Warming) is arguably not even happening as a result of human involvment but merely a cyclic event.

 

As Human's we have a need to seperate ourselves from the animal kingdom in order to maintain this 'unnatural' habitat of ours. This is the only difference between man and animal I can see.
Producing what we do is completly natural. If any other animal had the intelligence we do they'd be producing the same stuff. What we do now to our enviroment is a product of evolution, completly natural. Edited by Seachmall

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Machida

 

 

As Human's we have a need to seperate ourselves from the animal kingdom in order to maintain this 'unnatural' habitat of ours. This is the only difference between man and animal I can see.
Producing what we do is completly natural. If any other animal had the intelligence we do they'd be producing the same stuff. What we do now to our enviroment is a product of evolution, completly natural.

No.no.

"Producing" the laws, commerce or industry are ways to help us live the way we do. They create a global society. It is that society that is protected by seperating ourselves from animals.

 

Society does not always benifit the individual. There are cases where as individuals we would be better of not following laws or conforming to society's ideal. A way of preventing people from doing not what is best for them, but what is best for society, would be to seperate ourselves from animals. As animals (as most would interperate) act for themselves or survive.

 

Often when someone breaks the law we refer to them as an "animal".

 

As for technology, science and human knowlege. Regardless of wether or not that is natural evolution the point is we now have the power to shape our own enviroment and often do. This is something which "animals" can't do. We no longer adapt to our enviroments, often our enviroments are forced to adapt around us.

 

Cutting down a field of trees would be an extremely simplistic example. Where as a bear would adapt to live within those trees, we would cut them down to suit us. Thus changing the natural enviroment around us.

 

Indroduce enough bears into that field of trees and perhaps they would change that particular enviroment much like we would. However there is no "animal" in the world that has done such a thing. We however have, thus seperating ourselves from the rest of the animals.

Edited by Machida

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Seachmall

 

No.no.

"Producing" the laws, commerce or industry are ways to help us live the way we do. They create a global society. It is that society that is protected by seperating ourselves from animals.

 

Society does not always benifit the individual. There are cases where as individuals we would be better of not following laws or conforming to society's ideal. A way of preventing people from doing not what is best for them, but what is best for society, would be to seperate ourselves from animals. As animals (as most would interperate) act for themselves or survive.

Society - A colony or community of organisms, usually of the same species.

 

Humans, like all organsims, are designed to survive. Evolution proves this. Every organism acts selfishly in order to garuntee its own survival, if they need to live in a colony to do this they will. We are no different from lions or tigers or anyother wild animal in this way. I'm sure you would kill to protect yourself or your family just as any other animal would.

Kutting down a field of trees would be an extremely simplistic example. Where as a bear would adapt to live within those trees, we would cut them down to suit us. Thus changing the natural enviroment around us.
Beavers build dams regardless if birds live in the trees or if fish need to get upstream. They modify their enviroment to suit their needs. Rabbits dig holes to sleep etc. What we do is merely an extension of this. We may do it for vain reasons but thats just as a result of evolutions intelligence giving us the ability to be vain.

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Machida

 

 

 

Humans, like all organsims, are designed to survive. Evolution proves this. Every organism acts selfishly in order to garuntee its own survival, if they need to live in a colony to do this they will.

Yet if it suits them they would escape from this colony. However as "Humans" if we did this we would be punished by law.

 

If we killed we would be punished by law and labeled an animal.

 

There is no difference between Humans and animals. There only exists a reason to seperate ourself from animals. To promote society and stop the strong from preying on the weak. Nature is all about survival of the fittest yes, but in society all must survive.

 

I prey for the day I can guilotte choke a student for his sandwich, alas I can't do this. I'd be labled an animal and punished by law.

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Seachmall
Yet if it suits them they would escape from this colony. However as "Humans" if we did this we would be punished by law.

 

If we killed we would be punished by law and labeled an animal.

 

There is no difference between Humans and animals. There only exists a reason to seperate ourself from animals. To promote society and stop the strong from preying on the weak. Nature is all about survival of the fittest yes, but in society all must survive.

 

I prey for the day I can guilotte choke a student for his sandwich, alas I can't do this. I'd be labled an animal and punished by law.

Yes, we have laws that animals don't (although animals do have laws of their own along with hierarchies to 'enforce' them, basically you attack a cub and you get ripped to sh*t) but laws are just a legal representation of our morals which we developed as a result of inteligence which was my original point. We don't however shape or modify our enviroment to the extent where it is unnatural which was yours.

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Machida

 

Yet if it suits them they would escape from this colony. However as "Humans" if we did this we would be punished by law.

 

If we killed we would be punished by law and labeled an animal.

 

There is no difference between Humans and animals. There only exists a reason to seperate ourself from animals. To promote society and stop the strong from preying on the weak. Nature is all about survival of the fittest yes, but in society all must survive.

 

I prey for the day I can guilotte choke a student for his sandwich, alas I can't do this. I'd be labled an animal and punished by law.

Yes, we have laws that animals don't (although animals do have laws of their own along with hierarchies to 'enforce' them, basically you attack a cub and you get ripped to sh*t) but laws are just a legal representation of our morals which we developed as a result of inteligence which was my original point. We don't however shape or modify our enviroment to the extent where it is unnatural which was yours.

Factors in our enviroment and particulary our habitat are the way we live. The way we live is deemed by society. Society laws are not legal representation of our "morals". Laws are different in varying countries, as are morals. Instead laws protect a form of living which is an "un-natural habitat" to the natural world of animals. Thus we seperate ourselves from the animals.

 

If the "hierarchy" of a pack of lions were to change, and a new alpha male took over. That male would destroy the previous litter of cubs, survival of the fittest.

 

Yet as human being we unable to do this. It is deemed unacceptable by society. There would be repercussions for us, there would be none for the lion.

 

Also on a scale of enviroment, we have the power and capability to change and support our way of life in un-natural ways. Processed food, GM crops ect. All change our enviroment and the way we live. We can support ourselves in ways the natural world can't.

Edited by Machida

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HomoUniversalis
Man is an animal.

I can't tell which is worse. The idea that you're arguing over semantics here, and stating that humans are technically animals, or that you might actually be trying to make the point that there is no difference without elaborating at all.

 

Come on, I've seen your other posts, you're capable of much more.

colgate.gif

 

I like to think that the main difference between us and other apes is meat. If women can only give children from 15 to 40 and it takes 5 years to give milk to a baby (during which you can't have new babies (don't rely on this as a replacement for condoms) and 50% of all babies die, and more than that dies before they can reproduce, you essentially end up with two apes spawning two offspring.

It's a stable population, but it's never going to become a dominant species on the planet. Add some meat to that, and suddenly, women only have to give milk for a couple of months, allowing for much more babies.

 

A more temporary difference might be our cranial capacity, which is far more impressive than our opposable thumbs. We can actually learn advanced new forms of behaviour. If I show you how to drink from a bottle, you'll know it for the rest of your life. I would have to condition an ape to learn how to do that, and it would extinguish after a while. Add to that divided attention, &c. - our capacity for language.. Sure. But that's not the reason why we are the dominant species. Maybe it's why we managed to stay on top, prevent predation, but not how we got there.

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Seachmall

 

Instead laws protect a form of living which is an "un-natural habitat" to the natural world of animals. Thus we seperate ourselves from the animals.
We are just as much animals as the lions. Just because we use our intelligence to define our laws while lions use instinct does not make us any different to them apart from intelligence.
If the "hierarchy" of a pack of lions were to change, and a new alpha male took over. That male would destroy the previous litter of cubs, survival of the fittest.

 

Yet as human being we unable to do this. It is deemed unacceptable by society. There would be repercussions for us, there would be none for the lion.

If a new dictator took over he would destroy the previous rulers and kill their followers which we see everyday. Like you said, laws and morals differ from society to society as they do species to species. The only difference is as humans we don't rely solely on instinct when deciding these morals.
Also on a scale of enviroment, we have the power and capability to change and support our way of life in un-natural ways. Processed food, GM crops ect. All change our enviroment and the way we live. We can support ourselves in ways the natural world can't.
I get what you're saying but unnatural, in my opinion, does not exist. Everything we make and do is supported by nature. Nature allows us to do anything we do. To fly would be unnatural because the natural laws do not allow for it but modifying a carrot is merely a collection of natural products and natural methods to make a more advanced product that for all we know would evolve anyway over time. Whether or not that carrot becomes dangerous as a result is irrelevant because nature provides many natural dangers such as diseases.

 

If you take a carrot and slice it is that carrot now unnatural because of the human involvement? Where is the line? Genetic modification? If a new virus develops, burrows into a carrot and changes its genetic make-up to the extent where it is the exact same as the carrots we produce via GM what is the difference between this 'natural' method and ours? We made a concious desicion to modify it? We are just as big a factor to the natural cycle as that virus.

Edited by Seachmall

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Machida

 

Just because we use our intelligence to define our laws while lions use instinct does not make us any different to them apart from intelligence.

 

I would disargee that our laws are defined by intelligence. Instead I would argue our laws have derived from religion, culture and "the way we live", or the way we once lived.

 

 

If a new dictator took over he would destroy the previous rulers and kill their followers which we see everyday. Like you said, laws and morals differ from society to society as they do species to species.

 

I wouldn't presume to argue on what other societies views are on our relation to animals and the animal kingdom. There are tribes I am aware of that link themselves closely to the animal kingdom and so act similar, or as they see fit to act.

 

I can only argue the point that in our society such an act would be deemed barbaric and would not be acceptable to the general populus or by law. Perhaps you could gives some examples to this act that "we see everyday"?. It's not something I am witness to.

 

I'm also not sure on how you can state that laws and morals differ from species to species. It's my view that the Human species are the only species that can be described as having "laws" or "morals".

 

 

I get what you're saying but unnatural, in my opinion, does not exist. Everything we make and do is supported by nature. Nature allows us to do anything we do. To fly would be unnatural because the natural laws do not allow for it but modifying a carrot is merely a collection of natural products and natural methods to make a more advanced product that for all we know would evolve anyway over time.

 

To flying is a matter of physics. The laws of physics are supported by the laws of nature. In short, they are the same. It's not un-natural to fly, it's a case of do you as a species have a means to it. As human's we have discovered that means.

 

Geneticly modifying a carrot involves transferring genes that would have no ways or reason to meet in the natural world. Modifying a carrot specifically involves transferring genes from bacterium. These genes would have no way to meet in the natural world, thus the process in un-natural. It isn't supported by nature. We could also get into DNA research, stem cell research or theraputic cloning (Dolly the sheep). Things like somatic cell transference, which is basicaly transferring nuclei to ' laboratory' create an entirly new ovium. A process completely outside of nature. By this I mean in the natural world such a thing would never come about.

 

In my opinion we as human being are, for all intensive purposes animals. However I would argue that there is a need to seperate ourselves from the animal kingdom to support our way of life. In the animal kingdom it doesnt make sense for the strong to support the weak. A lion would never agree to pay taxes to support an obese lions hospital bill. However in our society we live differently and we have a need to support that way of life. If we didn't claim to be separate from animal kingdom we would probably stop paying income tax.

Edited by Machida

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Seachmall
I would disargee that our laws are defined by intelligence. Instead I would argue our laws have derived from religion, culture and "the way we live", or the way we once lived.

Which are derived from intelligence.

I can only argue the point that in our society such an act would be deemed barbaric and would not be acceptable to the general populus or by law. Perhaps you could gives some examples to this act that "we see everyday"?. It's not something I am witness to.
Ah, I was talking about the entire human race. We are no different from eachother apart from culture unless you want to suggest we should seperate ourselves from the tribes whom commit genocide even though we would be doing the same thing in their circumstance. If you're talking about how humans differ from animals you can't then talk about how a specific society differs from animals.
I'm also not sure on how you can state that laws and morals differ from species to species. It's my view that the Human species are the only species that can be described as having "laws" or "morals".
I was talking about laws as in in a pack of dogs they all know their place.
To flying is a matter of physics. The laws of physics are supported by the laws of nature. In short, they are the same. It's not un-natural to fly, it's a case of do you as a species have a means to it. As human's we have discovered that means.
I was talking about a person who can fly like superman with no technology supporting them. However that is exactly my point, we have taken technology that would otherwise never have met in the 'wild' and made use for it.
Geneticly modifying a carrot involves transferring genes that would have no ways or reason to meet in the natural world. Modifying a carrot specifically involves transferring genes from bacterium. These genes would have no way to meet in the natural world, thus the process in un-natural. It isn't supported by nature.
I argue that they do meet in the natural world because us placing them there is just as natural as a virus doing so.
In my opinion we as human being are, for all intensive purposes animals. However I would argue that there is a need to seperate ourselves from the animal kingdom to support our way of life. In the animal kingdom it doesnt make sense for the strong to support the weak. A lion would never agree to pay taxes to support an obese lions hospital bill. However in our society we live differently and we have a need to support that way of life. If we didn't claim to be separate from animal kingdom we would probably stop paying income tax.
We look after our own they way we can (via taxes) while lions look after their own they way they can (via bringing food, even just traveling in pacls). Also, I'd just like to point I think we should stop supporting obese people in hospitals if their obesity is the result of them being there. If they can't look after their own body why should I look after it for them?

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Machida
I would disargee that our laws are defined by intelligence. Instead I would argue our laws have derived from religion, culture and "the way we live", or the way we once lived.

Which are derived from intelligence

You would then have to define your idea of "inteligence". Is it our ability to construct? To use tools? To understand our selves? To understand our enviroment?

 

Is a weasel more "animal" than a monkey? As a monkey can use tools.

 

Is a monkey more "animal" than a squid? as a squid is so aware of it's own enviroment it can blend itself into the background.

 

 

 

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Seachmall

 

I would disargee that our laws are defined by intelligence. Instead I would argue our laws have derived from religion, culture and "the way we live", or the way we once lived.

Which are derived from intelligence

You would then have to define your idea of "inteligence". Is it our ability to construct? To use tools? To understand our selves? To understand our enviroment?

 

Is a weasel more "animal" than a monkey? As a monkey can use tools.

 

Is a monkey more "animal" than a squid? as a squid is so aware of it's own enviroment it can blend itself into the background.

I don't believe I ever defined an animal as being intelligent.

 

You used religion, culture and the way we live as examples, I don't believe they are derived from instinct but rather intelligence. The way we once lived is almost certainly from instinct depending on how far back you go but eventually the way we live became a result of intelligence.

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Machida
I would disargee that our laws are defined by intelligence. Instead I would argue our laws have derived from religion, culture and "the way we live", or the way we once lived.

Which are derived from intelligence

You would then have to define your idea of "inteligence". Is it our ability to construct? To use tools? To understand our selves? To understand our enviroment?

 

Is a weasel more "animal" than a monkey? As a monkey can use tools.

 

Is a monkey more "animal" than a squid? as a squid is so aware of it's own enviroment it can blend itself into the background.

I don't believe I ever defined an animal as being intelligent.

 

You used religion, culture and the way we live as examples, I don't believe they are derived from instinct but rather intelligence. The way we once lived is almost certainly from instinct depending on how far back you go but eventually the way we live became a result of intelligence.

Again, what is your interpretation of "intelligence"?

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Seachmall
Again, what is your interpretation of "intelligence"?

 

The one thing (and in my opinion there is only one) that humans have over other animals is a relatively evolved mind from the get go. As children we have the ability to use logic to calculate to possible outcomes of desicions and we have the ability to add it to memory.
I believe intelligence is the result of an evolved mind allowing humans to make desicions seperate from basic animal instinct (although you could argue that is what it all boils down to) among other things such as logic, memory (not just conditioning) etc.

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Machida
Again, what is your interpretation of "intelligence"?

 

The one thing (and in my opinion there is only one) that humans have over other animals is a relatively evolved mind from the get go. As children we have the ability to use logic to calculate to possible outcomes of desicions and we have the ability to add it to memory.
I believe intelligence is the result of an evolved mind allowing humans to make desicions seperate from basic animal instinct (although you could argue that is what it all boils down to) among other things such as logic, memory (not just conditioning) etc.

All selective breeding. Just as you would breed a perfect show dog by using stock with the qualities you desire, we humans breed till eventualy we have the natural ability to use logic.

 

I don't see this as the thing that seperates us from animals as it's our natural nature as living beings to adapt this.

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Seachmall
Again, what is your interpretation of "intelligence"?

 

The one thing (and in my opinion there is only one) that humans have over other animals is a relatively evolved mind from the get go. As children we have the ability to use logic to calculate to possible outcomes of desicions and we have the ability to add it to memory.
I believe intelligence is the result of an evolved mind allowing humans to make desicions seperate from basic animal instinct (although you could argue that is what it all boils down to) among other things such as logic, memory (not just conditioning) etc.

All selective breeding. Just as you would breed a perfect show dog by using stock with the qualities you desire, we humans breed till eventualy we have the natural ability to use logic.

 

I don't see this as the thing that seperates us from animals as it's our natural nature as living beings to adapt this.

I don't see your point, and regardless of how it was acheived it still seperates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

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Canofceleri

It's not about the differences between humans and other animals, it's about the differences between all animals. Humans are a species of animal, we are noted for our extremely complicated brains. But there are other animals, like say the dolphin, whose brains are much more complicated than others, like say a star fish (wait.. starfish don't have brains).

 

We like to separate ourselves because we are capable of abstract thinking and speech. But all across the animal planet there is such a diversity in things that animals can and can't do. Basically, we are the way we are because we need to be that way in order to survive. We need our big brains because our bodies are not as efficient as those of other mammals.

 

We sh*t, we f*ck and make babies, we eat, we drink, we kill, we have internal organs, a pair of eyes and ears a nose and a mouth, we grow old and die and don't go to heaven or hell. There is no right or wrong, only animal behavior. But of course, you can't live like that if you want to function as normal in society. Being a human can be a great balancing act.

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Machida
Again, what is your interpretation of "intelligence"?

 

The one thing (and in my opinion there is only one) that humans have over other animals is a relatively evolved mind from the get go. As children we have the ability to use logic to calculate to possible outcomes of desicions and we have the ability to add it to memory.
I believe intelligence is the result of an evolved mind allowing humans to make desicions seperate from basic animal instinct (although you could argue that is what it all boils down to) among other things such as logic, memory (not just conditioning) etc.

All selective breeding. Just as you would breed a perfect show dog by using stock with the qualities you desire, we humans breed till eventualy we have the natural ability to use logic.

 

I don't see this as the thing that seperates us from animals as it's our natural nature as living beings to adapt this.

I don't see your point, and regardless of how it was acheived it still seperates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Yet evolution is the goal for every living organism. It's the basis on which natural life is built upon. Regardless of which direction the human species have taken evolution, it can't be used to seperate ourselves from the animals. Animals evolve in different ways and every animal is capable of evolution.

 

Candarelli has written a good post above which backs up my point that there is no significant difference between human and animal. There only exist a reason to seperate ourselves from the animal kingdom. The animal kingdom is still built upon survival of the fittest. Yet in human society views are very much utilitarian. It's not only the fit who must survive, it's everyone.

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