Man and other animals

by Satanus 5 Replies latest social entertainment

  • Satanus

    Here are some comments from the guardian mag on this subject:

    Studies on pigs' social behaviour at Purdue University in the US, for example, have found that they crave affection and are easily depressed if isolated or denied playtime with each other. The lack of mental and physical stimuli can result in deterioration of health and increased incidence of diseases. The EU has taken such studies to heart and has outlawed the use of isolating pig stalls by 2012, and mandated their replacement with open-air stalls. In Germany, the government is encouraging pig farmers to give each pig 20 seconds of human contact every day and to provide them with two or three toys to prevent them fighting.
    In controlled experiments, scientists at Oxford University reported that two birds named Betty and Abel were given a choice between using two tools, one a straight wire, the other a hooked wire, to snag a piece of meat from inside a tube. Both chose the hooked wire. But then, unexpectedly, Abel, the more dominant male, stole Betty's hook, leaving her only with a straight wire. Unphased, Betty used her beak to wedge the wire in a crack and then bent it with her beak to produce a hook, like the one stolen from her. She then snagged the food from inside the tube. Researchers repeated the experiment 10 more times giving her straight wires, and she fashioned a hook out of the wire nine times, demonstrating a sophisticated ability to create tools.
    Philosophers and animal behaviourists have long argued that other animals are not capable of self-awareness because they lack a sense of individualism. Not so, according to a spate of new studies. At the Washington National Zoo, orangutans given mirrors explore parts of their bodies they can't see otherwise, showing a sense of self. An orangutan named Chantek at the Atlanta Zoo used a mirror to groom his teeth and adjust his sunglasses, says his trainer.

    Recent studies in the brain chemistry of rats show that when they play, their brains release large amounts of dopamine, a neurochemical associated with pleasure and excitement in human beings.

    "If you believe in evolution by natural selection, how can you believe that feelings suddenly appeared, out of the blue, with human beings?"

    The human journey is, at its core, about the extension of empathy to broader and more inclusive domains. At first, the empathy extended only to kin and tribe. Eventually it was extended to people of like-minded values - a common religion, nationality or ideology. In the 19th century, the first humane societies were established, extending the empathy to include our fellow creatures. Today, millions of people, under the banner of the animal rights movement, are continuing to deepen and to expand human concern for, and empathy toward, our fellow creatures.

    Food for thought. Animal studies are closing in on christians and their claims of the existence of a huge gulf between animals and humans.,11917,1020066,00.html

    Why is the wt leaving the issue of reducing suffering among animals to other groups? After all, they believe that god gave man dominion over animals in the sense that he was to care for them.


  • NewSense

    Humans are the only species who have culture; they are only species that produce works of art, literature, painting and music. They are the only sentient creatures endowed with a self-reflexive consciousness - they are the only creatures truly aware of themselves. Humans are the only species endowed with true abstract linguistic ability; we alone possess language - codes of communication light years beyond the hopelessly primative squeals, grunts, growns, and yelps of other species. Humans are the only species with an awareness of time - a recollection and awareness of the past and the ability to anticipate a future. Humans are the only ones with any awareness/conception of God and the infinite. Only humans are capable of understanding mathmatics and carrying out scientific experiments. Humans alone are capable of either a.) leading life on this planet to perfection or b.) destroying all life as we know it. In short, humans are the ONLY species worth a fat rat's ass on this planet; we're the only species that matters. The other lower species are there to do with as we see fit.

  • DannyBear


    That was pretty good......

    To bad so many who could be worth more than 'fat rat's ass' are not worthy of licking a pig's ass.


  • kgfreeperson

    I believe it was Jane Goodall I heard point out--what distinguishes humans from other animals is the need to distinguish themselves from other animals. While it is true that humans do all those things, it is also at least possible that other animals couldn't give a fat human's ass for all that nonsense.

  • Satanus

    Newsense said

    They are the only sentient creatures endowed with a self-reflexive consciousness - they are the only creatures truly aware of themselves.

    Quote from the guardian:

    It means that animals, like humans, may be capable not just of thinking, but of thinking about thinking, of knowing that they don't know. Psychologists call this "metacognition", evidence of sophisticated cognitive self-awareness. Ordinary mortals know it as "dithering".

    A team from the University of Buffalo, New York, the University of Montana and Georgia State University report in the December issue of Behavioural and Brain Sciences that they gave humans, bottlenose dolphins and rhesus monkeys nonverbal memory tasks. Some were hard, some easy.

    "The key innovation in this research was to grant animals an 'uncertain' response so they could decline to complete any trials of their choosing," said John David Smith, of the University of Buffalo.

    "Given this option animals might choose to complete trials when they are confident they know, but decline them when they feel something like uncertainty.",11917,1098467,00.html

    Some animals can think about thought, and so are self conscious, to a degree. Whether that is 1% or 10% of the selfconsciousness that we as humans posess is not known. While we are undeniably at the top of the food chain and the brain power level, some animals posess and exercise some of these higher powers putting themselves in the same continuum as us humans. We are not able to continue wearing the crown as the only species being 'in the image of god'.


  • Guest 77
    Guest 77

    Newsense or is it nuisance? Kidding of course. Question, with all your rhetoric, what would we do without an ASS?

    Guest 77

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