Posted by: zyxo | May 17, 2008

The differences between animals and humans


Warfare in the early 20th Century (1914 1918) ...Image via WikipediaSince I studied biology I thought that there was no difference between animals an men, that humankind is only one of the many animal species.
Apparently, according to a scientist at Harvard university, there are 4 cognition differences between us and the animals :

  1. ability to combine and recombine different types of information and knowledge in order to gain new understanding
  2. apply the same “rule” or solution to one problem to a different and new situation
  3. create and easily understand symbolic representations of computation and sensory input
  4. detach modes of thought from raw sensory and perceptual input

OK, he is probably right in that most animals cannot do these things.

But I think if you look further there are a lot of characteristics of humans that are different from all the other animal species, just like each and any animal species has a lot of characteristics, different from all the others. How else could it be a different species ?
I think that those harvard scientist, Marc Hauser, seeks confirmation for the fact that his own species is the best one, so he looks at differences in what humans are good in and other animals do not.
But perhaps he should also look at some negative human characteristics that cannot be found in the other animal species. A few examples : world war I, word war II …, burning people alive, torturing …
The psychologic ability to commit these things, without going nuts seems very specific to humans too.

Enjoyed this post ? Then you might be interested in the following :
– human intelligence = human rights ?
– Are men and women different ?

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Responses

  1. Interesting post. I wrote a response to your comment at That Vegan Girl. Jen also commented.

  2. The difference is in “A self serving art of justification.”

    If animals would be able to make plumbing, air conditioning, can food and weapons, they probably would. Humans were able to do it, but it serves the same ends as for animals: survive and, whenever possible, prosper (on earth or in space). No difference here.

    Here how it works: we did/do it because bla-bla-bla … ; therefore, bla-bla-bla ….; nevertheless, bla-bla-bla …. , even after death our God …. bla-bla-bla ….. we did/do it because ….

    This “a scientist at Harvard university” is an other well educated example why it is difficult to see a difference between human mouth and ass..ole.


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