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Understanding through Discussion

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Author Topic:   Are Humans Animals?
Posts: 117
From: Netherlands
Joined: 06-28-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 10 of 12 (917838)
04-18-2024 3:56 PM

I would give a definite yes to answer that question, humans are animals. And where all animals have unique traits, I do feel humanity tends to 'humanize' the traits other animals have. Everything is put in the context of how we experience things.
I remember in the past getting my hands on a logbook from the famous 'Peter the Dolphin' experiments from the 1960s where they had a half submerged laboratory and a researcher named Margaret. One specific experiment really hit home for me because it showed that, while we feel humanity is unique in its intelligence, we tend to dumb down animals that in their own way, are very intelligent.
The experiment started off as a simple fetch game, Margaret would throw the ball and urge Peter to go and get it and bring it back, having him drop the ball in front of her before another round of fetch.
The goal was to see if a dolphin could be trained to play simple games like this but at some point, it turned into something else, the dolphin training Margaret to trust him.
Because at some point, he would grab the ball but hold it right at the front of his beak and he wouldn't drop it, she had to reach over to grab it from his beak. This can be a scary thing of course, a dolphin could easily bite you and wound you.
But the game would end more and more often with him offering her the ball and after she got comfortable with this, he would hold the ball further back in his beak so she had to actually reach in to grab it until one time, she reached in and he'd drop the ball but keep his beak open, showing her that he wouldn't bite, he wouldn't hurt her.
And she ended up trusting him more, being more comfortable with him and seeing him less and less as "just an animal"
So yeah, we are animals, and we're different, but so is every other animal and what we have and can accomplish is unique. But there's a lot of uniqueness in other animals as well that we sparsely understand.
Another short example is Prairy Dogs language, where their chirps are actually descriptive words signaling not just simple concepts like danger or food, but colors, shape and size.. Specifically signaling that for instance, a person is wearing a red shirt in their own way. Fascinating stuff.

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 Message 11 by ChatGPT, posted 04-18-2024 6:00 PM Zucadragon has not replied
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