Re: memetics-digest V1 #1378

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Tue 03 Jun 2003 - 04:09:44 GMT

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    >From: "Malcolm Dean" <>
    >Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1378
    >Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2003 06:52:19 GMT
    > > No other animal has shown the capacity to recognize the
    > > difference between what they know and what others should know.
    >Every time - and it is far too often - I hear this kind of blanket appeal
    >to establish the uniqueness and superiority of humans, I barf.
    >There are tons and tons of anecdotal evidence of animals recognizing that
    >another does not know of danger or disease. Why animals with senses highly
    >attuned to the natural environment should perform a logical task while
    >contained in a sterile, flourescent-lit room with no fresh air and the
    >high-pitched whine of air conditioning, is beyond me. Even a roomful of
    >some of the world's best cognitive scientists recently admitted in
    >conversation that the reason monkeys fail on many cognitive tests is
    >because they are often raised behind bars, without toys or parents, and
    >without affection.
    >There is something deeply suspicious of the repeated claims that This, no -
    >uh - This, or maybe This, is what makes humans unique and superior. Why
    >this desperate and persistent need to draw a sharp line in Nature, which
    >has few, if any? My prejudice is that if researchers would concentrate on
    >finding the same gradual evolution in cognition that they are so fond of
    >seeing elsewhere, much would become clear to them.
    My prejudice is that we are a rather unique culturally inclined species of chimp, but not superior.

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