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Thinking is not just for humans

kgrass's picture

 In class on Thursday, we discussed how thinking and the ability to reason is only a human characteristic, and whether this ability makes us “better” than other organisms or not. We went on to discuss that there is no such thing as “superior”, but really good enough. If something is able to survive on this planet and continue to pass on its genes, it is pretty much golden. Our ability to think has definitely been a key in our ability to survive, and therefore has been important to our evolution. What I was struck by was the amount of people who believed other animals do not think. Our ability to reason is not exclusive. There have been plenty of examples of other primates with social structures, tool manipulation, and the ability to build lifetime relationships.  If anyone has seen Christian the lion, the ability to build lasting relationships is not limited to primates. If you haven’t seen this video, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btuxO-C2IzE. Although animals may not appear to think like us does not mean they are not capable of it. Our inability to communicate with them and exchange ideas with them in the same way that we can with other people is a barrier to understanding how animals may think. Although we don’t have that window into other animal’s brains does not mean the intelligence isn’t there, but these observations also don't mean that animals think like us.  These observations do tell us that we should keep our minds open and shouldn't assume how animals may think or view the world.   

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