Humanities Information

Humans are not special, hate to break it to you

I hate to break it to you, but humans are not all that special really. I laugh at the self importance humans place on this species as if some how they are better, more evolved or the divine work and special project of a God. There is actually not a single piece of evidence for that. We see the same general characteristics we see in humans in house pets, primates, birds and even fish. Yes, indeed we have a larger brain and the point is? Few humans bother to use its potential. Now that I have offended every human on the planet, let me recommend a book to you:

"The Ape and The Sushi Master-Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist" By Frans de Wall.

Very interesting that we as Human Beings may believe we are human because we are social animals, as if somehow that is what makes us different. Frans's first book was "Chimpanzee Politics Power and Sex Among apes" was recommended reading by Newt Gingrich for freshman Congressmen. I can certainly see why having had a little political fun in my past. I think every one who has a spiritual or passion driven need for the understanding of cultural anthropology should read this book. I found particularly interesting the notion that chimpanzees used tools like rocks and flat stones to crush pinecones to get out the seeds in the center to eat.

The tools were so similar to those used by Indian cultures like the American Indians, Incas, Mayans and Aztecs that one might have to wonder if they learned that from us or if we learned that technique from them. Of course their stones were bigger because they were stronger, so many of the ancient stones found in caves which were large did not come from humans but from Apes and Chimpanzees. Nearly ten times the weight. So much for Louis Leakey's work may actually have been miss interpreted. If you read Jane Goodall, Louis and Richard Leaky, Dian Fossy you will find the answers of culture in other species to be so similar it is scary.

We know from Dolphins and ordinary house pets from observations that no one can dismiss some sort of culturalization amongst other species. In Western Cultures we have hard time with this since we are the top of the food chain and therefore we cannot be similar to other species. This is a falsity of western culture. I bet Hitler would have been pissed about my comments, since not only were his blond haired blue eyed Aryan considered the top of the food chain and he actually believed everyone else inferior. We as a western culture are also in the belief that our human race as a whole is the tops. But after reading this book we find that chimpanzees, which are of higher intelligence also have an incredible socialization.

The old question of nature VS nurture tends to lend itself quite nicely to theories that culturalzation does not purely come from genetics, but rather from a simple form of behavioral transmission. Hey, before you say that statement is nuts read the book yourself and see the examples. We as humans are both similar and different, but with respect to culture only the actual actions of the culture are different, not culture in itself. The Taliban had culture, just an unacceptable type of culture to the rest of the world. I really do not see a lot of difference between them and their warlords and the attacks on the US, with the culturaliation of chimpanzees. And we all agree that the Taliban are human beings, just not very good ones with respect to our beliefs and culture. If we are looking for what makes humans different to other species you will not find it in the cultural learnings of the species; much to similar. We will have to look further. If you look towards language you would also be incorrect, if you look at genetics we too are much too similar to the apes and the chimpanzees. What makes people different may only be that we have gotten to a spot to discuss it rather than just do it.

Yet until the codes of the languages of the dolphins are broken or the fact that a flock of 1000 little birds can all change direction at the same time without hitting each other, I would hold fast on that notion as well. Assuming that apes and chimpanzees also have culture but do not know why they are doing it in the first place, one might then ask why do humans wear clothes in warm climates. Why are we doing what we do? We talk about it, yet cannot seem to reason out of it.

Maslow has so far to go to finish his works, too bad he is dead, as we still have not answered these questions. We maybe the conqueror of the surface of the Earth thus far, yet we have unexplored oceans and caves with other species who may have culture and other attributes which likely will be difficult for us to understand or recognize. When we do, it maybe tougher than we think to redefine ourselves as vastly different than other living things on the planet. If you have the intellect to look beyond your enculturation and religion, then I recommend you buy this book. If not live in the dark and we'll wake you up if we need you in your cave.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;


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