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831 Views 0 Replies Last post: Jun 14, 2013 8:02 PM by awillkey RSS
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Jun 14, 2013 8:02 PM

What can only humans do?

I accidentally found a website where a qualified psychologist had proposed 7 things that only humans can do. In my view, every one of those was flawed. It got me thinking - are there any things that only humans can do. I came up with 2. I wrote to that website putting my counter-arguments to the 7 proposed and nominating my 2 and hoping for some sort of debate. Nothing. I guess some people just can't take criticism!


I felt cheated. I'd been looking forward to a good debate. But then I thought of NaturePlus. This forum has many members, all of whom are interested in nature, which makes a very good start point. So who is up for a debate on the question in the heading?


If you want to suggest something as being unique to humans you have to bring some detachment to your thinking. As humans we have preconceived ideas about what we do. In my opinion you have to put yourself in the shoes of a team of alien scientists studying all the species on planet Earth and abstracting their observations. What would they think is something only humans can do? So to illustrate this point, that website suggested talking. Now we humans have a preconceived idea of what talking is and it is all too easy to agree with the proposition. What would our alien scientists make of talking especially when they abstract it to the essentials? I suggest it is the making of sounds with our bodies/voices to communicate. Different sounds create a vocabulary which allow the communication of more than one idea or thought. But birds can certainly do that. With birdsong they can communicate "This is my territory", "Warning, cat coming," and possibly "Male seeks female, must have sense of humour." (Certainly humans have the largest vocabulary but that doesn't count.)


Anyone inspired to contribute their ideas? I hope some museum experts will offer their ideas as well as other forum members.




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