Re: Are we "special"?

John Waters (
1 Dec 1996 23:19:26 GMT

Paul Crowley <> wrote in article
> In article <> "Phillip
Bigelow" writes:
> > Also note one other thing in my list: not a *single*
question regarding
> > how "special" our hominid lineage is. That is because,
> > I don't believe that our lineage is that "special" in
the first place.
> [from thread: "An alternative to ST
and AAT"]

> Phillip has opted for a particular philosophical stance -
> line with the whole profession. I suggest that he (and
it) may
> well be utterly wrong, and that this is the source of
much of
> the deep unhappiness that many laymen feel about the
> (or more precisely, the lack of answers) produced by the
> profession. In a sense, we all know that we are
> whereas the profession has, almost perversely, decided
> otherwise and is determined not to provide the answers we
> want.

JW: Yes, this is a fascinating aspect of modern science
isn't it? In many ways it is so precise and meticulous.
This is particularly true when it is reporting upon minute
species differences in plants and animals.

And yet, when the human species enters the frame of
reference, all that scientific objectivity and impartiality
seems to fly out of the window. It appears to be a reaction
to Social Darwinism. The founding father of evolution held
views about human specialness, which the current scientific
community finds embarrassing.

As a sort of knee jerk reaction, the anthropological
community bends over backwards to show that humans are just
another animal. Just an ordinary sort of primate, nothing
special. Different, but only very slightly different. In
fact, hardly different at all. Just a glorified ape really.
And because of this, a great deal of research is expended
on the study of Chimpanzees, on the basis that their
behaviour is virtually the same as ours, only less

However, as Paul says, a great many human beings feel that
they are different from apes, in a qualitative way. There
seems to be a great deal more in common between the
Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangs and Gibbons, than
between humans and apes. And many do suspect some sort of
scientific cover up, to obscure the real differences.

This is patent nonsense. The scientific community is as
varied, and competitive, and anarchic as any group of
people anywhere. And yet??

Consider the little matter of human multi-age broods of
young. Apes have single-age broods. In fact, the human
species is the only species of mammal to rear multi-age
broods of infants to maturity. Come to that, they are the
only species of animal to raise multi-age broods to
maturity. Enough to ensure putting them in a separate
Phylum, if they were another animal. But they are not. They
are not allowed to be different. It would be politically

Re-examine the third sentence of the above paragraph. Isn't
that a preposterous statement? If it is wrong, then there
are plenty of people on this newsgroup with sufficient
expertise, or access to the right sort of data, to point
out the mistake. And yet they won't, because it is not a
mistake. And yet you will find no reference to this fact in
any scientific book or reference work. Curious isn't it?

Do you know the difference between a Crow and a Rook?
Probably not. They look very similar. But there are
differences, and the birds are classified as separate
species. Do you know the difference between a European Red
Squirrel and a Grey Squirrel. Apart from the colour there
isn't a great deal of difference. And in northern Europe
even the colour is the same. And yet their differences have
been described in great detail by zoologists.

Do you know the difference between Apes and Humans? Apes
have single age broods, while Humans have multi-age broods.
Any fool can check that out for themselves. The data is all
there. So what does the scientific community say about the
difference in infant rearing characteristics between Apes
and Humans? Nothing. Curious isn't it?

Very curious really. Very odd indeed. The rearing of
multi-age broods of young make humans different from all
other mammals, and yet the scientific community is totally
silent on the matter. Worldwide.

Ed Conrad reports a human skull in shale beds in
Pennsylvania? Is that right Ed? Science investigates and
reports. It is not a human skull, it is a bit of rock.

John Waters reports that the Human species rears multi-age
broods of young to maturity, while Ape species rear
single-age broods. Science does not investigate, or report.
It stays silent. These differences may be trivial. But
other trivial differences between species are reported and
classified. So why is this difference so studiously

Is it because the scientific community does not want humans
to be seen as special?

It is a good question Paul. I hope you are wrong about the
professionals. It would be a sad day for humanity if
political correctness was allowed to prevent the normal
scientific quest for truth.