Re: Are we "special"?

Michael Daunt (
2 Dec 1996 03:35:36 GMT

John Waters <> wrote in article
| 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
| incorrect.
| 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?
| John.
This is just plain wrong. If you mean by this that humans are the only
species to raise more than one child at a time, with the children being at
varying stages of maturity, then you are just plain wrong. Chimpanzees and
bonobos both do this. This is an error of fact. Even if your assertion
were true, this would certainly not be sufficient to place humans in a
separate phylum. That would require something radically more
differentiated, such as a species with five eyes and three legs, and even
that may not be sufficient. Given the many different mating and
child-rearing practices among the anthropoid apes, this would not even be
sufficient to differentiate a species in that group.

Michael Daunt