Re: Are we "special"?

Thomas Clarke (
13 Dec 1996 13:26:23 GMT

In article <> (Paul Z. Myers) writes:
>In article <58mmj8$>, wrote:

><stuff deleted>

>> Now, how can you maintain that in _ALL_ senses of the word, humans
>> are just "typical" animals?
>> That is as silly a position as that huminids got the way they are
>> through devine intervention.

>> Granted humans evolved just like any other animal (point 1 in my
>> logical argument). In this sense they are typical or ordinary.

>> However, we are conversing over the internet which is hardly a
>> typical activity for an animal (my point 2).

>The point, I think, is not that humans are incapable of any "special"
>behavior; rather, every animal has its own unique repertoire of abilities.
>When scientists disparage the kind of thinking that calls humans "special",
>they are not doing it to demean _people_, they are doing it because
>they have respect for the diversity of life beyond our own species.

Scientists did that, disparaged calling humans "special", disparaged
calling the earth a special planet, etc., in order to "defeat"
the special creation religious view. They won the battle - although
at times - what with the religous right and all - one wonders.
Hence, I think they can relax their vigilance a bit and try to
look at man without the (necessary at the time) dogma that he
is NOT special.

Hmm. In the above I wrote "special creation". I had forgotten that
phrase. Maybe that is why the reaction to the word "special"
is so strong. I'll have to try to use "unique" in the future.

>> I guess you don't like awe. Aren't you ever awestruck by any of
>> the facts of nature?

>You've completely missed the point. Scientists are utterly, thoroughly
>awed by nature...but a lowly little earthworm has awesome attributes,
>too. There isn't just one pinnacle of creation, there are billions.

Naw. Scientists are awed by grants. They are awed by a long vita :-)

Sure. Was it you that pointed out every existent species is the
end of its evolutionary branch?
However, no other species can speak or build computers or fly in
space or ...
These are certainly unique behaviors.

Tom Clarke