Re: Are we "special"?

Phillip Bigelow (
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 18:49:27 -0800

Thomas Clarke wrote:

> With regard to the special issue, if our neat tools and such are
> just culture, just a software shift, then why has no other species
> gone through this non-biological change?

Some other species have this social plasticity too. The example that
immediately comes to mind are the Japanese macaques that wash
some types of food in the surf. Such behavior started with
a singular animal, and quickly spread to others in the group.
This plasticity is probably homologous to what is termed
"social adapation" in humans; the only difference (minor, actually)
being in the degree to which this plasticity has evolved from the
LCA. It isn't really that special....