Hello all,


For a while now I've been thinking about how we remix the animal kingdom and move humans out of the center and into a more fibrous, star-like vision.  Sort of jumping beyond what Copernicus did for the solar system and creating a whole new look.  What do you think?  This would carry anthropology to lots of new places while combining with other fields ...


I'm still working on the concept paper, but here are the basics:


""As an organism, Humans cannot yet be considered highly successful, but instead only recently arrived.  As just one  species in a well-established and heavily populated biosphere, their distinctions from other animals are few:  speech, written communications, large scale social governance methods, and spirit systems.  These all are testament to the requirement that humans maintain a complex high energy cellular system with its critical need for stability via control and cooperation.

While arguments have ranged and raged about degrees of likeness, it remains that Man continues to describe animals of all types and levels of development from single cell to ape in language that he uses to talk about his own species.  This  seems to stem not from a lack of objectivity but rather from an innate inability to separate from a shared biology  that converges at all levels: physical-emotional-logical. 

 It is this implicit acknowledgment which we experience and describe daily that continues to drive an overwhelming empathic condition so  that humans themselves  respond to other animals emotionally and physically.

We now have an opportunity to remix mankind into a fuller animal pattern.   New sciences such as genetics and neuroscience, developmental and evolutionary biology, psychology  and their attendant technologies  are rapidly creating new visions of  Life.  For example, understanding transgenerational effects of famine and pesticides, each acting as major disease triggers, comes from combining genetics with demography and chemistry.   The epigenetic effect of a one time food crisis or chemical exposure is no longer confined to a single person but carries their disease forward through several generations to  grandchildren.

Studying depression as an often debilitating human condition has resulted in Michael G. Kaplitt of Weill Cornell Medical College and colleagues. revealing that a protein called p11, shared  by mice and humans,  is integral to whether mice act depressed or not.  To conduct this study Kaplitt measured the emotional characteristics of depression as they are expressed by mice, albeit mouse emotion, here characterized as depression.    TS depressed mice 10/10 ""



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Replies to This Discussion

This is excellent - I have long been concerned with the efforts of human scientists to distance themselves from the rest of creation, with ever greater difficulty. It requires as you say a Cpernicam revolution, to escape from our species centric perspective.

First, the whole issue of the relationship between homo sapiens and homo neanderthalensis - this needs to be re-thought and approached afresh - surely the days of presenting hs as a slender intelligent Aryan type as against the squat and primitive Neanderthal hn should be put behind us - especially given recent findings of varieties of small humans... we need to think about the Garden of Eden and the fact that when Adam and Eve were thrown out for their discovery of knoweldge (still a sin for St Augustine!) it was found there were also giants (besides their own offspring). I think the whole mythology of wild men, snow men, little people etc needs to be re-considered in the light of empirical evidence and the whole discourse of 'what is human' re-thought.


Then on the relationship with other primates - I recall Oakley's 'Man the Toolmaker' attemptting to argue that what distinguishes 'man' was making tools - that has long gone as other primates, other mammals and even birds are found to use tools. Then there was speech-  and the issue of specific biological developments in the throat required for this, which remains problematic as there ar many animals that have complex communication systems and there are very problematic differences in human speech as between different language using groups. The there was laughter - but Im not sure. or the idea of a 'soul'...


we need to begin to compare ourselves along different parameters with other creatures, including other social animals all the way 'down' (or is it across or even up) to insects. and those that demonstrate great adaptability (including bacteria and viruses)...


david seddon


let us take this further by all means...  

Thanks, David.






another thought to add to the pot is that it would be good to try to assemble more information on how specific human groups view each other - I am reminded of the phrase used by the old North American Indian  played by Dustn Hoffman in the film Little Big Man in which he talks of his own people as 'the humans' and the white men as 'white men' - presumably this kind of ethno-centrism is widespread and can be documented. But I think similar attitudes are felt - and expressed - by groups of say chimps or gorillas or lions to other groups/packs/prides...even if they cannot articulate these in words...



Kathryn Papp said:

Thanks, David.








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