If you’re like me then you’ve heard that humanity sets itself apart from the rest of the animal world in many ways. Like for instance in our use of language.
Of course this particular brand of uniqueness has been under fire for some time. Dolphins and other cetaceans are suspected to have a rich, almost pictorial language. As well, cuttlefish seem to communicate to each other with visual, colourful signals almost like blushing. Even the prosaic wolf is in some circles thought to converse with facial expressions.
And who could deny the overwhelming evidence of Koko the sign language speaking gorilla? This other primate has broken the barrier and said not only are other animals capable of speech, some of them are carrying it out.
So I’ve listened to other characteristics that humanity seems to possess but other animals are not supposed to be capable of. For instance humanity is supposed to be the only species capable of synchronized rhythm.
But then my prosaic black cat named Bast, was twitching her tail the other day to the beat of the song The Scientist by Coldplay. Yes, I realize she has good taste, but I had quite emphatically heard that humanity was the only species capable of keeping the beat to such a song.
We should give up on claiming humanity is so distinctly unique from the animal kingdom. I think the biggest problem with such claims is that all of humanity is being held up as unique.
Why not try for some of humanity being unique? Some of humanity understands quantum physics and this is unique in the animal kingdom. Some of humanity understands history cycles and why it’s not best to repeat the bad parts of history. Don’t worry about holding all humanity to these unique tests. And then you will find we are as unique as we’ve wished to be all these years.