Friday, October 18, 2019

806: We are animals....

There are still evangelicals who are convinced that we are descendants from Adam and Eva and that the world was created in 6 days.
   
However, in the early 1970s it was scientifically widely accepted, that we are descendants of primates, great apes.
    
I remember well how I was fascinated in those days by Konrad Lorenz ( 1903 –  1989), an Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist. 
  
Of course I was most interested in ethology, because it revealed features of animal behavior, which relate to human behavior.
  
Lorenz is recognized as one of the founding fathers of the field of ethology, the study of animal behavior. 
  
He is best known for his discovery of the principle of attachment, or imprinting, through which in some species a bond is formed between a new born animal and its caregiver.
     
"Behind the mirror, a search for a natural history of human knowledge " is a 1973 book by Konrad Lorenz. 
   
One of the key positions of the book included the criticism of Immanuel Kant, arguing that the philosopher failed to realize that knowledge, 
  
as mirrored by the human mind is the product of evolutionary adaptations.
   
Kant has maintained that our consciousness or our description and judgments about the world could never mirror the world as it really is 
   
so we can not simply take in the raw data that the world provides nor impose our forms on the world.
    
Raw data without forms are chaos. Forms without data are empty. We mix the two and call it our reality, never knowing the reality "an sich" (as such).
  
Lorenz disputed this, saying it is inconceivable that  through chance mutations and selective retention the world fashioned an instrument of cognition that grossly misleads man about such world.  
  
A close friend of Lorenz was Niko Tinbergen  (1907 – 1988), a Dutch biologist and ornithologist who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 
  
with Karl von Frisch and Konrad Lorenz for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behavior patterns in animals. 
  
He like Konrad Lorenz is regarded as one of the founders of modern ethology, the study of animal behavior. 
  
So, there is ethology as an established  science, studying all kinds of behaviors, which are also part of our behavioral repertoire.
  
Then there is Frans de Waal (born October 29, 1948) , the famous Dutch primatologist and ethologist.
  
His research into the innate capacity for empathy among primates has led him to the conclusion that non-human great apes and humans 
  
are simply different types of apes, and that empathic and cooperative tendencies are continuous between these species.
  
The second discovery of the 1970s was that Homo Sapiens had evolved from hominids in Africa and that from there he colonized the rest of the world.
  
What the 20th century taught us, is that we are part of an eco-system like all primates , other animals and plants. 
  
However, we have an other impact on the eco-system than our fellow primates.
  
The evidence is overwhelming... we are self-aware conscious animals.....and I should add....with a moral sense.
   
Thank you again.....
  
The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same same but different indeed
[13:22] CB Axel: You don't think the other great apes have a moral sense?
[13:22] herman Bergson: I know this story isnt shocking to you....we have discussed this on a number of occasions
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I saw a quest once. What are humans? 1. Complicated beings with thoughts and feelings. 2: Things that make things you can sell
[13:23] herman Bergson: ....other great apes have a moral sense?
[13:23] CB Axel: I think they have a sense of right and wrong.
[13:23] herman Bergson: Do they have a sense of bad and evil?
[13:24] CB Axel: They may not have the same moral code as we do, but not all humans have those in common.
[13:24] herman Bergson: Bonobos seem to show a kind of feeling like that indeed CB
[13:24] CB Axel: They certainly have a sense of what's fair or not.
[13:25] herman Bergson: There is that famous experiment of van der Waal,
[13:25] CB Axel: Yes, but bonobos have a different moral code that most humans regarding sex.
[13:25] herman Bergson: where a bonobo shows that he is treated unfair
[13:25] CB Axel: Exactly
[13:26] herman Bergson: yet I don't think primates have a moral sense....
[13:26] CB Axel: So their moral code my include how treats and rewards should be handed out, it doesn't include monogamy.
[13:27] CB Axel: But then, not too many humans seem to believe in monogamy any more either.
[13:27] herman Bergson: they react based on instinct, not based on self reflection and choice
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or religious beliefs and hocus pocus
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as some also do still
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they just well
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): are
[13:28] CB Axel: You don't think those jealous reactions were based on thinking, "what a jerk! I deserve a grape, too!"
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:28] herman Bergson: I don't know....
[13:28] herman Bergson: There is a striking resemblance with human behavior indeed
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (stretch hand behind computer screen and grams a blue grape from the fruit bowl hidden behind)
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mmm'
[13:28] CB Axel: Do crows that use tools do that merely out of instinct, or are they thinking about what they're doing?
[13:29] CB Axel: I think there has to be some reasoning going on.
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they have to have some general idea that doing this works
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): with this
[13:29] CB Axel: I agree, Bejiita.
[13:29] herman Bergson: In my opinion they are not thinking and planning...it is learned behavior, taught by other crows
[13:30] herman Bergson: it is adaptive behavior to an environment
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have to be, just as I know the difference between when to use a hammer, welder or angle grinder
[13:30] CB Axel: Even crows that just do it without having seen it done before?
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): there must be one to be the first
[13:30] herman Bergson: Before homo sapiens appeared there were already hominids that used tools
[13:31] herman Bergson: chimps use branches as tools
[13:32] herman Bergson: are they thinking, reasoning beings...?
[13:32] CB Axel: I think they are.
[13:32] herman Bergson: But it doesn't make them human
[13:33] CB Axel: I guess we'd have to raise some in isolation and see if they can figure things out on their own.
[13:33] CB Axel: I'm not saying they're human. I just don't think we're as special as we think and that we should give animals more respect than we do.
[13:34] herman Bergson: Maybe we should study the work of Frans de Waal some more to get answers, CB
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed CB
[13:34] herman Bergson: I agree with that CB
[13:34] CB Axel: It would be interesting to meet him as see what he could tell us. :)
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just because they can't speak don't mean they are dumb
[13:34] CB Axel: Does he think animals reason?
[13:35] CB Axel: Or do they just react out of instinct?
[13:35] CB Axel: I'd like to ask him that.k
[13:35] herman Bergson: I don't know, CB....I should look into that to give you an answer
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): one thing setting us aside is we are the only one really able to communicate with a language, other animals have just one single "word" like Mjau or WOFF
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but we have a language
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no Bejiita
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): animals have a language too
[13:36] CB Axel: We do seem to communicate more complex thoughts between us.
[13:36] herman Bergson: and we have an awareness of time Bejiita....past and future....animals don't have that
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): think of whales
[13:37] herman Bergson: Animals produce signs
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I for ex can't hear if a dog is happy or angry, sounds the same almost in both cases, but its maybe the same as I can't understand arabic either
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its just habla habla to me
[13:37] CB Axel: Whales definitely have a language, but I don't think they're using it to discuss whether they have souls or are more clever than humans. :)
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in some way they have to be able to communicate for sure clearly
[13:38] CB Axel: I don't know, though. I can's speak whale.
[13:38] CB Axel: *can't
[13:38] herman Bergson: Never met a philosophical whale :-)
[13:38] CB Axel: That you know of!
[13:39] herman Bergson: yes :-))
[13:39] CB Axel: Unless you speak whale.
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:40] herman Bergson: I must admit it is hard to tell where being an animal stops and being a human being begins, if you look at primates
[13:40] CB Axel nods
[13:40] herman Bergson: besides that....
[13:41] herman Bergson: when we speak of self awareness and awareness of time, we only refer to cognitive qualities
[13:41] herman Bergson: what about the awareness of emotions....
[13:41] herman Bergson: they are clearly present in animals too
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:42] herman Bergson: Like an elephant grieves over the death of her calf
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:42] herman Bergson: Long time we have denied animals emotions, feelings
[13:42] herman Bergson: But they have....
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they sure have
[13:44] herman Bergson: If you begin with the work of Frans de Waal, you have a lot of information to study regarding this subject
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a neighbour nearby have a little dog and he hets crazy happy every time he sees me
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): gets
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and neighbours are nice too
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he loves your ankles Bejjiita?
[13:44] herman Bergson: It is your aura the dog sees, Bejiita ^_^
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he loves when I hug him
[13:45] CB Axel: I'm sure the dog likes all of Bejiita. :)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hes really nice
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] herman Bergson: Welll....
[13:46] herman Bergson: for the weekend...study Frans de Waal and books on ethology :-)
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): im a nice guy so
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): all of it?
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] herman Bergson: Some of it Beertje :-)
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ah pfew:)
[13:46] herman Bergson: It might answer our questions....
[13:47] herman Bergson: So if you have no other questions...time to enjoy the weekend...:-)
[13:47] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.....thank you all again :-)
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): have a nice weekend Herman
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki back to burn a while maybe before I sleep
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:48] herman Bergson: Happy burning Bejiita ^_^
[13:48] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and Class!
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Bejiita

[13:49] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman. Lots to think about again. :)