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Why are humans so different than other animals? (Evolutionary question)

#1ninooo7Posted 5/31/2011 12:28:00 AM
So, in a talk with a friend of mine, he brought up that he believes in a soul because we are unlike any other animal, and evolution cannot explain at what point we stopped thinking like other animals and started thinking like we do now - which lead us to become the advanced (compared to other animals) species we are today. While I did not know if there was an answer to his question (My knowledge of evolution is limited to one introductory anthropology course) , I pointed out the error of claiming there is a soul simply because we are unlike animals, as that huge jump doesn't seem reasonable to me.

Nevertheless, question to all of you well-versed in evolution: Is there a point where scientists can determine that humans started acting differently from other animals and explain this phenomenon? What is it, and how did it happen (brain growth, and all that)?
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--Nino-- Supreme Being and #1 Enema of the State Fan
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#2xXxCroNoxXxPosted 5/31/2011 1:02:48 AM
How exactly do we act differently than other animals?
#3OrangeWizardPosted 5/31/2011 1:56:16 AM
General's right. I mean, you see other animals make civilizations and sending themselves to the moon all the time. We're no different than apes because we are still apes.
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"this game is about reality. ... when you fire a gun you are not like "what is this am i shooting sausages?""
-General_Dong on Black Ops
#4xXxCroNoxXxPosted 5/31/2011 2:19:49 AM
General's right. I mean, you see other animals make civilizations and sending themselves to the moon all the time. We're no different than apes because we are still apes.

Sending humanity to the moon required the ability to use of tools, abstract reasoning, and self-awareness. None of those qualities are unique to humanity, we are simply better at using them.
#5DiranosaurPosted 5/31/2011 2:21:52 AM
Sure, we're more advanced than other apes, but we're still not too different from them. We can communicate with some apes by using sign language for example, which proves that they're quite intelligent. Many animals use tools (mostly mammals) or build "cities" (mostly insects). They also have hierarchical structures, just like us. If put in a situation of peril or need, humans will act just like other animals.

We build families, we gather food (well, these days we mostly buy it), we have fun and we procreate. Just like other animals. We just happen to have evolved into being more intelligent.

Sure, other animals might not send their species to the moon, but they do other things that humans do, like kissing, getting drunk/high, having sex for pleasure, play, etc etc

Our predecessors, like Neanderthals, we're less intelligent than us, but more intelligent than other apes. Our evolution is just a long and slow process.


Now, what separates us from other animals is that we're more like to bust a move and dance to the beat, come on move your feet. (As other animals, except for that one bird, don't feel rhythm).
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#6xXxCroNoxXxPosted 5/31/2011 4:37:47 AM
In addition, Chimpanzees seem to actually have more advanced brains than we do in some respects.
#7TheRealJiraiyaPosted 5/31/2011 5:48:03 AM
There were other species of human, but theyre dead now.
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"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." -H.L. Mencken
#8squareandrarePosted 5/31/2011 6:25:15 AM
We aren't fundamentally different than other animals. However, we have things like a highly developed prefrontal cortex, opposable thumbs, and the ability to clearly communicate abstract ideas with language.
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"Physics is not a religion. If it were, we'd have a much easier time raising money."
-- Leon Lederman
#9thaer_dudePosted 5/31/2011 6:54:18 AM
There was never a shift where we suddenly took on this new dimension of behavior, our rational abilities just gradually got more advanced.
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"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first.. invent the universe" -Carl Sagan
#10the final bahamutPosted 5/31/2011 7:28:33 AM
General's right. I mean, you see other animals make civilizations and sending themselves to the moon all the time. We're no different than apes because we are still apes.


The greatest ant hives make Tokyo seem like a tiny fishing hamlet. These Antilles have a population that far outnumber any human city and are - in relative terms - far vaster.
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E ys Bahamut! oui risyhc puna sa! Oui uvvaht sa cahcac!!!
DISCLAIMER: I'm not accountable for this post. I don't know English I just hit keys at random.