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What differentiates humans from other species ?

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posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn






I am looking for a very specific difference, some characteristic that only humans have.


In a nutshell, as already mentioned, written language.

We are the ONLY species that can literally look to our ancestors for answers.




posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:30 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Prove it. Prove that nothing an animal ever does, is ignoring instinct. Actually do me a favor and define what instinct means to you. Instinct is thrown around too much as an explanation for everything that's clearly not in the first place.

What about dogs, who've starved staying with their hurt master, what about cats who chhose to starve rather than eat a food they don't care for. What about any animal who has knowingly sacrificed itself for another.

Let me guess, it's just instinct when they do it, but when we do it, it's going against our instincts. Is all a load of hooey.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:30 AM
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originally posted by: 9teen
a reply to: gosseyn






I am looking for a very specific difference, some characteristic that only humans have.


In a nutshell, as already mentioned, written language.

We are the ONLY species that can literally look to our ancestors for answers.


Language is an invention of humans. Yes, it separates us from the animal kingdom, but humans have been on this planet in their present form FAR longer than the time we've had written language.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:31 AM
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originally posted by: 9teen
a reply to: gosseyn






I am looking for a very specific difference, some characteristic that only humans have.


In a nutshell, as already mentioned, written language.

We are the ONLY species that can literally look to our ancestors for answers.

Yes humans eat from the tree of knowledge.
Humans have the ability to believe.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: Puppylove

Well let's start with the actual scientific definition then.

Instinct


Instinct or innate behavior is the inherent inclination of a living organism towards a particular complex behavior. The simplest example of an instinctive behavior is a fixed action pattern (FAP), in which a very short to medium length sequence of actions, without variation, are carried out in response to a clearly defined stimulus.


But I mostly got my opinion here from my Psych class:


Psychologist Abraham Maslow argued that humans no longer have instincts because we have the ability to override them in certain situations. He felt that what is called instinct is often imprecisely defined, and really amounts to strong drives. For Maslow, an instinct is something which cannot be overridden, and therefore while the term may have applied to humans in the past, it no longer does.[3]



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: 9teen

Honestly, yeah on earth, written language seems to be it. Is the only thing we can say mostly for certain. Everything else appears to be self serving assumptions made to keep ourselves on a pedestal or in the case of human haters, to try and make animals seem better than us.

The truth is, we're animals, smart animals, but in the end, just animals, and like all animals we have some unique strengths and weaknesses of our own.

By the way to anyone who says humans have no natural defenses, tell me why I can guarantee you I could, unarmed, kill any dog, no mater how well trained, in a one on one combat. I'd be bleeding really bad, but I'd win. No natural defenses my ass. Tell that to a chimpanzee, same as us, just a bit stronger.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

And can you honestly say you've never seen anything from non humans that seems to fit with overriding instincts?



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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Humans are no different from animals - they are being what they are. However most humans believe that they could be or should be different.
A tree is being a tree. A cat is being a cat. And you are being you but there is an idea that you can improve or be something different. A human believes that humans have a choice on how they are being.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

I agree for the most part and I give humans a lot of credit in this regard and here is why: While I agree that we don't spend enough time observing and appreciating each moment as it emerges we are, by natural mechanisms, not formed in such a way that would be honored by a total immersion in the now. What I mean to say is that, for unknown reasons, we were given the urge and, important to mention, the capabilities to both plan and reflect. Two actions that have led to a more complex life form anyone could argue with relative ease. Our art is more complex, our language, our culture...every layer of form that we have adorned ourselves with on top of our naked ape body/mind was enabled by this awareness of a "future" (probabilistic reorientation of material and energy existing in the same "now" moment) and "caused" by the inertia of the previous "now"s (past). We could spend every second "in the now" but we would be a less realized expression of life and I think nature/God/mind delights in higher forms of complexity. The reason I give humans a lot of credit is one could imagine a time when we were simpler but something forced/ushered or a niche was opened that we're still adjusting to fill but the point is that we're still in the act of change and we're doing an ok job during the transition.

But I agree that we spend far too little time in the present and I think the goal of this generation, and the ones to follow, is to create living and technology (emphasis on the living) systems that sever us from a culture that suffers from an imbalance of focus vis a vie past/present/future.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:44 AM
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a reply to: Puppylove

Ok let me try rewording my supposition then. Humans don't rely on instincts while other animals do.

I mean to be honest, I just view humans as another species of animal, no more special than any other. Just as equally evolved as any other species you can name. So this discussion is rather moot to me.

This is one of the reason I don't consider writing to be something that separates us from animals. It is just something that we as humans produced through humans being human. If another species evolved like we did, I'm sure it would be a matter of time before it too invented writing or some other method of keeping track of things.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:45 AM
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originally posted by: Puppylove
a reply to: 9teen

Honestly, yeah on earth, written language seems to be it. Is the only thing we can say mostly for certain. Everything else appears to be self serving assumptions made to keep ourselves on a pedestal or in the case of human haters, to try and make animals seem better than us.

The truth is, we're animals, smart animals, but in the end, just animals, and like all animals we have some unique strengths and weaknesses of our own.

By the way to anyone who says humans have no natural defenses, tell me why I can guarantee you I could, unarmed, kill any dog, no mater how well trained, in a one on one combat. I'd be bleeding really bad, but I'd win. No natural defenses my ass. Tell that to a chimpanzee, same as us, just a bit stronger.


Some on this thread have argued that leaving a chemical trace on some spot could equal to written language in principle, what do you think of that ?



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:58 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
The biggest different between humans and other animals: humans have the ability to ignore instinct.

Something like that. When considering the creation of artificial intelligence to make it appear more human-like, I think that it would be useful for the artificial intelligence to be able to prioritize its actions so that it's not always just a matter of following Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. People have the ability to ignore things that would appear to require immediate attention in order to focus on a longer range goal. It's not just a matter of making a decision based on calculated outcomes or immediate needs.

I'm reminded of the Gumball experiments done with apes. Researchers taught apes to be able to recognize the difference in the number of items that dropped out of chutes so the apes could tell them if one was "more" or "less" than the other. As long as they were working with blocks or some other kind of neutral thing, the apes were great at telling the researchers if one chute had more blocks in it than the other. So they completely got the concept.

All of this went right out the window, however, when they used gumballs, which the apes got to keep as a reward if they got the answer right. No matter how hard they tried, if fewer gumballs dropped into one chute than dropped into the other, the apes would always pick the chute with the largest number of gumballs. They couldn't help it. They wanted the most gumballs, in spite of the fact that they knew they would only be rewarded for a correct answer. "Which has less?" They always chose more.

Humans can pull themselves back out of the immediate context of reality, accept a proxy reality, and respond to it accordingly. So we can do things animals can't -- like commit suicide. I don't know any animal that consciously commits suicide.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 12:01 PM
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a reply to: gosseyn

I'm not sure honestly, a lot of information can be gleaned and transferred that way.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 12:10 PM
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originally posted by: SlickMcFavorite We could spend every second "in the now" but we would be a less realized expression of life and I think nature/God/mind delights in higher forms of complexity.

You and now and inseparable - not two things. It is impossible for you to be IN the now. Now is what is happening and it happens as this that is happening.
God (timeless being) is playing hide and seek by pretending time, by pretending other.
Life is one without a second but humans think themselves separate.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 12:12 PM
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posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

I get what you're saying and I think there is good reason to believe it. I perhaps disagree on how one handles this potential truth. One response is very inactive and, in my opinion, ignores who we are as a species by just "being". The other accepts the benefits of more intently observing the present moment, but simultaneously steps up to the plate of what we are. We are more than an organism capable of non-judgmental observation. We are also creators. And one cannot create without some awareness, illusory or not, of a "past" and "future" in which our abilities of creation and observation find an abundant playground.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: Puppylove

Tooth and claws, and a shiny fur coat.
edit on 12-6-2015 by Specimen because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: Blue Shift

No offense to your scientists, but that's a pretty piss poor experiment. Mostly in that one, they completely changed the rules, and then got different results and wondered why. It was no longer the same experiment.

You offer me 100 dollars or ten dollars, with a reward of a steak dinner if I take the ten dollars, I'll take the 100 dollars every time. I love a steak dinner , but 100 dollars can buy me several of those.

At best all you've proven is that the chimp chose what it felt was a greater reward, or that it cared more about it's immediate situation than it's future situation, or the future reward wasn't good enough or important enough for the chimp to ignore a guaranteed reward now. Either way, there's a lot of iffy stuff with that experiment. I mean the gumballs already are a reward, none of the previous trials rewarded the chimp for picking the wrong choice.

Either way the chimp gets rewarded, this way they just get rewarded sooner. With how fickle scientists are constantly changing experiments from one thing to another, the only guaranteed reward is the immediate one.
edit on 6/12/2015 by Puppylove because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 12:50 PM
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Great thread. Humans are, in comparison to other life on earth, superior problem solvers. Written language was probably the greatest accomplishment but it's still another means of communication like vehicles further our ability to travel etc... Humans and other life on earth set out to accomplish the same goals and perform the same general tasks but we just simply do it all better. What we can't do, we strive to. The real difference in my opinion is our need for progress. we are perfectionists and "good enough" is never good enough.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: Puppylove

Also you'd break a nail.



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