reply to post by The Blind Eye
I do understand where people come from when they find it easy and intuitive to separate man from animal. The religious reinforcement was originally
likely a response to - rather than a catalyst of - the separation. We often don't even like to admit that all humans are part of the same species
and, until really very recently, blacks were seen as sub-humans not eligible for human rights. England ended slavery and began it's march towards
equality long before America did, but even during the Revolution - much debate revolved around whether or not the institution of slavery should be
upheld or abolished. Often ethnic groups are persecuted as being responsible for social inequalities, and genocides are nearly always preceded by
heavy dehumanization campaigns.
This is where I was going with the racism quip regarding ignorance. The division of racial variation within the same species to reduce man to animal
shows ignorance of us all being the same offspring of a common ancestor, that correlating them to animals as if it's a bad thing is a sign of
ignorance of the fact that we are ALL animals with practically no variation within our explicit branch. It's one of the misconception which come with
colloquial understandings of Evolution as being a "progress towards a goal" - rather than simply different adaptations promoting survivability
within an environment. Environments which, for humans, is largely mitigated due to our unique neural prowess for understanding our world and building
technology - and of which hasn't changed since we migrated out of Africa.
In fact, the very behavior of looking for differences in populations & cultures and preforming in-group/out-group determinations (from which promotion
or competition) is a mental routine we are still hardwired for which originated in our Hunter-Gatherer ancestors... and traces of which existed before
that which can still be seen in our primate relatives. Even the "Make love not War" Bonobos engage in this often bloody group conflict over
territory boundaries when dealing with members of another troupe. For them, in-group disputes can be settled by sex. Out group disputes are settled by
fighting that can be every bit as fierce as it is in the common Chimpanzee.
So when randyvs says "No Kin of Mine", despite the mountains of contrary evidence - he is in fact subtly showing a behavior originating in our
shared primate/monkey/ape lineage.
I don't think we deny our monkeyhood or apeishness because of some higher cognitive decision making unique to humans. We're just playing to the tune
our brains have evolved to play. We don't see the world as it is, but in a way that's useful for us survive in. Colors are vibrant to our eyes, but
they don't exist in reality.. it's a perceptually useful determination of the frequencies frequencies of photon reflected off of objects in our
environment. In the same way, it's perceptually useful to not see Monkeys and Apes as relation - because we cannot breed with them, and we compete
with them over resources. The only divisions we should support are those which can be shown to exist by evidence - and even then, realize that we're
all part of the same extant family tree.
So no... I don't think religion is the cause, no more than religion was the cause for assuming the Sun revolved around the Earth. In our world, small
things tend to be more mobile than large things - and so by scale, it would be a useful and understandable inference that the small sun would be
easier to move around the seemingly infinite horizon of our planet. Similarly, it's a useful and understandable inference to see ourselves and our
success at understanding the world as separate and unique from monkeys and apes. Perhaps God was invented, in part, to explain why there is a
difference in our aptitudes. Such assumptions are wrong, but without the benefit of evidence and thousands of years of studying the Earth - I cannot
blame that inference for making a wrong assumption.
Never attribute to malice that which can be just as easily explained by ignorance.