reply to post by blupblup
Because of the ego. It's unfortunate but many cannot just simply accept that we are merely another species on the planet.
Species is an arbitrary term usually defined by when the genetic differences within separate populations become to diverse to allow for successful
reproduction. I am cousins with my cat in the same manner I am cousins with the son of aunt, except several magnitudes of order further removed. Both
my cat and I are similarly cousins with the tree in my front yard with several more orders of magnitude even further removed.
On top of this, "I" nor "You" are singular beings. We are collectives of billions of smaller single organisms working together in a cooperative
fashion. Some of them share our genetic code, like from skin cell to liver cell. Some of them don't, such as a brain cell from the E. Coli bacteria
cultures in my intestines. The E. Coli there is just a part of who "I" am as my skin cells are, because I probably wouldn't be alive without them
helping to break down my food and help my immune system adapt to microbial threats. And on top of this, even my genetics are not entirely "Human"
because the "Human" genome contains several additions of foreign DNA sequences from retroviruses.
Furthermore, efforts to simulate a human brain within a PC are already underway and by the end of the decade it's proposed that it will happen. One
of the components, the Neocortical Column has already been emulated and is fully functional. So when that happens, if we teach it language and we
start talking to it - do we treat it as an "it" or as a human being with a mind encased in silicon processes instead of bone and flesh?
"Human" is actually quite an arbitrary and loose definition. Most of what we identify as what makes humans different from other animals is just a
matter of capacity and happenstance events collective and passed down over the generations. We have to "learn" to be human, not just have a human
brain. So "human" can effectively be two components, a biological brain and it's basic function - as well as a collective of information, culture,
behavior, language, etc, which wire it up properly. However, we cannot teach a cat or a chimpanzee to be human in the same way we teach a child to be
human, because their brains don't have the base structure or operational capacity to learn how to become human. Though chimpanzees and cats born and
raised in human environments will have behaviors and mannerisms which differ from their counterparts in the wild. The chimpanzee especially will be
able to pick up more human characteristics and behaviors than the cat, since it has a brain more similar to our own.
So to put this into perspective, if we were to use the Neanderthal genome to resurrect their species - we still wouldn't have recreated the
Neanderthals. They wouldn't have the social mechanisms their ancestors had developed and probably wouldn't last long if left to their own devices.
If raised in the human world, they would merely be humans shaped by the operation of a Neanderthal brain. It's little wonder then that humans took
140,000 years to start building the first societies that we really identify with as being human. Had it not been for, perhaps, the right combination
of events over an unknown period of time, we wouldn't have developed the proper social tools necessary to become what we today consider to be human.
Tools that those who are still living in precivilized hunter/gatherer societies (such as African Bushmen) also share, but of which feral children* or
extremely neglected children do not.
(* = Most feral children stories are urban legends, hoaxes, or otherwise laced with bull. There are a few legitimate cases.)
[edit on 11-1-2010 by Lasheic]
[edit on 11-1-2010 by Lasheic]