Sunday, March 11, 2007

Moura: SOCIAL AND CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS OF BIOSCIENCE

From: Leonel Moura
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 14:18:38 +0000

Mistreatment of non-human life forms is based on anthropocentrism and its discourse of human superiority. And we don't need to go very far to learn the reasoning of that kind of “philosophy”. For example Vladimir Mironov, a panelist of this debate, on an early post (08-03-07) stated that we humans are the “most sophisticated species on this planet”. Conclusion that he delivers in his paperhttp://www.musc.edu/bioprinting/html/bioprinting_art.htmlwhere among other things we can read:

" What makes us humans? Humans, according to definition, are not animals. One can call humans bio-social creatures, but what makes us really different from animals? The answer is very simple: humans have something that animals do not. Animals do not have religion, art, science and technology. Shortly speaking, animals do not have culture. "

Humans are not animals? Curious... Bio-social? What about ants? Although it is not clear if (non-human) animals have religion, which to be true would be very fortunate for them, or science which would be a temporary setback in evolution, it is evident that many of them have behaviors and skills that easily can be consider as art and technology. Anyway the fact that some people, and a lot of them, need to demonstrate that we are unique and superior just reveals a profound and dangerous antagonism in regard to life in general. The same antagonism that generates abuse, exploitation and slaughter of all non-human life forms. Edward O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould, just to mention a well known few, explain brilliantly the process.

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1 comment:

Uri said...

I think there are two issues here. I most definetly agree we the poster of these words that the idea that we are special compared to other animals is an absurd one. We are not special except possibly in the multiplicity of scale that we can interact with the world and with our capabilities of abstraction. my proof of this (for myself) has always been that many other animals can play games. i.e pursue an activity that does not feed them or aid in their survival and which requires imaginantion. Cats and Dogs do this, birds do this (grey parrots for one) many types of ape and monkey do this etc. Much as in her example of ants any specialty of human abbility has other animal examples. However it is not because we are special that we use other animals. It is simply in our nature. (a) we are tool makers manipulators both conservation of animals and the husbandry of animals are the kinds of things we do (b) we are omnivores and so eat meat. I belive it is within our best intrests to husband the planet as best we can and not kill things or waste things. On the other hand human culture can not afford to stop studying the world to rest on its laurels and therfore we must continue research otherwise we face stagnation and eventually cultural disintegration. This invaribly means animal research as we have not as yet reached the edge of biological understanding to do such resarch without studying actuall animals.