I present to you, in all it’s glory, the latest video from the ICR’s That’s a Fact video channel, Humans Are Unique:
Thanksgiving is a big celebration here in America, and there’s a lot for us to be thankful for – like just being human. Did you know that humans are the only creatures on earth that celebrate holidays and birthdays? And only humans build monuments to remember important people or events, like the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington, DC, which was completed in 1954.
Humans do crazy things. So what? And not all humans do all, and quite possibly any of those things. The celebration of birthdays (including that of Jesus) was once frowned upon by the church, for example. I wonder how many nomads have it in their culture to build something like the Washington Monument (the big “phallic symbol” pictured in the video).
Speaking of building things, humans will alter the landscapes to suit their needs, from building houses and skyscrapers, to bridges and dams.
Ants alter the landscape on a grand scale, at least from their point of view. Indeed, all of those examples exist else-ware in the animal kingdom; and, again, none of them are ubiquitous in human culture.
We also invent things to make our lives easier, like power tools, cellphones, computers, and construction equipment.
That’s true – while other animals do use tools, they’re not very hot on inventing new ones. But neither were we, until quite recently. Our current rate of technological advancement is massive compared to what it was a hundred years ago – compare that to a thousand or so years ago, when the horse collar was the Latest Thing.
We compose music, write books, paint paintings, and express ourselves through many art-forms, and we establish commercial, governmental and educational systems, all of which no other creature has.
We also attempt to understand the world we live in, but I get the impression that the ICR doesn’t like that. And again, not all of this happens in every culture – it does not define humanity as a whole. And then, of course, we have the question of whether you could tell the difference between ‘modern art’ and the product of a painting Elephant at a zoo.
While humans do share some physical and behavioural traits with certain animals, we don’t have much else in common.
We are not the only beings
With personalities, minds, and feelings
Chimpanzees have very clear personalities
Take a chimp brain foetally
And let it go two or three more rounds of division
And out comes symphonies and ideology
[Neil deGrasse Tyson]
Everything that we are
That distinguishes us from chimps
Emerges from that one percent
Difference in DNA
To continue with the ICR’s video, at 00:57:
Dogs have a better sense of smell, and many birds see father and clearer than we can.
The idea that I think should be taken from this is that we are indeed ‘special’ – just no more so than any other animal.
But humans don’t need to smell or see like they do – in fact, we domesticate many animals because of their natural abilities. Without a doubt, humans are clearly different and superior to animals in many ways.
Just because we provide food and shelter doesn’t mean that we are superior to it – you could easily argue the contrary. Other animals take interspecies slaves, I might add.
In fact, the bible says that we are made in God’s image.
And this is a good thing because? I don’t know how people can believe in and worship a God that we are in some way similar to, and turn around and defend it as omnibenevolent. And in which way are we in His image anyway? Which of the above characteristics that supposedly differentiate us from animals does God also have? Is He a closet cellphone designer? Does Jesus still do a bit of carpentry on the side?
And when Christ came to save the world 2,000 years ago, he came as a baby, not a puppy. God made us special, distinct from every other creature he made, and called his creation of mankind very good.
I believe a case can be made from this that God has impaired judgement…
And that’s something you can be very thankful for.
The logic doesn’t actually follow even here. Even if they have proved that we are not animals, they still haven’t shown that this is a Good Thing.
So, yeah, another quick video from the ICR that doesn’t really prove anything. Better luck next month!