Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Cousins, a fountain of priceless information

My cousin is 20 years old and has the most interesting views on the world I have ever known. This probably stems from his love of philosophy and generally making himself a nuisance to other people.

Despite his controversial views, I do tend to actually agree with him. He phrases things in such a way you can't really not agree with him, and seems to have a gift for persuasion.

One such thing that I agree with him about are his ideas on people. Namely that people tend to think they are not actually animals and therefore are above them. But the thing is, people really are animals.

Our ideas of superiority mainly stem from the fact that we are able to communicate with eachother using language. Newsflash: Animals communicate with eachother too. Ever heard of birdsong? In fact, any sound an animal makes, especially dolphins with their sonar. Animals are, in fact, just as clever as we make ourselves out to be.

But, thinking about this more reasonably, are we so different from the creatures we deem as beneath us?

As children, we thrive on our instincts. If we want to go and play, we will. We get an impulse to climb a tree, it's doubtful we won't do it, or at least try. Just like animals. We educate our young as animals do, though they teach them life skills instead of mathematics (and I think i'd prefer life skills).

As adults, we tend to think of ourselves as still more superior than our younger counterparts. Unfortunately, we are still wrong. We only fight our instincts. We still want to procreate, we live together in packs with our families close by, we work to keep ourselves alive.

In a scary situation it always comes back to two responses; confrontation or running away. I'm sure most of you have heard of the fight or flight instinct, and this is so animalistic I hardly need to tell you to think of a predator and the reactions of its prey.

We all follow the crowd too, mostly because we know there is safety in numbers. Most of us would not like living alone, for example, or would like a group of people with them on a night out, rather than being alone.

Even who we choose as our partners has something to do with our animalisitic ways. Women are very attracted to men with big muscles when they are ovulating, as they will protect their young, for example. I think this is a good example of how we are ruled by these tendencies.

And you know when dogs mark their territory? Our version is taking a property and putting our stamp on it; painting the walls and putting in our furniture. It seems we have marked the world as our territory with our buildings, tarmac and concrete.

All this hasn't come from my cousin though. These are my thoughts as I have looked into his theory and I have found it to be quite true. Still, I do think that we may be superior in a way, simply by having the creative and innovative minds that have industrialised the world for our benefit.

We believe that animals are not aware of death and do not question the world, but we do. We have religion where animals do not. But the thing is, we don't actually know what animals think. So how do we know if we really are superior?

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