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Thousands of years ago our ancestors treated animals like gods. They carved their statues and prayed to them. But when Christianity came animals became the lowest creatures on the Earth. Nowadays thesis about Human superiority is reconsidered. Its peak is the animal rights movement, which final aim is to equate humans and animals beyond the law…
As Joel Wallman, author of Aping Language, explains, "...language, at least in the European intellectual tradition, is the quintessential human attribute, at once evidence and source of most that is transcendent in us, distinguishing ours from the merely mechanical nature of the beast" (cited in Gabriel, 2000). In the 18th century a French philosophy, Julien Offray de la Mettrie, wrote a book titled L'Homme Machine. He thought that all the creatures on the Earth are the mere machines and suggested that the reason animals "cannot speak is not because of any inferiority in rationality to human beings but because of 'some defect in the organs of speech.' He believed a young ape could be taught the use of language" (Carlin, 2000).
His suggestions proved wrong in 20th century. Much language research has involved teaching primates to use variations of sign language including famous studies of three gorillas - Washoe, Koko, and Nim Chimpsky. "David and Ann Premack, primate researchers themselves, argue that "The evidence we have makes it clear that even the brightest ape can acquire not even so much as the weak grammatical system exhibited by very young children" (cited in Carlin, 2000)
But the fact that animals can't talk doesn't prove our superiority. ...
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