Never mind what Jane Goodall thinks:
In an otherwise silly article about the “evolution” of religion, journalist Brandon Ambrosino quotes primatologist Jane Goodall on the topic of… religious belief among apes:
“The chimpanzee’s brain is so like ours: they have emotions that are clearly similar to or the same as those that we call happiness, sad, fear, despair, and so forth – the incredible intellectual abilities that we used to think unique to us. So why wouldn’t they also have feelings of some kind of spirituality, which is really being amazed at things outside yourself?” …
But what apes (and other non-human animals) cannot do is think abstractly. That is, they cannot think of concepts abstracted from concrete things. Apes can think about a waterfall or a dance that makes them happy or sad. But they cannot think about happiness or sadness in a way that is divorced from the particulars that make them happy or sad. My dog can think about her bone and enjoy playing with it. But she can’t think about “play” as an abstract entity, as a concept.
How do we know that animals cannot think abstractly? First, there has never been a research study that has demonstrated animal capacity for abstract thought. Michael Egnor, “Why apes are not spiritual beings” at Mind Matters News
Michael Egnor is a neurosurgeon, professor of Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Neurological Surgery, Stonybrook School of Medicine
Believing things about animals that are not true is no way to help them thrive; rather the opposite.
See also: See also: Study: Cats DO Recognize Their Names Responses to the study, which attracted a good deal of attention, demonstrated many of the misconceptions that naturalism fosters.
Dogs are not as intelligent as seals, say some researchers.
Crows can be as smart as apes
Yes, even lizards can be smart
Is the octopus a second genesis of intelligence?
Follow UD News at Twitter!
4 Replies to “Michael Egnor: Apes are NOT spiritual beings”
Spirituality is being amazed at things outside of yourself??? I don’t think I’ve heard such a superficial, mundane definition of spirituality. So it’s spirituality when I’m:
– amazed at my spouse?
– amazed at a modern computer, which I no longer understand the _full_ inner workings of?
– amazed at how big the sun is?
– amazed at how many lines of code make up a modern OS?
That’s all I have to do to be “spiritual” these days??? Sheesh! (I know, I know; this is the materialist/humanist “sense of wonder” kind of spirituality, which is all the non-spiritual really have left to dwell on…and have emotional reactions to–which is all such spirituality can be.)
But to answer the question above: Apes can’t be spiritual beings if they can’t truly conceive of things in the abstract, because without that, they would have no concept of whether something was in fact larger than them, and whether that even mattered. And without that, they can’t even rise to the puny level of spirituality the guy refers to above. They may see a rainbow or a sunset, but if it’s not a threat, a mate, or they can’t eat it when they’re hungry, then they probably just don’t care.
(I’m not trying to be hard on people here. It’s just that the term “spiritual” used to mean several orders of magnitude more than it seems to now…)
In 2018, David Barash, professor of psychology emeritus at the University of Washington, advocated for trying to create a Human-Chimp Hybrid for the sole purpose of trying, “to drive a stake into the heart of that destructive disinformation campaign of discontinuity, of human hegemony over all other living things.” Morover Barash holds that it would be, of all things, morally ethical to do so since, “How could even the most determinedly homo-centric, animal-denigrating religious fundamentalist maintain that God created us in his image and that we and we alone harbor a spark of the divine, distinct from all other life forms, once confronted with living beings that are indisputably intermediate between human and non-human?”
(Aside from the fact that Professor Barash’s Darwinian worldview is completely amoral and therefore any system of morality that Professor Barash may appeal to must ultimately be based on Theism in the first place, which sort of defeats his entire purpose),,, Although Professor Barash believes that the evidence for ‘continuity’ between species is overwhelming, and that creating a human-chimp hybrid would therefore be the final nail in the coffin for Darwinists trying to, once and for all, scientifically prove ‘continuity’ between species, continuity between humans and chimps specifically, is far more discontinuous than Professor Barash falsely imagines it to be.
For instance, so great are the anatomical differences between humans and chimps that a Darwinist, (since, surprisingly, pigs are anatomically closer to humans than chimps are), actually proposed that a chimp and pig mated with each other and that is what ultimately gave rise to humans:
Moreover, Physorg published a subsequent article, (since the preceding article so badly upset the prevailing Darwinian just so story of the ‘march to man’), showing that the pig-chimp hybrid theory for human origins was much harder to shoot down than many Darwinists, who had strongly reacted against McCarthy’s hypothesis, had first supposed it would be:
Likewise, the fossil record is far more discontinuous than Professor Barash falsely imagines it to be,
Likewise, the genetic evidence is far more discontinuous than Professor Barash falsely imagines it to be,
According to a Darwinist, the 98.5% Chimp-Human DNA similarity comparison, because of the fraudulent way in which it was derived, “needs to be treated like nuclear waste: bury it safely and forget about it for a million years”,,,
A more reliable estimate for percent genetic similarity is turning out to be around 85%:
On top of that, and completely contrary to Darwinian thinking, kangaroos and dolphins are far more genetically similar to humans than was presupposed by Darwinists:
Where we find the greatest differences between humans, chimps, kangaroos, dolphins, etc.. etc.. is not in the DNA sequences but is in the species-specific ‘alternative splicing patterns’ between the different species.
Moreover, “Alternatively spliced isoforms of proteins exhibit strikingly different interaction profiles and thus, in the context of global interactome networks, appear to behave as if encoded by distinct genes rather than as minor variants of each other.,,, and,,, As many as 100,000 distinct isoform transcripts could be produced from the 20,000 human protein-coding genes,, collectively leading to perhaps over a million distinct polypeptides obtained by post-translational modification.”
To say that the preceding findings are a problem for the gene-centric view of Darwinists is to make a severe understatement. It is a straight-up empirical falsification of their foundational gene-centric assumption.
Moreover, Humans have very many unique phenotypic traits that are simply completely missing in great apes
Moreover, the following researchers honestly admitted that,,, “For the most part, we do not know which genetic features interact with the environment to generate these differences between the “phenomes””
And although the purported scientific evidence for the supposed continuity between chimps and humans if far more discontinuous than Professor Barash falsely imagines it to be, there is one unique human characteristic that even leading Darwinists themselves admit they have no clue how it could have possibly evolved:
In 2014 a group of leading evolutionary scientists stated that, after 4 decades of intense research, they have “essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,”
And as the following 2019 article states, “There is no evidence that great apes, however sophisticated, have any of the crucial distinguishing features of language and ample evidence that they do not. Claims made in favor of their semantic powers, we might observe, are wrong.”
The late best selling author Tom Wolfe was so taken aback by the honest confession by leading Darwinists in 2014, that they have no clue how human language could have possibly evolved, that he wrote a book on the subject., “The Kingdom of Speech”,,
In other words, humans have, completely contrary to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking, managed to become masters of the planet, not by brute force, but simply by our unique ability to communicate information and also to, specifically, infuse information into material substrates in order to create, i.e. intelligently design, objects that are extremely useful for our defense, basic survival in procuring food, furtherance of our knowledge, and also for our pleasure.
And although the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information into material substrates, that allowed humans to become ‘masters of the planet’, was rather crude to begin with, (i.e. spears, arrows, and plows etc..), this top down infusion of immaterial information into material substrates has become much more impressive over the last half century or so.
Specifically, the ‘top-down’ infusion of mathematical and/or logical information into material substrates lies at the very basis of many, if not all, of man’s most stunning, almost miraculous, technological advances in recent decades.
What is more interesting still about the fact that humans have a unique ability to understand and create information, and have come to dominate the world through the ‘top-down’ infusion of information into material substrates, is the fact that, due to advances in science, both the universe and life itself, are now found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.
As Vlatko Vedral, who is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and who is also a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics, states
By the way, “the ‘grammar’ of the human genetic code is more complex than that of even the most intricately constructed spoken languages in the world.”
It is hard to imagine a more convincing proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’, than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’ precisely because of our ability infuse information into material substrates.
Perhaps a more convincing proof that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, defeated death on a cross, and then rose from the dead to prove that He was God.
And that just so happens to be precisely the proof claimed within Christianity.
Of supplemental note: