While We’re Debating Who Deserves Humanity. . .

8 01 2009

As Darwin jotted down in a notebook of 1838, “He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.

Not to learn about how the baboons think, but to learn about how WE think.

In the December 30th, 2007 issue of the [New York Times M]agazine, animal columnist Charles Siebert published a touching tribute to two of the most memorable contributors to communication studies: Alex the parrot and Washoe the chimp. With respect and admiration, he honors their place of distinction in our human sciences, while acknowledging the imposition we humans placed on them. His obituary is entitled: “The Communicators.“

See also Creature Comforts from last Sunday, and food journalist Michael Pollan’s 2002 piece about the evolution of how humans think of and treat animals, caused by our needs and changes more than theirs, just as robot theologian Anne Foerst teaches and preaches.

Her philosophy is that everything really is all about us, but unfortunately that means NOT that we should dominate and subjugate when we can get away with it, but that we hurt ourselves spiritually (and often practically too) when we do, and thus we’re the ones who must learn and change, to improve things for ourselves. Not self-sacrifice, enlightened self-interest! Read the rest of this entry »

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EDUCATION WEEK: No Grade Left Behind

8 01 2009

Everything you never wanted to know. . .