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Author Topic: Are humans original for anything?  (Read 2758 times)

Offline ConfusedHermit

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Are humans original for anything?
« on: 21/07/2012 23:40:33 »
What are the things that humans (homo sapiens or any of our ancestors) ARE the first to do/have certain things on this planet? For example, we aren’t the first to build homes, nor ones designed for ideal temperature, OR to be water proof.

And with this in mind, are there any animals that have learned from us like we have learned from nature? This fascinates me :{o~


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #1 on: 22/07/2012 03:32:52 »
Tools, House or nest building, Farming, and perhaps even Herding can all be found in other species.  However, humans have taken it all to an extreme that no other species has.

The nervous system of all animals is based on ions and electricity.  Some animals such as certain eels can actually generate and utilize energy.  And, of course, there is lightening.  However, humans are the only species that builds electronics.

Perhaps one thing that is uniquely human is the harnessing of fire.  Perhaps some plants benefit from forest fires, to the point of creating an environment that encourages fires.  And, in certain conditions, bacteria can spontaneously combust.  But, humans may be the only species that intentionally starts fires. 
 

Offline ConfusedHermit

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #2 on: 22/07/2012 04:40:22 »
Makes sense.

So, is there no evidence on non-human life being inspired by the nature of humans? The only examples I can think of are bugs that become more resistant to our pesticides. And maybe apes we educate how to operate various technology... :{o~
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #3 on: 22/07/2012 05:05:10 »
Learned from us: I heard about some chimpanzees that have worked out how to spot and disassemble human-made snares in the forest.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #4 on: 22/07/2012 07:08:49 »
One certainly can't discount man's mathematical, scientific, and engineering developments.

Humans would be the only species ever to develop smelting (do fish count?)

Fruitflies, Monkeys, dogs, and mice might have made it into space before humans.  However, Humans were the first species to ever step foot on the moon.
 

Offline ConfusedHermit

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #5 on: 22/07/2012 10:19:51 »
Whoa! Fish? Smelting?

*looks it up*

Oh... A smelt... It's a type of fish... :{o~
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #6 on: 28/07/2012 02:14:46 »
how about musical instruments? Does any other animal use another object to emit sound in any kind of meaningful/ intentional manner? I suppose a chimp might pick up a harmonica or other instrument and blow into if he saw a person do it, but would he start playing around with it for fun; could he learn a song?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #7 on: 28/07/2012 05:36:54 »
Good point about musical instruments.

Certainly birds are very vocal.  And, some birds such as parrots are very good at imitating sounds that they hear.  I would assume that at least some mating rituals would be considered music.

Whales, of course, are also very vocal, although one is never quite sure whether it is speech, music, sonar, or something else.

As far as creating instruments though, perhaps you are right.  One might find animals spontaneously using some kind of drumsticks (or using their own body parts to make sound).  But, I'm doubtful of seeing more, but one is often surprised.  Would insects intentionally build nests designed to amplify noise?

Woodpeckers use sound to locate bugs...  But, I don't know if they would peck just for enjoyment.

BTW:
Here is a question I asked earlier about animal agriculture...  which turned out to be quite surprising.
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=39878.0
 

Offline Lmnre

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #8 on: 28/07/2012 13:08:21 »
Quote
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
Mark Twain
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #9 on: 29/07/2012 07:33:29 »
I don't believe I ever heard of a non-human organism systematically study the universe or bow down before a revered object.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #10 on: 30/07/2012 17:46:24 »
Quote
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
Mark Twain

Oh I dunno - anyone who has owned a Retriever or Labrador (especially from a puppy) will have come into a room to see a dog that is exceeding shame-faced and embarrassed; it they could blush they definitely would "what me? no I haven't done anything. no don't look over there...."
 

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Re: Are humans original for anything?
« Reply #10 on: 30/07/2012 17:46:24 »

 

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