Is the gulf between humans and animals really that significant? I have heard that genetically we are nearly identical to chimpanzees.
Good question. I would like to respond with a piece (used with permission from the editor) from Does God Exist?, January-February 2005):
What do these have in common?
By April Pedersen
morality * ethics * justice * courts * judges * laws * juries * jails * police * art * music * religion * museums * libraries * democracy * money * science * mathematics * technology * philosophy * laughter * exploration * creativity * patriotism * treaties * nations * states * governments * faith * sports * parades * jewelry * fads * clothing * fashions * seminars * schools * doctors * mirrors * birth control * suicide * celibacy * careers * remorse * transportation * cities * awards * myths * legends * written history * oral history * military * charities * uniforms * actors * funerals * birthday celebrations * anniversaries * weddings * divorce * baby showers * superstitions * spirituality * love * romance * dating * taboos * meditation * beliefs * ideologies * thirst for knowledge * cooked food * hopes * wishes * theories * gambling * media * heroism * pride * honor * imagination * safety inspectors * martyrs * agendas * daydreaming * fear of death * "I think, therefore I am" * awe * agriculture * free will * reflection * guilt * prayer * self-help meetings * abstract thought * rational thought * chivalry * valor * fidelity *virtue * ideas * calendars * a sense of humor * vacations * harnessing fire * sliced bread * the wheel * zoos *counselors * welfare services * civil rights * constitutions * self-awareness * grammar * language * dream interpretation * poetry * costumes * games * family reunions * oaths * ambassadors * pledges * clubs * hobbies
Answer: They are all uniquely human traits. No chimp, dog, dolphin, cow, parrot, or any other animal species even comes close. So if you refer to a pet as 'family member' or 'child,' knock it off. As for sharing 98% of our DNA with chimps, well, that's obviously meaningless (spiritually, not biologically).
This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2005. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.