Posted: Nov 24, 2010 11:44 am
by Mr.Samsa
I think there's some confusion over how "unique" the human brain and our abilities are... We're unique in the sense that no other animal has built a rocket ship or developed a system of algebra, but there is nothing particularly special or distinct about human abilities. Whatever we can do, animals can do too - it's just a difference of degree. Precursors to language? Look at animals that understand sign language, grammar, recursion, etc. Abstract reasoning? Well, given that in some tests of abstract thought animals outperform humans, we can be confident that there's nothing special there. Future planning based on knowledge of past events? Again, nothing special since humans are no better than most animals in self-control situations, etc.

So we just have to keep in mind that yes humans have done some great things, but we don't have anything that animals can't do too.. And there you have your slow evolutionary developments.