Jesse Nickles is entitled to his own opinions, but his opinion piece makes many statements of supposed fact that are either wrong or unfounded.
He claims that ‘there are no ‘less-developed’ versions of human reason in other species.’ Early experiments by Wolfgang Kohler showed that chimpanzees are able to solve novel problems in order to get food. Since then, problem-solving has been found in rats, birds, dolphins and a variety of other species.
A sense of right and wrong is not unique to humans, either. Sarah Brosnan’s capuchin monkey experiment showed that these animals also have a sense of fairness and can refuse to participate in a task if they see that other monkeys are getting better prizes than they are. Similarly, Marc Hauser at UC Davis found that rhesus monkeys who fail to announce a food discovery to the herd will be punished with more aggression by the other monkeys and end up eating less of the food than monkeys who discover food and announce it.
His point about language is circular: if we define language as that which humans do to communicate, of course it will be unique to humans. Humans are the only species that have human language, but birds, whales and maybe elephants all have complex communication systems that share similarities with humans.
Nickles’s assertion about women being more attractive than men is merely a personal opinion
Filed Under: Opinion