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Old 04-01-2013, 06:39 PM
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The Lone Ranger The Lone Ranger is offline
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Default Re: More cute (overload!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
When somebody starts saying that people are anthropomorphizing animals and attributing human traits like smiling and such to them, there are two ways to rebut their claims. You can say a whole bunch of words and have big fights about semantics and such, or you can show them that last picture.
Anthropomorphization is certainly a real concern, as it's dangerous (and far, far too common) to assume that non-human species share the same emotions and thoughts that we do.

That having been said, it's also dangerous to go too far to the other extreme. After all, Darwin himself noted in 1872 that humans are just another species of mammal, and as such, certainly share behavioral traits with other mammal species -- and indeed, the more closely-related any two species, the more behavioral traits you'd expect them to share.

Dogs are a particularly special and noteworthy case, because dogs and humans share a long and closely-entertwined coevolutionary history.


Case in point: pointing. Pointing is so deeply-engrained a human behavior that most of us don't realize that it's both instinctual and very non-intuitive. Humans, from infancy, point at things that interest them, and other humans -- even infants -- look where someone is pointing. Think about that for a moment, and how non-intuitive that is. If a monkey or even most other ape species sees a human pointing, they look at the human. But if another human sees a person pointing -- even if the observer is an infant -- they look at where the person is pointing.

What's the only animal species other than humans and their closest relatives that seems to be capable of grasping that when someone is pointing, they want you to look where they're pointing, and not at them? You guessed it: dogs. This appears to be a consequence of the two species' long coevolutionary history. (In fairness, it has been my experience that not all dogs recognize the significance of pointing, even with training. Nonetheless, almost uniquely among non-human species, [most] dogs can quickly learn the significance of pointing.)
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Last edited by The Lone Ranger; 04-01-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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