Talk:Animal

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Not qualified to improve this article, other than to make it even shorter... the article states that animals have no cell walls. If the article means Animal CELLS have no cell walls, I'm pretty sure this is incorrect. I'm an animal, and I'm sure somethings keeping the cytoplasm in my cells!

Are humans animals?

I would just change this, but since an administrator wrote it I'll discuss it here first.

For the purposes of scientific classification, an 'animal' is any living thing that fulfils certain criteria, like being multicellular, eukaryotic, ingesting other organisms for nourishment, and a few other things. According to these standards, human beings are animals. Of course there are many important ways in which we differ from other animals, but for scientific purposes these are of secondary importance to the fact that we are multicellular, eukaryotic, etc...

In the opening paragraph, which describes the scientific definition of animal, it is not appropriate to say that humans do not belong in this category. From a scientific point of view, animal is a plain description of physical features and not a pejorative description of primitive behavior. Eoinc 17:28, 16 January 2010 (EST)

Those "scientific standards" fail to distinguish between human beings and animals. When secular standards conflict with reality, one of the two must suffer. We at Conservapedia prefer to retain reality at the expense of standards which contradict the truth.
Granted that the human body is mammalian, let us not lose sight of what sets mankind apart from animals. We need not adopt the views of Nietzsche here. Calling a person an animal is always pejorative; if liberals object to use of the term "redneck", I can't see how they can tolerate classifying human beings as animals.
You acknowledge that the human body is mammalian - ie, that we are mammals. Mammals are one of many subsets of the kingdom animalia. Yes, we differ from every other animal in some very important ways. But, for the purposes of describing the physical and biological nature of human beings, which is all that the scientific classification is intended to do, being multicellular and eukaryotic is of more fundamental importance than our intelligence, cultural achievements, ethics, or anything else.
My possession of a mammalian body no more makes me a "mammal" than your position of property and use of money makes you a "Capitalist". In my view, human society and the Animal kingdom are distinct, by virtue of the fundamental God-given differences between human nature and the mere instinct of animals, as well as the divine commandment or "blessing" to take dominion over the entire natural world.
  • "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." King James Version, Genesis 1:28
  • "God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." New International Version, Genesis 1:28
You are free to believe Feuerbach's view that, "Man is a higher animal which developed from animals through the process of evolution." As a writer here, you are free to trace the source of this view, and to tell which scientists agree with it. But please don't assert it as truth; you might try telling us what percent of biologists or other scientists agree with it, though. --Ed Poor Talk 11:22, 20 January 2010 (EST)
It is regrettable that you conflate the meanings of animal as a neutral term for certain types of organisms, animal as a colloquial term for non-human animals, and animal as a pejorative description for a human being who acts upon their most base impulses. As a piece of scientific terminology, no such negative connotations are intended.
Couldn't the article have the standard scientific meaning of animal, and then state that "colloquially, however, 'animal' is usually taken to mean any non-human animal...etc"? Eoinc 18:37, 16 January 2010 (EST)
Or, you could have it the other way around, put the Biblical definitions first, and then add that the scientific definition of animal is any multicellular (etc, etc...), including humans. Eoinc 18:45, 16 January 2010 (EST)
I find the above statements interesting considering the human bring article that is linked to says: ""Human being" is a term for a human that emphasizes the role of a human not merely as a social animal, but a thinking person." We are social animals, we by all scientific definitions are part of the animal kingdom, this article ignores the established biological taxonomies completely while taking one author's religious views as undisputed fact, when it is obviously not. That is not encyclopedic, nor is it honest. Instead it should be noted in the article that virtually all scientific classification in biology has our species as part of the animal kingdom. The reasons are clear, because we share all the basic definitions in biology of what falls into the kingdom Animalia. --BMcP 19:12, 16 January 2010 (EST)
  • virtually all scientific classification in biology has our species as part of the animal kingdom

Yes, that sentence should be in the article. --Ed Poor Talk 19:40, 16 January 2010 (EST)

Ian, at the risk of being pig-headed, let me point out that "the scientific definition" is merely a viewpoint of physical science. We take a broader view of Science here, including the social sciences. Anthropology, psychology, economics, political science, history and so on need not adhere to the naturalism, atheism, or even the agnosticism of modern liberal science.

The assumption that religious or supernatural ideas cannot or should not be studied, is not inherently scientific (see methodological naturalism). --Ed Poor Talk 21:36, 16 January 2010 (EST)

(extra section break inserted to help things out)

I was a bit arrogant to "close" discussion on this point. Sorry! Let's keep talking - and not just because I have something new to say, although I admit that helped me to realize my mistake. :-)
Conservative thought opposes this view, so on an editorial basis alone any encyclopedia would have to make its readers aware of the controversy over this point. We can't simply say that man "is an animal" on the basis of scientific standards used in biology.
Moreover, we need to explain why biologists assert that human beings are animals. Is it just because the human body is so obviously mammalian? Or are they expressing an ideology which denies such ideas as life after death, the existence of the human soul or spirit, and (greatest of all) the doctrine that God created man in His image?
There's more here than meets the eye, and I'd rather not let liberals or anyone else sweep these issues under the rug. --Ed Poor Talk 11:11, 20 January 2010 (EST)
First I must point out that not all conservatives disagree with the evolutionary theory. I hold many conservative views and I accept fully evolution. For me conservatism is a political concept, while evolution is a concept of science. Other may disagree of course, but that I where I am coming from, I just wanted to mention this so as to be straightforward and honest in my views.
Biologists assert human are animals based on biological definitions of what an animal is. In basic biological terms animals are eukaryotic, heterotrophic, lack rigid cell walls, are motile (even if at only certain sages of life), it is a very broad category and most people misinterpret the biological term with more colloquial (and often ill-defined) terms for the word. However humans do have all these attributes. The first person to come up with a taxonomic classification for animals was Carl Linnaeus and he place humans in that kingdom, note this was a century before the theory of evolution existed, Linnaeus was a creationist.
In this view, souls and other metaphysical ideas are not considered as they are not part of biology. I do not object to writing about metaphysical concepts when it comes to humans (us) but those are separate subjects and should have their own entries. --BMcP 15:01, 20 January 2010 (EST)
As a theological issue I think this matters to my work on the CBP, specifically Ecclesiastes_(Translated)#Chapter_3 18-22 please go take a look. --SamF 15:12, 20 January 2010 (EST)
Myself, I don't think the actual answer matters to Ecclesiastes, because (according to my analysis) Solomon wrote this book while he was an idolater - so he got a lot of things wrong. (Perhaps this page isn't the best place to discuss this sub-topic further...) --EvanW 15:18, 20 January 2010 (EST)

I don't know why you all keep repeating the eukaryotic bit; I wasn't ignoring you. But you seem to be missing the main point I'm making.

There is more to a person than his human body, and biologists have apparently decided not to study or even acknowledge aspects of human beings which make them entirely distinct from animals. In fact, along with Feuerbach and Lenin they have ideologically chosen to assert that humans evolved naturally from animals; that's why we are animals.

We need not propagate the erroneous assumptions of biologists, or their short-sightedness. Science is more than just physical science. Anthropology and psychology are sciences, and they are by no means required to adhere to liberal, anti-religious positions such as methodological naturalism.

Linneaus is free to put humans where he wants. Meanwhile, God has put us where He wants. Pick a side, my friend. --Ed Poor Talk 17:11, 22 January 2010 (EST)

"There is more to a person than his human body, and biologists have apparently decided not to study or even acknowledge aspects of human beings which make them entirely different from animals."
Yes, exactly. There is more to me than my body, but the study of such things doesn't fall within the remit of biology. Biologists study our biological nature, in which we are not all that different from apes and other animals; anthropologists and sociologists study other areas about us in which we are remarkably different. Sociology and anthropology add much to our understanding of our species, but they cannot tell us anything about our biological nature. It's like if we were studying a country, and some people study the history in great detail, others the geography, others the culture, others the language, etc... No one person studies the "whole thing", and it's not shortsightedness on their part; it's necessary so that we can gather as much information as we can. If we all tried to do everything, we would get a broad but shallow understanding. I think you're reading too much into it to say that scientists have some other, ulterior motive to "deny" the things that set us apart from other animals. Eoinc 10:39, 23 January 2010 (EST)
It depends on what scientists are saying:
  1. that the "biological nature" of human beings is that of an animal
  2. that the human body is not qualitatively different from the body of an animal
  3. that human beings are animals
The first statement attempts to evade being offensive, but can succeed only by being vague.
The second statement is acceptable.
The third statement smacks of Feuerbach and Lenin and apparently reflects a desire to demean people by lowering them to the level of animal or to elevate animals to the level of people (see animal rights advocacy).
  • Although scientifically humans are animals, in everyday usage, animal often refers to any member of the animal kingdom that is not a human being, and sometimes excludes insects (although including such arthropods as crabs). The common distinction made between animals and humans likely reflects the special status people accord themselves as the pinnacle of the natural world, and indeed stewards of creation, and the fact that humans also are defined in religious, spiritual, moral, social, and psychological terms. Indeed, many religions consider humans to uniquely have a soul or spirit that remains after death of the physical body. [2]
  • ... although there are close anatomical similarities between humans and other primates, particularly chimpanzees, the gap between humans and apes in terms of culture, mental capacity, and various spiritual, emotional, and technological aspects is so large as to dwarf differences between apes and other animals. In this sense, philosophers have recognized humans as distinct from animals generally. [3]
I wish I could copy that, but the license isn't compatible with CP. --Ed Poor Talk 17:32, 25 January 2010 (EST)
Well we have to remember, this is an article about the kingdom Animalia, as such it should be mentioned as far as humans go, that we are in both biologic and taxonomic classifications, animals. Any deeper notions about humanity, specifically religious, social, anthropological, psychological aspects, and so forth, should be covered instead in brief in the general article about humans and in detail in articles about humans and that specific subject.
We are but a tiny part of the animal kingdom and in a general animal article, the mentioning about our inclusion should be brief and to the point, with internal links to articles about humans for further references and information in regards our species. --BMcP 12:35, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Are you trying to weasel out of it, or are you simply not getting the point?
Here's a summary of the points I'm making - in no particular order (along with some new ideas, just to confuse you ;-):
  • We human beings are not part of the animal kingdom, no matter what biologists say.
  • The human body is indeed mammalian, but having the body of a mammal does not detract from our human nature, i.e, the fact that we have an eternal soul.
  • Biology is a field of scientific study which has boundaries, although these are perhaps ill-defined. What is "life" after all? If for human beings our threescore and ten is only the prelude to an eternal life in heaven, then should biology be studying that?
  • We have not yet merged the Animal article with the Animalia article.
  • At the risk of repeating myself, any decision by mainstream science authorities to classify man in the animal kingdom or as "an animal" is either:
    1. an illegitimate attempt to sneak past the bounds of biology into theology so they can assert ideological, materialistic points which deny spiritual life after death, or
    2. a convenient way of classifying the human body (in which case we need a strong statement that any further suggestions about whether there is more to human life and the human mind than our bodies, may be outside the scope of mainstream biology)
We need to come to terms on this issue, and not sweep it under the rug. I'm not going to be dogmatic about it, but neither will I accept the dogma of materialistic biology. --Ed Poor Talk 18:29, 28 January 2010 (EST)
I just want to stay on the specific topic of a general Animals article. Biology doesn't deal with the metaphysical simply for the fact that metaphysical topics are in an entirely different discipline. Biology just deals with origin, growth, reproduction, structure, and behavior of living organisms. The idea of a spiritual aspect to human beings should be covered in articles about humans, religion, and theology. This article should just be about "what is an animal". Biological definitions work for this. All that needs to be said in this article is that "According to biology, humans are a part of the animal kingdom". Have a link to humans to the human article where metaphysical ideas would fit, as there we are talking humans specifically. I am not trying to disrespect your religious beliefs, I am just pointing out such things are beyond this article's scope. --BMcP 15:54, 2 February 2010 (EST)
You just contradicted yourself. If biology should not "deal with the metaphysical", then how can it assert that humans are "part of the animal kingdom"? That is a belief, not science.
If we knew for a fact that human beings had no metaphysical aspects (no supernatural soul, no possibility of life after death, no direct relationship with a benevolent Creator), then the physical sciences would be right in classifying humans as animals. But refusing to study something doesn't make it go away.
If science does not know whether human beings have an invisible, eternal aspect (such as the human mind, the spirit or soul, then it would be dogmatic for scientists to say that they do not. Worse, it would be pseudoscience, because they would be asserting an idea which is not falsifiable.
The essence of liberal deceit is often to pretend that there is no controversy. Wikipedia doesn't even have an article on scientific debate. Last time I checked, it had only a redirect to scientific rhetoric. Liberals refuse to acknowledged that real scientists can have genuine disagreements, and that it can take decades or centuries to resolve issues. --Ed Poor Talk 19:16, 3 February 2010 (EST)
I see the problem here, you believe that in biology and taxonomy, by classifying homo sapiens (humans) as part of the animal kingdom (Animalia) that it somehow commenting on the metaphysical and supernatural, that it is inferring that humans have no souls or spirits. That is not true, we are classified as such because of our biological traits, biology as a science does not attempt to answer questions of souls or spirits, because that is outside the scope of biology (and taxonomy). It isn't considered because there is no scientific way to prove or disprove something as "a soul". Biologically we are animals because we share all the basic traits that defines an animal, really that is what this article is about. --BMcP 10:44, 10 February 2010 (EST)
I think we are getting closer here; possibly we are down to just a single essential disagreement. Good work! and thanks for persevering.
Our disagreement stems from our different standpoints. I see animals as having been created, rather than having evolved without intelligent intervention or planning. As such, along with other Creationists I see human beings as central; animals are a lesser creation. The Creator made animals similar to people on purpose; I suppose it was so that we and they would have something in common.
Yet there must be a distinction between man and the animals, even though the human body is mammalian and "all mammals are animals". I don't see us as being primates, mammals, or animals, even though biology as a physical science classifies us that way. We have biological traits, but scientists have not been careful to avoid the implication that those traits encapsulate us. Rather, they draw implications from their premise that people are animals - implications which are frequently anathema to Christians and other religious people. Science has been stepping on the toes of religion here.
To avoid overstepping its bounds, biology (the study of life) must make clear the distinction between the study of the physical body and the study of other important aspects of human beings. Where, for example, is the boundary between biology and psychology? --Ed Poor Talk 12:42, 10 February 2010 (EST)
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