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He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples.

Posted on 2006.11.28 at 05:03


Jared Bowers
boykooties at 2006-11-29 01:10 (UTC) (Link)
Bone cells live for 3-5 years after we "die" and are the last pieces of our stock to shuffle off the mortal coil.

I think if we are viewed as vehicles for informational units that replicate, we are way more on the meme side of things than the genes side of things, which I think goes a lot further in explaining some of our weirder behaviors as humans.

As someone who has made a whole big deal out of studying consciousness scientifically, while I'm in no position the assert whether there is an afterlife or not, scientifically, I would say that reincarnation strikes me as a very natural idea, while the classical western islamo-christian heaven/hell dichotomy strikes me as rather contrived. From my own scientific perspective, there would need to be some mechanism by which it could possibly work, "faith" notwithstanding, and I can see that possibly for some schemes, but not for others.
greypaw at 2006-11-29 03:58 (UTC) (Link)
I guess I always felt it was kind of pretentious/presumptious to assume an afterlife just because of our status at the top of the food chain. I suppose you could argue intelligence, though really all we have is language. Plenty of other critters are more or less self-aware, at least insofar as we are.
Jared Bowers
boykooties at 2006-11-29 14:43 (UTC) (Link)
*All* we have is language?

I think I just felt Shakespeare roll over in his grave.

Language is practically a quantum leap forward, even if only because it enables the development of culture, even though it actually enables a lot more.

Having said that, of course, you're talking to a vegan animal rights nut, and I'm one of the last of us to be anthropocentric: there are several reasons to believe we might not have the monopoly on language that we once imagined we did, from a range of animal studies that have been conducted in the last half-century, although the really impressive stuff hadn't shown up until the last few years.
greypaw at 2006-11-29 16:34 (UTC) (Link)
Coco the gorilla posessed rudimentary sign-language to express herself. Language in the animal kindgom isn't all THAT far-fetched. Albeit she was taught.

Jared Bowers
boykooties at 2006-11-30 00:00 (UTC) (Link)
I'm actually way more impressed by the recent work with african gray parrots at the MIT Media lab than I am with any of the primate studies, which isn't to suggest the primate studies are unimpressive, either.
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