Over and over again, for the past 100 years or more, we have been taught that homo sapiens are superior to all other species on this planet based on ‘scientific’ analysis. A recent piece of research by Roberto Cazzolla Gatti, Ph.D.,Associate professor and a researcher at Bio-Clim-Land Centre of Excellence in Tomsk, Russia, once again scientifically refutes this self-fulfilling assumption; by refusing to accept the completely scientifically invalid, but highly respected method of using ones own definitions to prove what we believe to be the truth.
In Dr Gatti’s research, he substituted visual self- recognition of a dog in a mirror, with various dog scents . Humans’ visual senses are one of our prime methods of relating to the world; and in very specific ways and using particular light frequencies and environments. Dogs’ prime sense mode however, is scent, and (surprise, surprise) in Dr Gatti’s research, they appear exceedingly good at self-recognition when that sense mode is used. Homo sapiens deem self-recognition to be one of the key signs of ‘intelligence’.
By both defining what we as humans mean as ‘intelligent’ and by using self-fulfilling processes, (tautological arguments and methods), we conveniently maintain the fiction that we are superior beings. Our strength as a species is also our (and this planet’s) potential downfall. Our capacity to communicate and learn new skills from other members of our primate species has allowed us to effectively manipulate our environment (with no recognition of the long-term damage to other species or the planet’s wellbeing). That capacity to learn from fellow species members effectively means; as Himmler well knew, that sufficient repetition is enough for each of us to believe any situation is in fact the ‘right’ situation. Hence exploitation of the planet, killing of our own and other species, paving over our world with large blocks of concrete and tar are all ‘normal’ things to do. How could they be not? – we do them and everyone acquiesces, so they must be right.
The reality of our self-willed blindness is ironically plain to see. Just yesterday in Paris, we were confronted with the supposed leaders of humanity coming up with yet one more real solution to climate change: a commitment to not allow our planet to raise its temperature by more than 2 degrees. Every leader spoke with a straight face and apparently believed what they were saying.
In reality, such a commitment is impossible;- we are inexorably heading towards climate change temperatures far in excess of 2 degrees, even if we stop using any more carbon right now – today. In addition, every speaker talked about reducing climate change through ‘sustainable progress’ – in reality, humankind’s definition of ‘progress’ is the production of more things for more humans to consume using lots of energy to do so; -‘sustainable progress’ is an oxymoron- it’s ‘logic’ makes no sense – we cannot keep ‘progressing’ and live in a sustainable world. The only solution to climate change is a steady state civilization- and that means no more consuming, except that which can be used over and over again.
But no politician in their right mind would ever mention such a proposition. They would never be voted in again or receive any more donations from the ‘progressive’ corporations that fund their political campaigns. We are therefore as humans, locked into a process that inevitably leads to ecological disaster. Just maybe we will have a sufficiently large warning shock before the final collapse, to start turning this oil tanker around- just maybe…
But, I am not relying on homo sapiens’ ‘intelligence’ to save this planet. Our ‘intelligence’ continues to blind us that we are in fact equal partners on this planet with all the other species that inhabit it. Without them, we die.