Colin A. Chapman and Michael A. Huffman, Why do we want to think humans are different?


Like Charles Darwin and George Romanes, I am quite willing to use anecdotal information as a source of knowledge about animal behavior. There are many more people observing nonhuman animals than there are people conducting controlled experiments, and we can thereby learn that behaviors we think are unique to humans are shared by other animals. From a strictly biological point of view, it makes no sense to speak of “human superiority.” One species of animal can be superior to another only in terms of survival and niche occupation. As moral concern for animals increases across the world, claims of human superiority tend to disappear.

Author Biography

Bernard Rollin is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Animal Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, at Colorado State University. One of the leading scholars in animal rights and animal consciousness, he has lectured worldwide. Website