Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Human Characteristics

Do you think humans are unique?

If so read on - here as an extract from the article:

"THERE was a time when we thought humans were special in so many ways. Now we know better. We are not the only species that feels emotions, empathises with others or abides by a moral code. Neither are we the only ones with personalities, cultures and the ability to design and use tools. Yet we have steadfastly clung to the notion that one attribute, at least, makes us unique: we alone have the capacity for language.
Alas, it turns out we are not so special in this respect either. Key to the revolutionary reassessment of our talent for communication is the way we think about language itself. Where once it was seen as a monolith, a discrete and singular entity, today scientists find it is more productive to think of language as a suite of abilities. Viewed this way, it becomes apparent that the component parts of language - everything from gesticulation and babbling to meaning and syntax - are not as unique as the whole. In fact, a boom in research into animal cognition and communication has gradually picked off most items on the list one by one.
Take gesture, arguably the starting point for language. Until recently it was considered uniquely human - but not any more. Mike Tomasello of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and others have compiled a list of gestures observed in monkeys, gibbons, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orang-utans, which reveals that gesticulation plays a large role in their communication (Gesture, vol 5, p 39). Ape gestures can involve touch, vocalising or eye movement, and individuals wait until they have another ape's attention before making visual or auditory gestures. If their gestures go unacknowledged, they will often repeat them or touch the recipient."


Here are six 'uniquely' human traits found in animals....

Check out this video round up of animals with human traits - on video....

Also here are some human characteristics exhibited in chimps...

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Approach to teaching

Methods there are many, principles but few, methods often change, principles never do