Thursday, August 19, 2010

Animals are really really really smart!

I was sitting in the doctor's office a few days ago, and I picked up Newsweek magazine. This is always a dangerous thing for me, but I did it anyways. The cover was titled something to the effect of "Animals: They Are Smarter Than We Think."

Start keeping track of how many stories you hear like this from Newsweek, NPR, and the nightly news shows. These stories are always the same - animals are really smart, so smart, it is implied, that in actuality they may not be any different from humans.

These stories are very similar to the Bigfoot and Loch Ness Monster shows on TV. The commercials for these shows makes it sound like there is new evidence out there that proves that "Nessy" or Bigfoot is real, but we know it is not actually the case. The same goes for these "news" stories about animals.

The question to consider is this - why would the media and scientists and so forth spend all this time and money to try and make it seem like animals are smart? The answer is pretty clear - if animals are just as smart as us, then human beings are not as special as the Bible says we are, and so we don't have to listen to God anymore because we are just a random collection of highly structured cellular mass.

The stories are never actually news though. I always promise to read the article when an ape paints something one billionth as impressive as your average painting at a local art museum, or when an animal writes or performs a piece of music one billionth as beautiful as the music one might here at a local symphony. However, the stories usually feature an ape learning to grunt for a second banana or that a dog is shown to be sad when its parent dies. The feats on the part of animals in these stories are usually comical if you step back and think about it for a moment.

Anyone who deals in reality should be able to admit to a few basic things that most of the media seems to want to downplay
A) Human beings possess something that makes them quantumly different from the rest of the animals that are around them.
B) Animals are created and have life but are not ANYWHERE close to being like human beings
C) The difference between mankind and the rest of the created world is almost infinite

There is no missing link between animals and mankind; the difference between possessing a mortal soul (being made in the image and likeness of God) and not possessing those things is infinite. But the news media will continue to try to let us believe otherwise, thus freeing us from the responsibility inherent in having such a great gift.