Science writer Michael Brooks lists “five discoveries taking science by surprise“.1 Number 5 is that “human beings are not special”. Think culture sets you apart from the beasts? Chimps, crows, and dolphins have it, too. Personality and morality? Elephants, rats and spiders are there with you. The ability to feel? Nah, even cockroaches do it.
But maybe things cultural and mental are too soft to build such momentous distinctions on? Well, maybe, but there’s no consolation in that. Brooks knows that “even the hard facts are letting us down”: we’re sharing over 99% of our genes with other species. The genetic difference is almost non-existing. Read More