"Warning: Humans in their Natural Environment" read the sign at the entrance to the exhibit, where the captives could be seen on a rock ledge in a bear enclosure, clad in bathing suits and pinned-on fig leaves. Some played with hula hoops, some waved.Emphasis per Southern Appeal author MJA, who objects on theological grounds.
Visitors stopped to point and laugh, and several children could be heard asking, "Why are there people in there?"
London Zoo spokeswoman Polly Wills says that's exactly the question the zoo wants to answer.
"Seeing people in a different environment, among other animals ... teaches members of the public that the human is just another primate," Wills said....
"A lot of people think humans are above other animals," he told The Associated Press. "When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds us that we're not that special."
It reminds me of a comment I read over at Althouse's blog, which link of course came from the Sage of Knoxville. Althouse was talking about sex-differences research on chimps. One commenter added this:
I read a book a couple of years ago called "the Third Chimp" or something thereabouts. Its point is that genetically, we are close enough to them to be considered the same genus, but different species.I think the fellow has a good point. We should re-examine this issue out of the glare of species arrogance.
In the end though, the author pointed out that under standard methodology, they should probably become part of genus "homo" instead, as we were scientifically named before they were.
In other words, isn't it really species arrogance that lets us separate the other two species of our genus into a different one?
I suggest we invite a panel of the best chimpanzee biologists, from the top chimpanzee universities, to meet with us to discuss the issue. We can compare their system for cataloging, researching and understanding all forms of life to the one we have separately developed. Then, we can see if this sheds any new...
...oh, right. Well, maybe we're a little special after all.