Some ideas are for the Birds!
Here is something a bit different. Do you ever wonder whether there is a real difference between animals and humans?
A lot of people have argued that there is no absolute division. Rather we are all on a continuum. So some very bright animals – like chimps – are only a few steps away from humans.
I don’t accept that. I think there is a real and significant difference. I am not sure whether this difference is important to Christians, but I am inclined to think it is.
There has been much debate about whether our primate cousins can use language. OK they can learn to ask for things by using certain hand signals. But is that language? They can seemingly show affection in a cuddle. This is what humans mean by love??
Birds might seem closer to us than we think, according to a recent book *, but are they?
It seems that some birds have learned the alarm calls of other species to increase their own survival chances. Could they be “learning another language”? No! They are just mechanically responding in a way that works.
Birds can play and lie, we are told. I can see how they play, but lying? Again No! They have learned that certain ways of operating work to deceive their rivals. That is all! They can’t deliberately tell a lie.
Could ravens “work a seabird colony the way pickpockets work a beach crowd”? Actually NO! They just take what they can get!
I think the Book of Genesis is fundamentally right when it says that after making all the animals God said “Now we will make human beings” (1:26) We are different, and we have to live up to our responsibilities!
*J Ackerman: The Bird Way.