In the present
context, by the word individuation I have in mind underscoring
the quite exceptional degree to which in man, the individual
may develop a uniqueness of character which marks off one person
from another. Even in cultures which frown upon "being different,"
there are individuals who stand out as exceptional people. Their
endowment seems to mark them out as "great" when judged
by the standard of the rest of their community. The human potential
seems to have encompassed within itself a tremendous range of
variability in terms of personal differences between individuals,
and this far exceeds anything that is found among the animals
within a species which have not been interfered with by man.
animals differ not merely
in physique but in temperament. But if one compares bulldogs
with bulldogs or spaniels with spaniels, or any other variety
with members of its own variety, one finds a uniformity of character
which makes it possible to predict animal behaviour in a way
that is totally impossible in man. The unpredictability of a
human individual and the predictability of the animal has been
underscored by Chesterton's famous remark: It makes good sense
to ask the young child what he's going to be when he grows up,
because that is virtually impossible to predict; but it is quite
unnecessary to ask a puppy what he's going to be when he grows
up, because we know. It seems as though God has assigned to each
species of animal a place in the total economy of things, and
a form and a disposition entirely appropriate to that place.
205. Austin, John: quoted by Raymond Pearl,
Man the Animal, Principia Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 1946,
as a fighter, but it
is a transient leadership, and he may very easily be displaced
by some other member of the pack who showed no special character
up to that moment and who may later return to the position of
being merely a follower when another leader takes over. The leadership
appears to be transient and must at least quite often be the
result of almost an accidental victory in a fight, which was
207. Ardrey, Robert, The Territorial Imperative, Delta Books, 1966, p.279.
He often took a kind
of savage pleasure in proving his mastery over it by a display
of cruelty toward it that was rather unnecessary. Later he might
feel it wise to apologize to the dead animal or to the Creator.
The fact is that primitive man saw and envied the strength or
wisdom, or skill of the creatures he hunted -- or which hunted
him -- and he was impressed with the precariousness of his own
position As long as he was the weaker element in some particular
situation, it was necessary to be humble, but the moment he had
the upper hand he could exult in being for a short time superior.
suppressed. Every member
of the community must be trained to conform to the established
way of life with as little disturbance as possible A small tribe
with little margin of survival cannot support individualism.
Yet, for all that, now and then great individuals do arise in
such societies, strong enough and with sufficient character and
intelligent enough to ignore the taboos and caring about radical
changes in their own culture. Such men may displace hereditary
chiefs and become leaders by sheer will-power and sustained personal
208. One often observes a beautiful V formation
of Canada geese suddenly breaking off and reforming when some
particular goose seems to have decided to leave the line.
equipped to become individual
in his person, in a way which does not apply to other animal
species. This does not make every man great, but in a remarkable
way it does make every man unique. Even physiologically, this
uniqueness exists and is reflected in the fact that skin grafts
cannot be made from person to person (except, of course, in the
case of monozygotic twins), whereas the same operation has readily
been performed from animal to animal, providing that they are
of the same species. (210) Only in primitive societies where extreme conservativism
has tended to take over for circumstantial reasons does individuation
seem to be minimal, but the potential is there � as we can
see at once in the so-called "emerging nations."
mating and the impulse to breed are virtually synonymous. In
man the impulse to breed has been sublimated, and in normal human
male-female relationships it is no longer the only bond which
holds them together. It has become only one of several contributing
elements in the expression of what we call love, a term which
is indeed difficult to define but which, perhaps ideally, is
most directly equated with a willingness to make self-sacrifice.
As such, it seems to be essentially a human relationship, though
there is no question that some animals that have become domesticated
will deliberately give expression to it by sacrificing themselves
� as dogs have been known to do. I think it is safe to say
that within a species, that is, between members of a single species,
love as a basis of relationship is uniquely human.
210. Medawar, Sir Peter B., The Uniqueness of the Individual, Basic Books, New York, 1957, pp.148,176,177. See also R. A. Reisfeld and B. D. Kahan, "Markers of Biological Individuality," Scientific American, June, 1972, pp.28-37.
In Nature, the
optimum breeding season is regulated by factors which are not
directly under the control of the individual animal. Even domestication
does not alter this fact, it only broadens the range of conditions
under which the mechanism is triggered. This mechanism governs
also the migration schedules of birds, the periods of separation
of males and females among mammals for a large part of the year,
and the antagonisms and the bonds between the sexes and within
a sex. It is, in fact, pervasive in regulating animal behaviour.
He then pointed out that the rhythm of life in most wild animals is rigidly fixed by the periodicity of the reproductive processes. The entire life of most mammals, he argues, is constrained by the periodic functioning of the sex organs. He summed this up by saying: (213)
211. Brody, Samuel, "Science and Social
Wisdom", Scientific Monthly, Sept, 1944, p.206.
pointed out that the relationships of the females to the males
within each family unit, and of the females to each other, are
controlled by the alternating periods of heat of a female. He
concluded: "From all this man has been freed," and
to it must be attributed "the stabilization of the family
Corner then examined briefly the evidence for the existence of any peak of sexual response and sought to relate it to the chemical events which are occurring in the female body. He then concluded: (216)
Now the effect of freeing of human behaviour and responsiveness in this matter from hormonal control has been to throw the responsibility
for restraint upon the individual himself. The sexual drive, being liberated from chemical control, had to be placed instead under some other kind of control in order to make social organization possible, otherwise chaos would have resulted in family life and consequently in social life. This has had tremendous repercussions in human society. Robert Lowie pointed out some of these: (217)
So we are once again forced to recognize the absolutely fundamental difference between the impulse to breeding which is instinctive and governed entirely by chemicals, and the desire to breed which in man has been separated from purely chemical control. Once again, man seems to be in a class by himself. How did this come about? Of course, the evolutionists cannot admit a separate creation for man, but they do admit, much as Humboldt admitted for the possession of language, that man must have been truly man as soon as this dissociation occurred. What caused it to occur is a mystery. And just as we know that the most primitive of societies from whom evolutionists hopefully expected to be able to draw some conclusions regarding the twilight period when man was "becoming" human, threw no light whatever on the origin of language since primitive man has had more complex forms of speech than highly civilized man, in the same way � as Lowie pointed out � "Extremely primitive tribes are monogamous, very advanced societies permit polygamy." (218) Thus we do not find promiscuity among the very people who are supposed to give us some clues about human nature and behaviour in this twilight period. It looks as though man was created as he now is with the freedom and therefore the responsibility that he now has in the matter of his sex life.
217. Lowie, Robert, Social Organization,
Rinehart, New York, 1949, p.87.
There is another, more specifically physiological, difference between man and all other animals which shows up as soon as we begin to attempt to apply to man the breeding principles and practices which work so well with animals. From the point of view of eugenics it has often seemed desirable to be able to improve the race selectively by mating individuals who seem to have superior characteristics. Hitler actively supported research along these lines in the hopes of producing a super race. I'm not sure whether any adequate report has ever been made of these experiments, but certainly in the rest of the scientific community very little hope of success is placed in such experiments. The fact is that man seems to be afflicted with more deleterious mutant genes than any other species. If an attempt is made to inbreed the members of a family who by chance have produced a number of outstanding individuals and who are therefore assumed to have some measure of genetic superiority, the results have proved most disappointing. Raymond Pearl wrote: (219)
that any analogy drawn between human breeding and livestock breeding
is in part both specious and misleading. Inbreeding with animals
may and often does lead to the rapid, sure, and permanent improvement
of a strain of livestock. But as he said "When the results
of human breeding are interpreted in the light of the clear principles
of the progeny test (i.e., empirical results), the eugenic case
does not fare too well." (220)
219. Pearl, Raymond, Biology and Human
Trends, Smithsonian Report for 1935, Smithsonian Institute,
Washington, D.C., 1936, Publication #3364, p.339.
The fact is that in
every primitive society, as well as in the higher civilizations,
one of the most rigidly enforced taboos is that regulating the
mating of individuals too closely related. Experience throughout
history has shown that under normal circumstances such matings
rapidly degrade the stock. In small communities, isolated from
larger communities, where continued inbreeding has occurred,
the incidence of deaf mutism and the number of imbeciles relative
to the size of the population is far above the average. (222) Willard Hollander wrote,
"Hidden within many of us are recessive genetic factors
which, if we had ill-luck to mate with another carrier, would
be deadly to our offspring." (223) And again in the same connection Hollander said,
"The quickest way to expose lethal traits is by intense
and continued inbreeding." (224)
222. W, L. Ballinger remarked, "Forty-seven
marriages between blood relatives produced seventy-two deaf mutes"
(Diseases of the Nose, Throat and Ear, 8th edition, Lea
& Febiger, Philadelphia, p.823). E. B. Dench stated, "Consanguinity
of the parents is among the most common causes, and the greater
frequency of deaf-mutism among the inhabitants of mountain districts
is probably to be explained by the fact that intermarriage is
much more common among such people" (Diseases in the
Ear, Appleton, 1921, p.694). And Lajou's Analytical Cyclopedia
of Practical Medicine states "Several statisticians
have proved that the closer the degree of relationship between
parents, the larger was the number of deaf-mute children born"
(p.450). Curt Stern wrote, "If a gene is a rare autosomal
one, it is highly improbable that a woman heterozygous for it
will marry a man who also carries it . . . unless the spouses
are closely related to each other" (Principles of Human
Genetics, Freeman, San Francisco, 1950, p.226). It is rather
interesting that the effects of such close intermarriage should
be found in that area of man's constitution which is so essential
for speech, and by which therefore he stands separated from the
man better display his ineptitude than in the matter of diet.
He is the only creature who eats what is not good for him. He
eats when he is not hungry, drinks when he is not thirsty and
does not replace his water loss adequately when he ought to do
so. In some strange way, man's senses are out of kilter. His
sense of hunger no longer regulates effectively the quantity
or type of his food intake, and his sense of thirst is no longer
adequately adjusted to the fluid needs of his body. To my knowledge,
all the experimental evidence at present available points in
precisely the opposite direction with respect to animals. Their
discriminating powers can only be described as absolutely fantastic
when it comes to choice of diet, and their sense of thirst is
precisely adjusted to any water imbalance in their bodies.
227. Hallowell, John H., Religious Perspectives
in College Teaching: Political Science, Hazen Foundation,
New Haven, no date, p.17.
in Animals and Human Beings," a title appropriate indeed
for animals but hardly for man, found experimentally that rats
would refuse to eat sugar or fat when their bodies were operatively
modified so that they could not digest these substances. When
they were given increasing quantities of insulin, they ate increasing
quantities of sugar made available, precisely adjusting their
intake to what was appropriate for their condition. Subsequent
experiments with rats have only served to emphasize their powers
of discrimination. Paul Rozin of the University of Pennsylvania
demonstrated the remarkable ability of the thiamin-deficient
rat to sense the deficiency and search for food containing thiamin.
(229) The rat would
change his eating pattern as the deficiency became evident, abandoning
its current diet and exploring new food sources. When placed
in an "experimental cafeteria" containing a variety
of flavoured foods, one of which had adequate thiamin, the rat
went into a "testing mode." That is to say, it ate
small meals of one new food at a time, spacing its meals several
hours apart. It is thus able to locate or identify the food containing
thiamin. Rozin says that the rat behaved precisely as would a
rational man who had lost all the labels in his medicine cabinet
and was feeling ill. In the wild, whenever rats encounter novel
food, they will eat a small amount of it and wait before consuming
more. Thus they are able to detect poisoned baits while minimizing
229. Paul Rozin: referred to by John Garcia,
"The Faddy Rat and Us", New Scientist and Science
Journal, 7 Feb., 1971, pp.254-255.
animals. He spoke of their discriminating powers as being "uncanny." Among many examples he gave the following, relating to a particular hundred-acre area which was well enriched up to 1936 but then had no further treatment of any kind until the time of the experiments in 1943. The delicacy of the appetite of the cattle kept there is clearly demonstrated by the following factors in the case. No more than 600 pounds of fertilizer was put on the surface of the soil (i.e., only six lb per acre). It was subjected to an annual rainfall thereafter of thirty-five inches for a period of eight years. Nine crops of hay were removed. This "treated" hay was each year "diluted" by being mixed in the proportion of one part in five with other hay taken from untreated fields. In the eighth year the animals were still bypassing the untreated hay in the mixed haystacks. It should be borne in mind that this hay was enriched only to the extent that it came from soil treated eight years previously and since washed by 280 inches of rain. By the ninth year the cattle could still recognize the effects of the original fertilizer if free to graze in the hundred-acre lot, but they no longer recognized it when cut and mixed with the other untreated hay. He concluded: (232)
Similar findings have been reported for wild deer, for hogs, and "very delicate differences are even recognized by chicks," as demonstrated by Weston A. Price. With respect to hogs whose capacity to exercise choice he also described as "uncanny," Dr. Price had this to say: (233)
that by and large the evidence shows that in otherwise unmarked
patches animals will crop out of a field which has received varying
enrichment treatments with such accuracy that they will recreate
these patches by close cropping to within an inch or two of the
original demarcation line. He spoke of this as an animal detecting
instrument with a delicacy such as approaches that of the chemist's
is best for them, but
also to compensate for vitamin or other deficiencies in their
own bodies. Nor do animals over-indulge. Only man becomes needlessly
fat thereby endangering his existence. I have said "needlessly,"
because animals do fatten themselves in anticipation of extended
periods without food intake. But man does this to his own ill-health
and for no other reason than that his appetite has somehow got
out of adjustment with the demands of the body. If a man were
to eat only just the food that would satisfy the demands of his
body, he would be hungry much of the time. One basic reason for
this is that his body is so inefficient relative to the bodies
of animals. This may well be due to the effects of the Fall.
But the mechanism responsible for this lack of adjustment is
fairly well understood.
234. Efficiency of fishes: "Submarines as Efficient as Fish," item under "Technological Review." in New Scientist, June 25, 1970, p.629.
engines of conventional
design 40 percent. Compared with animals, both man and man-made
machines are not outstanding. In terms of food intake man eats,
theoretically, about four times as much as he should be eating
if he were simply an animal. But if he cut down his food intake
to one-fourth of what it is, he would be everlastingly hungry.
Man not only
appears to have lower resistance to disease of bacterial and
viral origin but he seems to be susceptible to more of such diseases.
Animals do suffer from disease (including dental caries), but
compared with man they are relatively disease-free. And as a
matter of fact some authorities have suggested that all disease
is essentially man-made. It is a little doubtful whether this
can be wholly true, but it is possible that man is responsible
for the conditions which have allowed most diseases to invade
the animal world. Moreover, it has been observed that wounds
do not infect where man has never cultivated the soil. Some primitive
people perform rather gruesome initiation rites which involve
severe insults to the body, but curiously enough the wounds heal
without becoming infected in those societies where the soil has
never been cultivated.
So he asked why the rabbit is so accomplished in wound healing and the human being so strikingly poor, and added that the answer hinges upon an understanding of the mechanism of healing as it occurs in the rabbit's skin. He then explained how healing occurs in the rabbit by a process which is ultimately dependent upon the fact that this skin is loose on its body. This is true of most dogs also, domesticated though they are, and it is true of cats, horses, and cattle. When the skin is cut, the wound does not at once pull apart as it does in man. Medawar continued: (236)
At the end of
the chapter he asked, "What compensating advantage the human
being gets from the novel structure of his skin is far from obvious,
though it is hard to believe that there is none." (237)
235. Medawar, Sir Peter B., The Uniqueness
of the Individual, Basic Books, New York, 1957, p.130.
a comparatively long
thin tube. If the skin was too loosely wrapped around the body,
such tubes would have to be unduly elastic or they would be constantly
in danger of rupture. Such elasticity would in any case be likely
to cause rupture under certain conditions of normal sweating
because the fluid pressure in the sweat glands is remarkably
high (250 mm. mercury), (238) and not infrequently the orifice of the gland becomes
temporarily plugged at the surface. Since man is so entirely
dependent upon the effective evaporative cooling of his skin
surface via sweat gland activity to prevent deep body temperature
from rising unacceptably, any structural feature of his body
which interfered with such a mechanism or endangered it would
limit his ability to inhabit a large part of the earth's surface
where environmental temperatures exceed his normal skin temperature,
which is about 80-90 degrees F. depending upon where it is measured.
238. Best, C. H., and Taylor, N. B., The
Physiological Basis of Medical Practice, Williams and Wilkins,
London, 1945, p.627.
This is certainly true and probably has far wider
application than the authors had in mind � although I think
it needs qualification to this extent that there are occasions,
exceptional though they may be, in which animals have been known
to care for one another in times of injury. Some illustrations
of this in birds, dogs, and even rats will be found in another
Doorway Paper. (240)
Grace de Laguna in a paper entitled "Culture and Rationality," gave an apropos observation about man's insistence upon order, reason, and organization in his life, a characteristic that appears to be almost entirely lacking in the animal world except where, purely by instinct, the bee, for example, constructs a symmetrical comb. Such "ordering" is not deliberate, not does it extend to anything else that the animal does. Grace de Laguna wrote: (241)
One might almost
say that man does not have rationality. It would nearly be true
to say he is rationality, perhaps in some sense reflecting
the sentence construction of the Lord's words, "I am
the truth" (John 14:6), not "I have the truth."
I am not equating truth and rationality in this statement: I
mean only that in some way the Lord was the truth, not
merely holding it as part of His being. And in some way man is
rationality, not merely having rationality. I believe that he
is often irrational, but in a strange way even his irrationality
has a certain order to it, a certain rationale, unless
he is, of course, a mental case.
240. Custance, Arthur, "The Survival
of the Unfit," Part IV in Evolution or Creation?,
vol.4 in The Doorway Papers Series.
was deliberately restructured to look more "natural," a revolt against the influence of some of the great landscape artists like Claud Lorrain, a reaction against the previous tendency to landscape everything in straight lines and symmetrical patterns such as characterized formal gardens after the pattern of Versailles, care was taken not to create chaos, only an ordered disorder � better perhaps, a restrained freedom in the planting of things. Virtually every aspect of his cultural activity reflects this drive, if we can but recognize it. Consider the following tabulation, for which I have no other scholarly authority but my own judgment, yet every article of which could be the subject of a supporting essay:
Man must organize.
He cannot allow anything to remain disorderly for very long without
either feeling uncomfortable or turning his back deliberately
on something that is very deeply ingrained in his nature. In
this he is removed far from the rest of the animal world. Indeed,
so inseparably do we consider this sense of order to belong to
truly human activity that we speak of a mind which has something
basically wrong with it as being "disordered." And
when it was proposed that we should try to communicate with other
intelligences in the universe, the first proposal was that a
series of huge fires should be set out in the Sahara Desert in
such a way as to mark the corners of a right angled triangle
with squares on the three sides. It was believed by H. G. Wells
and others at the time that if there were anywhere in the universe
other intelligences who had the earth under surveillance, they
would understand from the order and logic of the fires that the
earth also was inhabited by intelligent creatures. No animal
would ever think of communicating by the use of consciously ordered
signals or displays of this kind.
his music, but is used
instinctively and always bound tightly to a given circumstance
and a specific message. It is a warning of territorial rights,
it attracts the female, or it is an involuntary expression of
inner feelings of joy, pain, or anger. Because animals do not
write, they cannot write poetry or history. Their social behaviour
is, as we have seen, fixed and conditioned, and if they do happen
to add anything to its pattern it is strictly utilitarian. They
never elaborate or embroider social activity and sustain it unless
it contributes in some specific way to their survival. Man does
this even when it has precisely the opposite effect. In spite
of certain advertisements a few years ago of some brand food
which was believed to be particularly desirable for "thoughtful
dogs," there really is no reason to believe that dogs or
any other animal philosophize. Philosophy involves unreality,
abstraction, the consideration of alternatives to fact, the power
to analyze in retrospect experiences long past and to contemplate
in prospect experiences which are remote from reality. Animal
thought is contingent: they live in the present. This is true
even though they may confuse past, present, and future, as when
a dog may yelp with pain before the punishing blow falls. There
is no evidence that animals have any sense of the presence of
God, such as leads men to worship in adoration, in awe, or in
242. Kroeber, A. L., Anthropology, Harcourt
& Brace, New York, 1948, p.65.
which were piles of one, two, three, and four grains of wheat. Faced with each pile separately, the pigeon ate the grains in front of it and then went to the heap and ate just enough to make a total of five. Fox believes that this is real addition; but actually it could again be simply a pattern of movements which were conditioned leaving the bird in some kind of state of dis-ease until it had completed the circuit of movements. It is very difficult to know whether any of these experiments really demonstrate the ability to count. To my mind, even the quite fascinating experiments carried out with rats by Loh Seng Tsai, reported in Life (January 11, 1954), did no more than to demonstrate the rat's ability to recognize a configuration of signs and only up to three signs in any case. However, the ability of birds to count up to six or seven does not always appear to be merely pattern recognition. Huxley referred to some work done by Otto Koehler who set jackdaws the problem of taking a definite number of peas out of a series of boxes: (245)
We made some experiments with a cat we once had, who was raising a family of three kittens. When the kittens were old enough that they could half stand up and could raise a loud mewing, we took the mother cat out of the room and lifting the three kittens out of their box, we deposited them in the center of the floor, their box being in a corner of the room. When they set up a great noise, we allowed the cat in, and she frantically dragged off a kitten back into the box. While she was doing this, we quickly removed the other two kittens into another room where their noise was not heard. So long as the mother cat did not hear the noise of their mewing, she was not concerned any further than to rescue the single kitten. On the other hand, if we left one of the two remaining kittens on the floor, it would
245. Otto Koehler: quoted by Sir Julian Huxley, Evolution in Action, Chatto & Windus, London, 1953, p.100.
make such a noise that
she would jump out of the box and rescue it also, dragging it
back to the box. In the meantime, if we quietly and quickly removed
the one she had already in the box, she apparently did not notice
its disappearance at all when she got the second one home. It
appears that she could recognize the difference between one and
none, but not between one and two.
we find that it is not possible to explain man's behaviour in
terms of animal behaviour. Man's home and his role in it, and
his relationship with others, are not based on the biological
expedients of the animal world. Man displays infinite variety
in terms of personality whereas animals have uniformity of character.
But most unique in man is the quality of rationality which pervades
his whole being. While this rationality opens up such great potential
for him, he lacks the wisdom of animals in its exploitation.
There seems to be something basically wrong with him, not only
in the sickness of his body, but in the harmfulness of his behaviour.
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