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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V


 Part V: Is Man An Animal?

Chapter 6b

The Expression of Humanism (continued)


     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.
     In domestication, by selective breeding man has produced varieties of particular species which have markedly different character from other varieties, as different as the bulldog is from a spaniel, for example, or a Clydesdale from a thoroughbred race horse. These

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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.
     It may be objected that there are notable animals in a herd or a pack � born leaders, as it were. But as far as I have been able to discover from a fairly wide search of the literature on herd leaders, there is pretty well unanimity of opinion about the nature of this kind of leadership. In 1832 the English jurist, John Austin, published his famous Province of Jurisprudence Determined.
(205) He was one of the founders of University College, London, and its first professor of jurisprudence. And although almost everyone disagreed with his thesis, he had a profound influence on the thought of his day, and on people like John Stuart Mill. Essentially, his view was that all laws, properly so-called, are commands addressed by a human superior to a human inferior, and that the system or institution of government by law evolved from this basis. It was a kind of "great man" view of history. The curious thing is that most disagreed with him because they could not see any evidence for such a "great man" thesis among animals, and it was felt that such a view made man too exceptional.
     The position regarding animals has not changed. One can legitimately speak of "great apes," but one cannot speak of a great ape. It has been pointed out many times that herd leaders are not commanders in the sense that human leaders are.
(206) They function really as special sense organs for the group, that is, for the herd, the flock, or the pack. They watch and listen, while the rest of the members tend to the other businesses of life. The group reactions of the herd are not responses to commands, but rather group reflexes set off by stimuli transmitted through the leader, acting as a sensory receptor for the group. There is a sense in which the "leader" of a wolf pack may maintain a certain hierarchy by establishing superiority

205. Austin, John: quoted by Raymond Pearl, Man the Animal, Principia Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 1946, p.115.
206. Herd leaders: Raymond Pearl, ibid., p.115.

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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 equally unplanned.
     In his The Territorial Imperative, Ardrey referred to some experiments by C. R. Carpenter who established a colony of rhesus monkeys on an island in the West Indies.
(207) Groups marked out territories, and one of these groups was led by a male of very strong dominance, which continually led his followers into neighbouring preserves with much success. When this male was experimentally removed, the group no longer trespassed, so that he was clearly a leader. When restored to the group, again trespassing went on as before. Ardrey observed that Carpenter's experiments were impressive evidence of leadership, but he pointed out that later research revealed that in rhesus life the conditions which Carpenter established were artificial because territory is not normally defended at all.
     By and large, animals of a species have a distinct character that can be described, and the vast majority of the members will fit the description. There is a uniformity that seems to be native to the species. Now and then some accident gives rise to a single exceptional animal, but it seems to be a rare event. With human beings such uniformity is found only among primitive people, but for reasons which should be noted briefly because it really has nothing to do with their potential for individuation. The uniformity of character is the result of a particular situation.
     Primitive people have always tended to show more respect for Nature and for animals than highly civilized man. Western man has customarily attributed this to some kind of spiritual kinship, a kinship most of us have lost and therefore look upon with some nostalgia. The sense of community with Nature appeals to the tired city dweller every now and then, though not as a steady diet, or he would move to the country. Actually primitive man (a very unjust epithet really) is not so much in communion with nature much of the time as he is in awe of it, or envious of its self-sufficiency. In reports of those who knew the Eskimo years ago in his "unspoiled" times, we read of his reverence before the capture of his prey, but then are surprised at his almost insane delight after the prey has been subdued. 

207. Ardrey, Robert, The Territorial Imperative, Delta Books, 1966, p.279. 

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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.
     As an illustration of what I mean, consider the following incident which was told to me by a man who had spent some time in the Arctic. An Eskimo who had a number of dogs trained to pull his sleigh and whose hunting trips often took him a hundred or more miles away from home, on one occasion got lost in a storm because his dogs wandered from a track which they normally followed quite regularly. His friends had often observed how well he treated his dogs and how there seemed to be a good working relationship between him and them. Such dogs do not normally make pets, but he had apparently got as close to this as ever happened. When he discovered his dogs had followed the wrong trail, he was furious and started to whip them. The dogs became excited and frightened, and then a little vicious. He suddenly dropped his whip, ran back to the sleigh, got his gun and shot them one by one, every single one of them, shouting a great victory cry as each animal fell over in its tracks. He then turned his back on the whole outfit and walked the full hundred miles to his own camp with a sense of high elation. In his own mind he had proved his absolute mastery of the situation.
     Most primitive people live precariously, partly because they occupy areas that the more civilized members of the human race have not yet taken over, because of its inhospitability. Such people, over the centuries, have learned how to adjust themselves, their behaviour, and their needs to the limited resources of their environment. The margin of survival is often very small. As a consequence, these people become highly conservative and are very reluctant to upset the pattern of living. Given the superior weapons of the White Man, all the caution, which was often mistaken for some sense of communion with Nature, is apt to be lost very quickly. With horses and firearms, the Indians probably did as much as the White Man to bring the buffalo, on whom he had depended for centuries, almost to extinction.
     The point here is that in any society which lives in a precarious position, it is not wise to rock the boat. Individualism is therefore  

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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 initiative.
     In the animal world, the situation at first appeared similar, but closer study has suggested that this is not so. In the first place, animals do not live in a consciously precarious condition. They belong in the web of life. Instinct guides them to avoid certain dangers, to eat certain foods, to respect neighbour's rights, and to seek no goals that are not natural for them or proper for them individually. It is well known in England that foxes will not molest natural prey in the immediate vicinity of their own home base. And these neighbours, whether birds or rabbits or any other like potential sources of food, know this instinctively and do not therefore live in constant fear. Of this sort are the checks and counter-balances in Nature. Accordingly, it is not on account of any fear of disturbing the status quo that exceptional individuals are discouraged from emerging as such. It is simply not in the nature of animal species other than man to individuate.
     To be a leader, one must have followers. Among animals this "following" seems to be instinctive. There is a kind of tension between any individual who strays out from the group and the rest, which either causes him to double back or leads the other animals to suddenly follow.
(208) Quite by chance any one individual can stray and be followed, thereby becoming a leader, purely by accident. Konrad Lorenz described an interesting little experiment conducted by Erick von Holst who operated on the brain of a minnow in order to destroy the animal's tendency to stay with the rest of the fishes. As a consequence, whenever this brainless minnow did actually stray, it did not have the same sudden urge to return to the shoal, and the end result was that the rest of the shoal immediately set out after him. As Lorenz put it, "By virtue of its deficiency, the brainless animal had become a dictator." (209)
     In conclusion, I suggest that Homo sapiens is in some unique way

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.
209. Lorenz, Konrad, On Aggression, translated by marjorie Kerr Wilson, Bantam Books, New York, 1967, p.140.

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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."
     It has been said that when God makes the mold in which to cast an individual, He breaks the mold when the work is done. I think it must be true.

The Impulse to Breed in Man and in Animals

     In animals, 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.
     In animals, the drive to breed is almost, if not entirely, the basis of all social organization. It is the fundamental regulatory mechanism which controls their behaviour, whether social or antisocial. The behaviour patterns of animal communities are predetermined and regulated by the reproductive cycle of the female. This, in turn, is chemically controlled but is in some way responsive to environmental conditions. Thus among species which live under environmental conditions that do not favour the raising of young at certain seasons of the year, it has been observed that the period of heat is governed by the gestation period in such a way that the young 

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. 

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will be born when environmental conditions provide the best opportunities of surviving birth and reaching a stage of comparative independence. Samuel Brody wrote: (21l)

     Species that evolved and are living in regions with wide seasonal temperature fluctuations confine their breeding activity to a sharply limited interval of the year. . . .
     Shifting of the animal to another latitude correspondingly changes the breeding date. Shifting the animal to the tropics, where fluctuations in temperature, light, and food supply are insignificant, or domesticating it so that its food supply, warmth, and light are uniform throughout the year, often abolishes the seasonal breeding rhythm.
     Thus, whereas wild cattle breed in the autumn only, domesticated cattle breed throughout the year. Whereas wild fowls produce only one batch of perhaps half a dozen or a dozen eggs in the spring, domestic fowl may produce eggs throughout the year.

     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.
     In man, the situation is uniquely different. In an article entitled, "The Influence of Hormones on Man's Social Evolution," Sir Solly Zuckerman pointed out:

     There is one major difference of a negative kind between us and the rest of the zoological group to which we belong. . . It is our freedom from the rigorous internal chemical control of reproductive functions, such as is experienced by apes and monkeys, and even more so by other mammals. Recent research into the physiology and chemistry of the hormones which control reproduction � the hormones of the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, and the steroid hormones of the gonads � shows that this freedom must have been vital to our emergence as Homo sapiens.

     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)

     The worlds of such animals, already restricted to their immediate environment and immediate present, are thus rigidly determined by an internal  

211. Brody, Samuel, "Science and Social Wisdom", Scientific Monthly, Sept, 1944, p.206.
212. Zuckerman, Sir Solly, "The influence of hormones on man's social evolution", Endeavour, April, 1944, p.81.
213. Ibid., p.82.

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chemical control, whose bonds cannot be broken; what they do next and their social relationships are both pre-ordained.
     This internal chemical control is not as strict in the world of apes and monkeys, but, as far as is known, it is still sufficiently powerful to dominate the lives of almost all species.

     Moreover, Zuckerman 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 unit." (214)
     When we examine the relationships that appear in man, we find a fundamental difference: the time of heat and the time of ovulation no longer coincide, and indeed the former seems to bear no relationship whatever to the latter. G. W. Corner of the Carnegie Institute, writing in the British Medical Journal, noted in this connection:

     There is a strange difference in the outward expression of these two events, between the human species and other mammals. . . In animals commonly observable to us ( mouse, rat, guinea pig, etc.) sexual activity of the female is restricted to a limited period at the time of ovulation. In the human female a very different pattern exists. The event of ovulation is not marked by any outwardly observable sign, nor by a surge of erotic responsiveness. This great recurrent crisis in the human life process is silent and occult.

     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)

     Although in the human species the corpus luteum phase begins with no outward sign, its conclusion is marked by a conspicuous event, namely, menstruation. Exactly the opposite condition prevails in those animals in which estrus and the ovulation phase are physically evident. . . .
     In the case of the human female, however, the peak of sex response occurs at the very time when both estrogen and progesterone are at or approaching their lowest level in the cycle. We must therefore assume either that the rhythm of endocrine control differs from what we know in other animals, in the face of all the similarities in the cyclic histology of ovaries and uterus between the human and other species, or (which is more probable) that in women endocrine control of sex arousal has become subordinate to other factors, presumably neuro-psychological, which culminate not at the time of ovulation, but shortly before menstruation.

     Now the effect of freeing of human behaviour and responsiveness in this matter from hormonal control has been to throw the responsibility

214. Ibid.
215. Corner, G. W., "The Events of the Primate Ovarian Cycle," British Medical Journal, August 22, 1952, p.403.
216. Ibid., p.405.

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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)

     The admirable researches of Yerkes, Carpenter, and others about the sex life of the anthropoid apes do not directly help us (in understanding our own problems). . . .
     The sociologist has to cope with the fact that every known society discriminates among forms of sexual intercourse. Biologically, rape, incestuous unions, fornication, concubinage, companionate, civil, and ecclesiastical marriage are not distinguishable. Sociologically, the several forms of mating are outlawed, reprobated, condoned, accepted, or definitely approved. The forms enjoying the highest approbation constitute "marriage" in a given society. . . .
      A chasm, then, yawns between man's sex life and that of the gorilla or the chimpanzee. The question is not at all whether the gorilla may turn out to be monogamous or polygamous: the question is whether gorilla society countenances, punishes, or otherwise judges the sexual activity of its members.

     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.
218. Ibid., p.229. 

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     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)

     In absolute numbers the vast majority of the most superior people in the world's history have in fact been produced by mediocre or inferior forebears And furthermore, the admittedly most superior folk have been singularly unfortunate in their progeny.

     Pearl believed 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)
     So disappointing have been the few such attempts made, that in certain countries even the formation of a Eugenics Society has been virtually suppressed by the scientific community in view of the fact that it is not only in danger of becoming a political tool, but it is almost certainly doomed to failure. In his book Why We Behave Like Human Beings, George Dorsey wrote:

     Man could probably breed a race of human beings with the following traits: bald, fat, long chest, short and crooked legs, left handed, six-fingered, fingers and thumb webbed, near-sighted, deaf and dumb, feeble minded curly hair, cataract, albino, long-lived, and prolific with a tendency to twins. . . .  At any rate, these are a few of the so-called Mendelian traits capable of transmission. 

219. Pearl, Raymond, Biology and Human Trends, Smithsonian Report for 1935, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., 1936, Publication #3364, p.339.
220. Ibid.
221. Dorsey, George, Why We Behave Like Human Beings, Blue Ribbon Books, New York, 1925, p.116. 

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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)
     In a paper entitled "A Biological View of Human History," Bentley Glass attempted to indicate the kind of possibilities that there are of multiplying the effects of man's seemingly excessive complement of harmful mutant genes.
(225) He certainly did not favour the Christian view that man is a fallen creature, but if in the Fall man began in himself a unique process of deterioration which has been cumulative through the succeeding centuries, we would have some explanation for this unhappy uniqueness. Moreover, that incest was not forbidden until long after the creation would seem to suggest that at the beginning there were no such dangers from inbreeding, because there were few if any mutant genes. The marriage of a brother and a sister might be undesirable for quite other reasons, but it would not be forbidden because of its probably disastrous consequences to offspring. Cain might safely have married a sister � as indeed, he must have done. (226)

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 animals.
223. Hollander, Willard, "Lethal Heredity," Scientific American, July, 1952, p.15.
224. Ibid., p.60
225. Glass, Bentley, "A Biological View of Human History, Scientific Monthly, December, 1951, p.367.
226. Custance, Arthur, "Cain's Wife and the Penalty of Incest," Part VI in Time and Eternity, vol.6 of The Doorway Papers Series.

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     I can hardly do better than sum up this aspect of man's total uniqueness than to quote some words of John H. Hallowell: (227)

     It is the transcendence of man's spirit over the physical and historical processes which distinguishes man from the beast. It is for this reason that man can never be completely comprehended or explained in physical terms alone.
     The sex impulse which man shares with the animals is never purely biological in man as it is in the beast. Sex in man is bound up with love, and when man endeavors to make the sexual act a purely biological experience it is only by an act of perversion that he is able to do so.
     Only man is capable of perverting his natural impulses; animals are not.

Man's Dietary Lack of Wisdom

     Nowhere does 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.
     It might be supposed that domestication would have upset this discrimination. But apparently it has not done so. As far as I'm aware, the sole exception to this rule might be that horses will drink water immediately after eating oats and thereby endanger their lives rather dramatically, because the oats swell and the animal is choked. If young colts are allowed to take water at will after eating oats, they will tend to avoid this mistake by drinking very little and will not act unwisely when they grow up. It is true that pets will sometimes be led into eating things that violently disagree with them but even here, if they are given half a chance, they will recover themselves by selecting other foods which serve as antidotes.
     The powers of discrimination of both domestic and wild animals in choosing the most nutritious foods where there is a selection of varying value in this respect is almost unbelievable. Curt Richter,
(228) in an extended article significantly entitled "Total 

227. Hallowell, John H., Religious Perspectives in College Teaching: Political Science, Hazen Foundation, New Haven, no date, p.17.
228. Richter, Curt P., The Total Self-Regulatory Functions in Animals and Human Beings, Harvey Lecture Series, no.38, 1942-43, p.63. 

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Self-Regulatory Functions 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 risk.
     Bennett Galef
(230) of McMaster University was able to demonstrate something which is perhaps even more surprising � that experimental rats are able to associate the effects of a particular food with the food itself, even though those effects do not show up until hours later. Moreover, he showed that this is not because traces of the meal or drink lingered in the mouth or gastrointestinal tract. No visual cues were involved. Colouring the disagreeable food in order to mark it visually, or serving it in a particular form, or on a particular dish, did not provide the cue. In the experiments, such possible visual cues were eliminated by scrambling them constantly. The rats were still able to identify which food was causing its discomfort.
     In a fascinating paper entitled "Discrimination in Food Selection by Animals," William Albrecht collected in short compass some of the extraordinary evidence of the sensitivity of animals to the relative nutrient values of the same foods grown in variously enriched soils.
(231) This applies both to animals in the wild and to farm

229. Paul Rozin: referred to by John Garcia, "The Faddy Rat and Us", New Scientist and Science Journal, 7 Feb., 1971, pp.254-255.
230. Bennett Galef: referred to by John Garcia, ibid., p.255.
231. Albrecht, William A., "Discrimination in Food Selection by Animals," Scientific Monthly, May, 1945, p.350.

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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)

     In the light of this evidence the animal's choice must be recognized as a refinement of detecting differences in the crop coming by way of the soil that chemistry as yet cannot duplicate.

     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)

     When it is now reported that vitamins are generated through microbial activity in the cow's paunch, we may appreciate the soundness of the old practice of hogs following fattening steers in order to gather the undigested corn.

     He commented 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 spectrograph.
     So much, then, for the ability of animals not only to choose what 

232. Ibid.
233. Weston Price: quoted by William Albrecht, ibid., p.352.

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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.
     The following statement is an over-simplification. We obtain the energy we need for the work we do by burning food in the body. This generates heat. The experimental evidence, which has been substantiated in hundreds of laboratories, shows that the human body in this respect is only about 20-25 percent efficient. We have established in our laboratories, for healthy young men (army volunteers) doing various exercises and at rest, efficiencies that show considerable variation, running from 16 percent to 36 percent in one case. The high figures were always for men riding a bicycle � in a way a curious finding, but one which has been reported by others also.
     Animal efficiencies as studied by others, are found to be very high indeed. Fish are somewhere near the top of the scale with approximately 80 percent.
(234) This efficiency is established by measuring the work output and comparing this with the oxygen intake, the amount of oxygen being used providing a measure of the actual energy that one ought to get out of the human "engine." Even at rest, of course, the body uses oxygen, but the measurement of "work" output is much more difficult. During exercise it is simpler to measure. In either case, what is found is that approximately four-fifths or 80 percent of the potential energy of the oxygen consumed by a man is not turned into "useful" work and must be eliminated as heat. The rise in body temperature initiates the loss of this heat normally by radiation or evaporative cooling. The more a man has to sweat to do the same amount of "useful" work, other things being equal, the less efficient he is. Just as a scale of reference, it might be added that a steam engine is seldom more than 15 percent efficient, a diesel engine around 33 percent, and some highly refined aircraft  

234. Efficiency of fishes: "Submarines as Efficient as Fish," item under "Technological Review." in New Scientist, June 25, 1970, p.629.

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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.
     The same general picture holds for man with respect to his fluid intake. It has been found that the level of dehydration of an animal's body guides it precisely in the control of the amount of water it drinks. Man, by contrast, finds his thirst is quenched when he has only drunk about one-third to one-half of what his body in some stressful circumstances actually needs to replace water lost by the evaporation of sweat. He accepts a severe level of dehydration voluntarily. On the other hand, of course, he may over-indulge, to an even greater detriment.
     By and large, therefore, man stands apart from the rest of the animal world, as far as we know, both with respect to his appetite for food and his thirst for fluid. This may indeed be simply the consequence of the Fall, but it also has the effect of extending man's potential enjoyment of life in directions which manifestly would never have been likely if eating and drinking were, for him, merely a question of satisfying physiological demands, as it is apparently with all other animals.

Susceptibility to Disease and Slowness in Healing

     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.
     One thing is fairly clear when comparing human and animal wounds � animal wounds (with some exceptions among domesticated animals) do not need suturing. The animal's skin is loose and does not immediately gape open even when very severe tears occur.

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     In speaking of this fact in a book appropriately entitled The Uniqueness of the Individual, in a chapter with equal appropriateness entitled "The Imperfections of Man," Medawar had this to say: (235)

     If the entire thickness of the integument in the chest region of an adult rabbit is excised over a rectangular area of 100 sq. cm., something that looks superficially like an irreparable injury is produced. But, so far from being irreparable, it requires for its quick and successful healing nothing but the most elementary surgical care. . . .
     The surface area of an adult human being is about 7 or 8 times as great as the rabbit's, but a skin defect of the same absolute size and depth, and the same relative position, cannot by any means be relied upon to heal satisfactorily of its own accord. If left to itself, it will heal painfully slowly and will gather up and scar; a wound of similar size in the leg (which is not so much thinner than a rabbit's trunk) could cause a serious disabling injury if left untreated. . . .  Such an injury cries aloud for skin grafting.

     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)

     In human beings, the integument is no longer a generous fitting coat, but is much more firmly knit to the tissues below; the intrinsic muscles of the skin are now (was it ever otherwise?) confined to areas of the face and neck, and the skin generally is much more of a piece with the rest of the body.
     The upshot of this new anatomical arrangement is that contracture (the ability of the skin to close the wound by drawing together), so far from being an efficient mechanism of wound closure has become something of a menace; it constricts, disfigures, and distorts, and may yet fail to bring the edges of the wound together.

     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)
    After reading this statement, I wrote to Medawar and asked him whether the tightness of human skin might not be related to the fact that the sweat glands, which are deeper than the skin, express their fluid to the skin surface to provide evaporative cooling through 

235. Medawar, Sir Peter B., The Uniqueness of the Individual, Basic Books, New York, 1957, p.130.
236. Ibid., p.132.
237. Ibid., p.133. 

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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.
     Medawar replied to my query very graciously, and though not at once convinced said, "However, I shall ponder upon the matter and allow my subconscious to pass judgment on it." This is fair enough. Man pays a penalty for his ability to live anywhere on the globe, the penalty of a tight skin and certain problems in wound healing. Perhaps if man had not fallen, serious wounds would have been very rare. In any case, man is capable of engineering the necessary repair because of his unique hand and brain combination. The chimpanzee can thread the needle, but man can make the needle and the thread, and use it appropriately to suture the wound � which no animal can do.
     One further point. Man's susceptibility to disease and his comparative helplessness when sick in a way that animals are not, is both a curse and a blessing. Washburn and Lancaster, in pointing out how well adapted to their environment animals are and having in mind at the time those animals which live in the African savanna said:

     Man cannot survive the diseases of the African savanna without lying down and being cared for. Even when sick, the locally adapted animals are usually able to keep moving with the troupe. . . .
     Although many humans die of disease and injury, those who do not, almost without exception, owe their lives to others who cared for them when they were unable to hunt or gather, and this uniquely human caring is one of the patterns that builds social bonds in the group and permits the species to occupy almost every environment of the world.  

238. Best, C. H., and Taylor, N. B., The Physiological Basis of Medical Practice, Williams and Wilkins, London, 1945, p.627.
239. Washburn, S. L., and Lancaster, C. S., "The Evolution of Hunting" in Human Evolution, edited by N. Korn and F. Thompson, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1967, pp.74, 75.

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     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)
     There is no question that in some wonderful way God has blended strength and weakness in man, so that he can be ubiquitous because his temperature regulation has been so elaborately refined, but only at a cost to his capacity for healing � which, in turn, has made him more than ordinarily dependent upon others when wounded. So man takes his unique social organization with him into every part of the world.

Man the Organizer

     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)

     Man's rationality is not a higher faculty added to, or imposed upon, his animal nature: on the contrary it pervades his whole being and manifests itself in all that he does as well as in what he believes and thinks.

     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.
     In almost every aspect of man's mental activity he prefers order to disorder, reason to unreason, structure to non-structure: where they do not exist in his environment, he seeks to impose them. Even in the great move "back to Nature" when the English countryside

240. Custance, Arthur, "The Survival of the Unfit," Part IV in Evolution or Creation?, vol.4 in The Doorway Papers Series.
241. De Laguna, Grace, "Culture and Rationality", American Anthropologiest, vol.51, 1949, p.380.

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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 structures time by composing music.
Man structures emotion by writing poetry.
Man structures space by art and architecture.
Man structures quantity by creating mathematics.
Man structures events by writing history.
Man structures experience by philosophizing.
Man structures his sense of justice by formulating codes of law.
Man structures social behaviour by custom (really the objective of primary education).
Man structures his religious impulses by liturgy and ritual.
Man structures his faith and calls it theology.

     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.
    In this list above we have essentially the sum of human activities as distinct from the accomplishments of animals. Language we have already examined. Among animals music is not believed to be consciously created with infinite variety and elaborated as man creates  

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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 gratitude.
     Kroeber mentions some examples in which chimpanzees, gorillas, and Cebus monkeys seem to derive pleasure from a form of painting.
(242) Just what this means is hard to say. Some recent experiments suggest that chimpanzees like to play around with coloured paints, but there is no evidence of harmony, form, or order of any kind in their "creations." They are purely random expressions of some kind of exuberance. I do not think anyone has suggested that they are emerging artists. Bower birds decorate their homes, but again the essence of order and meaning seems to be missing.
     There is a report of the ability of birds to "count," but only up to six or seven. And in this case it appears to be more pattern recognition than number comprehension.
(243) Munro Fox, in his book The Personality of Animals, has a whole chapter entitled "Can Animals Count?" in which he refers to a particular zoo chimpanzee named Sally who learned to pick up four or five straws when asked to, but that was as far as she could count. Above five she made mistakes. (244) He also refers to a pigeon that was taught to pick up five grains of wheat. The bird was then placed before a heap of wheat, in front of 

242. Kroeber, A. L., Anthropology, Harcourt & Brace, New York, 1948, p.65.
243. "Learning in Man and Animals," editorial, Nature, June 23, 1956, p.1147.
244. Fox, Munro, Personality of Animals, Pelican Booth, London, 1952, revised edition, p.100. 

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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)

     Surely they mastered this problem fairly easily, but sometimes they made mistakes: and one jackdaw realized his mistake. He ought to have taken 6 peas � 2 out of the first box, then none, 1, 2, and 1 (out of successive boxes). . . .
     He went back to his cage after taking only five. But then he suddenly came back and counted out his task by bowing his head the right number of times in front of each box. When he got to five, he went on to the next box and picked up and ate the one pea he had forgotten.
     The behavior of this jackdaw in bowing his head, however, could be taken as indicative of the fact that he had a kind of physiological memory of the number of actions to perform at each station that did not actually involve counting at all. It would be a kind of conditioned reflex. And something told him that he had not completed the performance. . . .

     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.

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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.
     Mathiassen in his Fifth Thule Report, 1921-24, The Material Culture of the Iglulik Eskimo, remarked upon the method used by these people to attract caribou within range of their bows. Two men, having sighted a caribou, will proceed to walk away from it. The curious animal will follow cautiously at a distance. One man will suddenly drop out of sight behind a snow bank and remain hidden, while the other one goes on. The caribou unsuspectingly follows, not noticing the absence of one man; and of course, he pays the price. This seems clear evidence of inability to recognize the difference between two and one. Apparently it has also been found that if three men go openly to a hideout for shooting game fowl, the game will fly away from the area. But if one of the men openly leaves the hideout, the birds will unsuspectingly return. Beyond this, efforts to detect the ability to count in other animals have not been successful.
     We have, then, in man one further unique character, namely, that of rationality, taking rationality in the broadest possible sense to include preference for order, which involves a form of counting, logic, truth, symmetry, and harmony against their respective alternatives. In all these things other animals seem to be totally indifferent wherever they have the power of choice.


     Once again, 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.
     Thus we come back to the question first proposed, What is man? In the next chapter we shall examine what I believe to be, at least for the Christian, the most conclusive evidence of all that man is not merely more than, but something quite other than, an animal.  

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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