The Animal Invitation-- Science, Ethics, Religion and Law in a More-than-Human World What follows are (1) the Preface for book which explains four basic questions which are addressed throughout the book, and (2) the Additional Materials referenced in different sections of the manuscript submitted to the publisher in May 2023.
This book poses a quartet of questions, each of which is described as having more power than its current answer.
[From Chapter 5, Science and the Invitation to Their Realities] How much better would our scientific exploration be if, as we go about each of our many different science fields that in some way explore nonhuman animals, we already knew a great deal about (i) what our ethical systems have suggested about other animals, (ii) what our religious traditions have claimed, and (iii) what our legal systems have in the past done and now might attempt because they play such a prominent role in every modern nation state?
[From Chapter 6, "Ethics and the Invitations to Care"] What might we learn about ethics if, for the purpose of seeing this human capacity as well as possible, we search our human legal systems, our religious and wisdom traditions, and our many sciences in order to fathom what humans can know of our nonhuman neighbors and our own animal features?
[From Chapter 7, "Religion and More-than-Human Animals"] Can we better fathom our religious and wisdom/spirituality traditions if we have also noticed, taken seriously, and then dispassionately explored the animal features evident in the ways humans have pursued and now are doing science, ethics and law?
[from Chapter 8, "Law and Other Animals"] How much better will our species understand what different human communities have attempted through the law if, as we attempt such an understanding, we have already explored seriously our own animal features as they manifest within our sciences, ethics, and religious inclinations?
Additional Materials for Introduction
QQ1. CE dates, formerly signaled by A.D. (“anno Domini”), originated in 17th Germany—for a discussion of the term, see Mark, Joshua J., “The Origin and History of the BCE/CE Dating System” published on 27 March 2017 and available at https://www.ancient.eu/article/1041/the-origin-and-history-of-the-bcece-dating-system/, accessed 2018.2.10). QQ2. Close observation reveals that elephants’ temples vibrate when they make subsonic sounds. More indirectly, it is possible to deduce that the communication exists from the fact that a group of elephants will often pause at the same time as if listening for such sounds, or from observations of coordinated action between elephant groups even when the groups are separated by enough distance to make visual signals between the two groups impossible. Careful observers who notice these clues can imagine that communication is occurring even though humans do not hear what is being “said.” QQ3. Because of our own finitudes, we struggle to know the places and worlds of such different creatures. To describe their (cetaceans’) realities as well as one can requires not only long-term study by many humans, but also careful work to detect and then avoid distortion of the perceived realities that often plague human evaluators who have extremely limited evidence to assess our present, obviously incomplete social constructions about the animals in question. QQ4. This is particularly so in different contexts—what counts as evidence in a legal court will be different than what counts as evidence in one’s daily life in a human community, or when trying to answer question of what really happens in the lives of unfamiliar life forms in unfamiliar places.
Additional Materials for Chapter One “Animals’ Invitations"
QQ1. Affirming of the Meaning of Indigenous. Given that “indigenous” has a range of meanings, the following explains what the United Nations and other international forums mean by “indigenous.” Who are “indigenous” peoples? In a straightforward manner indigenous means anything produced, growing, or living naturally in a particular region or environment. Yet, there are semantic and political difficulties involved in determining who is “indigenous.” … The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, prepared for approval by the separate nation-states during the Decade of Indigenous Peoples (1994-2004), has posed this question largely within international law and human rights contexts. In these international forums, “indigenous” refers to ethnic groups with clear cultural, linguistic, and kinship bonds who have been so marginalized by modern nation-states that their inherent dignity and coherence societies are in danger of being lost. As noted in Part II, the description “indigenous” can be applied to the scientific traditions, ethical traditions, religious traditions and legal traditions. When used in this book as a reference to humans, then, “indigenous” refers to groups that live in small-scale societies and foreground ancestral memories, local and specialized mythologies, special commitments to their own kinship systems, distinct languages, and deep commitments to place or homelands. “Indigenous,” then, will work as a specialized term with uses that are not identical with one important literal sense of “indigenous,” namely, “originating where it is found” (in other words, some of the groups mentioned as belonging in the category “indigenous” were historically displaced and thus did not originate where they are now found). John Grim provides a summary of this way of using “indigenous.” The term “Indigenous” is a generalized reference to the thousands of small-scale societies who have distinct languages, kinship systems, mythologies, ancestral memories, and homelands. These different societies comprise more than 500 million people throughout the planet today. Since these societies are extremely diverse, any general remarks are suspect of imposing ideas and concepts on them. Indigenous religions do not constitute a “world religion” in the same way as, for example, Buddhism or Christianity. QQ2.More on the Fragility of Our Observations. Yet the existence of key limits on both our individual human animal abilities and those of our species as a collective must always be kept in the foreground, for the existence of these limits suggests forcefully that these same limits have often played out in human-on-human discrimination, which on countless occasions has merged with disdain for those living beings who happen not to be members of our own species. This book contains many relevant examples—the maxims that Shapin mentions, Pascal’s three degree observations, Plato’s cranes, and our penchant for meaning-following discussed in Chapter 3. Each human in particular experiences regularly the undeniable fact that our personal awareness of even the most intimate past experiences fades with time and thus can become distorted—what we recall immediately, and certainly what we recall long after an event, is but a fraction of the actual constellation of events that memory attempts to keep within reach. As to the inevitable question “what do we really know?”, consider with humility a question about what any human might confidently know about the realities of dolphins—for example, what might we know of the actual realities of a young, free-ranging dolphin who meets a human swimmer or captives held in a research facility? The captivity of Akeakamai and Phoenix, though morally fraught, led to a publicly available report about observable actions that clearly invite our wonder about these nonhuman animals’ remarkable conceptual and communication abilities. By implication, we assume similar abilities exist as well for these individuals’ fellow species members. Such capabilities mark these big-brained creatures as completely unlike stereotypes of unthinking, unreasoning, “dumb animals.”Yet even though intriguing information was gleaned from holding Akeakamai and Phoenix captive, we still face an uncountable number of humbling questions—just what is it that we really know about these animals’ actual realities? What in fact are they communicating? And what do they do with such abilities in their natural communities that have thrived for millions of years in ocean environments that are completely alien to us? No matter how one purports to answer such basic questions, the findings have implications that invite all humans to engage the more-than-human world on its terms, not solely on ours. The actual realities of these dolphins beg from each of us a further series of questions, including “why have we inherited one-dimensional, dismissive ideas about such creatures?” and “which other nonhuman animals are, like humans, members of a group that communicates often and richly, and have their own communities and special places?” Chapter 5 explains that comparable stories about many different kinds of nonhuman animals are today readily available for those who care to inquire. As humans openly discuss possible answers to such questions, we do well to avoid a facile way of speaking that is a quagmire—humans sometimes have spoken in terms of wanting to know another human individual’s “inner” realities, and deducing such inner realities on the basis of observed “outer realities,” that is, realities discernible by human observers. The conclusion that Akeakamai and Phoenix were communicating is, one could argue, a kind of a principled extrapolation that functions as a guess about each of these individuals’ inaccessible interiority. This guess is principled and “responsible” in the sense that it is built up from observed, recurring behavior through a series of trials. But questions about “inner” versus “outer” realities, though familiar to so many, are haunted by the specter of the traditional mind/body dualism. Upon examination, an “inner versus outer” scheme is not a crisp, easily used distinction. It calls out the obvious fact that some matters are observable and some are not, but so-called inner, “mental” realities can be manifested very subtly in the body—some animals are masters of reading body language and thereby being alerted to some feature of an observed being’s state of mind. Notoriously, horses, chimpanzees and dogs can read a human’s awareness and decisions even when the human is not consciously able to articulate such awareness or decision—a classic example from the early 20th century is known as the Clever Hans phenomenon is discussed in the text. As discussed in Chapter 2, humans are among the many animals whose cognition is embodied, that is, by no means exclusively “inner” (as “solely within a mind”), but, rather, body-based and thus possibly disclosed in our muscles or posture and thereby discernible to the talented observer of our “outer” selves. In daily life, the common experience in everyday human life of having to guess about even familiar beings’ actual thoughts and feelings supports the recurring observation made by our human philosophers for millennia—certainty about how to answer questions about what is really going in another living being is elusive at best and, often, an impossibly vague guess. Said most simply, if such uncertainty plagues a human claiming to have certainty of even familiar fellow humans’ interior realities, the difficulties of the enterprise are greatly multiplied when any one of us seeks to know the actual daily and communal realities of a single member of another species, let alone what most members of that other species “know” or “experience.” Even if we guess rightly about how a particular animal feels or thinks, we say nothing definite at all about the extraordinarily diverse group of beings we lump together as “animals” (meaning here, of course, “any and all nonhuman animals”). Thus, even if we had certain knowledge of, say, one dog, or all dogs, which we clearly do not, such “certainty” would have no traction whatsoever as a generalization about the countless non-dog animals who abound on our shared planet. Human exceptionalism simply assumes away the difficulty with its presupposition that our kind of animal is so paradigmatically intelligent and perceptive that members of our species can grasp any nonhuman animal’s actual realities. Many humans have now long unreflectively assumed human intelligence to be the paradigmatic example of intelligence. This position is characteristically taken by those who either have failed to inquire carefully or simply made the facile assumption that other animals do not think or have interior complexities that are worthy of note. Nonetheless, the idea that other animals have actual realities independent of whether we observe and/or measure them is an intuitively appealing idea, for we know from our own animal bodies that each of us has our own, distinctive experiences that can be distinguished from other humans’ experiences. We naturally extrapolate this general conclusion about our own individual self to more than other humans—we assume that at least some other living beings are, like us, individuals with rich, even baffling lives comprised of at least some interiorities like feelings, thoughts, and interests. We are often comfortable extending such notions to other mammals such as our fellow great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas), or individuals in the almost one hundred cetacean species, or different elephant species. Many people find such an extrapolation reasonable even though the limits already discussed prevent us from knowing other animals’ “realities” with absolute certainty. QQ3.Gift or Quagmire? The Question of Personal Heritage. Answers to questions we ask when doing a personal archeology reveal that human-to-human connections impact dramatically what each human comes to think about our larger community and our inevitable human-to-nonhuman relationships. Any human can dig into their own personal history, much as archeologists working on an ancient city dig into the past layer by layer. When each of us reflects on this layering in our past experiences, we go on a personal journey of uncovering the multiple, diverse ways in which we learned about animals. Such a “dig” into one’s past first encounters the most recent experiences, but as we gradually move deeper into the past, we travel further back into our own personal history. Eventually we may encounter the earliest experiences we can recall as our younger self discovered other-than-human animals as fellow travelers in this life. Many humans can identify individual animals other than the humans who in some way graced their first decades of life. At this level, the questions at first are straightforward—which individual nonhumans did you meet early in your life? Who taught you about them? Were you taught to observe them carefully or to dismiss them? To eat them? To protect them? Additional questions become more complicated—what did your teachers really know when they taught you about the living beings outside our species? Were your teachers passing along good information or bad? Were you taught to respect what others related to you as absolute truth, or as your teachers’ careful guess about the realities of other animals? How often did you learn on your own about other animals? And when you did learn on your own, how was it that you knew how to learn about other animals? As any human reflects on such diverse issues, that individual can notice the different layers of experience upon which one’s present understanding is built. Some of these experiences will be actual encounters with nonhumans. Some of these experiences will be a personal reaction to the claims made about other-than-human animals by authority figures encountered in early life. Some of these experiences may be an individual’s earliest recollection of someone challenging ideas inherited by way of family and birth community. Some who pursue such a personal archeology also notice how wide is the range of learning modes that any human goes through when he or she discovers the diversity of living beings. These complex, diverse processes of learning reveal another startlingly personal feature—each human has had a truly unique set of experiences when learning about nonhuman animals. This is so because each of us has in our life met a group of nonhuman animals that only partly overlaps the group that anyone else has met. Adults have each met a unique subset of the world’s dogs, and, similarly, a unique subset of the world’s cats, the world’s horses, and so on. Some of us will have had positive experiences, and others will have been marked by experiences of fear or dislike. Some easily recall learning about the living presence of other animals through encountering that other being’s breath or vocalizations, or felt a nonhuman animal react on the basis of fear or pain in ways that are instantly recognizable as sharing features with how humans also experience fear or pain from time to time. Pursuing personal archeology may also lead one to recognize when and how one learned that humans share far more than fundamental sensory abilities such as vision, smell, hearing, touch and taste with many other animals. Traits like curiosity, intelligence, learning, fear, friendship, and so much more exhibited by many nonhuman animals will seem to young humans to share much with similar abilities clearly present in their own lives. Children, in other words, notice easily that we humans are, and will always be, animals as fully as are the nearby nonhumans. Other animals’ invitations will, to be sure, often be partial and mysterious, thus offering no assurance that we can fairly claim to “know” such neighbors in the ways we can come to know our neighboring human animals. But the invitations are profound nonetheless, and pose the following inevitable question about whether one’s own group can, on the basis of that group’s heritage and present awareness regarding one’s nonhuman neighbors, develop responsible views of more-than-human lives and communities—is what is claimed in one’s own local society about various nonhuman animals a reasonable approximation of the most basic realities that any curious human individual can discern of nonhuman neighbors’ actual lives? QQ4. A list appears at https://bestlifeonline.com/animals-mate-for-life/, accessed 21.12.2. and lists the following—beavers, gray wolves, coyotes, gray foxes, seahorses, gibbons, Titi monkeys, Oldfield mice, prairie voles, the antelope species known as Dik-diks, French angelfish, Shingleback lizards, and many birds (some penguin species, sandhill cranes, bald eagles, Atlantic puffins, albatrosses, barn owls, geese, swans, pigeons, monk parakeets, black vultures, scarlet macaws, and California condors).
 Grim, John, ed., 2001. Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard. Page xxxvii-xxxviii of Introduction.
 Grim, John n.d. “Indigenous Traditions and Ecology,” Forum on Religion and Ecology, accessed 2021.12.5 at https://fore.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/JG%20Indigenous%20Lifeways%20and%20Ecology%20.pdf.
 “Dumb” in this phrase is a translation of the Latin mutus, which is related to the English word “mute.” It is telling that so many of us now take “dumb animals” to mean “stupid, unintelligent animals” when in fact the phrase more correctly means “mute animals, that is, animals that do not speak human language.”
Additional Materials for Chapter Two "The Situated Braid"
QQ1. Bishop Gore’s claim that “details” of his God’s creation were ugly was not without important precedents—Montesquieu in his widely read Spirit of Laws at Book 15, Chapter V, suggested a comparable claim that might be used to subordinate one group of unfamiliar humans: “It is hardly to be believed that God, who is a wise Being, should place a soul, especially a good soul, in such a black ugly body.... It is impossible for us to suppose these creatures to be men.” While Montesquieu’s argument does not explicitly compare dark-skinned humans to other animals, the history of western culture features many such comparisons of marginalized humans, such as women, Jews and other disfavored ethnic groups, darker skinned individuals, homosexuals, and on and on, to “beasts” or “lower forms of life” for the purpose of justifying some form of marginalization.
QQ2. See, for example, Sibley, C. G., and Ahlquist, J. E. 1984. 'The phylogeny of the hominoid primates, as indicated by DNA-DNA hybridization', Journal of Molecular Evolution, 20, 2-15. Details of the relevant science can be found, along with argument that is extremely human-centered from an ethics standpoint, in Jonathan Marks 2002. What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee: Apes, People, and Their Genes. Berkeley: University of California Press.
QQ3. See, for example, Scales, Helen 2011. The Brilliant Abyss: Exploring the Majestic Hidden Life of the Deep Ocean and the Looming Threat that Imperils It. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, p.10: “More than 95 percent the earth's biosphere—the volume of habitats available for living organisms to occupy—is made up of the deep sea. Everything else—the forests and grasslands, rivers and lakes, mountains, deserts, and shallow coastal waters—is collectively outstripped in terms of sheer volume by those colossal reaches of the oceans that lie below the blue surface.” This calculation may need to be adjusted because of the information in Onstott 2017 (cited in Chapter 5) regarding the ongoing discovery of astonishing numbers of microorganisms below the surface of the land both above sea level and the solid Earth’s beneath the deepest oceans.
QQ4. Our other enabling sensory abilities also confer on us astonishing modes of learning that help us think critically as we negotiate our local world. We may, for example, at first be tempted to conclude that if we cannot directly see something in a particular space, then that space is empty. Similarly, we might conclude a place is silent if the sounds are below our range of hearing. Yet we learn from experience that we can adjust our claims about the surrounding world because we reason on the basis of all our senses and the humilities that our many finitudes mandate. Thereby, we can conclude that something exists even when it is invisible to our eyes, inaudible to our ears, or does not trigger our taste buds or the receptor cells inside our nose or the cells that give us our sense of touch. As animals fully aware that our enabling senses are finite, we have learned that our conclusions are tentative rather than absolute, for time and again circumstances have taught human and nonhuman primates alike that an absence of evidence (here, the failure to sense something) does not automatically equate to conclusive evidence of the absence of some phenomenon. We (humans, other primates, many other mammals, birds, and various other animals) can recognize that we are capable of forms of thinking that surmount some of our sensory finitudes. These key lessons available to observant, curious animals challenge individuals to stay nimble and alert.
QQ5. We live in a golden age of discovery about plants—Haskell 2017 has already been cited, and currently there is an astonishing range of other science-based work on plants’ communication with each other that builds on work developed in the last decades. An early example addressed how some damaged plants communicate with both members of their own species and other kinds of plants—Holopainen, J. (2004). Multiple functions of inducible plant volatiles. Trends in Plant Science, 9(11), 529-533. DOI: ScienceDirect.
QQ6. There are yet far greater speeds at which our body is always moving but which we and almost certainly no other animals ever detect—the sun and solar system as a whole move within our home galaxy at 700,000+km/hour or about 200 km/115 miles each second, and our galaxy moves through the universe at nearly 2.5 million km/hour, which works out to about 7000 km/4000 miles per second. Tyson, N. deGrasse & Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, I., 2014. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Episode 4 @ 20:00-21:00.
QQ7. This psychological phenomenon, known as pareidolia, happens when our human brainresponds to some stimulus (such as an image) by perceiving a familiar pattern. Researchers report, “Our findings suggest that human face processing has a strong top-down component whereby sensory input with even the slightest suggestion of a face can result in the interpretation of a face.” (Jiang Liu et al. “Seeing Jesus in toast: Neural and behavioral correlates of face pareidolia.” Cortex 53 (April 2014), pp. 60-77. The text is from the abstract.) A familiar example known as the “Rubin face” or “the figure-ground vase” was developed around 1915 by the psychologist Edgar Rubin—the image, which seems to feature both a vase and two faces looking at each other, is explained in many general encyclopedias—see, for example, “Rubin vase”, in New World Encyclopedia,www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/rubin_vase, accessed 2022.11.20.
QQ8. Today Umwelt is a widely used term because the underlying concept generates insights about different kinds of animals by calling attention to very particular biological foundations. But as so often happens in human languages, complications arise because this word can be used in a variety of ways—sometimes the term is used for individuals, other times for a single species, and at yet other times for a group of species. Consider an example in which multiple species are talked of as having the same Umwelt—von Uexküll began his seminal 1934 monograph with a set of observations about ticks that suggest such living beings can be thought of as sharing virtually the same biological foundation. There is an important nuance andcomplication here, however, because our own species has identified almost 900 species of ticks so far, with more no doubt to be discovered. One can ask, does each tick species have a unique Umwelt, or can we say that a group of genetically distinguishable but closely related species share the same Umwelt? Von Uexkull’s point is that a large group of living beings can be helpfully conceived as sharing a common biological foundation that situates them for all practical purposes in the same way—this is a valuable point to make in a diverse world with many different kinds of animals, some of which in daily life (for example, the individuals comprising the many tick species) are impossible for human individuals to recognize as different from one another. We often can think better about other groups of animals with certain helpful generalizations—for example, all of the individuals colloquially referred to as “orcas” or “killer whales” are regularly listed under the scientific name Orcinus orca but research more than a decade ago pointed out that genetically speaking, orcas are likely several species.  Still, orcas are similar enough from our vantage point for them to be meaningfully collected together and even said to share an Umwelt that is easily distinguished from the Umwelt of any tick species. The key to this kind of species- or group-level talk is that biological foundations are shared by members of the same species. Such biological foundations work as a set of finite channels that admit to each individual’s awareness crucial features of a creature’s local world (like the presence of prey, or sexual or competition signals from a nearby member of the same species). What is being specified is a characteristic set of biological limits that set the range of what each member of a species or group of closely related species can experience of the world. In this vein, de Waal observes about humans that “we inhabit the same Umwelt as other primates.” The point being proposed is simple enough—humans and other primates have similar biological foundations for ordinary experience. This creates the possibility of an individual human having some inkling of a nonhuman primate’s vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch. This can be seen in the following imaginary situation—if several humans and several chimpanzees are sitting together in a forest opening, and nearby a tree branch suddenly crashes noisily to the ground, all of the primates (humans and chimpanzees) will be similarly startled immediately turn in the direction of the fallen branch. This is possible because, by virtue of a shared Umwelt, these two closely related species are alike in what they hear and how they respond to such a disturbance. In this matter, the two different kinds of animals are for all practical reasons in the same perceptual universe by virtue of, in de Waal’s words, “inhabiting the same Umwelt.” One does not have to read materials about Umwelt very long, however, before encountering another use of the word where the focus is on each animal’s individuality. In his Forward to the 1934 monograph (which appears in A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men), von Uexkull explains the idea of Umwelt by using the metaphor of a soap bubble, suggesting that there is a “subjective world that surrounds eachparticular organism.”
QQ9. For example, Augustine of Hippo in his influential theological treatise De Trinitate(begun about 400 C.E.) commented that “beasts perceive as living, not only themselves, but also each other, and one another, and us as well.” (This passage appears in Augustine’s De Trinitate, section 8.6.9 of the English translation in the series Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol 3, "Augustin [sic]: On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises", First Series, ed. by Philip Schaff (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1994], page 120. It also can be found in Waldau, Paul 2001. The Specter of Speciesism: Buddhist and Christian Views of Animals. New York: Oxford University Press, at p. 148.) Such a conclusion started out as a guess, of course, because the actual realities of nonhuman “beasts” are for all the reasons already noted notoriously hard to discern. Yet there are reasons to think some approaches can be at least somewhat productive, for it has long been clear that any particular human’s thinking on such subjects can become better with effort and time. It is also possible that human opinion can move to the level of educated guess, especially if a group of experienced individuals works together toward this goal through sharing with each other a variety of careful, repeated observations of other animals.
QQ10. Recent measurements indicate, for example, that some small birds have an EQ of 1:12 (the brain is one-twelfth of the body’s weight), while humans have a ratio of 1:40. Mice are also listed at 1:40, while elephants are listed 1:560 and horses at 1:600. Other sources list “small ants” as having the largest brain-to-body ratio (1:7) and other nonhuman species (for example, the “tree shrew”) as featuring a 1:10 ratio.
QQ11. For example, even if humans measured superior on the EQ scale—or in absolute brain size, or some other metric of our own imagining—such a “fact” would not suggest that humans, as morally able animals, do not need to respect and protect other living beings who feature a lower EQ. Many nonhuman animals have impressive brain features that make them distinctive individuals who relate to each other on the basis of shared social complexities. As Part II suggests repeatedly, human individuals, our local communities and larger nation states can use science, ethics, religious views and legal systems to put in place effective and fundamental protections for a wide range of other-than-human animals and their communities. This possibility has long been evident in the fact that our kind of animal in many cultures and for long periods of time clearly recognized humans as members of a more-than-human community.
QQ12. These Buddhist exhortations also are an acknowledgment that our animal aliveness is a core feature of any realistic form of self-understanding. As discussed in Chapter 7, these three exhortations are followed by two others. The fourth exhortation is focused on the animal reality of living in a community that is constantly changing (“All that I hold dear and everyone I love are of the nature to change”). The fifth and final exhortation is an affirmation of ethics and thereby community—“my actions are my only true belongings.” These additional exhortations thus direct those who meditate in this fashion beyond self-preoccupation to a fuller form of awareness, suggesting a theme discussed most fully in Chapter 9—some forms of self-actualization are possible only through self-transcendence. These considerations and others about humans’ core features reveal our stubborn animality which does not, and will not, go away simply because some influential humans choose to repudiate it. It is an essence we carry, playing out richly and with benefits such as self-knowledge whenever we openly acknowledge its extraordinary natural connections to the actual, multispecies world in which each of us necessarily lives. Given that we are intelligent animals, it would be surprising if in no parts of the worldwide human community was our evident animality openly acknowledged. Upon exploration, full affirmations of our animality can be found—it is a cornerstone, of course, in environmental and animal protection circles, and science-based communities in very practical ways embrace humans as one kind of animal among many other kinds. Further, acknowledgments that humans are one animal among others is still a powerful feature in many small-scale societies, and as Chapter 7 suggests it is present in various ways in subtraditions of different religions.
QQ13. The common version of this epigram is somewhat misleading given that the French original is less epigrammatic: “Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste." This translates more literally as “Certainly whoever is entitled to make you absurd is entitled to make you unfair” or “Surely whoever has the right to make you absurd has the right to make you unjust.” More alternative translations appear at http://izquotes.com/quote/376165.
QQ14. Such work is backed by creative suggestions about theoretical issues in, for example, Nussbaum, Martha 2006. Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. Cambridge Mass.: The Belknap Press; Harvard University Press; and Donaldson, Sue and Kymlicka, Will 2011. Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights. New York: Oxford University Press.
QQ15. Mirror neurons derive their name from the fact that they are activated not only when a human or some other animal with this feature performs a particular action but also when that particular action is merely observed—hence such neurons “mirror” the behavior of another living being as if the observer were itself acting. Olmert’s interest is based on the fact that mirror neurons were likely were involved as our human ancestors began to pattern themselves after other mammals. Oxytocin is, in technical terms, a peptide hormone and neuropeptide, and it has for some time been used as a medication to facilitate childbirth. It is a natural substance found in many animals that plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction in both sexes, and during and after childbirth. The biology and chemistry are extraordinarily complex, involving many other key substances such as vasopressin. Contemporary scientists now know that oxytocin affects many animal functions and thereby plays a powerful role in a variety of bonding situations, such as that of mammalian mothers to their own offspring or that which takes place in certain pair bonding.
QQ16. Olmert notes that these features which humans have in common with many other mammals likely were involved as our human ancestors began to pattern themselves after other mammals. As centuries and eventually millennia passed, humans continued to watch and learn patterns of life that improved humans’ self-care, made more efficient our migrations when needed, helped us create a safer world for our lives in local communities that included other animals, and honed our awareness of advanced hunting techniques by other animals that could be emulated by human individuals and groups. Using both our biological inheritance from our ancient mammal ancestors and the inherited wisdom of their own group, our human ancestors could pattern their choices on the observable realities of neighboring animals. Key actors on both the human side and the nonhuman side were likely individuals of each species who experienced high levels of oxytocin.
QQ17. A key lesson to be drawn from the veneration paid these prior but dramatically inadequate views of language is how our species has failed to recognize that such views were self-serving in the sense of being all too congenial to the exclusions that are embodied in today’s human exceptionalism. The complexity of human language is an important topic for many reasons, not the least of which is that our many different human languages are clearly a formidable and formative force in our lives. Understanding human language well matters for everyone, including those solely concerned with humans, for the multiplicity of languages in the human community sometimes divides humans even as it enriches the species as a whole. Such complexities make all the more relevant work that identifies the sometimes subtle, sometimes overt ways in which inherited narratives about the nature of language long obscured, and still hide to some extent, some of the most important features of human languages. Thru recognition of the living nature of languages, we can assess puzzling patterns in how, when and why human communities acquire or discard language habits. Relevant to the animal invitation, for example, we can ask why is it that some human precincts have come to treat “human and animals” as a realistic phrase rather than as a fundamentally misleading habit of mind. Part of the answer about why such an anti-scientific dualism would prevail in even those circles that pride themselves on their scientific sophistication is that we are tradition-bound animals who are reliant on inherited social constructions that anchor narrow-hearted views like human exceptionalism. But a full answer needs to be far more complex. Lenneberg’s 1967 book was published well into the linguistic turn, and its insight that our language skills are biologically-seated (for example, they emerge inexorably at an early age) helps one make fundamental connections that can foster exploration of how our human languages and our other communication abilities have deep roots that connect us to nonhuman animals’ vocalizations and other forms of communication. Such evidence has important implications because it contrasts greatly with claims that language involves mystical forces as often asserted confidently in the past. Similarly, the biological dimensions of language are today so fully evident that it becomes imperative to engage the number and variety of past claims that our human language had its roots primarily in some intellectual force such as rationality.
QQ18. Mildly suggestive of a “yes” answer is the background fact that social construction is one strand in the situated braid. Since other animals also have lives featuring other strands of the situated braid (bodily finitudes, mental limits and frontiers, embodied awareness, communication capabilities, and sometimes culture-like social features), humans today need to stay open to the possibility that “constructed” elements may also play out in some nonhuman animals’ situatedness. A collateral benefit of such openness is that we then may understand better how to explore our own human social constructions. Lenneberg raises the issue of other animals indirectly when stating that “[a] major objective” of his work is “to show that reason, discovery, and intelligence are concepts that are as irrelevant for an explanation of the existence of language as for the existence of bird songs or the dance of the bees.” Consider how such issues are implicit or explicit in some discussions—for example, the fact that humans in their local world understand themselves to have deep connections to some of their nonhuman neighbors is a recurrent theme in much anthropological literature. A 1990 collection of essays focuses on “the ‘special’ relationships, some of which have been grouped together under the term ‘totemism’, that may exist between humans and animals.” This collection’s editor cites “Lenneberg's (1967) demonstration of the correspondence between the classificatory ability innate in many nonhuman animals and the classificatory principle characteristic of all known human languages.”Also relevant is the fact that many of the cultures shaped by our ancient forebears assumed that a wide range of nonhuman animals feature their own communication traditions—for example, as discussed in Chapter 7, the Pliny the Elder opened his influential first century discussion of nonhuman animals with the claim that elephants are the “nearest in capacity to men,” and he then referenced long-standing views that elephants not only understand the language of humans, but also hold “in religious reverence the stars” and practice “veneration of the sun and moon.” Claims that human language should be the leading edge of arguments about human uniqueness have in part been premised on the view that our language exchanges are the means by which we learn of other humans’ mental realities and interests. Influential figures in western intellectual history, including the Stoics already noted and Immanuel Kant in the late eighteenth century, have argued much as Descartes did that humans’ linguistic abilities are integrally involved with, even constitutive of, humans’ rationality. This conclusion is thought to support the Stoics’ claim that the ability to speak one of humans’ many languages is fairly held to be the one and only criterion for moral considerability. While this ancient narrative obviously flatters humans, it flies in the face of the fact that the vast majority of ancient cultures held a diametrically opposed view because they experienced themselves as members of a larger, more-than-human community.
QQ19. Paul Shepard observed, “The most revealing source of information about how people conceive of themselves in relation to the nonhuman world is myth. … All myths operate on three levels: one deeply personal, concerning an inner, unconscious life; another the social and ecological milieu; and third, the society of spiritual and eternal things in tales of creation.” There are many detailed and wide-ranging analyses of the narrative function of our ancestors’ countless myths. With full acknowledgement that no one of these analyses is deemed definitive, consider the wide-ranging scheme developed in the voluminous works of Joseph Campbell, who long ago stated, "We live, today, in a terminal moraine of myths and mythic symbols, fragments large and small of traditions that formerly inspired and gave rise to civilizations." Campbell’s overview, which names four functions of “myth and mythic symbols” as they order our lives, begins on an immersive, deeply invitational note. "The first function of a mythology is to waken and maintain in the individual a sense of wonder and participation in the mystery of this finally inscrutable universe, whether understood in Michelangelo’s way as an effect of the will of an anthropomorphic creator, or in the way of our modern physical scientists—and of many of the leading oriental religious and philosophical systems—as the continuously created dynamic display of an absolutely transcendent, yet universally immanent, mysterium tremendens et fascinans, which is the ground at once of the whole spectacle and of oneself." Narrative that can perform this first function does much more than inventory a world in some manner. Beyond that function, narrative opens a door through which arrive invitations, a feature suggested by Campbell’s choice of “mystery” as what is awakened and maintained. Campbell names a second function for narrative—“fill every particle and quarter of the current cosmological image with its measure of this mystical import….” Campbell underscores that “in this regard, mythologies differ” just as “the horizons, landscapes, sciences, and technologies of other civilizations differ.” To nuance why “mythologies differ,” Campbell specifically mentions two examples of place-based, local world differences— “a hunting tribe [such] as the Pawnee of the North American plains, for example, would have known a world very different from that of the mid Pacific Polynesians….” Narrative, if it is to function well, needs to be a living response to the vibrant features of one’s local world. The third function of a mythology identified by Campbell builds on the foundational role that local place and culture have as key determinants playing out in different local worlds--"… a third function, no less important is the sociological one of validating and maintaining whatever moral system and manner of life-customs may be peculiar to the local culture." Campbell’s “fourth, and final, essential function of mythologies,” also intensely local and distinct, "is the pedagogical one of conducting individuals in harmony through the passages of human life, from the stage of dependency in childhood to the responsibilities of maturity, and on to old age and the ultimate passage of the dark gate." These four functions are entwined as they help humans in community develop a multi-faceted, intensely local approach by which the community shares, further develops, and passes along to future generations survival techniques, such as where to live, what to eat in that place, how to avoid dangers, and much more. The prevalence of narratives for these purposes reveals how vitally important it is for our kind of primate to work together in a local, competitive world full of other living beings. Campbell’s account of narratives embodied in their own “myth and mythic symbols” suggests much about the inadequacy of human exceptionalism as a dominant narrative. With regard to the first function of myth—awakening and maintaining in individuals “a sense of wonder and participation” in a “finally inscrutable universe”— human exceptionalism is a catastrophic failure. It narrows humans’ perspective by nurturing a sense of human entitlement to an array of privileges that result in much destruction in the very world where humans inevitably must live. Beyond harms to other animals and ecosystems, human exceptionalism ignores the evident “multiplicity of intelligences” that our ancestors so regularly and widely detected in their own local world that our ancestors thought of as their larger community. In particular, human exceptionalism fails to foster what is well described as relational knowing in our lives, that is, recognizing that we become who we are in relation to the different living beings and places where we live. In many small-scale societies, the principal thrust of what it means to be a person “flows from being creatively attuned to the surrounding world of animals.” Personhood by this understanding of the world is not, then, primarily a separateness from others; it instead it is “a relationality,” that is, a sense that one’s own personhood grows out of both paying attention to, and then remaining in relation to, the diverse living beings in one’s local world. Further, such “work toward relatedness, especially in knowing animals” makes relation-built personhood an “achievement.”Human exceptionalism so constricts humans’ relationship to the world that it denudes each human’s local world, leaving individuals ill equipped to recognize features of the more-than-human world in which we inevitably live. As for Campbell’s second, cosmological function of myth (“fill every particle and quarter of the current cosmological image with its measure of this mystical import”), the human exceptionalism narrative also fails—rather than stimulating a sense of “mystical import,” it produces an account that is wanting in the same manner that racist ideologies or sex/gender-based discriminations are wanting to a human who understands all human animals to be worthy of respect and deserving of fundamental protections. Exceptionalist claims leave out far too much of our surrounding, nourishing world by holding in place the existing domination and privileges of humans. Failure is equally apparent when the measure is the sociological function of myth—reading one’s local world in a way that validates human exceptionalism does more than strip the local world of its more-than-human significance. It also ignores those existentially important features of the more-than-human world that the vast majority of our ancient ancestors wanted to honor and keep a part of their awareness precisely because it was mysterious, powerful and more-than-human for them. Finally, with regard to the pedagogical function of narratives, myths and symbols, human exceptionalism replaces the astonishment available when one notices the more-than-human invitations of our complex surroundings with a meaningless certainty that one kind of animal—our own—is the definitive measure of all things.
QQ20. As pointed out in Chapter 3, the hard work of thinking out how social construction plays a part in creating or dismantling such problems is ongoing, but the trajectory toward an affirmation of non-subordination is unmistakable. An important parallel question is whether rape is a cultural universal or a culture-nurtured phenomenon—the discussion is as fraught as it is important, but suffice it to say that some societies are rape-free (see, for example, Wagner 2001, 66-68, on the lack of rape in North American Indian societies at the time of Europeans 17th century arrival). An important early study of this is Palmer, Craig, “Is Rape a Cultural Universal? A Re-examination of the Ethnographic Data,” Ethnology, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Jan., 1989), pp. 1-16.
QQ21. Humans’ harsh past of the subordination of women is well represented by a 13th century counter-precedent that in multiple ways justified subordination and control of women as “right,” “fair,” and “necessary.” This “precedent” is called out by one of the twentieth century’s most respected historians who described the thirteenth century views of Vincent of Beauvais in ways that reveal an inherited narrative that projects an imagined world on not only women but future generations as well--"Woman was the Church’s rival, the temptress, the distraction, the obstacle to holiness, the Devil’s decoy. In the Speculum of Vincent de Beauvais, woman is 'the confusion of man, an insatiable beast, a continuous anxiety, an incessant warfare, a daily ruin, a house of tempest,' and—finally the key—'a hindrance to devotion.'”
 Uexküll, Jakob von. 1934. A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, With a Theory of Meaning. Translated by Joseph D. O’Neill. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, at p. 43.
 Jakob Von Uexkull. “A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men.” Semiotica, Vol. 89, Issue 4 (1992), 320.
 Stella, Marco, and Karel Kleisner 2010. “Uexküllian umwelt as science and as ideology: The light and the dark side of a concept.” Theorie in Den Biowissenschaften, Vol 129, Issue 1 (2010), at 12. The italics do not appear in the original.
 Kilner, J. M. and Lemon, R. N. “What We Know Currently about Mirror Neurons.” Current Biology 2013 Dec 2; 23(23): R1057–R1062; doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.10.051. The article begins, “Mirror neurons are a class of neuron that modulate their activity both when an individual executes a specific motor act and when they observe the same or similar act performed by another individual.” Accessed 2021.10.9 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3898692/
 Pertinent to this is Chapter 3’s discussion of claims that each human has inner monkey, reptile and fish.
 Willis, Roy. Signifying Animals: Human Meaning in the Natural World. London; Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1990. The description of the volume is from the Forward by the series editor Peter J. Ucko, p. xii.
 For discussion of this point and the following claim made by Immanuel Kant, as well as alternatives, see Rollin, Bernard E. 1992. Animal Rights and Human Morality, rev. edn (Buffalo: Prometheus Press), p. 72.
 Shepard, Paul 1996. The Others: How Animals Made Us Human. Washington D.C.: Island Press, p. 6-7. The italics have been added.
 For an account that is particularly wide-ranging geographically and temporally, see Witzel, M., 2012. The Origins of the World’s Mythologies, Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
 Joseph Campbell, The Way of Animal Powers, Volume 1, Historical Atlas of World Mythology, Alfred Van Der Marck Editions, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983, p. 8, opening sentence of Prologue entitled “The Mythological Dimension”.
 Barbara Tuchman 1979. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. New York: Ballantine Books, p. 211.
Additional Materials for Chapter Three "Social Construction in the Situated Braid"
QQ1. Consider how a second English translation of the Dhammapada’s opening lines in Pali reveals, as does the first translation, that humans’ response to such ignorance involves our “minds” in making, that is, constructing, an account of what is happening.
Phenomena are preceded by the heart, ruled by the heart, made of the heart.
The same Pali words are translated yet again differently in a widely available 1973 translation that also conveys the role that the human mind plays in construction of the world.
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our minds.
In the modern world, each contemporary human each day can be exposed to, literally, hundreds of instances of social construction by simply wandering through a modern city and having a variety of conversations along the way.
 Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) 2011 (revised translation). Dhammapada: A Translation Available in .pdf format at https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/dhammapada.pdf.
 Mascaró, Juan 1973. The Dhammapada: The Path of Perfection. New York: Penguin, p. 35.
Additional Materials forChapter Four “On Finishing Revolutions-- Ferment, Multiple Invitations and Re-Revolution"
QQ1.Humboldt’s many challenges to human exceptionalism. Humboldt’s many different affirmations of a robust awareness of humans’ natural communities challenges the central claims of human exceptionalism. In Part II, a series of European thinkers discussed in connection with the birth and development of the nineteenth century academic fields of sociology and anthropology is used to represent how in the last few centuries, many of humans’ largest cultures have not only failed to embrace, but also wandered further away from acknowledging humans’ animality. This tendency has created, of course, the conditions that set the stage for the recurring animal renaissances mentioned throughout this volume.Through such renaissances humans and their communities can reaffirm the basics of humans’ animal lives—humans are now, and have always been, one animal among others in the Earth community. Without realism of this kind by which individuals pay attention to their actual neighbors and local ecological context, the essentials of healthy ecosystems are hard to discern and thus nurture and sustain in the long term. This lesson about the importance of a frank and fair engagement with this most basic feature of human life was an enabling feature evident in our ancient ancestors’ ways of living. Recognizing this basic truth is far more likely when humans are evidence-driven rather than in thrall to some cultural or religious hegemony that asserts “the world was created for humans” or “we have risen above animality.” Humboldt’s vision, then, modeled a skill that is always available to each and every human animal, namely, using our native abilities to marshal evidence about the living features of our own local world. In Part II’s chapter on religion and that on the law, much evidence is presented regarding the failure of colonizers to recognize and respect the religio-spiritual and legal dimensions of either the small-scale indigenous cultures or the larger, empire-oriented indigenous groups whom the colonizers encountered. In retrospect, Humboldt was just one of many who lamented the myopias and greed of the colonizers that created extraordinary harms for both the subjugated humans and the natural places in which they had long been living. In a profound way, the colonizers’ extraordinary failures reflect only short-term greed, myopias and insensitivities of the worst sort that prevented them from recognizing that humans comprise but one species, not a hierarchy of some kind favoring only the more powerful and aggressive segments of the larger human community. Lessons of humility abound even today for those who explore in detail the writings of Humboldt, Darwin and the many individuals who were energized by their ideas in the late nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century. For example, even though Humboldt and Darwin in many passages provided readers with a basis for seeing indigenous peoples in a positive sense, such positive views did not prevail widely in these writers’ colonizing nations. But even though a positive evaluation of the newly “discovered” human cultures did not prevail, nonetheless these visionaries’ ideas made a powerful case for the importance of an evidence-driven assessment for any human whose goal is to engage the world without distortions such as human exceptionalism, or racism, or sexism, or religious intolerance. A commitment to be realistic about newly encountered beings whether human or nonhuman pushes one to work hard to ensure that one sees such beings in their context rather than in terms of the cultural myopias of one’s own conquering group. Seeing well and fully the basic realities of a newly discovered realm’s indigenous beings—and this is true whether such living beings are human or nonhuman—requires, thus, both honesty about the beings perceived and one’s own self and culture. More on Evidence in a World Pulsating with Life. Each human’s daily life as an animal is, this Part I has argued, that of a finite but ever-so-social animal in an incompletely known, ever-processing world. These are the circumstances that require each of us to consider the importance of patiently developing and then working humbly with evidence about the world. Doing these tasks as a member of an eminently social species prompts each of us to seek out other humans’ input on such issues. Experience also teaches that while we understandably should respect the claims we have inherited from family and community about other humans and nonhumans alike, such inherited views can mislead because they were drawn prematurely or were in some crucial respect inaccurate or unsupported by evidence that we have vetted carefully in a variety of real-world circumstances. Consider in this regard how Humboldt reacted to an inherited assumption in both the science and non-science circles of his local world. When in 1845 Humboldt published the first volume of magnum opus Cosmos, “[w]here others insisted that nature was stripped of its magic as humankind penetrated into its deepest secrets, Humboldt believed exactly the opposite.” Humboldt’s fascination with the actual world he had been exploring pushed him to ask “how could this be?” In Cosmos, Humboldt
took his readers on a journey from outer space to earth, and then from the surface of the planet into its inner core. He discussed comets, the Milky Way and the solar system as well as terrestrial magnetism, volcanoes and the snow line of mountains. He wrote about the migration of the human species, about plants and animals and the microscopic organisms that live in stagnant water or on the weathered surface of rocks.
Humboldt’s vision was “of a world that pulsated with life” in which “[e]verything was part of” what Humboldt characterized as our Earth’s community’s “never-ending activity of animate forces.” For Humboldt, “Nature was a ‘living whole’ where organisms were bound together in a ‘net-like intricate fabric.’” This first volume, which inaugurated what was to become Humboldt’s five-volume magnus opus completed shortly before his death in 1859, was composed of three parts, the last of which was focused on “organic life which encompassed plants, animals and humans.” While Chapter 5 addresses how the modern science tradition is centered on evidentiary considerations set out in important, sometimes highly technical rules regarding what counts as evidence, there are other evidence-based considerations that provide important lessons for those who seek clues. These non-science uses of evidence are much more than informal precursors or invitations to scientifically-vetted forms of evidence, for they reveal well how in various places for millennia humans have honing their skills of perception of our ever-so-complex local world rather than merely interpreting that world solely in terms of generalizations we have inherited from others. Thus, an important consideration, although one sometimes fraught with both tension and unacknowledged problems, has been raised in a variety of ways in previous chapters—humans are tradition-bound animals who often rely on ideas and values insisted upon by previous generations and “authorities.” History has repeatedly shown that it is perilous to assume that what one has been told by “authorities” is, in fact, a full and accurate explanation of what each of us can encounter in the local world where we live. Relevant here is working to amass evidence deliberately and communally in ways that Darwin models well in On the Origin of Species. Darwin developed early his central ideas about natural selection, “but the meticulous Darwin was not rushing to publish anything that was not solidly argued and underpinned with facts.” Humboldt in many ways reflected similar meticulousness with details, which in part explains why in Cosmos, which had a “breadth … incomparable to any other publication,”
… amazingly Humboldt had written a book about the universe that never once mentioned the word “God”. … Instead of God, Humboldt spoke of a “wonderful web of organic life”.
In the mid-nineteenth century European societies, references to the intention and action of a monotheistically-conceived creator deity as a form of explanation were the norm. For Humboldt, however, a commitment to evidence of a public kind which others could also experience directly in the natural world was the touchstone that allowed him to use an approach that did not invoke one of the most dominant habits of explanation in his birth culture.
QQ2.Humboldt’s Influence on Individual Thinkers. Many individuals in reliance on Humboldt’s published works, ideas and insights went on to develop additional insights that further shaped late nineteenth and early twentieth century research and reflection. The most famous of these followers, as the text points out, was Charles Darwin. Collectively, the contributions of Humboldt’s famous admirers reveal that each human is born into ongoing traditions of thinking and valuing that can grow in ways that help the human collective both deepen and expand its awareness of the place of our kind of animal in the Earth community. Such expansions help all of us see our shared world better, just as it helps us go forward on the basis of evidence-driven considerations and critical thinking about the plain fact that our animality is shared with many other ancient lineages of life. Darwin in particular deepened Humboldt’s recognition of humans as citizens in a more-than-human world, thereby fostering perhaps the most remarkable animal renaissance since the Axial Age sages. Humboldt’s illuminating presentation of wide-ranging personal experience and detailed empirical evidence was such that it helped others notice connections and patterns that can be detected by those who attend carefully and consistently to their natural world surroundings.
Throughout the Beagle's voyage [1836-1841], Darwin was engaged in an inner dialogue with Humboldt—pencil in hand, highlighting sections in Personal Narrative[Humboldt’s most popular book covering his travels from 1799-1804, and published in 1807]. Humboldt's descriptions were almost like a template for Darwin's own experiences.
For example, when Darwin wrote in his own journal about his first experience of an earthquake in Valdivia, Chile, the entry “was almost a summary of what Humboldt wrote about his first earthquake in Cumaná in 1799.” Humboldt’s cross-disciplinary insights also prompted many of his readers to recognize other-than-science-based connections. The list of notable “heirs” to Humboldt’s wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary insights also includes William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Perkins Marsh (author of the seminal 1860s volume Man and Nature), Ernst Haeckel (who coined the term ecology), John Muir, Rachel Carson and James Lovelock (author of the modern Gaia hypothesis). Many of Humboldt’s avid followers advocated zealously for his views. Ernst Haeckel, who in 1866 published Generelle Morphologie der Organismen (General Morphology of Organisms) as an aggressive challenge those who refused to accept Darwin's evolutionary theory”, was the first to suggest that what Humboldt had made possible was a “science of the relationships of an organism with its environment”, which Haeckel then named “Oecologie, based on oikos/household, to address Humboldt’s idea of nature as a unified whole made up of complex relationships.” Haeckel went on to publish “between 1899 and 1904, Art Forms in Nature [which] became hugely influential” and recognized the importance of art for teaching humans about the more-than-human features of the world that surrounds every human on every day of that human’s life.
QQ3. A further example of how Humboldt prompted international scientific collaboration was the cooperative work he fostered because of his interest in geomagnetism: “the aim was to discover whether the magnetic variations were terrestrial in origin –generated, for example, by climatic changes – or caused by the sun.” Humboldt was also an expert on rock strata, having published in 1823 the results of his different “projects” to “collect and compare data on rock strata across the globe”—this data “would help [the geologist Charles] Lyell … to form his own theories” that the Earth had been shaped gradually by minute changes rather than sudden catastrophic floods or earthquakes. Humboldt also anticipated the theory of tectonic plates (confirmed only in the middle of the twentieth century) when as early as 1807 in the Essay on the Geography of Plants he speculated that the continents of South American and Africa had once been joined.
QQ4. There are many more contributions by Humboldt worth honoring.
Humboldt ... believed that only an agrarian Republic brought happiness and independence. Colonialism, by contrast brought destruction. The Spanish had arrived in South America to obtain gold and timber—'either by violence or exchange’, Humboldt said, and motivated only by ‘insatiable avarice’. The Spanish had annihilated ancient civilizations, native tribes and stately forests.
Because in Mexico Humboldt observed de facto slavery,
[t]o his mind the politics and economics of a colonial government were based on “immorality”. … All too often Humboldt had seen how the population was starving and how once fertile land had been relentlessly over-exploited and turned barren.
QQ5. ***NMW could cite PW Animal Rights book re animal protection movement and some histories of the movement ...
QQ6. A careful search for on-the-ground developments in the preceding decades reveals that the animal invitation was known in many local communities. In 1822, for example, an “Act to prevent the cruel and improper treatment of Cattle” (which came to be referred to as Martin’s Act) was enacted after heated debate—this law authorized fines and even imprisonment up to three months for those convicted of cruelly treating “Horses, Mares, Geldings, Mules, Asses, Cows, Heifers, Steers, Oxen, Sheep and other Cattle.” In the following decade (1835), this pioneering modern legislation was extended to all domestic animals.
QQ7. These include (1) the four other great ape species, (2) the three species of elephants, and (3) the approximately 100 species of cetaceans (dolphins and whales). In addition, other large-brained “neighbors” are also threatened— some of the hundreds of different octopi in a universe of their own off the continents that our kind of animal occupies. Also impressive are the brainy birds known as corvids (crows and about 100 other species) and psittacines (parrots, cockatoos and about 400 other species). The corpus of illuminating research has now been expanding for decades—see, for example, Heinrich, Bernd 1999. Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds, HarperCollins Publishers; Jennifer Ackerman in her 2016 The Genius of Birds (New York: Penguin) at the very beginning cites dozens of astonishing examples to back up this comment on page 1: “In the past two decades or so, from fields and laboratories around the world have flowed examples of bird species capable of mental feats comparable to those found in primates.” For additional questions and observations, see Sibley, David Allen 2020. What It's Like to Be a Bird. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
QQ8.Structural Violence. Most definitions of structural violence are focused exclusively on human-on-human harms (see, for example, "What is structural violence?", CHER (Center for Health Equity Research) Chicago, accessed 2022.8.1 at http://www.cherchicago.org/about/structuralviolence/; the source is the Center for Health Equity Research Chicago). This human-centered feature is related to the influence of the original analysis using this important concept—Galtung, Johan. 1993. "Kulturelle Gewalt." Der Burger im Staat vol. 43. p. 106, as cited in Ho, Kathleen. 2007. "Structural Violence as a Human Rights Violation." Essex Human Rights Review 4(2).
QQ9.See Our Children and See Our Better Angels. Although previous chapters have observed that many humans today unreflectively assume human exceptionalism is an undeniable boon for the human community, this assumption prompts many to fail completely in the matter of noticing, let alone examining carefully, different harms tohumans done by modern forms of human exceptionalism. Children in particular suffer from the broad modern failure to notice the importance of the animal invitation. This is evident in the fact that several generations of youth in industrialized societies have now been trained away from, not toward, noticing the natural world and its other-than-human citizens. The cost of such a narrowing of human imagination and awareness is, tragically, high for both individuals and society. It includes, but also goes beyond, a key problem raised by a professor of natural history at Harvard’s Earth and Planetary Sciences Department—“The average adult American today knows less about biology than the average ten-year-old living in the Amazon, or than the average American of two hundred years ago.” Also missing is an abiding sense of the richness of the natural world—for many children, that possibility has not been realized. Such a fact puts those children and their society in great jeopardy, for it does not take much imagination to notice that there is little likelihood that citizens uninformed about the natural world will have effective ideas about how to nurture with joy and responsibility the “larger community” that is their local econiche. Our ignorances willful and otherwise, history has constantly shown, create significant risks for the communities (both nonhuman and human) in and near those industrialized human communities that have become such dominant forces in our multi-cultural world.
QQ10. But before working these out, it is fair to Dominic, Christians and religion in general to observe that these questions do not exhaust what Dominic, medieval Christians, or religious believers more broadly felt about sparrows, birds in general, or the broad general category of nonhuman animals. Compassionate attitudes toward nonhuman animals abounded in Christian circles of Dominic's time—Joyce Salisbury’s 1994 The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages(New York: Routledge) reflects many positive views of nonhuman animals tied to what Christian theologians often call the “goodness of Creation” (which, in the view of the time, derived its goodness directly from the inherently loving features of the creator). We can easily contrast such dismissals and harms with far more positive views that religious believers have had of other animals’ relationship to the “other world.” Many religious believers have thought—and some still do think—of various nonhuman animals as bringers of blessings. It is clear that Dominic’s assertions, as related by Cecilia, did notrequire detailed knowledge of the sparrows flying around the cathedral that day. In fact, good knowledge of sparrows’ lives almost certainly would have been a major impediment to Dominic’s claim that this particular sparrow had the grand significance of a connection with a locus of pure evil.
 Tannenbaum, Jerry 1995. “Animals and the Law: Property, Cruelty, Rights”, in Mack, Arien (ed.), Humans and Other Animals, Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1995, 125-193. At p. 151.
 Ibid.. At p. 188, in Footnote 36, this scholar cites French, R. D. 1975. Antivivisection and Medical Science in Victorian Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 29, with the comment that “French's book is the most complete historical account of the passage of early English cruelty laws in general and the Act of 1876 in particular.”
Additional Materials forChapter Five "Science and the Invitation to Their Realities"
QQ1 Essays by Daniel Capper (i) “On Loving Nonliving Stuff,” book chapter in Reclaiming Space: Progressive and Multicultural Visions of Space Exploration, edited by James S. J. Schwartz, Erika Nesvold, and Linda Billings. Oxford University Press, 2022; (ii) “What Should We Do with Our Moon?: Ethics and Policy for Establishing Multiuse Lunar Land Reserves,” in Space Policy 59 (2022): 101462. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spacepol.2021.101462; (iii) “Intrinsic Value, American Buddhism, and Potential Life on Saturn’s Moon Titan,” book chapter in Astrobiology: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy, pp. 357-372, edited by Ted Peters, Octavio Chon Torres, Richard Gordon, and Joseph Seckbach. Wiley, 2021; (iv) “How Venus Became Cool: Social and Moral Dimensions of Biosignature Science,” in Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 56, 3 (2021): 666-677. https://doi.org/10.1111/zygo.12703. An authorized, free, and view-only version of this article can be found at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/share/author/UWJFZ3YQWXRS7NA8CPT7?target=10.1111/zygo.12703; and (v) “The Search for Microbial Martian Life and American Buddhist Ethics,” International Journal of Astrobiology 19, 3 (2019): 244-252. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1473550419000296.
QQ2More on Careful Thinking about Limits. A challenging form of careful thinking called out by Muzaffar Iqbal on the opening page of his Contemporary Issues in Islam and Science: “The arrival of new tools and techniques in a world unfamiliar with the scientific principles that gave birth to them is a process that has far-reaching consequences….” What Iqbal suggests is a kind of common sense about how and why people hesitate in the face of new and thus unfamiliar approaches to describing the world. Iqbal provides a basis for understanding this process by citing the words and reasoning of a 1958 observation by the physicist Werner Heisenberg.
"… in those parts of the world in which modern science has been developed, the primary interest has been directed for a long time toward practical activity, industry and engineering combined with a rational analysis of the outer and inner conditions for such activity. Such people will find it rather easy to cope with the new ideas since they have had time for a slow and gradual adjustment to the modem scientific methods of thinking. In other parts of the world these ideas would be confronted with the religious and philosophical foundations of native culture."
Heisenberg here reminds us that those used to a science-saturated world understand their own lives in terms of a narrative or story or social construction that prompts these individuals to accept the latest version of scientific consensus as descriptive of an important feature of reality. The existence of a scientific consensus is not, logically, “proof” of “things as they are,” for the consensus could be (and sometimes has been) wrong. But the consensus is, in effect, the science community’s best guess about a subject that will continue to be explored. But those who are not used to a particular science (say, physics, or geology/plate tectonics, or the presence of microscopic life forms on or in our body or below the Earth’s surface or on another planet altogether) are situated by other assumptions which function well in the real world and thus are taken to provide the parameters of what is natural and fitting. Such “other assumptions” may be revered because they are old, widely accepted, and perhaps even psychologically and religiously charged because they were taught by past authorities as being of great importance. Iqbal’s observations help one recognize why those unfamiliar with science-based claims often find such claims to be far short of common sense or to be irreverent or profane in the sense of not respecting long-held beliefs. Further, sometimes science-based claims are linked to colonial realities and the imposition of alien, non-commonsense claims—this connection has thereby led some to view science-framed claims as suspect ab initio. In the history of European science developments, something altogether similar happened to Galileo as he, having spent much time with a telescope that he invented, looked through that device to discover aspects of the solar system (Jupiter’s moons) that long-prevalent views of the “heavens” did not address in any way. Looking into a telescope had become a common experience for Galileo, but it would have been for Galileo’s contemporaries an alien activity that had almost no commonsense features. For many who live in one of the Earth’s now science-saturated communities, the telescope is a centuries-old invention easily recognized to extend our primate vision. But for those unfamiliar with telescopes, the significance of what one sees as one peers into the telescope is by no means immediately obvious. This is especially so regarding the magnification of a faraway object that one has never perceived on one’s own. Thus to those not familiar with looking through telescopes, what the telescope reveals shares little with the commonsense expectations each of us, as a social primate, develops in our local world. Incorporating new information of this kind is, in one sense, something many contemporary humans have learned to expect. Every human will at some point have successfully negotiated the challenge that our animal finitudes pose for us in the matter of incorporating “information” that we have not witnessed personally—for example, we sometimes need to rely on others’ eyewitness testimony about matters we did not observe. But using and appreciating what a telescope reveals takes practice. Those who have not had that opportunity are, not surprisingly, easily blocked from what seems to those familiar with telescopes the only open-minded response, namely, Jupiter’s moons orbit that planet. This conclusion, in turn, provides evidence that is consistent with Copernicus’ then-controversial heliocentric view that our local sun, not the Earth as church authorities taught, held the honored position of being the center of the universe around which all other bodies revolved. In those times and places in which the telescope was both new and unfamiliar, it is not surprising that those invested in a cherished, religiously significant view of the universe might aggressively assert that this unfamiliar device could in no way undermine religious authorities’ long-standing certainty about how the entire universe was organized.
QQ3Materials on food manipulation. While it surprises few that contemporary governments on their own (that is, without prompting by business or the academic establishment) use science in narrow-minded ways that hide the truth, many are less familiar with the ways that business and the academic establishment have discouraged open-mindedness and transparency because doing so is conducive to an increase in their already significant power. Consider in this vein the science-based work involved in adding salt and sugar to processed food to optimize consumers’ cravings. The questionable aspects of using science to advance such work is captured well in a 2013 newspaper headline—“the extraordinary science of addictive junk food.” The story was based on the findings of an investigative journalist "chronicling the insidious ways in which big food companies, over time, have sneaked more and more of the bad stuff into our diets, to the point where we now consume 22 teaspoons of sugar a day and three times as much cheese as our forebears did in 1970." Particularly relevant to the integrities of science is that such science-intensive efforts, while certain to harm consumers’ health, were intentionally hidden from the public (and thus consumers) in order to protect private companies’ profits. The science involved was both complex and intentionally manipulative—the author visited "with neuroscientists whose M.R.I.’s of test subjects demonstrate how the brain’s so-called pleasure centers light up when the subjects are dosed with solutions of sugar or fat. He then describes how consultants and food scientists calibrate products — ‘optimize’ them, in industry-speak — to maximize cravings. Virtually everything you can buy in a supermarket that’s not an outer-aisle pure food like milk or kohlrabi has been fiddled with to make you shiver with bliss — which will in turn make you buy the product again and again." Such uses of science to manipulate food and consumers fall squarely within Einstein’s comment that “many others are to be found in the temple [of science] who have offered the products of their brains on this altar for purely utilitarian purposes.” That there are abundant cynical, undisclosed manipulations of science by profit-oriented companies that harm consumers, but remain hidden, is not terribly surprising in democratic nations where circles of government and policymaking have long been influenced by corporations—Chapter 5 includes an extended discussion of what happened in the 1950s and 1960s when the trio of government, industry and the academic research establishment attacked Rachel Carson for her views in Silent Spring. It is especially tragic when such abuses of science compromise public health by limiting access to scientific results. In medical contexts, the charge that some researchers are “on the take” creates fears that profits, not the public good, will guide efforts to market new medical options. Further, that a for-profit food company would fail to disclose that it “calibrates” the food it markets “to optimize cravings” gives every consumer reason to pause.
QQ4 An account from the first decade of the 21st century makes an important point about the role of values in humans’ thinking.
"As I hope the astute reader has begun to realize, as a human activity, embedded in a context of culture, and addressed to real human problems, science cannot possibly be value-free, or even ethics-free. As soon as scientists affirm that controlled experiments are a better source of knowledge than anecdotes; that double-blind clinical trials provide better proof of hypotheses than asking the Magic 8-Ball; or, for that matter, that science is a better route to knowledge of reality than mysticism, we encounter value judgments as presuppositional to science. To be sure, they are not ethical value judgments, but rather epistemic ('pertaining to knowing') ones, but they are still enough to show that science does depend on value judgments. So choice of scientific method or approach represents a matter of value. Scientists often forget the obvious point; as one scientist said to me, 'We don’t make value judgments in science; all we care about is knowledge.'”
QQ5 Consider as well how some of today’s most complex theories remain a stunning challenge to humans’ commonsense awareness of the local worlds we inhabit. A theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology began a high-profile journalism article with these observations. “I think I can safely say that nobody really understands quantum mechanics,” observed the physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. That’s not surprising, as far as it goes. Science makes progress by confronting our lack of understanding, and quantum mechanics has a reputation for being especially mysterious." This theoretical physicist adds that the addition of quantum mechanics has extraordinary predictive power. "Scientists can use quantum mechanics with perfect confidence. But it’s a black box. We can set up a physical situation, and make predictions about what will happen next that are verified to spectacular accuracy. What we don’t do is claim to understand quantum mechanics. Physicists don’t understand their own theory any better than a typical smartphone user understands what’s going on inside the device." Pointing out that there are truly fundamental questions still unanswered about the “measurement problem” that addresses the most basic features of quantum mechanics (what really is a “wave function,” and what counts as an “observation”?), the same physicist offers a conclusion that reveals a crucial limit in the science views that prevail in the early 21st century.
"Until physicists definitively answer these questions, they can’t really be said to understand quantum mechanics — thus Feynman’s lament. Which is bad, because quantum mechanics is the most fundamental theory we have, sitting squarely at the center of every serious attempt to formulate deep laws of nature. If nobody understands quantum mechanics, nobody understands the universe."
QQ6More on Twenty-First Century Corrupted Science. The quote by Stiglitz also includes this further observation.
"Governments around the world were not addressing key economic problems, including that of persistent unemployment; and as universal values of fairness became sacrificed to the greed of a few, in spite of rhetoric to the contrary, the feeling of unfairness became a feeling of betrayal."
In particular, the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries provided paradigmatic examples of astonishing greed. For example, Andrew Carnegie in the 19th century was able to use the corporations he controlled to dominate entire American communities, impoverishing many of the workers paid wages that barely supported life.In the 20th century, Boston-based United Fruit Company was able for a half-century, because of direct assistance of the United States government, to dominate a whole group of Central American countries and their local peoples in ways that held in place denials of the most basic human rights to entire communities. The same private property paradigm was a factor in the aggressive tactics toward Carson, as both private and public corporations wished to protect the profits made off of pesticide production and use. Consider a particular example of how the legal paradigm of corporate ownership can be used today to suppress science-based findings needed to assess “the public good.” One common arrangement that makes harm possible was described in 1999.
"Corporations that sponsor research frequently require scientists and engineers to sign contracts granting the company control over proprietary information. These agreements typically allow companies to review all publications or public presentations of results, to delay or suppress publications, or to prevent researchers from sharing equipment or techniques. The agreements are legally binding and have been upheld by the courts."
The power of such contractual arrangements were detailed in 2000 under the headline “Company Tried to Block Report That Its H.I.V. Vaccine Failed” after publication of an article that had met the scientific standards of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"A California company tried to block the publication of a scientific paper that showed its H.I.V. vaccine was not effective, and it has asked for damages of more than $7 million from the universities and researchers who published the findings. … The study, paid for by the company, was stopped in May 1999 before it was completed because analysis of the results from more than two years showed that the vaccine was not working. … The chief investigators … then prepared a paper on the disappointing study. … [The company] objected to what the [investigators] intended to publish, … [and] asserted that the data belonged to it and would not give permission for publication. … [The Journal of the American Medical Association published the researchers’ report] because the study was so large and significant and because the journal wanted to support the freedom of investigators to publish their data without the interfering bias of the sponsor."
Clearly, the public good is at risk when scientific findings are owned by parties whose interest is served if the findings are buried.
Similar problems are described by a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine in a 2005 volume revealingly titled On the Take: How America's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health.
"Many medical professional organizations have also become much too close to industry, and their coziness with drug companies has influenced some of their professional and lay publications. Hidden financial conflicts of interest also dog decisions made by government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administrations and the National Institutes of Health, and by panels of experts and professional organizations convened to issue 'clinical practice guidelines,' policies that physicians use every day to diagnose and treat diseases."
Other prominent voices, such as Harvard University’s former president Derek Bok, have pointed out that there are risks when university administrators are more interested in their institution’s reputation and obtaining grants than in seeking the truth. Equally corrupting influences on scientific practice are identified in Science in the Private Interest, the author of which is also the founder of the website “Corrupted Science” which provides a wide array of investigative reports that suggest conflicts of interest plague a wide range of medical and scientific circles. Relatedly, the 2010 book Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warmingexamines parallels between recent efforts to spread doubt about climate disruption, health problems caused by tobacco smoking, the ecological destruction produced by acid rain and DDT, the hole in the Earth’s protective ozone layer, cost-benefit analyses of pesticides and herbicides, the impact of asbestos on the public, food safety, fast food’s lack of nutrition, a range of pharmaceutical products, the harms generated by energy extraction, and the availability of transportation alternatives to fossil fuel. This list reveals how deep and wide is the reach of powerful corporations that attempt to, in the wording suggested by the 1965 Presidential Committee’s findings, rule national policy with an eye to enhancing their own corporate profits. At issue in each example is a cynical, non-disclosed manipulation of science in pursuit of a self-aggrandizing end.
QQ7Book-Length Analyses regarding Harms Caused by Industrialized Uses of Nonhuman Animals. The earliest of these came in the mid-1960s—Harrison, Ruth 1964. Animal Machines; the New Factory Farming Industry. London,: V. Stuart—and was followed a decade later by the book commonly touted as starting the modern animal protection movement, Peter Singer’s 1975 Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals. In the next decades, many more book-length treatments of this issue followed—see, for example, Eisnitz, Gail, 1997. Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry. Amherst, New York: Prometheus; Schlosser, Eric 2001. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin; Pollan, Michael 2006. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin Press, and Foer, Jonathan Safran 2009. Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown.
QQ8More on Vivisection in the Twentieth Century. Challenges continue to single out such practices, which became standard in the science establishment through the first half of the twentieth century. The tradition of vivisection is, in fact, ancient—it is commonly asserted that it began with the second century physician-surgeon-philosopher known as Galen. But it came to greater prominence in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries due to the spread of the Cartesian view of other animals as mere machines. Interestingly, use of nonhuman animals as experimental subjects (the broad sense of “vivisection”) is not a particular emphasis in academic departments of “Animal Science,” but rather its own specialized field. The opposition to vivisection developed a major institutional presence in the second half of the nineteenth century as suffragists, religious leaders, doctors opposed to the introduction of this practice in medical school, and many humanists organized anti-vivisection organizations in both European and European-influenced nations. As formidable as these organizations became, the pushback from the scientific establishment was equally strong. For example, in 1865, the pro-vivisection scientist Claude Bernard stated,
"A Physiologist is not a man of fashion, he is a man of science, absorbed by the scientific idea which he pursues: he no longer hears the cry of animals, he no longer sees the blood that flows, he sees only his idea and perceives only organisms concealing problems which he intends to solve. … [A]s it is impossible to satisfy everybody, a man of science should attend only to the opinion of men of science who understand him, and should derive rules of conduct only from his own conscience."
Predictably, the vilification of scientists who took this position was intense, as already evidenced by Ingersoll’s bitter description of vivisection as “the Inquisition—the Hell—of Science.” Challenging such reasoning are many comments by well-established proponents of vivisection, including governments, that share the tenor of Pope Pius IX’s reported statement to the anti-vivisectionist Anna Kingsford, “Madame, humankind has no duties to the animals.” In last quarter of the twentieth century, declines were regularly reported. For example, in 1994, the prestigious journal Nature cited research suggesting that the number of animals used in research had “declined significantly” in the past decade (“in the range of 20 per cent to 50 per cent in Great Britain and Europe” since the 1970s, and in the United States “an overall decrease of about 25% since 1985”). Three years later, Scientific Americanpublished an extensive dialogue among a diverse range of advocates regarding the debate over use of nonhuman animals as research tools. In his “Prefacing Comment by Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American,” John Rennie opened the discussion in a manner that honors the “question everything” heritage that is so important to science.
"Some readers, on first seeing the topic of this forum, will think they smell a rat, and not just the one pictured. Researchers may fear that Scientific American is giving comfort to the enemy, the animal-rights protesters trying to turn laboratories upside-down. Animal welfarists, on the other hand, may assume our coverage will be a biased slam-dunk of their arguments. Neither of those sets of expectations will be met here. The polarization of opinions on the experimental use of animals has often discouraged a reasoned search for a middle ground."
In her “Overview: Trends in Animal Research,” the Scientific American editor Madhusree Mukerjee asserted, “Increased concern for animals, among scientists as well as the public, is changing the ways in which animals are used for research and safety testing. There is no question about it: the number of animals used in laboratory experiments is going down.” The rate of change, however, remains hard to discern, for in some multi-year periods over the last decades the number of nonhuman animals killed during or after laboratory use has risen. Importantly, changes have not come about solely because of ethics-based challenges. Other factors such as new, less invasive, more scientifically revealing, and lower cost techniques have been developed (although in the all too predictable world of human exceptionalism, such changes were often resisted when first available). Finally, even with the trend to reduction and the availability of new options, the number of nonhuman animals used worldwide each year remains in the tens of millions.
QQ9 McClintock discovered transposition (genes changing their position within a genome) and demonstrated that genes are responsible for turning physical characteristics on and off. Although McClintock developed theories to explain these processes, there was great skepticism about her research and its implications, which led McClintock to stop publishing her data in 1953. By the 1960s and 1970s, the scientific work of others revealed how insightful McClintock’s research in 1940s and 1950s had been regarding the mechanisms of genetic change and expression. In 1983, McClintock’s key role was recognized when she was awarded the annual Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. McClintock’s story is revelatory about the complexities that attend scientific discovery. Evelyn Keller writes of McClintock,
"Her virtuosity resided in her capacity to observe, and to process and interpret what she observed. … The nature of insight in science, as elsewhere, is notoriously elusive. And almost all great scientists—those who learn to cultivate insight—learn also to respect its mysterious workings. It is here that their rationality finds its own limits. In defying rational explanation, the process of creative insight inspires awe in those who experience it."
McClintock’s own explanation reveals the personal, idiosyncratic experiences that the scientific quest can produce.
"When you suddenly see the problem, something happens that you have the answer—before you are able to put it into words. It is all done subconsciously. This has happened too many times to me, and I know when to take it seriously. I’m so absolutely sure. I don’t talk about it, I don’t have to tell anybody about it. I’m just sure this is it."
Keller puts this explanation into the larger context of scientific theorizing.
"If Barbara McClintock’s story illustrates the fallibility of science, it also bears witness to the underlying health of the scientific enterprise. Her eventual vindication demonstrates the capacity of science to overcome its own characteristic kinds of myopia, reminding us that its limitations do not reinforce themselves indefinitely. Their own methodology allows, even obliges, scientists to continually reencounter phenomena even their best theories cannot accommodate. Or—to look at it from the other side—however severely communication between science and nature may be impeded by the preconceptions of a particular time, some channels always remain open; and, through them, nature finds ways of reasserting itself.
McClintock’s writing sounds one invitational theme after another as she mentions that patience and persistence provide the possibility that a scientist can “hear what the material has to say to you” and, through a commitment to openness, “let it come to you,” all of which can then nurture in one “a feeling for the organism.” Again, Keller returns to describing the conceptual features one can discern in McClintock’s approach.
"What marks her as [a scientist] is her unwavering confidence in the underlying order of living forms, her use of the apparatus of science to gain access to that order, and her commitment to bringing back her insights into the shared language of science—even if doing so might require that language to change. The irregularities or surprises … are not indications of a breakdown of order, but only of the inadequacies of our models in the face of the complexity of nature’s actual order."
The profoundly invitational aspects of science-based exploration of life again appear in Keller’s summary of what McClintock achieved.
"A deep reverence for nature, a capacity for union with that which is to be known—these reflect a different image of science from that of a purely rational enterprise. Yet the two images have coexisted throughout history."
McClintock’s success confirms that whenever the science establishment features entry barriers to whole groups of humans, that establishment risks depriving the larger science tradition of forms of creativity that enhance our species’ exploration of the larger universe, thereby wounding the invitational, inclusive spirit of the integrities that foster good science. That such risks are real is evident in how yet another woman was discouraged in the late twentieth century as she entered science circles—the basis of exclusion in this next example was not gender per se, but rather an individual’s intuition of the value of insights she inherited from her indigenous forebears. The following story involves what a human might explore when she or he is attuned to connections and “lived reciprocities” that the science tradition purports to explore.
Contemporary Issues in Islam and Science, Volume 2, edited by Muzaffar Iqbal 2012. Farnham, England, and Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, page xi (opening page of Introduction).
 Heisenberg, W. 1958. Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science. New York: Prometheus Books, p. 28.
 Moss, Michael 2013. "The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food." The New York Times, February 20 2013. Accessed 2021.10.22 at https://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html
 See “How Sweet It Is”, a review in NYT by David Camp, published 2013.3.15, of Moss, Michael 2013. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us New York: Random House.
 Rollin, Bernard 2006. Science and Ethics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 22.
 Sean Carroll, “Even Physicists Don’t Understand Quantum Mechanics.” The New York Times (The Sunday Review), September 7, 2019. This article reflects Dr. Carroll’s views in his 2019 Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime.
 Howard Zinn’s account in Chapter 11, “Robber Barons and Rebels” provides abundant details—Zinn, Howard 1980. A People’s History of the United States 1492-Present. New York: Harper Colophon. The pagination cited below for quotations from this volume is from the 2003 Perennial Classics/Harper Collins edition published in New York by HarperCollins.
 See, for example, Chapman, Peter 2008. Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World. New York: Canongate US.
 Resnik, David B. 1999. “Industry-sponsored research: Secrecy versus corporate responsibility.” Business and Society Review 99:31-34 (1999), at p. 31.
 Philip J. Hilts. “Company Tried to Block Report That Its H.I.V. Vaccine Failed.” The New York Times. A version of this article appeared in print on Wednesday, November 1, 2000, on section A page 26 of the New York edition.
 Kassirer, Jerome P. On the Take: How America's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
 Kassirer, Jerome P. On the Take: How America's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005, xv.
 Bok, Derek Curtis. Universities in the Marketplace : The Commercialization of Higher Education. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003.
 Krimsky, Sheldon. 2003. Science in the Private Interest: Has the Lure of Profits Corrupted Biomedical Researcdh?Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
 Oreskes, N. & Conway, E.M., 2010. Merchants of doubt: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming, New York: Bloomsbury Press.
 For a discussion of the practices before Descartes’ ideas spawned an increase in such work, see the story of the seventeenth century science pioneer Nicolas Steno as told in Cutler, Alan. The Seashell on the Mountaintop: A Story of Science, Sainthood, and the Humble Genius Who Discovered a New History of the Earth. New York: Dutton, 2003. Galen’s role is discussed at 38-39.
 Bernard, Claude 1865/1927. An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine, 1865. Dover Reprint: New York (an English translation from 1927, at p. 103) cited by Neil Evernden 1985. The Natural Alien: Humankind and the Environment. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, page 16.
 “Animals in research. Tufts vets seek a middle ground between researchers and those who oppose using animals in science.” Nature 368, 84 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1038/368084a0.
 This series of articles entitled “The Benefits and Ethics of Animal Research” appeared in Scientific American in February 1997, Volume 276 Number 2.
 Keller, Evelyn Fox 1983. A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. New York: W. H. Freeman. P. 103.
Additional Materials forChapter Six “Ethics and Invitations to Care”
QQ1.Distances. What follows is a longer discussion of the issues discussed in the text under this same heading. Here attention turns to two sets of realities inaccessible to the human individual in her or hjs daily life—the first set includes those realities beyond the Earth as they stretch away from our planet in every direction (a realm described below as “the furthest reaches of the macro world”), and the second set includes (ii) the “inner” realities of every object we experience, including our body, as that inner world shrinks down to the subatomic world and beyond (described below as “the furthest reaches of the micro world”). Of course, our usual sense of measuring distances would favor the conclusion that the furthest reaches of the macro world are more removed from us, but which realm is more “removed” in the sense of being more alien to our human world? At issue is a different kind of distance, namely, which realm is more psychologically removed from our actual lives and our capacious imaginations. We can imagine (although perhaps only feebly) traveling away from the Earth because our bodies can, if we have suitable technology, remain fully functioning as we travel beyond our native planet toward the furthest reaches of the macro world. We struggle, though, when the question turns to the furthest reaches of the micro world. It is a great challenge to imagine entering in a normal embodied way into such a small and alien realm, let alone its furthest reaches. All of the animal awarenesses that undergird our understanding of our local world are situated in our body, thus it baffles us to wonder what it means to imagine awareness at a molecular level or subatomic level. Faced with this exploratory question, someone might, because all human intelligence is embodied, conclude that we are more psychologically removed from the subatomic world. Some additional lines of reasoning tend to the same conclusion—for example, the moon is much further from me by one measure than are the subatomic realms of the atoms in and near me. But since I can sense the moon month after month, and since I am heir to humans and communities who recognized key patterns in the moon’s appearance, disappearance, and impact locally (perhaps in a nearby bay’s local tides or other flows within our bodies), the moon does not seem nearly as remote from me as do micro realms generally, let alone the furthest reaches of the micro world. A different conclusion follows, however, if we employ the mathematical notion “powers of 10” to measure how removed something is from our day-to-day animal perception. If we use imagination to travel inside our own body or any familiar object, one science-based source supports the conclusion that the smallest dimension we reach is 10-16meters; if, on the other hand, we use our imagination to travel beyond our body as far as possible off this Earth, the distance measures up to 1025 meters. By the “powers of 10” measure, the “greater” distance is to the furthest reaches of the macro world. But as a practical matter, we surely can answer that both the realm deepest within us and that furthest removed from us are startlingly “distant,” such that in one sense each animal stands midway between these edges. Both are distant frontiers of reality as our sciences currently measure such things, and thus arguably a border of the universe beyond our animal being. Such questions have been imaginable for less than a century. As to traveling out into the far reaches of the macro world, it was not until 1924, as pointed out in Chapter 2, that humans had any inkling that other galaxies existed. Edwin Hubble’s confirmations based on a combination of careful observations and measurements with newly invented science-fostered instrumentation opened up an entire series of shifts in our species’ social construction of our universe—today, less than a century after Hubble’s discovery of a second galaxy, estimates regarding the number of galaxies is in the range of multiple trillions of galaxies. As to our imaginative traveling to the innermost reaches of the micro world, in 1897 J.J. Thomson discovered the electron and suggested a model of the atom called the “plum pudding model.” Thomson’s model turned out not to be an adequate model, however, and it was replaced because of the superior predictive powers of the model proposed in 1911 by the physicist Ernest Rutherford who theorized that electrons orbit each atom’s nucleus. It is intriguing that both journeys—that to the furthest reaches of the macro world and that to the furthest reaches of the micro world—are within reach of our imagination even though the realms asked about are bafflingly removed from us, albeit in seemingly different ways. Putting forth an idea of either realm requires, of course, a constructive act by our minds, but our ability to generalize on these topics is weak to the point of being a mere guess. In one sense, then, the question here about which realm is “further from us” is unlike the debate that Copernicus’ work prompted, namely, whether the formerly dominant Earth-centric account of the universe was “true” relative to Copernicus’ revolutionary suggestion that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the solar system.
 Philip and Phylis Morrison and the Office of Charles and Ray Eames 1982. Powers of Ten: A Book about the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero. Scientific American Library, Distributed by W.H. Freeman, at, respectively, pp. 102-3 and 144, and pp. 20-21 and 129.
 See, for example, Fountain, Henry 2016. “Two Trillion Galaxies, at the Very Least.” New York Times, 2016.10.17. accessed 2021.10.25 at https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/18/science/two-trillion-galaxies-at-the-very-least.html.
Additional Materials forChapter Seven “Religion and More-than-Human Animals”
QQ1.More on the Ancient Chinese Tradition. Although Confucius is known for his pronounced focus on humans’ duty to humans, with one’s relatives in particular being accorded priority, the later Confucian tradition nurtured a multifaceted engagement with the animal invitation, an example of which can be found in the following passage drawn from Mencius.
"The attitude of exemplary persons (junzi) to animals is this: having seen them alive, they cannot endure seeing them die; hearing their cries, they cannot bear eating their meat. It is for this reason that exemplary persons stay out of the kitchen."
The foundation on which such views stand is a sense of humans in continuity with the universe, an attitude that is revealed fully in this quote from Mencius.
"Everything is here in me. There is no joy greater than to discover integrity (cheng) in oneself and nothing easier in striving to be authoritative in one's conduct (ren) than treating others as you would be treated yourself (Mencius 7A4)."
Ames explains, “The meaning of this familiar passage from the Mencius is that ‘all things are in me and I am with, and in, all things.’”
There are both helpful general perspective and additional details in these volumes by Roel Sterckx: (i) 2002. The Animal and the Daemon in Early China, Albany: State University of New York Press; (ii) Sterckx, Roel 2019. Ways of Heaven. An Introduction to Chinese Thought. New York: Basic Books; and (iii) Sterckx, Roel, ed., 2020. Animals through Chinese History: Earliest Times to 1911. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
QQ2 Sociological exploration had long been a topic discussed by those who had traveled to foreign lands where starkly different forms of culture, religion and social organization were readily observable. Apart from the attention to such differences noted by Herodotus and Pascal, techniques anticipating the empirical approaches of modern sociology were pioneered in different spheres by creative thinkers such as the fourteenth-century Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun, an Arab from North Africa, who was fascinated by both cohesion and conflict in different societies.
QQ3 The Views of David Hume and Hannah Arendt. Although human exceptionalism was deepening during Comte’s lifetime, in part because of the increasing influence of the startling dismissal of any and all nonhuman animals in the first half of the seventeenth century by Rene Descartes (1596-1650), there were eminent figures in eighteenth century Europe who did not radically dismiss other animals. A key example is the work of David Hume (1711-1776), which reflects a phenomenon noted often in this book—the animal invitation has always touched some humans, beguiling them in ways that keep these humans from automatically dismissing any and all other animals as if nonhuman beings’ existence was a mere afterthought meant to serve human needs. Hume had very prominently and with “care,” in the words of Hannah Arendt, “repeatedly insisted that neither thinking nor reasoning distinguishes man from animal and that the behavior of beasts demonstrates that they are capable of both.”
QQ4.Ernst Mayr on evolutionary thinking among the Pre-Socratics. The pre-Socratic philosopher Anaximander every early on speculated that humans came from aquatic animals. The twentieth century philosopher of biology Mayr, however, after providing details of Anaximander’s “quite fanciful cosmogony,” reasoned, “[t]his is not an anticipation of evolution, as has sometimes been claimed, but rather refers to the ontogeny of spontaneous generations” and is, Mayr suggested, possibly why “subsequent generations of [Greek] philosophers … accepted spontaneous generation from slime or moist earth.” Another pre-Socratic philosopher, Empedocles, asserted the “preposterous theory” that humans were composed of a combination of animal parts that developed on their own, and then adapted to each other, thus allowing humans to emerge—Mayr notes this is not a forerunner of Darwin’s theory “since no selection is involved in bringing together complementary parts, nor is the elimination of imperfect pieces a process of selection.” More positively, Mayr suggests that the philosopher Democritus, “who apparently admired organic adaptations,” “was thus the first to pose the problem of chance mechanisms versus immanent goal-directed tendencies.”
QQ5. Spencer became well known, and his work in a variety of domains commanded considerable attention for decades. He is associated with the term “survival of the fittest” which he coined in his 1864 Principles of Biology after reading Darwin’s 1859 volume.This phrase, which mischaracterizes Darwin’s far more nuanced thinking about biological evolution, came to be associated with Spencer’s thinking and many other schemes that attempted to justify harsh practices within nations’ borders and beyond, including forms of reactionary thinking that supported oppressive political regimes, imperialism, colonialism, and racism. Because Spencer’s ideas about evolution were cited by many in different domains, he has been described by two anthropologists as “the single most famous European intellectual in the closing decades of the nineteenth century” and by a popular sociology textbook as “the most famous philosopher of his time.” But Spencer’s influence declined precipitously following the late nineteenth century decades in which he was lionized, for not only his biological theories about evolution, but also his other evolutionary theories involving claims about social evolution, did not stand test of time. As early as the 1930s, leading intellectuals asked pointedly, “Who now reads Spencer?” This decline, which below is referred to as “the Spencer dilemma,” reveals something crucial about evolutionary claims whether biological, social or some combination of these two—evolutionary claims must not only be tied to the actual realities of the world we inhabit, but they must, over time, illuminate again and again specifics of this world as we learn more about different situations. This is precisely the greatness of Darwin’s thinking, for it provided a real-world basis by which our local world surroundings and beyond can be explored, thereby fostering the development of new ideas helpful in elucidating the complex, hard-to-discern phenomena of biological evolution—admittedly, this took decades, but the Darwinian synthesis achieved this with spectacular results.
QQ6.More on Auguste Comte. The first stage, Comte postulated, was a theological stage, which gave way to what he referred to as a metaphysical stage. This second stage in turn gave way to a “positivist” third stage which today is most easily understood as implying a very generalized entrance into a “scientific” understanding of the world. Importantly, Comte asserted that each of these stages had sub-stages. The early, theological stage featured an elementary phase of “fetishism” focused on phenomena in one’s local world which, even though seemingly inanimate, were thought to be alive (examples include impressive natural processes, objects such as particular stones, sacred trees, and much more). This fetishist or animalistic phase, Comte asserted, gave way to polytheism, which in turn was superseded by a more evolved monotheistic view. The second stage, Comte asserted, grew out of the final, monotheistic subdivision of the theological stage, and focused on impersonal, abstract concepts. In effect, Comte’s scheme ranked religious traditions—simpler versions came in the first stage, more advanced versions in the second stage. Comte’s third and final positivist/science phase is characterized by observation, experiment and classification thru comparison (in effect, a rudimentary scientific method). Here also Comte saw stages, which led him to assert that this positivist stage began with mathematical reasoning and then eventually grew further through astronomy, then more so through physics, chemistry, biology and, in its culminating form, sociology.
QQ7.More on Marx. In some ways, Marx’s human-centered strategy is understandable—call out explicitly the breadth and depth of human-on-human harms as a way of challenging all humans to do more to protect vulnerable humans. Yet even as this remedy appeals in the short-term, as a long-term measure Marx’s human exceptionalism adds to the progressive deracination of humans through its failure to engage crucial dimensions in our human lives. Marx fails, for example, to honor the far older tradition that reveals so much about our ancient ancestors’ insistence on realism about humans’ obvious membership in a more-than-human animal community. These challenges to Marx’s analysis are in no way meant to deny that Marx’s mid-nineteenth century world was, like Comte’s, beset by horrific human-on-human problems. These challenges are meant, instead, to underscore the importance of fostering full human actualization, which is not possible when human lives go forward on the basis of a rank denial of our animality. Failure to name the animating qualities of our mammalian social skills is, in the long-run, harmful to humans in their local communities and, of course, to their local communities’ nonhuman neighbors. In profound ways, Marx deepens, as did Comte, how our industrializing and industrialized societies’ denial of ancient humans’ insights suggest that attending carefully and respectfully to the more-than-human world helps us respect and protect each other. Born into a family of rabbis in the ancient town of Trier on the Moselle River near today’s Germany-Luxembourg border, Marx came to maturity in an era so fully dominated by human exceptionalism that those who aspired to be encompassing thinkers, which Marx undoubtedly was, remained functionally blind to the myriad ways claims of human exceptionalism have provided a fig leaf for those willing to demean other humans. The features of human exceptionalism that permit it to mask much narrower agendas of greed and exclusion of marginalized humans—sometimes referred to as “subaltern”—are an obvious risk that any social science creates when it ignores harms to other-than-human animals that have long been integral features of humans’ local worlds. Below it is argued that the same is true of social anthropology, for forms of thinking about whole academic fields that become radically human-centered risk failing to notice the ongoing processes which result in the removal of humans from, and thus ignorance about, the sustaining natural world. Because Marx was born into the oldest of the Abrahamic traditions, was heir to the complex mix of human-centerednesses and world-affirmation so characteristic of the three main branches of this macro-religious tradition. When he was 17 years old, Marx was further immersed in the confident human exceptionalism that mars modern legal systems as he attended the University of Bonn and later studied law and philosophy at the University of Berlin, graduating at the age of 23. It is not surprising, then, that Marx’s fecund imagination was shaped in ways that caused him to roam this more-than-human world only within human-centric horizons. He submitted his doctoral dissertation to the University of Jena, and in 1841 received the degree of Doctor in Philosophy. Shortly thereafter (1844), Marx met Friedrich Engels, who had already published “The Communist Manifest”, which later was revised jointly to become the human-centered document widely known today as the Communist Manifesto. Decades later in 1867, Marx published the first volume of Das Kapital. After Marx died in 1883, Engels used Marx’s notes to complete the second and third volumes of this long, complicated, evidence-driven work (Volume 2 in 1885, and Volume 3 in 1894) that today is the most cited book in the social sciences published before 1950. While today widely recognized as one of the most influential thinkers in human history, his often-illuminating views carry a poison within, namely, a form of human exceptionalism that continues to be the beating heart of Marxist analyses of humans’ social realities and ethical obligations. This is, in a more-than-human world, one of the most consequential examples of the fallacy of misplaced community.
QQ8.More on Weber. Through family and elite education, Weber was immersed in a nineteenth century European worldview increasingly invested in the assumptions and forms of reasoning that drive human exceptionalism. Because the validity of exceptionalist forms of thinking was, in Weber’s circles, only rarely questioned, his early life was dominated by the same operative assumptions that drove the myopias of Comte and Marx regarding the more-than-human world. Weber’s work is in many circles today well known because his most famous work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism published in 1905,illuminated post-sixteenth century developments that provided subtlety as to how one post-Catholic form of the Christian religion had created motivations and personal habits that influenced the emergence of the capitalist establishment of some European communities. Importantly, although Weber’s insights illuminated the ancient observation that religious claims impacted social dynamics, his extremely detailed focus on social structure and religion was not driven by a broad, encompassing engagement with religious diversity. Instead, it was laser specific as to time and place, and focused on the local religion, as it were. Further, while the environment in which Weber worked included some awareness of non-Christian forms of religion, such views were only beginning to grow. The upshot was that Weber and his contemporaries had little in the way of a deep, pluralistic appreciation of many non-Christian viewpoints—there was, for example, no minimally respectable biography of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, until Thomas Carlisle in 1840 published his The Hero as Prophet. Nineteenth century European accounts of the Buddhist tradition revealed a superficial engagement, characteristically portraying this alien religious tradition as idolatrous, nihilistic, and the nadir of the Indian subcontinent’s pessimistic view of life.In the mid-nineteenth century, Schopenhauer’s well-known work provided a constructive view of Buddhism (especially relative to Christianity whose ethical breadth, Schopenhauer opined, was defective because it in no way provided consideration for nonhuman animals). Yet it was not until the late nineteenth century that a sympathetic account of the historical Buddha’s life gained widespread attention (Sir Edwin Arnold's 1879 book-length poem The Light of Asia). Further, Weber labored in an environment where Comte’s views had discounted traditional and small-scale society religions, replacing a focus on diversity with assertion of a “religion of humanity” theme. In important ways, then, Weber lived in a world only somewhat in touch with humankind’s penchant for extreme religious diversity. Marx’s challenge to religion as one-dimensional clearly stated important challenges to established religious traditions, but there was still little in the way of a challenge to the multiple ways that religion in society had in the past functioned as a fig leaf hiding self-interest, rabid nationalism, sexism, racism, or economic greed driven variously by national self-interest or classism. National aggrandizement likely seemed at the time to many Europeans to be a practical, and thus reasonable, response needed for survival in the competitive, insecure world of the European community of nations. Weber was, for all practical purposes, immersed so deeply in the well of human exceptionalist thinking that he missed completelythe important role that recognizing nonhuman individuals and communities can play in understanding intelligence, community, and both the shape and potential breadth of one’s moral awareness.
QQ9.More on Durkheim. Durkheim’s themes, however, prompt a different series of questions about humans’ religious imagination and the ways Comte, Marx, Weber and others favored a narrative of human exceptionalism—for example, does a humans-only focus when exploring how humans think about themselves as communal living beings set sociology up to fail? Similarly one can ask, does human exceptionalism inevitably impoverish human self-awareness by setting the bar too low, that is, by stating a far too narrow idea of community and society? To begin responding to such questions, consider one of Durkheim’s most basic statements at the beginning of his major work The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life.
"In reality, then, there are no religions which are false. All are true in their own fashion; all answer, though in different ways, to the given conditions of human existence."
Here, the living features of a religious response to a local place (“given conditions of human existence”) are strongly hinted. They are emphasized in Durkheim’s next sentence as he elaborates how religion is integrally tied to the living features of human lives.
"All are religion equally, just as all living beings are equally alive, from the most humble plastids up to man. So when we turn to primitive religions it is not with the idea of depreciating religion in general, for these religions are no less respectable than the others. They respond to the same needs, they play the same role, they depend upon the same causes; they can also well serve to show the nature of religious life, and consequently to resolve the problem which we wish to study."
The above passage explains why Durkheim opens his classic volume with a simple sentence describing “the problem” he proposes to study.
"In this book we propose to study the most primitive and simple religion which is actually known, to make an analysis of it, and to attempt an explanation of it."
Durkheim helps the reader understand both method and goal in his next sentence, invoking Comte’s notion of “positive”:
"We shall set ourselves to describe the organization of this system with all the exactness and fidelity that an ethnographer or an historian could give it. … [S]ociology … does not seek to know the passed [sic] forms of civilization … [but] rather, like every positive science, it has as its objective the explanation of some actual reality which is near to us, and consequently which is capable of affecting our ideas and our acts: this reality is man, and more precisely, the man of to-day, for there is nothing which we are more interested in knowing."
Durkheim’s focus is, then, not only human-centered, but also present-centered. This gives Durkheim’s form of human exceptionalism a certain irony, for while his intention is to use the most “primitive” form of religion to speak to “the man of to-day,” humans’ earliest forms of religious awareness appear to us today to have been discernibly diverse (they arose in many different contexts, among diverse living communities, and at different times). Further, if the group of early human spiritualities have any dominant feature, it is that they are nothuman-centered, but life-centered in ways that go beyond the boundary posts of the local human community and well beyond the concerns of human exceptionalism. But this irony seems unnoticed, for Durkheim has made it plain that he seeks out “the man of to-day” who, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, had lost or repudiated key features of those human societies that Durkheim’s interesting book attempts to foreground.
QQ10.Early Anthropologists. Another element impacting these newly born social sciences, of course, was that the early forms of these social sciences advanced sometimes covert, at other times overt Eurocentrism, classism, sexism, capitalism, slavery, religious intolerance, and ethnic strife. Further, given the long history of tolerating existing harms to so many humans within their own nation states, the fact that nation states committed serious harms to peoples beyond their own national borders is hardly surprising. In actual fact, greed-driven pursuits were common, which is pertinent to claims about the vision governing nations’ intentional actions. What would have been surprising is the emergence of a modern nation state in which true equality was not only ideologically claimed, but functionally present on the ground in decade after decade. That this has been rare to the point of never having really prevailed for a substantial period of time speaks volumes about humans’ lack of realism about our own history. We in fact fail in multiple ways if we do not honestly describe the actual on-the-ground realities we have created, those we now live amid, and those we threaten to create. We have many reasons, then, to speak plainly and honestly about ourselves and our communities as members of a frail, insecure, violence-prone species. All of these reasons provide an incentive for naming how and why our species’ social and cultural dimensions have so often failed to acknowledge that many humans today have become, as did some of our eighteenth and nineteenth century forebears, so intoxicated with our species’ alleged superiority to all other species. Because of this intoxication, contemporary humans are at risk of failing to detect how this claim often hides the further claim that only our most favored cultural group or class is the full and thus defining measure of what a human can become. Such frankness about many questionable, ignorance-driven claims of human superiority is needed as well to grasp the fundamental challenges faced by the young field of anthropology. Consider an early pioneer of nineteenth anthropology--Edward Burnett Tylor, born in 1832 to a life that would last 85 years, represents well the preference of many nineteenth century social theorists for evolutionary frameworks that postulate a trajectory that begins with early, “primitive” social organizations and moves to increasingly complex and sophisticated cultural achievements. The result is, such theorists claim, the arrival of superior forms of intelligence in the form of rationality, greater elegance evident in many cultural universals, and other multi-faceted sophistications clearly on display in the theorists’ own European nations. In the early 21st century, such claims no longer go unchallenged in scholarly circles, although the human exceptionalism narrative remains a powerful element in one important modern domain after another. Social evolution themes, however, are the decisive backdrop of Tylor’s 1871 volume Primitive Culture, which has long been deemed a foundational text in the field of Anthropology. The opening chapter entitled “The Science of Culture” is rife with evolutionary themes—this is not surprising given both the sociology story related above and the astonishing success of Darwin’s elegantly simple, insightful surmises about biological evolution. Tylor’s opening paragraph offers this general description.
"The condition of culture among the various societies of mankind, in so far as it is capable of being investigated on general principles, is a subject apt for the study of laws of human thought and action."
Tylor’s use of the singular noun “Culture” rather than the plural “cultures” in both the book’s title and his opening paragraph none too subtly announces his agenda, which is elaborated in a series of broad generalizations—the investigation is “on general principles,” which is possible because Tylor asserts that humans’ cultural achievements exhibit patterns that are “a subject apt for the study of laws of human thought and action.” Two supporting conclusions advance discussion of Tylor’s “Culture”—first, all humans share an important uniformity of “civilization” (nonhuman animals are in no way the intended focus, of course, but due to “the animal invitation,” they will be often mentioned in Tylor’s book). Second, a claimed pattern of change over time (“development or evolution”) among human groups will be the foundation on which the analysis stands.
"On the one hand, the uniformity which so largely pervades civilization may be ascribed, in great measure, to the uniform action of uniform causes; while on the other hand its various grades may be regarded as stages of development or evolution…." 
Thereby, the claimed uniformity of all human “civilization” (which parallel’s the title’s use of the singular “culture”) is subject to an important qualification, for Tylor will explain a pattern of “evolution” through “especial consideration of the civilization of the lower tribesas related to the civilization of the higher nations.” The result is, in retrospect, a complex claim that at first asserts all humans’ uniformity but then puts forth its more important agenda, namely, a distinguishing factor by which the writer’s own time and culture (signaled by the none-too-subtle shift evident in “civilization of the higher nations”) are played off against the “civilization of lower tribes.” Human exceptionalism is, in one sense, powerfully present in this account—the initial focus is clearly the entire human species. But a powerful exclusion cleaves Tylor’s organizing concept of the human species. Some humans are, by implication, a better, more telling fulfillment of what it means to be human, and thus in Tylor’s work are taken as the definitive measure of the human species. This is the habit of mind that dominated the social evolution claims to which Comte and so many others subscribed—it is not, then, an accident that this scheme is a driving force throughout Tylor’s impressively extensive works, including his forerunner 1865 volume Researches into the Early History of Mankind and the Development of Civilization, all the post-1871 editions of Primitive Culture, and his 1881 Anthropology. Tylor’s predisposition to favor later humans as “higher,” “more advanced,” while “early” humans are “rude” and “lower” causes Tylor to miss key elements evident in the diverse lives, thinking and values of our ancient forebears, many of which are not obviously inferior to the lives, thinking and values of the industrial humans that Tylor knew and the post-industrial humans that citizens of industrialized and industrializing nations in the early twenty-first century encounter. The work of a second popularizer of anthropology also reveals these key aspects of early anthropology, as well as a range of challenges not well recognized until the following century. James Frazer, who lived from 1854 to 1941, was a Scottish comparativist drawn into social anthropology by Tylor’s Primitive Culture. His late nineteenth century work known as The Golden Bough originally carried the subtitle “A Study in Comparative Religion,” but in the second edition the subtitle was changed to “A Study in Magic and Religion.” This extremely popular work first published in 1890 as a two-volume set was expanded to three volumes in 1900, and by 1915 twelve volumes existed, with a thirteenth and last volume added in 1936. It is an understatement to observe that this work by Frazer offers much detail—the abridged version alone exceeded 800 pages. The popularity of Frazer’s magnum opus is the basis for his reputation as a pioneering social anthropologist and folklorist who influenced the early stages of modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. Frazer’s work also has historical importance because itinfluenced the expanding work of psychologists and psychiatrists in the first half of the twentieth century, as well as many poets. Further, Frazer’s ability to disseminate information and generate excitement reveals the influence accorded views framed in terms of both human exceptionalism and the even narrower agenda of those who asserted the pre-eminence of European achievements in a wide range of domains. The passage of time has, however, made clear that there are significant problems in Frazer’s work, for while many have ranked The Golden Bough as a classic, Frazer’s claims have withstood neither the test of time nor the emergence of more careful, humble, and critically thought-out claims about human cultures across place and time. for his underlying vision has not been borne out by field studies. This set of problems is not too surprising, given that Frazer’s observations were not enriched by travel to diverse places and cultures—he traveled outside Great Britain to only Italy and Greece. Another problem asserted has been the failure of Frazer to work closely with the underlying documentary evidence,thereby revealing a discussion of our ancient forebears’ altogether diverse lives, views and practices in terms of agenda-laden oversimplifications. Frazer often uses singular nouns for encompassing descriptions that carry dismissive implications—he asserts, for example, “the superstitions of the savage cluster thick about the subject of food.” Derogatory implications also are suggested by Frazer’s frequent resort to the adjectives “primitive” and “rude,” a practice that echoes Tylor’s opening words in his 1865 and 1871 volumes. The sources of Frazer’s information were, like Frazer, individuals who were by and large European-trained and thus European-centric. He read histories produced by other scholars, but an important source of information for him was his correspondence with Christian missionaries and British imperial officials around the world. It was common for Frazer to use concepts developed by Christians for their own religious tradition to explain ancient, pre-Christian phenomena. Even more telling is a dispute that came late in Frazer’s career involving an Australian scholar who thought considerations of accuracy required use of the indigenes’ terminology when describing Australian aboriginal culture—Frazer, who had not studied the local cultures in person as had the Australian scholar, insisted that his own tradition’s Judeo-Christian terminology should be used because it was a precise equivalent of the indigenes’ own terminology. Even from a cursory review, however, it is evident that there are many passages in both Tylor and Frazer’s writings that plainly reflect the animal invitation. Thus even as these pioneers’ work has dismissive overtones, it nonetheless reflects that the peoples grouped under the term “savage” clearly were aware that some nonhuman animals are, like humans, possessed of various forms of intelligence and feelings. In one sense, then, ancient humans were starkly superior to modern humans in the matter of knowing one’s diverse neighbors.
QQ11. More on Enriching Comparative Religion. Consider one additional implication of the insight by the respected twentieth century comparativist mentioned at the beginning of this chapter—“in its contemporary form … the concept of a religion is recent, Western-and-Islamic, and unstable.” Smith underscored that religious sensibilities in the past were characteristically at the center of human life, an example of which is on display in the views of the late fourth century Christian theologian Augustine of Hippo (by consensus a seminal figure in the Christian tradition).
"For this writer [Augustine of Hippo], ‘religion’ is no system of observances or beliefs, nor an historical tradition, institutionalized or susceptible of outside observation. Rather it is a vivid and personal confrontation with the splendour and the love of God."
By directing attention to the overpoweringly personal dimension that Smith understood to be the heartbeat of a religious life, Smith touched on themes similar to those described in Chapter 1 regarding many indigenous cultures reading not only their local world but also the whole of what humans can experience as a gift by which, in Kimmerer’s words, “paying attention” becomes “a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open hearts.” The living qualities of Bonhoeffer’s sense of his own religious commitment leap out of the phrases “living unreservedly” not in pleasure and distractions, or self-importance and a consumer-focused lifestyle, but rather through a concentration on “life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities.” This encompassing description reveals why no comparativist has an easy task in the matter of discerning such an engagement in an individual’s daily, private life. Similarly living implications can animate a point made by Tillich at the very beginning of a three-volume treatise on theology—when discussing religious life as “ultimate concern,” Tillich insists that elevating a preliminary, clearly finite concern (the example give is nationalism) to the status of “ultimate concern” is “idolatrous in its very nature,” since for Tillich idolatry is “the elevation of a preliminary concern to ultimacy.” Here there is no direct condemnation of human-centeredness, but implicit in this comment by Tillich is a challenge to the long tradition of claiming that humans are the measure of all things. For Hick, a deeply religious individual who was challenged multiple times within his own Presbyterian community for his inclusivist views, pluralism was a strong stance, not a weak admission of uncertainty. The open-hearted and open-minded features of such a position can easily lead to consideration of a philosophically viable pluralism that goes beyond both (i) contemporary forms of human exceptionalism explored in this book and (ii) the milder but still inadequate forms of human-centeredness that characterize so much of the human species’ self-serving thinking. Such broad-based implications are by no means explicit, of course—their presence is noted here because such approaches are often “between the lines” or “in the wings” of humans’ discussions of this obviously more-than-human world.
QQ12. Cumulative Religious Traditions as Living. Given all that has been said in previous chapters about (i) humans as animals who are always richly and uniquely situated, and (ii) humans as enabled by our animal finitudes, a feature evident in the landscape of any religion can now be pulled into the foreground to underscore how a particularly dominant concept in comparative religion discussions reveals distinctive living qualities in humans’ religious inheritance. This is the notion of a cumulative religious tradition, which offers significant flexibility to the explorer of humans’ religious inclinations. Notice how Wilfrid Cantwell Smith’s explanation of this concept makes it obvious why the historical past is a core foundation in religion.
"[W]hat men have tended to conceive as religion and especially as a religion, can more rewardingly, more truly, be conceived in terms of two factors, different in kind, both dynamic: an historical ‘cumulative tradition’, and the personal faith of men and women."
Smith elaborated on the cumulative element as follows.
"By 'cumulative tradition' I mean the entire mass of overt objective data that constitute the historical deposit, as it were, of the past religious life of the community in question: temples, scriptures, theological systems, dance patterns, legal and other social institutions, conventions, moral codes, myths, and so on: anything that can be and is transmitted from one person, one generation, to another, and that an historian can observe."
This first factor is thoroughly historical, passed along again and again by one generation of uniquely situated human animals to the next. This fundamental aspect of human existence offers each religious tradition the prospect of being “animal and alive,” although by no means does this history-related aspect of religious traditions guaranty such a reality. Living features, or alternatively deadening features, are conferred on a religious outlook by the daily acts of individuals. If a large percentage of a religious community does this, the community in question then is fairly said to be an example of a living religion, that is, an example of religion that is animal and alive. Without question, however, the historical factor advantages the comparativist by providing, in Smith’s words, “overt objective data” about the multiple dimensions of different human generations’ choices connected to their religious orientation in a particular time and place. The cumulative tradition concept is flexible enough to allow one to explore the astonishing complexity of different traditions, and it also is dynamic in several senses—it foregrounds the phenomena of growth and change, and thereby it is capable of being responsive to the constantly morphing needs experienced in different eras, places, and circumstances. In a meaningful way, then, a cumulative tradition can be “living” for each generation even in the face of shifting needs. A scholar who wrote about Smith’s comparative approach summarized this dynamism.
"… religions as cumulative traditions may be seen as constantly shifting processes. Doctrines, rituals, ecclesiastical institutions are all in movement. Even when certain elements of a tradition such as long-standing doctrines appear relatively stable, what they mean to the faithful shifts from generation to generation...." 
The notion of a cumulative religious tradition is, conceptually speaking, a tool used often by observers at a distance from the tradition. When framed responsibly, this notion can be a principled guess about important continuities in a tradition—when used in this flexible manner, the notion of a cumulative tradition can help bring to the fore the living potential of a religious tradition. For some who dismiss religious traditions as mere superstition or arrogance, the flexibility of the notion of a cumulative tradition can help illuminate how a religious outlook can be considered “living” even when the adherents do not talk about their tradition in this way. In a very real sense, then, a religious tradition (more accurately, one of the tradition’s many subtraditions) can be thought of as living in the sense that it may be growing or contracting as humans who adhere to this tradition live their daily lives. This is one of the reasons that Hick insightfully suggested that the concept of “cumulative tradition” is capable of handling not only “the rich detailed variety ... between traditions, but also within each tradition.” Cumulative “historical deposits” are interesting to a wide range of observers for other reasons as well—for example, they reflect the variety and diversity that characteristically exist even when the most obvious fact about a religious tradition is its long-term continuity. As such, the notion of cumulative tradition is not reliant on an unchanging core required for purposes of identifying what is truly Christian, or truly Islamic, or truly Buddhist, and so on. Said another way, comparativists today do not insist on an essentialist definition of what it means to be within a religious tradition. Smith reveals his anti-essentialism in the following passage.
"[A] Christian can come to an adequate understanding of his faith, or a Muslim of his, and indeed, either of them to an understanding of each other’s, only if he extricate [sic] himself from a concern as to the essence or nature of Christianity or Islam, only if he shift his attention away from questions such as 'What is true Christianity?', 'What is real Islam?'"
Smith’s notion of cumulative tradition can be broken down into distinguishable elements of (1) historical transmission of a religiously charged sensibility from one person to another, across generations, of course, but also across cultures and time, and (2) a mere accumulation of assorted views that share a source but not any particular defining spirit. There can be, then, very different kinds of accumulation over centuries of whatever views exist (whether these have been transmitted faithfully as received from predecessors, or adjusted through intention or error, or even created without precedent). Such possible differences suggest the possibility, though by no means the inevitability, that some of the accumulated views will be inconsistent with others. The process of transmission is what creates the persistence of features within the tradition, whether they be marvelous insights or continuing, but unsupportable, prejudices. Often, of course, such transmission has created a sense of continuity, thus establishing a wide and deep foundation on which present day adherents intentionally stand as they identify with their tradition as a way of finding meaning and community in their daily lives. It is also possible to notice how the field of comparative religion has itself been changing, for this attests to the living-and-yet-finite features of the humans who pursue this approach. One driving factor in field-level changes has been that the underlying materials are so vibrant and in motion that they support diverse interpretations. Comparative studies, then, deal with forms of change that go beyond shifts in existing traditions and subtraditions, and the emergence of new subtraditions and even of entirely new religions. As centuries have passed, comparativists have used a wide range of approaches—not only study of the underlying culture, but also borrowing from constantly morphing fields such as psychology, anthropology and sociology. Consider, for example, that while many comparativists have assumed that religion and morality always have an integral relationship, important humility-inducing insights have challenged this seemingly common-sense assumption, as happened when a respected anthropologist delivered the prestigious Gifford Lectures in the late 1940s.
"What we find, then, is that neither in the case of contemporary primitive peoples, nor in the thought of the great moral teachers who developed it to its highest level, has morality always been connected with religion or supported by supernatural sanctions, and that the nature of morality does not seem to differ greatly where it is and in those where it is not regarded as so sanctioned. The conclusion that I draw from these facts is that, both as regards its historical origin and the grounds of its rightness, morality is autonomous, carrying its authority within itself, whatever additional sanctions may from time to time be attached to it."
The comparativist Ninian Smart summarized this anthropologist’s observations—“in many small societies there is often little, if any connection between living religion and morality.” On-the-ground realities, then, are sufficiently diverse to make working out the implications of cross-cultural and cross-era comparisons a formidable challenge, which is one reason many scholars of comparative religion have foregrounded the role of humility, openness and flexibility when pursuing this now traditional discipline.
QQ13. Comparative Religion and Our Animal Finitudes. With the insights available when one foregrounds the virtues of humility, openness and flexibility, those who explore religious traditions can engage the diverse phenomena of our species’ obvious fascination with the intense affirmations of life evident not only in the well-known religious traditions sometimes called “world religions,” but also in profoundly developed contemplative and mystical subtraditions of many different kinds, as well as humans’ innumerable, astoundingly diverse smaller scale traditions that feature truly unique beliefs and stories. For those who care to look, there are impressively vast resources evident in the altogether diverse customs and practices of the hundreds of millions of humans who in the early twenty-first century are still designated by terms like “indigenous people,” “small-scale societies,” and “folk traditions.” Collectively, this group today is composed of thousands of different indigenous groups and several hundred million people in almost 100 countries worldwide whose primary identity remains their birth culture and the local places in which that culture was developed. Paying attention to the diversity and breadth uncovered by looking so widely also assists one in exploring the religious and spiritual orientations of the almost four billion adherents of the Abrahamic traditions, the views found in those religious traditions that have long dominated the Indian subcontinent, and the ancient Chinese and other East Asian wisdom and folk traditions often grouped under the umbrella terms “Confucian,” “Taoist” or “Shinto.” The humans in each of these traditions, and those in many other less well-known traditions, make astonishingly varied claims, and feature countless styles of narrative, communal organization, and ritual practice. Humans in these groups also display many different patterns of connection to local places and neighbors, as well as a wide-ranging array of attitudes and social practices regarding authority and healing often associated with the terms “shaman,” “healer,” and “lawgiver.” Relatedly, the worldviews that are such an integral feature of religious traditions exemplify the broad sense of “myth” that animated Paul Shepard’s comments already mentioned regarding how “everyone lives in a mythic world.”
QQ14. Indigenous and Invitational. A particularly rich set of insights is available to those who study the second-order complexity “religion and animals” through two related but distinguishable forms of indigenous diversity—the variety so evident when indigenous human communities are compared to each other, and also the variety evident in specific places when one pays attention to all the animals, that is, both nonhuman and human animals indigenous to a particular place. Diversity across Indigenous Human Communities. Many of the features mentioned in connection with one or more of the dozens of indigenous groups mentioned in this book reveal how each small-scale indigenous society represents, but in no way exhausts, humans’ fecund creativity for story, community, and a functioning respect for the diversity of life and the health of the natural world in which the group lives. If one searches a wide range of such cultures across time and place, one quickly recognizes that unique accounts of and responses to the animal invitation have long been the norm. In a sense, the “ferment” described in previous chapters as evident in some circles of modern industrialized societies is more than merely reconnection with elements of the more-than-human world—if one looks to the past, one can see that such ferment is a recovery of an important dimension in individuals’ and whole communities’ creative understanding of their local world. Particularly worthy of attention in the present era, however, is that astonishing diversity is still evident across the world’s remaining small-scale societies. The several hundred million humans who still live in small-scale societies have been greatly impacted by the multifaceted phenomena of human-on-human harms, the result of which is that these peoples are often vulnerable to the predation of modern nations and corporations—the 2009 assessment of past genocides of unimaginable proportions by powerful colonializing interests concluded that “[m]ore groups of indigenous peoples have likely been destroyed during our age than in any other comparable time period.” Diversity of Animals Indigenous to Place. Another astonishing diversity is also readily apparent when one pays attention to all the animals, that is, both nonhuman and human animals, indigenous to a particular place. Obviously this sort of diversity plays a key role in how humans in a particular place might describe both the animal invitation and their encounters with other-than-human neighbors. Contrast what people in a local culture might think if they happen to live near one or more of the Earth’s most astonishing nonhumans—for example, one of the three species of elephants, or any of the four nonhuman great ape species, or one or more of the almost 100 cetacean species. It is an historical accident that Europeans developed their cultures, religions, ethics and intellectual traditions
"in environments separated from many large-brained, long-lived, socially complex animals. For example, other great apes were absent from the cradles of now-dominant ethical notions, while contacts with nonterrestrial whales and dolphins were minimal, in the sense that they live in a radically different environment which is inaccessible to humans. The elephants that were known were captives, respected for their intelligence but ultimately used only instrumentally."
These circumstances provide grounds for being concerned that the traditional ethical notions and vocabulary developed by well-known ancient thinkers were framed on the basis of impoverished, often misinformed claims about what sorts of animals existed outside the human species. From the vantage point of a comparativist informed about both of these place-based diversities, there are good reasons to explore how and why small-scale, indigenous peoples prize their local world as a place whose features and “citizens” the indigenes not only come to know well, but also often consider as a gift because the local geographical niche of a small-scale society is well understood as no less than the intersection of all the nested communities in which each indigenous people senses membership.
QQ15. Additional Comments on Seeing Self-Inflicted Ignorance and Arrogance—Sensitive Buddhists, Insensitive Views. As to what invests religion with “living” features, surely good intentions are important, perhaps even a necessary condition, but notice how the following story suggests that good intentions alone are clearly not sufficient. Similarly, the following story, which reflects a number of the remarkable achievements of the Buddhist tradition, reveals also that faithful adherence to one’s religious heritage does not automatically confer “living” features on a religious orientation. The overwhelming majority of religious traditions suggest in one way or another that if an individual religious tradition is to foreground and then actualize its living potential, that tradition needs key skills for transcending not only the limits of each human individual, but also the local human community’s isolated interests apart from the local world and, additionally, any debilitating preoccupation with only the human species. Without these skills, full actualization of individuals’ potential for community is blocked. The Buddhist tradition offers a chance to consider a problem aptly summarized as “elephants in the human room” because elephants have been, by virtually any measure, among the most sensitive and imaginative humans ever. This mistake was made by early Buddhists, and it was made about elephants. The mistake is extraordinary because, on other matters, early Buddhists were quite perceptive on many features of elephants and the animal invitation. The tradition begins with the historical Buddha, one of Jaspers’ Axial Age sages, and thus reflects the key Axial Age insight that “respect for the sacred rights of all beings—not orthodox belief” is the heartbeat of living religion. Consider, then, the early Buddhists peculiar assumption about elephants’ most basic social structure. What makes the mistake peculiar is that it goes well beyond trivial examples of getting “the facts” wrong. Sometimes, when one reviews what a culture or group of people says about certain animals, it is easy to recognize that they misperceived and thus misunderstood basic facts. A famous example is Leviticus 11:6, which holds that hares are unclean because they chew a cud. In fact, hares do not, but only appear to, chew a cud. This is, of course, a minor issue and thus only a few commentators have been deeply bothered by the mistake about hares and their alleged cuds. But the error Buddhists made about elephants is a mistake of a different order, for it is about a feature of elephants’ lives that is readily identifiable as truly basic. Given how sensitive the early Buddhists were in noticing other features of elephants’ lives, one can conclude that the early Buddhists clearly wanted to see elephants’ most basic features but somehow failed to do so in this particular case. Here’s the problem—the early Buddhist texts completely misrepresented the dominance of males in elephant groups because, as a practical matter of probabilities, one cannot as readily guess if the leader of an African elephant group is male or female, since both often have tusks—but not so with Indian elephants. The mistake is, as mentioned in the main text, significant, for if you get the leadership/matriarchy issue wrong, you will misunderstand a central feature of elephants’ lives, learning and community. One possibility is that the early Buddhist societies were, again in the language of scientists and scholars, “patriarchal” because they inherited the view that the human male the paradigm of the human species. From the vantage point of human exceptionalism or even that of a milder human centeredness, making such a mistake about these nonhuman animals’ natural history will not be troubling—after all, these are nonhuman animals. Further, from a comparative religion standpoint, the mistake may also not seem too troubling for the reasons advanced by the scholars mentioned in the main text about the deeper nature of Buddhism.
QQ16. Pliny’s Views of Other Animals. It is intriguing to notice that while asserting that only humans can be religious is “business as usual” in the education establishment, doing so reveals ignorance of our deeper human past. The assumption that religion is solely a human affair is in tension with now-forgotten claims at the heart of many other religious traditions as well, an example of which is evident in the Buddhist scriptures’ description of many other animals recognizing the historical Buddha as an enlightened being. Chapter 2 mentioned that Pliny the Elder passed along long-standing views that elephants understand the language of humans and “reverence the stars.” He observed (in Book VIII’s opening chapter), “They are thought also to have an understanding of religion in others….” In making such claims, Pliny was by no means alone—others in his own cultural sphere made similar claims.There are, in fact, many other materials found in key religious texts about a wide range of nonhuman animals as themselves religious that are similar in tenor to Pliny the Elder’s claims about elephants. Some still-remembered forebears in humans’ cultural history made claims about certain nonhuman animals’ abilities in the direction of religious awareness—for example, there are well-known biblical passages, such as the serpent in the Garden of Eden and the perceptive ass who saw angels on the road that the human Balaam failed to see, that on their face raise the issue of other animals’ awareness of religiously-tinged events. In a similar vein, what follows is a passage from what some have suggested is the second most printed book in the Christian tradition.
"If your heart were right, then every creature would be a mirror of life and a book of holy doctrine. There is no creature so small and mean that it does not put forth the goodness of God."
 While Darwin did not originate this phrase, he did incorporate it into the 5th edition of On the Origin of Speciespublished in 1869.
 Thomas Eriksen and Finn Nielsen 2001. A History of Anthropology. London: Pluto Press. At p. 37.
 Henry L. Tischler, Henry L. 2010. Introduction to Sociology. Belmont, California: Wadsworth. P. 12, 10th Edition.
 Talcott Parsons, The Structure of Social Action (1937; New York: Free Press, 1968), p. 3; quoting from C. Crane Brinton, English Political Thought in the Nineteenth Century (London: Benn, 1933).
 The term “subaltern” is used in a variety of ways. It is often associated with modern Marxists like Antonio Gramsci, but there is a more nuanced set of meanings evident in the work of the feminist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (see, for example, Young, Robert J. C. Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).
 Green, Elliott (12 May 2016). “What are the most-cited publications in the social sciences (according to Google Scholar)?” LSE Impact Blog. London School of Economics.
 Weber, Max 1905, translated by Talcott Parsons into English in 1930. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. London : George Allen & Unwin; New York: Scribner
 See, for example, Bechert, Heinz, 'Buddhist Revival in East and West', pp.273-285, in Bechert, Heinz, and Richard Gombrich (eds), The World of Buddhism: Buddhist Monks and Nuns in Society and Culture (London: Thames and Hudson, 1991).
 Schopenhauer, who died in 1860 (almost a half-century before publication of Protestant Ethics, argued (per Bechert, op. cit, at p. 274) “Buddhism is the best of all religions, because it is preferable to Brahmanism with it caste system, and even more to Christianity with its fallacious ideas about God and its defective code of ethics which has no consideration of animals.”
 Durkheim, Emile 1912. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, translated by Joseph Swain 1915. New York: The Free Press, 1965., p. 15.
 Tylor, Edward. 1865. Researches into the Early History of Mankind and the Development of Civilization. London: John Murray.
 Frazer, James George 1894 (originally 1890). The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion. Two Volumes. New York and London, MacMillan and Co. Both volumes of this edition are available through Project Gutenberg, and are referred to below as Frazer/Gutenberg I and II.
 Frazer, James George 1960. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion.Abridged, 1 volume edition. New York: The Macmillan Company, Chapter LIII, page 600 (referred to below as “Frazer/Abridged”).
 J. D. Hawkins observed that Frazer was “unfamiliar” with an approach that “sticks closely to the fully quoted documentary evidence.” See Hawkins’ review of Volkert Haas’ 1970 Der Kult von Nerik: ein Beitrag zur hethitischen Religionsgeschichte, in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 36.1 (1973:128).
 Frazer/Gutenberg I, p. 80 (also at Frazer/Abridged p. 277). In a similar vein is Frazer’s comment, “For everything new is apt to excite the awe and dread of the savage.” Frazer/Gutenberg I, p. 69.
 Larsen, Timothy (2014), "James George Frazer", The Slain God: Anthropologists and the Christian Faith. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, pp. 37–79, at 47.
 Hughes, E. J. 1986. Wilfred Cantwell Smith: A Theology for the World. London: SCM, p. 11.
 Hick, John 1978. Evil and the God of Love. Rev. ed. San Francisco: Harper and Row, xvii.
 W. C. Smith 1962, 12. As for Buddhism specifically, Gombrich (1996, at 4 and 6, respectively) argues that Gotama took a nonessentialist view of his own teachings, and that “Buddhism as a human phenomenon has no unchanging essence.”
 Macbeath, Alexander 1952. Experiments in Living. A Study of the Nature and Foundation of Ethics or Morals in the Light of Recent Work in Social Anthropology ... The Gifford Lectures for 1948-1949 Delivered in the University of St. Andrews. Macmillan & Co.: London. Pp. 345-6.
 The summary is from Smart, Ninian 1994. The Religion of Small Societies. Audio book (read by Ben Kingsley). Carmichael and Carmichael/Knowledge Products. Track 30.
 An estimate of current numbers is available at Amnesty International 2021. “Indigenous Peoples” at https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/indigenous-peoples/, accessed 2021.5.26. The “Key Facts” in this document indicate (i) “370 million people in more than 70 countries identify themselves as Indigenous Peoples”; (ii) “5000 different Indigenous People’s in the world”; (iii) 1/3 of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people are Indigenous Peoples”; (iv) “70% of them live in Asia”.
 A list of other ancients who made similar claims appears in the opening Footnote of Book VIII of Pliny’s Natural History in Thirty-Seven Books.
 See, for example, the diverse instances listed in Patton, Kimberley C. 2000. “‘He Who Sits in the Heavens Laughs’: Recovering Animal Theology in the Abrahamic Traditions”, The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 93, No. 4 (Oct., 2000), pp. 401-434.
 Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Bk2,Ch4; CHECK THIS TRANSLATION AGAINST MY Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Modern Version based on the English translation made by Richard Whitford around the year 1530, edited by Harold C. Gardiner (Garden City, New York: Image Books, 1955). At page 7 is the claim that The Imitation of Christ is “the widest-read and best-loved religious book in the world, with the exception only of the Bible.”
Additional Materials Chapter Eight “Law and Other Animals”
QQ1. Some features of paradigmatic forms of religious law will be familiar to many—there is an encompassing quality even as the legal system also prescribes minute, altogether personal details of daily life illustrated well by the following example from the Hebrew text “Shulchan Arukh” (which literally means “Set Table”) compiled in the sixteenth century by Rabbi Joseph Karo and today often known by the English title “Code of Jewish Law” because it is the most widely consulted of the various legal codes in Judaism. The opening four chapters of this text relate to (Chapter I) “Conduct Upon Rising in the Morning,” (Chapter II) “Washing of Hands in the Morning,” (Chapter III) “Dressing and Manner of Walking,” and (Chapter IV) “Decency in the Lavatory.” Such rules about ordinary life functions are common in religious law because it is taken for granted that religion applies fully to all aspects of human life (this helps explain why in Chapter 8 a prominent European Muslim voice will address contemporary ritual slaughter as a “betrayal” “of Islam’s message”). Those raised with detailed awareness of a deeply religious form of law will treat these tradition-bound law codes as divinely inspired, spiritually nourishing and, as one commentator says below, “the absolute cure for all ills.”
QQ2. Systems that adequately meet these needs will, from time to time, adjust to the “ebbs and flows or cycles—fortune’s wheel—in human affairs.” Adjustments to the law in a local place also can be discerned in the law as it is lived out communally in those small-scale societies that endured for long periods of time, but such changes are characteristically growth that is subtle and organic. A corollary to these observations is that any legal system that fails to meet a human group’s all-important communal needs will, quite naturally, be subjected to calls for change. Some systems will, because their stewards are responsive and want the system to continue living, grow in ways that allow changes that meet the fundamental needs of their creator animals. But in large, internally complex societies in particular, if an existing legal system fails to meet these baseline needs for a substantial period of time, the legal system will disappoint and eventually fail due to an epochal revolution that results in it being replaced by a younger relative or perhaps an unrelated competitor.
QQ3. See, for example, Álvaro Núñez Vaquero, “Five Models of Legal Science”, Revus [Online], January 19, 2013. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/revus/2449; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/revus.2449. Vaquero observes preliminarily that “it is not clear what we mean by ‘legal science’” and then adds, “Despite there being a discussion that has lasted several centuries—or perhaps precisely because of that—the fact is that we do not have a univocal, or even one shared, terminology.” He then adds this comment about the diverse meanings: “Under labels such as ‘legal science’, ‘legal dogmatics’ or ‘legal method’ we can find studies and monographs that often have little to do with one another: while some of them consider the meaning and scope of the various methodological directives, or about the very concept of methodology, others are dedicated to clarifying what is the legal perspective of the validity of law (the internal point of view), the interpretation, or the judicial balancing.”
QQ4. Berman’s use of “meta-law.” Berman’s second reference is at p.36 as he discusses the fourth of what he considered the ten basic characteristics of the western legal tradition (“4. Such legal learning still constitutes a meta-law by which the legal institutions and rules are evaluated and explained.”). While there is a third use at p. 38, and a fourth at p. 121, meta-law as used by Berman is clearly a secondary image to the notion of “legal science”, which perhaps explains why “meta-law” is not listed in the volume’s Index—see page 650.
QQ5. Berman on legal science. Berman also recognizes that “legal science” has only some features of the physical sciences—see pp. 120-121, where he comments, “The actors may ascribe to their own observations of what they themselves are doing the qualities of a systematic, objective, verifiable body of knowledge. That, in fact, is what happened law in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries: the legal rules, concepts, decisions, and procedures remained data, and in that sense just the opposite of a science, but the consciousness of the participants in legal activities came to include a systematic study of them, and the accumulation of a body of knowledge about them, which had some of the qualities of a science.”
QQ6. The Dred Scott court was composed of “seven judges [who] had been appointed by pro-slavery Presidents—five, in fact, came from slave-holding families.” The language of the court’s decision is direct and explicit, revealing the full force and effect of the law as a mechanism for holding very detailed and deadening oppressions in place:
"The question before us is, whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement [individuals of African ancestry] compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty? We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word “citizens” in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the contrary, they were at that time considered a subordinate and inferior class of beings who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them." [Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856), at 404-405.]
QQ7 In Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court considered whether a law passed by the State of Louisiana requiring separate railway cars for blacks and whites was allowed under the U.S. Constitution. In 1892, Homer Adolph Plessy, who was seven-eighths Caucasian, sat in a “whites only” car of a Louisiana train. When confronted, Plessy refused to move to the car reserved for humans who were considered some color other than white. Plessy was then arrested because he was deemed legally “colored” and therefore illegally occupying a seat in a section of public transportation designated “whites only.” In a 7-1 ruling in favor of the State of Louisiana, the U.S. Supreme Court held that such a law discriminating against Plessy was no problem under the Constitution if the facilities were “separate but equal.” The court argued, “We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's [Plessy’s] argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.” While the majority’s decision sets forth the rationale that the specific law being challenged was not a problem because this law did not necessarily involve deprivation or disadvantage, this was plain dishonesty. It was widely known that the separate facilities were not, in fact, equal, and that the Louisiana legislature intended by this and similar discriminatory laws to humiliate non-white citizens with “a badge of inferiority.” In other words, the claim of “separate but equal” functioned to mask the social and political realities of a continuing radical (at its roots) subordination of disfavored peoples.
QQ8 By the middle of the 20th century, a series of federal cases highlighting blatant inequalities had made clear that allegedly “separate but equal” approaches to education were nothing more than intentional, state-sponsored actions that produced obvious, measurable inequalities in education. This was the background that informed the Brown v. Board of Education case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1954, which today is perhaps the most famous case in that court’s long, complex history. The court ruled 9-0 as it addressed the obvious falsehoods that were an integral part of claims that state-sponsored facilities were in fact “separate but equal,” thereby overturning the 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson.
QQ9 One American author relates her Virginia town’s harsh reaction to the decision—rather than integrate existing education, her town eliminated all public schools. In a chapter entitled “The Segregation Academy” describing how white residents founded a whites-only private school to avoid the integration mandate of the 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Green notes how the founders of the new private school resorted to nothing less than theft in their search for supplies.
"School officials also raided public school resources, which had essentially been abandoned. They helped themselves to whatever they needed from the locked public schools— books, desks, even goalposts for a new football field … they were building for the school." 
QQ10An Even Deeper Search for Foundations. The meta-law concept can help one identify and assess the values that animate not only modern secular law systems, but also those that animate religious law and indigenous law in small-scale societies. Four examples mentioned in earlier chapters offer different patterns of inclusion and exclusion by which a legal system can develop living or deadening features for members of the governed human community. The postulate of inequality that Siedentop identified as dominating both the Greek and Roman cultural universe was rooted in inherited views. These long-standing cultures had, in effect, assumed the propriety of the existing social hierarchy favoring extraordinary privileges for some citizens that were built on profound subordination and even slavery for others. Thereby, these societies were governed by, and bequeathed to future generations, a meta-law that fell far short of valuing all humans. Thrasymachus’ even narrower notion of justice, where the meta-law shaping the law is merely a Machiavellian-like “interest of the stronger,” also reveals that many societies have been, and some still are, dominated by a tyrant’s interests rather than a broader notion of justice distributed throughout a community (however one might choose to define “community”). Thereby, the legal system in question deadened many human individuals’ opportunities to choose a meaningful form of life in a healthy human community. The insistence on patriarchy is another example of how an inherited axiom of inclusion and exclusion deadens the lives of some governed citizens. The primary victims are women, but in a very real way all members of a human society suffer when women are subordinated in ways that preclude their full participation in not only governance of a society but also the cultural, religious and scientific spheres that can so enrich human life. Finally, religion-based exclusions of dissenters or theological nonconformists of the kind mentioned in Chapter 7, as well as ethnicity-based exclusions of the kind so common in human history impoverish far more than the group formally excluded. Also impacted are a wide range of individuals who want to be free to choose their own form of life simply because they recognize that the emergence and coexistence of diverse religious views and cultural backgrounds is a valued norm that can be protected by a society and its legal system.When the opposite occurs because the law is the means by which domination of religious dissenters or those not members of the favored ethnic or cultural group is enforced, the guiding meta-law is obviously both narrow-minded and far-hearted in the sense described in earlier chapters. These observations suggest yet another troubling conclusion about the use of masking language like Jefferson’s claim that it was a “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal.” Such uses of language model for others that it is possible to use “law and order” arguments to cement subordination of disfavored living beings. The result is that succeeding generations inherit an established legal system that can entrench one group’s political advantage even as it continues to deaden the lives of those whom the legal system intentionally subordinates.
QQ11 An Overview of Critical Thinking and the Law. The peculiarities found in modern evidence codes are not random inadequacies—some are relics of tradition, as is the overabundance of what seems to non-lawyers an antiquated vocabulary. Unfamiliar words such as tort and mortgage reveal, as do the dominance of Latin phrases such as res ipsa loquitur and stare decisis, how the law projects an imagined future onto a human community through basic features anchored in now-vanished traditions and obscure terms from an ancient language. Collectively, such peculiarities reveal that the approach to discernment of the truth in a legal setting can be, relative to more robust inquiries into the complex issue of “what is truth?”, inadequate as a general method to be applied throughout human lives. Here, then, is one reason to recognize that the unique qualities of evidence-based trial results in modern legal systems can be meaningfully distinguished from other evidence-based inquiries, such as those pursued in common sense, quantification-based inquiries in various science fields, or the research-based conclusions reached in the humanities where commentators over centuries have applied a much wider range of critical thinking skills, such as the non-numerical elements in what is often referred to as “qualitative research” seeking a discerning understanding of the truth. The peculiarities of a justice-oriented institution being burdened by a less-than-robust search for the truth are called out graphically by any number of authors. Consider this diatribe by the anthropologist Stanley Diamond.
"... We live in a law-ridden society; law has cannibalized the institutions which it presumably reinforces or with which it interacts.... [W]e are encouraged to assume that legal behavior is the measure of moral behavior.... Efforts to legislate conscience by an external political power are the antithesis of custom: customary behavior comprises precisely those aspects of social behavior which are traditional, moral and religious—in short, conventional and nonlegal. Put another way, custom is social morality. The relation between custom and law is basically one of contradiction, not continuity."
Diamond’s conclusion is revealing as it contrasts the law in the contemporary world’s complex, internally diverse, economically driven industrial world with the law in small-scale societies (signaled by Diamond’s use in the following of the traditional description “primitive” so common in nineteenth century descriptions of pre-modern cultures).
"Thus, law is symptomatic of the emergence of the state. ... Custom—spontaneous, traditional, personal, commonly known, corporate, relatively unchanging—is the modality of primitive society; law is the instrument of civilization, of political society sanctioned by organized force, presumably above society at large and buttressing a new set of social interests. Law and custom both involve the regulation of behavior but their characters are entirely distinct...."
Even more caustic comments are not hard to find.
"Law reflects, but in no sense determines the moral worth of a society.... The better the society, the less law there will be. In Heaven, there will be no law, and the lion will lie down with the lamb.... The worse the society, the more law there will be. In Hell, there will be nothing but law, and due process will be meticulously observed."
Putting such hyperbolic generalizations about the law aside, the peculiarities found in the law in no way mean that critical thinking features are absent from the technicalities that limit what counts as admissible evidence in a courtroom. Thus, while it is a fair observation about legal evidence to note that much counted as “evidence” in non-legal contexts cannot be mentioned in many modern courts of law, there exist important policy reasons that what seems obviously relevant evidence in the realm of common sense can be defeated by legal bars that control what counts as admissible evidence within, for example, a criminal trial. These policy decisions clearly reflect careful thinking about competing policies such as (1) the importance of legal participants being free to present what they think is relevant to their case, (2) the need of defendants for a chance to challenge hostile sources of information, (3) the need to avoid biasing the jury as decision makers, and (4) the listing of many exceptions to the rule that excludes hearsay. A balancing of these many competing policies is how, for example, many modern secular legal systems attempt to foster the desired result of a fair outcome. The jury system can work well, not least because it relies on the assumption that any one person’s views are limited, while a group in consultation can overcome any single individual’s limitations and foibles. The critical thinking insight underlying a group approach is that while individuals can certainly be fallible, a larger group can, by working in good faith, communicate in ways that help each member of the group reach conclusions that respect evidence-based considerations even as they are mindful of justice considerations. The jury system is built on the reasonable assumption that ordinary citizens in a group can, through sustained discussion with each other, produce justice-oriented decisions better than can an isolated individual.
QQ12 A Historical Critique. The initial lawsuit that culminated in the 1823 Johnson v. M'Intosh decision had a collusive underbelly—land speculators worked together to obtain a legal precedent favoring their own interests (it also increased the value of assets owned by the court’s Chief Justice who wrote the unanimous opinion of the court, since he, his family and friends held much real property impacted by his favorable decision). Thereby, a precedent was established within United States law that remains in place to this day. At odds with the views of the indigenous peoples who had from time immemorial occupied the land at issue, the decision was explained by the Chief Justice in the following language.
"On the discovery of this immense continent, the great nations of Europe ... as they were all in pursuit of nearly the same object, it was necessary, in order to avoid conflicting settlements, and consequent war with each other, to establish a principle which all should acknowledge as the law by which the right of acquisition, which they all asserted, should be regulated as between themselves. This principle was that discovery gave title to the government by whose subjects, or by whose authority, it was made, against all other European governments, which title might be consummated by possession. ... The history of America, from its discovery to the present day, proves, we think, the universal recognition of these principles."
The court’s decision was unanimous—ownership of land in colonial areas was made legally possible because of the Europeans’ “discovery” of that land. Legally, the United States inherited ownership from Britain, the original “discoverer.” Of course, the fact that “discovery” in this fact situation was a relative concept, meaning only “new to European awareness,” reveals that the decision was nothing short of yet another example of the parochial exceptionalism that favored European interests and hegemony with a heavy dose of special favoritism for the interests of European upper-class interests. Justice Marshall’s opinion masked this, portraying the decisive principle in the case as a practical matter needed by “the great nations of Europe … in order to avoid conflicting settlements, and consequent war with each other.” (Johnson v. M'Intosh at p.573 of the decision.] It is hard to ignore that when such claims are made, ironies abound. Marshall claimed “universal recognition of these principles,” citing the papal bulls that purported to authorize, respectively, Portuguese and Spanish claims to lands which, though already heavily populated, were “discovered” by agents of those Catholic nations. The land “discovered” was often referred to as “terra nullius,” which translates as “nobody’s land.” This was, of course, a fiction given that every account of the discovery of the Americas reveals that it was populated by diverse communities of fellow humans. Altogether different ironies arise because Marshall chose to cite a principle from the establishment institutions of European-based nations even though the American revolutionaries had famously asserted that their own European monarch had no right to control their lives. Yet further ironies exist because of the religious origin of the doctrine of discovery, for the American revolutionaries had made a key point in their new social compact to avoid “establishing” any one religion in the new nation. Finally, there are yet further ironies in the fact that Catholic sources were often despised at the time Marshall handed down this decision, as were the very bulls on which the doctrine of discovery was based (recall that these papal pronouncements exhorted the “discoverers” to enslave the native inhabitants in order to save their souls, as well as protect exclusive trade rights). These bulls were, in fact, among the most virulent forms of Christian exceptionalism—they were premised on war, enslavement and commercial exploitation of any and all non-Christian nations. A Legal Critique. As with the cultural bias that led to the collusive origination of the lawsuit that provided the self-interested Marshall an opportunity in Johnson v M’Intosh to express yet further cultural myopias and biases, so too with the legal concepts that are the decision’s underpinnings. As would again famously be the case three decades later in the notorious 1856 Dred Scott decision where Chief Justice Taney also misstated history to justify his conclusion that black people “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect,”  Marshall’s reasoning process is rife with inaccuracies and omissions. Of particular significance, however, is that these inaccuracies and omissions were advanced in service of Marshall’s pivotal but altogether misleading claim that conquest, exploitation and enslavement were universally held to be a morally respectable privilege of the exploring (conquering) nation. In addition, there were viewpoints expressed by scholars of other legal traditions that contended with Marshall’s reasoning. In Part 2 of his 1532 work, de Vitoria argued in his “Nineteenth” proposition,
"…the conclusion follows that the barbarians in question can not be barred from being true owners, alike in public and in private law, by reason of the sin of unbelief or any other mortal sin, nor does such sin entitle Christians to seize their goods and lands…."
De Vitoria next explains that Thomas Cajetan, the famous Italian theologian, cardinal and General Superior of the Dominican order of monks, “proves” in his extensive works this same point “at some length and neatly” (in the fashion of the Catholic Scholastic tradition, De Vittoria notes the specific passage containing Cajetan’s reasoning—“Secunda Secundae, qu. 66, art. 8”). At the very center of Catholicism, then, were well-known, altogether substantial arguments contrary to what Marshall asserted was “universal.” Other legal transactions also confirmed title in the indigenous peoples—for example, the Dutch West India Company had executed legal documents premised on the validity of the title of property having been taken by a grantee from the local native tribe. The same practice was used by William Penn, who publicly declared that the “Susquehanna People” are the “true Owners” of the lands they occupied in Pennsylvania. In the period immediately after the Revolutionary War, “the new federal government of the United States continued European practices of treaty-making with Indian tribes” and a “[d]etailed analysis of treaty language and treaty negotiations illustrates how the United States further confirmed indigenous land rights.” Wilkins and Lomawaima provide separate analyses of “Spanish recognition of Indian title,” “French recognition of Indian title,” “British recognition of Indian title,” and “American recognition of Indian title.” The confirmation of indigenous land rights in American Indian treaties is then separately analyzed. Further, such a subordination of justice arguably is radically inconsistent with the oath which each Supreme Court justice takes when sworn into office, namely, to uphold the Constitution of the United States which opens with a sentence that explicitly made the establishment of “Justice” the first goal of the Constitution.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Since the Constitution was, however, premised on clear exclusions of major groups from key legal rights and protections—only a limited range of males could vote, slavery was enshrined in this most basic of American legal documents, and there was perpetuation of the radical subordination of women under the law—it will not surprise many to learn that justice was not extended by the United States Supreme Court to the original inhabitants of North America. There is yet another aspect of Marshall’s decision that similarly suggests how disingenuous Marshall’s reasoning was in his 1823 opinion. This is Marshall’s own frank admission in the decision itself, for he acknowledges the doctrine of discovery as an “extravagant … pretension.”
"However extravagant the pretension of converting the discovery of an inhabited country into conquest may appear, if the principle has been asserted in the first instance, and afterwards, sustained; if a country has been acquired and held under it; if the property of the great mass of the community originates in it, it becomes the law of the land, and cannot be questioned."
Marshall’s argument here has some obvious weaknesses—it amounts to claiming that if enough time passes after a theft, then the crime, in Marshall’s own words, “cannot be questioned.” A decade later Marshall himself in another opinion addressing the status of original Europeans’ land claims found in colonial charters (Worcester v. Georgia 1832) would again confirm that claims connected to the doctrine of discovery were based on, again in Marshall’s own words, an “extravagant and absurd idea.”
"The first of these charters was made before possession was taken of any part of the country. They purport, generally, to convey the soil from the Atlantic to the South Sea. This soil was occupied by numerous and warlike nations, equally willing and able to defend their possessions. The extravagant and absurd idea, that the feeble settlements made on the seacoast, or the companies under whom they were made, acquired legitimate power by them to govern the people, or occupy the lands from sea to sea, did not enter the mind of any man."
While Marshall in this characterization of the very basis of the doctrine of discovery acknowledges the legal fiction for what it truly is, this “extravagant and absurd idea” remains a presence in contemporary United States law. In the last century, Marshall’s 1823 decision has on a number of occasions been cited by newer Supreme Court opinions as a tool relevant to resolution of disputes—perhaps to camouflage either the absurdity or extravagance of the doctrine of discovery, sometimes the Court’s reference does not mention this claim by name, but instead imposes the doctrine’s repudiation of indigenous power over real property by merely giving the technical legal citation for the 1823 Johnson case. This is the approach taken in the 1978 opinion in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe and the 1990 opinion in Duro v. Reina. In 2005, the doctrine of discovery was not only expressly mentioned, however, but cited by the Supreme Court’s official opinion in its first footnote, thereby signaling that the doctrine is without question considered a bedrock principle in the United States’ legal system.
"Under the “doctrine of discovery,” County of Oneida v. Oneida Indian Nation of N. Y., 470 U. S. 226, 234 (1985) (Oneida II), “fee title to the lands occupied by Indians when the colonists arrived became vested in the sovereign—first the discovering European nation and later the original States and the United States.” Oneida Indian Nation of N. Y. v. County of Oneida, 414 U. S. 661, 667 (1974).
That this “extravagant and absurd idea” could be not only an important factor in yet another Supreme Court decision written by one of the court’s most respected liberal figures (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), but also be referenced by name without any nuance regarding its questionable origin and continued dominance, reveals much.
QQ13 It is legally relevant as well that, prior to Marshall’s decision, there had been numerous law-based transactions in which the natives' ownership of the land where they had long lived was acknowledged by a wide variety sovereigns and treaty partners. In the early period of the American colonies before the outbreak in 1776 of the Revolutionary War, “the actual political and diplomatic relations between native nations and Spain, France, Great Britain, and the United States constitute compelling evidence” that “these political ‘sovereigns’ had to recognize indigenous title to land.” For example, Charles II of England had acknowledged the indigenous Americans’ rights to the land in the Royal Charter of Rhode Island.
QQ14 Conceptual and Moral Critique. Not surprisingly, many people of conscience, scholars, historians and ethicists, as well as many religious communities, have in the last half-century openly challenged the doctrine of discovery as unprincipled and greed-driven. Particularly galling has been the disingenuousness of claiming “discovery” of lands already occupied, since the very text of the papal bulls purporting to establish the doctrine of discovery openly acknowledged that peoples already occupied the lands at issue—the real message of the bulls was the claim that the Roman Pope and his followers have the right to dominate any and all non-Catholic people. Despite its adoption in 1823 by the Supreme Court of the United States and repeated subsequent affirmations, the doctrine was revealed by Marshall’s own words to be, from its inception, self-interested, biased, and reliant on a fiction to dismiss other cultures who had an obvious, often-recognized ownership interest in the particular lands they had long occupied. The doctrine thus today resembles much else in humans’ cultural history that asserts in an arrogant and fundamentalist vein that a powerful aristocracy in a dominant ruling society can with impunity treat its own self-interests as the very measure of moral significance. In law, as in religion and ethics, harms have flowed when such an “extravagant and absurd idea” is made a foundation, given great power, and then left in place. A succinct reminder that great harms extend beyond the humans and communities directly harmed by such dishonesty is called out in an image used in an 1883 speech by the former slave Frederick Douglass—“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.” Dishonesties in legal systems handcuff more than those directly disadvantaged—they also impact those who use such dishonesties for their own gain.
QQ15 Before addressing various technical idiosyncrasies evident in the realm of legal evidence, consider an important overlap in the ways that evidence is a key factor in both the law realm and the science realm. The term “forensic” is commonly used in science-based fields—for example, the obscure field of forest forensics has already been mentioned. Many other scientific realms feature the word “forensic” as well, and more broadly, the contemporary legal world uses the phrase “forensic evidence” to designate “evidence obtained by scientific methods such as ballistics, blood test, and DNA test and used in court.” This explains why a prominent dictionary of English provides two definitions of “forensics.” The first is “the art or study of formal debate” and the second is “the use of science and technology to investigate and establish facts in criminal or civil courts of law.” The etymology of “forensics” reveals why this is so—the root Latin word forensic meant “of or before the forum” because in Roman times, a Roman citizen accused of a criminal violation had the right to present their case before a group of public individuals in the forum, a public domain. Both the accused and the accuser were permitted to advocate their account of the underlying story, and a decision was then rendered. Hence the term today is used for both a category of public presentation and in various legal contexts. This overlap also reveals how both legal systems and a variety of science domains have a public dimension—sciences do so by a commitment to verifiability, and legal systems seek something similar by foregrounding rules as to what evidence will and will not be “admissible” in the public venue where courtroom proceedings play out.
QQ16 Evidence issues. Nonetheless, the law has so often been viewed as a revered subdomain of human achievement that claims have been made that resolving disputes in the legal manner sets a high standard. For example, Bharara comments,
"… the elements that make a criminal trial an effective and fair process for determinations of truth are a model for debate and truth seeking away from the court room as well."
There are, without question, important limits to this kind of reasoning. Over the last few centuries, legal approaches to evidence in trials have regularly excluded information that is, in many realms of our ordinary life, often thought significant. In many non-legal realms, evidence that is regularly excluded from legal trial (for example, the category defined below as hearsay evidence) is often deemed highly relevant to a conversation addressing whether someone is guilty or innocent of a crime. Hearsay is a wide-ranging category broadly defined as “an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of whatever it asserts.” In trial courts, there are important policies (discussed below) that have led to this broad category being excluded, but to the lay person such an exclusion is often viewed as conducive to a miscarriage of justice because it seems to allow someone who likely committed a crime to avoid a conviction. Pertinent to any discussion of “hearsay” in the law is an important underlying issue that illuminates the policy of excluding certain kinds of evidence—the rule excluding “hearsay” in a broad way is informed by distrust of secondhand testimony that falls into the “he said, she said” category. In actual legal practice, there exist dozens of important exceptions to the hearsay rule, such that it is possible at times for clever attorneys to find ways to speak about such testimony into a courtroom. Overall, however, the hearsay rule reveals that there are substantial reasons to limit what counts as legally admissible evidence even though many ordinary citizens reason, on the basis of common sense and their sense of justice, that all the evidence should be considered by those charged with resolving a disputed matter. Such peculiarities have led many commentators to recognize idiosyncrasies in how the legal system handles evidence. Two authors of a widely used volume on rhetoric “designed primarily for students of exposition, discussion, persuasion, and argument who must buttress their speeches or essays with evidence” observe that “[o]nly as a branch of jurisprudence is the study of evidence recognized as a discipline in its own right.” They then add this revealing observation:
"Despite this, the legal theory of evidence is almost totally irrelevant outside the courtroom: it is concerned with procedural rules rather than substantive evaluation."
In criminal prosecutions as well, there are many limits on what can be done and said in a courtroom, as well as what can be seen by the jury.
"Criminal trials are … suffused with elaborate concealments. We hide a lot from the jury. We hide the defendant’s criminal history; we hide the potential punishment; we suppress certain evidence. If the defendant is dangerous and incarcerated, we hide that from the jury as well; the defendant is led into the courtroom and unshackled before the jury can see his bondage. We conceal the lawyers’ personal views about guilt and innocence, about the credibility of witnesses, though this is often obvious. We don’t let the jury hear the legal arguments made at sidebar, don’t tell them how much the lawyers are being paid."
Bharara’s many different stories about actual criminal proceedings reveal that he is fully aware of key shortcomings in the existing legal system—one is the problem of bias for those individuals perceived to belong to a favored category and another is bias against those perceived to fall within a disfavored category.
"Terrible as it is to say—and one wishes for it to be otherwise—there is something of a caste system among victims of crimes. … [T]here is truth in the perception that certain kinds of people, namely men with power and prestige, can get away with anything because they can silence and scare their victims with impunity."
QQ17 As mammals who can enjoy a life spanning a century or more, humans from birth forward are immersed as social beings in a number of nested communities (starting with family, local community and a living culture) in which young are raised, learn to communicate, and must share in a great variety of ways. Each of us learns within the chrysalis of these nested communities to venture out into a much wider, obviously processing world that contains both many nonhuman animals and non-animal forms of life that, like our kind, live on the basis of very pronounced finitudes. It is not surprising, then, that one can easily detect predictive elements (that is, a broad notion of how the law will in the future work and for whom) in the justice comments that Plato put into the mouth of Thrasymachus, the Kibworth dissenter’s nineteenth century lament, and the 1994 “life comes from it” comment by the Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation about that culture’s legal system. Prediction also undergirds the earlier observation that because the Romans “valued trade and commercial possibilities,” they structured and administered their law “in ways that allowed commercial interests to have sufficient confidence that the law would be applied predictably.” The result was that Roman law remained an important factor for long periods of time in many different places. Note how the same factors are named in a 2001 comment of the Lord Irvine of Lairg:
"The very first need of the business community is legal predictability. An unpredictable legal climate is unacceptable to business, forcing traders into necessary legal advice and insurance cover to secure against the risk of their deals being defeated."
Similar concerns vivify Holmes’ 1897 essay, which opens with a classic statement about the law’s prediction-intensive features.
"When we study law we are … studying what we shall want in order to appear before judges, or to advise people in such a way as to keep them out of court. The reason why it is a profession, why people will pay lawyers to argue for them or to advise them, is that in societies like ours … [p]eople want to know under what circumstances and how far they will run the risk of coming against what is so much stronger than themselves, and hence it becomes a business to find out when this danger is to be feared. The object of our study, then, is prediction, the prediction of the incidence of the public force through the instrumentality of the courts."
Based on this framing of the law, Holmes says straightforwardly that the common idea of “a legal duty so called” is “nothing but a prediction that if a man does or omits certain things he will be made to suffer in this or that way by judgment of the court; and so of a legal right.” He adds a now-classic description of a legal system as he explains why he composed this influential essay: “I wish, if I can, to lay down some first principles for the study of this body of dogma or systematized prediction which we call the law….” Holmes then identifies his target audience—“men who want to use it as the instrument of their business to enable them to prophesy in their turn….” Holmes later adds a telling generalization that reveals how important he thinks the role of prediction is in the legal system with which he was so familiar—“The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious, are what I mean by the law.” Holmes’ goal with such comments is “by a series of hints to throw some light on the narrow path of legal doctrine, and upon two pitfalls which, as it seems to me, lie perilously near to it.”
"I wish to point out an ideal which as yet our law has not attained. The first thing for a businesslike understanding of the matter is to understand its limits, and therefore I think it desirable at once to point out and dispel a confusion between morality and law."
Holmes acknowledges repeatedly in the essay that while the law employs terms, ideas, and popular conceptions clearly associated with morality, it is nonetheless a mistake to equate law and morality.
"The law is full of phraseology drawn from morals, and by the mere force of language continually invites us to pass from one domain to the other without perceiving it, as we are sure to do unless we have the boundary constantly before our minds. The law talks about rights, and duties, and malice, and intent, and negligence, and so forth, and nothing is easier, or, I may say, more common in legal reasoning, than to take these words in their moral sense, at some state of the argument, and so to drop into fallacy."
Thus, despite the law’s morality-related borrowings and associations, Holmes asserts that the law is a different, more practical and more political creature than morality, for as Holmes puts it, “No one will deny that wrong statutes can be and are enforced….” What drives Holmes’ analysis is, in effect, a plea for a living form of law.
"Far more fundamental questions still await a better answer than that we do as our fathers have done."
Observing that “[e]verywhere the basis of principle is tradition, to such an extent that we even are in danger of making the role of history more important than it is”, Holmes recognizes that science’s careful, evidence-based inquiries can have, as discussed throughout this book, prospects of helping society achieve an informed (living) form of the law relevant to current lives.
"I trust that no one will understand me to be speaking with disrespect of the law, because I criticise it so freely. I venerate the law, and especially our system of law, as one of the vastest products of the human mind. ... But one may criticise even what one reveres."
Holmes desires lawyers in his legal system to advise their clients well about how the legal system will treat those clients’ past or future actions. He adds that each legal system needs to be responsive to its place and time—in other words, to have a living quality. This important challenge is given a practical cast in Holmes’ famous essay, for lawyers advising clients are not, Holmes opines, assisted by much of the broad speculation about the metaphysical basis and nature of “the law.” This is why Holmes observes that “attempts to analyze legal ideas have been confused by striving for a useless quintessence of all systems, instead of an accurate anatomy of one.”
QQ17 A good example of such nuancing was provided a modern scholar in 2012,thereby providing a good example of how humans over time build on and deepen creative insights. Prediction is, as already noted, related to the communication skills and needs readily evident in a variety of the Earth’s more complex social mammals, but these are especially evident in humans’ many different cultures.
"Every human community has evolved its own unique prediction source, its own signaling system for what people in that community are likely to do and to expect. Community comes through communication. We have law anywhere humans have talked to each other enough to form a group identity."
Speaking of the common tendency to associate and even equate law and morality, this scholar discerned an element of irony in that association.
"Law is not a morality meter. What law signals and what people ought to do … are not the same thing. Historic claims that they are the same thing have often been immoral, manipulative efforts by some humans to control others."
Another interesting dimension of Holmes’ oft-cited naming of the law as “systematic prediction” is evident in another comment by this same scholar.
"Holmes just threw out those words out in a public speech, revealing only a fraction of their explanatory power. Modern systems theory helps us comprehend the concept more fully. Law’s signals of what people are likely to do and to expect emerge within a system that grows itself."
The sources of law in a functioning democracy that “emerge within a system that grows itself” can obviously have features associated in this chapter with a living version of the law. As Claus adds, “in human relations, there is never ‘law’ without an ‘of’ immediately following, and that ‘of’ always turns our gaze to a human community.” Of course, those citizens in a community who have the power to “project an imagined future on reality” may put in place legal rules that help all, or they may be powerbrokers who wish to work only for some groups within a diverse community.
QQ18 Predicting the Downside of Law and Only Law. Heavy reliance on the law as the primary tool of social change has a potential risk that may at first be hard to see. Jonathan Kozol, whose work has been described above in connection with continuing school segregation in the United States, provides other materials and observations that suggest that legal action as the cutting edge of a social movement can foster a peculiar, sometimes debilitating problem. Addressing “the need for activism outside of the legal process and preceding it”, Kozol quotes the civil rights advocate Theodore Shaw.
"In the Montgomery bus boycott … litigation didn’t lead the movement. It came afterwards and served it. … When lawyers think that they can lead a movement in their role as lawyers, they are doomed to failure, because courts themselves are socially reactionary institutions…."
After adding that “and [Theodore Shaw] said he meant ‘reactionary’ in both of the common senses of the word”, Kozol quotes Shaw further.
"Then, too, because the litigation process is so slow and so complex, it can turn activists into bystanders far too easily. Lawyers like Gandhi and Mandela can awaken and create a movement, but not in their role as lawyers. You need to create a climate of political momentum first. That, then, is the challenge."
In these comments one can sense that the advantages that small-scale societies enjoy because their size allows them to have diverse social glues and “enforcement” methods (such as social shaming and even complete shunning of violators) that go well beyond what happens in a large society governed by a shared legal system. The integrated aspects of small-scale societies have often produced real, effective community because small-scale societies have both communication possibilities and diverse resources that allow nuanced responses to specific circumstances and people.
QQ19 Predicting the Downside of Human Exceptionalism. Both practical and theoretical issues foster one challenge after another to human exceptionalism as detrimental to not only humans’ self-understanding, but also to humans’ legal imagination. In an elementary way, contemporary legal circles’ radical (going to the root) exclusions of not only some other humans, but also any and all nonhuman animals, from the kinds of protections that can be provided by legal systems has impoverished our species’ thinking about what the law has been and can be. This is a result of human exceptionalism being widely assumed to be a morally defensible approach consonant with the order of nature or the will of a creator divinity. The arguments made in this book suggest that such an exclusion is not only discordant with the wisdom of every human’s ancient ancestors, but also with a more visionary and robust sense of our species’ self-interest. Consider how the emergence of human exceptionalism as the norm has produced untoward results. It marginalizes key aspect of our science tradition by ignoring the countless lines of evidence confirming that humans are as fully animal as is any nonhuman animal. Human exceptionalism also plays down humans’ ethical abilities fully on display in small-scale societies’ foregrounding of concern for the larger web of life in their local world. It fails to instill in contemporary humans the Axial Age sages’ commendation of “a spirituality of empathy and compassion” that does “not confine … benevolence to your own people” but, rather, recognizes “respect for the sacred rights of all beings—not orthodox belief” as offering humans the fullest form of self-actualization. It is noteworthy that the Axial Age sages’ claims were not the beginning of awareness of other animals, but a late blossoming rooted in human communities’ long-standing fascination with humans as full members of the Earth community comprised of truly diverse forms of life. Modern legal systems are, when measured against possible forms of human fulfillment, particularly impoverished, for it is modern secular law where human societies, in both theoretical and practical ways, have given force and effect to the pretense that humans are “above” other living beings and thus no longer should be defined as members of the category “animal.” Legal vocabulary has, in fact, along with religious dogma, become one of the mainstays of the unscientific dualism “humans and animals.” Consider how two Australian states today define “animal” in their current law. The State of Queensland expressly states in the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 that “a human being or human foetus is not an animal.” The State of New South Wales similarly provides in its Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 that “animal” under this law includes mammals “other than a human being.” The effect is to expand Henry Clay’s notorious 1839 claim “[t]hat is property which the law declares to be property” to the even more questionable claim “that is animal and only that which the law declares to be animal.” Consider as well how the magnitude of humans’ present use of nonhuman animals as mere resources is astonishing even when one is silent about (i) the nature and gravity of the intentional harms that such practices produce and (ii) the mentality of those who, with modern legal systems’ full support, assert that such problems do not raise moral issues. The extent of humans’ use of other animals as mere resources is conveyed by a graphic representation entitled “Earth’s Land Mammals by Weight” that depicts our species’ owned nonhuman animals as outweighing not only all human beings collectively, but also outweighing the combination of humans and all wild nonhuman land mammals living today on the surface of the Earth. Given that it takes great mental acrobatics to ignore humans’ ever-so-vivifying inner and outer animality even in those societies where legal definitions exclude humans from the animal category, it is important to recognize that forthrightness is both a critical thinking skill and a moral virtue. Equally important in our communal life are the robust, unequivocal acknowledgments of science about our animal realities and the relevance of realist intuitions about the actual world in which we are born, live and die. All of these skills are crucial to fostering our own and fellow humans’ sense of humans’ animality, for this is the bedrock reality that can prompt humans’ educational traditions to help us respect the power of frank questions. With such freedom, both the present and future generations can accomplish a crucial task, namely, making real a wide-ranging acceptance of each human’s right to speak freely, including asking questions that have much more power than their answer. Such an uncompromising acknowledgment of human inquiry can increase recognition of the great risks that failing to tell the truth entails for our present communities. The risks of not having a robust tradition of free speech come in many guises, one which was underscored by Bharara’s reference to the implications for the ordinary person of recognizing the key insight of a now-famous experiment by Stanley Milgram conducted in the 1970s. Bharara in his discussion of the law noted this “fundamental lesson” of Milgram’s study of people’s willingness to follow authority figures—“ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process.” Said another way we fail not only ourselves, but also future human generations and, of course, our larger community, when we speak and act in ways that promote human exceptionalism as a moral vision.
QQ20. Such problems today notoriously exist worldwide—one author who spent four years in a slum of Mumbai, India, described the “profound and juxtaposed inequality” as “the signature fact of so many modern cities.” Nonetheless, what still came through to the careful observer was “the deep, idiosyncratic intelligences that emerged forcefully over the course of nearly four years.” It is these intelligences that, of course, can solicit change, even make revolution possible. In the United States, public policy effectively permits“sacrifice zones” to exist—a trenchant 2012 description of four major examples of the subordination of whole groups can be found in a book with the ominous title Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. The opening example is the Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Indian reservation that unequivocally reflects a sustained, enforced poverty that incubates cultural dislocation and hopelessness anchored by substance abuse, profound addictions, early deaths, gang life, high rates of imprisonment, rape, and poor education. The second and third examples are, respectively, an East Coast city and a coal mining rural community that reflect the decay-dominated aftermath of the industrial revolution and fossil fuel era. The final example is the quasi-slavery of immigrants brought to the United States to work in agricultural production. Three years later (2015), one of these authors published a book that contained the following summary of how poverty in the United States disproportionately affects not only minorities, but especially children.
"The poor population in the United States—15 percent of the total population and a disturbing 21.8 percent for children under the age of eighteen—is expanding. The 46.5 million people living in poverty in 2012 was the largest number of poor counted during the fifty-four years in which the decennial census has calculated poverty rates. ... And among those classified as poor, 20.4 million people lived in what was categorized as “deep” poverty, meaning that their incomes were 50 percent below the official poverty line. ... There are 73.7 million children in the United States, and they represent 23.7 percent of the total population. Yet in 2012 they made up 34.6 percent of Americans living in poverty and 35 percent of those living in deep poverty."
QQ21 Heinzerling and Ackerman summarize the problem of using this kind of reasoning— “market values tell us little about the social values at stake,” and thus “[a]gain and again, economic theory gives us opaque and technical reasons to do the obviously wrong thing.”Such criticism is no way a denial that it can be beneficial for a human to wonder what costs might be paid for a particular benefit. But when markets are used to putting a value on nonhuman animals’ lives, the practice of “cost-benefit analysis” causes us to lose touch with the realities at issue. Cost-benefit analysis is an important calculus that we pursue in our daily lives—but when we try to balance unknown lives of unknown others against economic benefits for ourselves, the “calculus” relies on impersonal and/or ignorance-driven assumptions, not personal knowledge of those involved. The result is “opaque” and we end up with merely “technical reasons to do the obviously wrong thing.” Such calculations have lost touch with our personal lives, as well as our own species’ deep past of honoring other lives as members of our larger community whose very appearance in our day can be read as a gift. When law is premised solely on utilitarian calculations by financially invested humans claiming to weigh another animal’s suffering and death against the financially interested human’s personal economic gain, the legal system has become, both literally and figuratively, truly deadening for both the living beings killed and consumers. With such developments in mind, consider the different ways in which the law when dominated primarily by economics-based reasoning, can be deadening for human awareness. First, the legislative branch of the law has licensed extensive killing of farm animals in factory farming. Second, the courts defer to this because each farmed animal individual has, technically speaking, the status of a “legal thing” owned by an individual human or corporation that possesses the legal right to such ownership. Third, the factory farming features of modern agribusiness are clearly in great tension with much in humans’ cultural heritage that exhorts each individual human to compassion for living beings—recall, for example, the fact that long-standing anti-cruelty traditions have in the last half-century been greatly weakened by statutory amendments that exclude “common practices” in modern food industries from the definition of cruelty. While the harms to individual food animals will not at first seem an environmental issue, the overall industry has astonishingly adverse impacts on local environments. In 2006, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization issued a report entitled “Livestock’s Long Shadow” which concluded that livestock production facilities are “probably the largest sectoral source of water pollution” and are major causes of an array of serious environmental and human health problems, including emergence of antibiotic resistance, erosion, pollution of lakes and rivers, dead zones in coastal areas, and degradation of coral reefs. Two years later in 2008, a report published jointly by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health concluded, “By most measures, confined animal production systems in common use today fall short of current ethical and societal standards.” This 2008 report was even more blunt about the economic harms that factory farming causes to human communities. Noting that “the costs to rural America have been significant,” the report describes harms suffered by communities that go beyond the loss of family-owned farms and reduced civic participation rates.
"Although many rural communities embraced industrial farming as a source of much needed economic development, the results have often been the reverse. Communities with greater concentrations of industrial farming operations have experienced higher levels of unemployment and increased poverty. . . . Associated social concerns—from elevated crime and teen pregnancy rates to increased numbers of itinerant laborers—are problematic in many communities and place greater demands on public services."
QQ22 There is also an environmental connection evident in another issue that at first seems a purely “animal” issue—some nonhuman animals are referred to as “trash animals.” The term has been applied to “animals like snakes, coyotes, carp, starlings, pigeons, prairie dogs, rats, mice, cockroaches, and locusts, to name just a few.” The editors of the collected essays entitled Trash Animals observe, “Value … does not simply label; value engages with the world. … [T]he label ‘trash’ sets aside an object, a person, or an animal for violence.”
QQ23 Such indifference to human worker welfare goes much further to many other ordinary lives as well—a review of the 2004 volume Priceless openly asked, “Is the price of human life going down?” based on the book’s extensive discussion of different economists’ dollar quantifications and a trend from the year 2000 onward to reduce the dollar amount (from $6.1 million in 2000 to $3.7 million in 2002) given in response to the stark question “how much is one human life worth?”  As further elaborated in Part III, such outcomes are possible when there is poor education for, as Ackerman and Heinzerling state, “translating life, health, and nature into dollars is not a fruitful way of deciding how much protection to give to them. A different way of thinking and deciding about them is required.” At issue is much more than the law’s failures or those of formal education—lacking is broad insistence that we owe it to ourselves and countless “others” to live as committed citizens on the Earth we recognize as our larger community. Integral to such a broad vision, of course, is our sense of local place as a living reality to which we are constantly and irrevocably connected.
QQ24 The impoverished state of “environmental law” today can also be communicated by means of another insightful connection with which Kysar opens his hopeful discussion.
"For the late philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, the entire Torah could be found, intricately enfolded, within a simple command—‘Thou shalt not kill’—which issues without words from the face of an other who first animates our consciousness and invites us into subjectivity. His was another way of saying that we do not know what all we might lose, once we cease to view the doing of harm as a personal and irredeemable failing, even if an unavoidable one. For Levinas, we are born into responsibility we can neither shed nor fulfill."
Here, yet again, is our animal finitude—we are ethical beings, true, but also very clearly immersed in connections to those “others” who animate our consciousness in the places we know. These connections contain dimensions of encounter and responsibility that are often, experience shows, rich beyond our finite abilities to comprehend. Such is our animal awareness, both an opportunity and a humbling finitude--who, indeed, are the others about whom we might care? And how might each of us use our finite abilities to care and know in our encounters? Finitudes abound as we go about our own personal answer to such possibilities brought by the animal invitation. Here the very heartbeat of meaning and meeting are one and the same. Kysar’s thoughtful analysis provides many different reasons that the last decades’ wrestling with the possibilities of environmental law offers hope—Kysar explains in his Preface. for example, why he challenges features of contemporary environmental law.
"This book was written to oppose a way of thinking that has come to dominate environmental law and that stands in deep tension with these ideas. The book’s central argument is that in order to recognize and consider our most pressing environmental questions, we must inhabit an agent-relative conception of governance—one in which our particular political community is acknowledged as a reflective and responsible subject, imbued with an identity, a history, and a legacy still in formation, and capable of reasoning through its obligations not only to its own citizens but also to those who reside in other communities. So too must those other communities be conceptualized as more than mere empirical givens or rationalist automata: The other and the environment of the other must again become of paramount and searching concern, whether the other we glimpse is removed geographically, temporarily, or biologically."
Kysar’s Introduction then opens with this challenge to the current narrative playing out in those circles that dominate environmental policy in the United States.
"By now, the story of modern American environmental law has redacted into a familiar script, one in which the excesses of our early attempts to regulate the human impact on the environment came to be disciplined by the insights of sound science and economic reasoning.... The script is now so well rehearsed and broadly endorsed … a major component of the United States’ intellectual export trade. Through multilateral treaty negotiations and within international forums, ... the United States constantly urges the view that efforts to protect the environment and human health must be preceded by an empirical justification derived from scientific risk assessment and tailored to reflect only the level of environmental or human health protection that is acceptable in light of corresponding costs. When regulation is justified, the story goes, it should be devised in a manner that works with the market, rather than against it, deploying taxes, tradeable permits, and other economic instruments that afford maximum flexibility to private actors as they respond to the government’s environmental policy dictates."
Kysar challenges this narrative, however, as yet another “forgetting.”
"However useful this script may once have been, it now actively impedes efforts to understand and improve our environmental performance. Its logic and conclusions have begun to appear so powerful that we have lost sight of a great deal of practical and moral wisdom that remains alive within our early, “excessive” efforts to conserve natural resources, reduce pollution, save species, and enhance human health and safety. The familiar story has caused, in essence, a forgetting of environmental law, a loss of appreciation for why the subject of environmental law is, after all, urgent."
As with the other, diverse “forgettings” mentioned in this volume, such forgetting entails the risk of our becoming cut off from the very world we have inherited from our ancestors and hope to steward for future generations.
"Soon enough, the language of instrumentalism that animates our talk of tradeoffs, efficiency, and welfare maximization will become so dominant that we will lose facility altogether with these alternative and once-resonant languages. We will forget that we once talked of environmental rights, rather than optimal tradeoffs; of the grave challenges posed by uncertainty regarding potentially disastrous or irreversible consequences of human action, rather than of risk aversion and the option value of delay; of the stewardship obligations we incur on behalf of future generations, rather than of discounted welfare maximization …. In short, we will forget the richly contoured and sometimes convoluted but always essential moral and political landscape that lends meaning to those aspects of environmental law that appear nonsensical from the perspective of economic theory."
Kysar notes that some of the early accounts of sustainable development and the precautionary principle contain key insights about community and the importance of self-transcendence.
"Such notions of decidedly collective responsibility are well demonstrated by the original German articulation of the precautionary principle, Vorsorgeprinzip, which translates literally as the “principle of prior care and worry” and which includes notions of “caring for and looking after, fretting or worrying about and obtaining provisions, or providing for.” Through these relational constructs, the precautionary principle offers a subtle but constant reminder that the relevant political community’s decisions express a collective identity—an identity that the community must in an important and unavoidable sense own."
In these comments, Kysar underscores that the two-word phrase “precautionary principle” in its origin was other-oriented, that is, oriented to other communities and their individuals, as well as future times. When these features are foregrounded, such a principle can nurture humans’ considerable abilities to act as “plain citizens” in a more-than-human world; such a well-lived version of this principle can make our legal systems a mainstay of efforts to protect and promote what Berry called “the larger community [that] constitutes our greater self.”
QQ25 Governments as “owners” of unclaimed nonhuman animals. Today, it is common for large political entities, such as a state or province, to declare the government as the legal owner of all the “wild” nonhumans within the political entity’s borders. This notion of ownership has, at the level of political entity, some peculiar features, given that “ownership” often is associated with “control.” Political entities such as a state or province hardly control the wildlife within their boundaries in the meaningful sense that an individual might be said to control the nonhumans he or she “owns.” The state or province does, however, control which individuals are granted the legal right to hunt wildlife within its borders. Not dissimilarly, legal systems around the contemporary world enable industries to hide from public view the nightmarish realities of the daily life of the food animals raised and slaughtered for consumption in modern societies, thus holding in place the erasure of these lives that Pollan described as “forgetting, or not knowing in the first place, what the industrial food chain is all about, the principal reason it is so opaque.”
 Ganzfried, Rabbi Solomon 1927. Code of Jewish Law (Kitzur Schulchan Aruch): A Compilation of Jewish Laws and Customs. Translated by Hyman E. Goldin. New York: Hebrew Publishing, at pp. 1-8.
 Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
 Green, Kristen 2015. Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle. New York, HarperCollins. P. 96.
 Qualitative research, which is used widely in the fields of political science, anthropology, sociology, psychology, education and social work, is an umbrella term—see, for example, Creswell, J. (2015). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. New York: Pearson.
 Diamond, Stanley, in “The Rule of Law versus the Order of Custom,” in In Search of the Primitive; A Critique of Civilization, ed. by Stanley Diamond. Originally published by Transaction Publishers, 1974; the quote is from the Routledge 2018 edition, at p. 191 (the essay is at pp. 189-208).
 Gilmore,Grant 1977. The Ages of American Law. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 110-111.
 See, Frichner, Tonya Gonnella. (2010). “Preliminary Study of the Impact on Indigenous Peoples of the International Legal Construct Known as the Doctrine of Discovery.” Available at https://undocs.org/E/C.19/2010/13) E/C.19/2010/13. Accessed 2021.11.18. At page 11, which is also available at https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N10/231/02/PDF/N1023102.pdf?OpenElement), Frichner observes, “Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835) had large real estate holdings (as did his family and friends) that would have been affected if the case had been decided contrary to those interests.27 Rather than remove himself from the case, however, the Chief Justice wrote the decision for a unanimous United States Supreme Court.”
 Marshall, John. "Johnson v. M'Intosh", 21 U.S. 543, 5 L.Ed. 681, 8 Wheat. 543 (1823) (http://www.historytools.org/sources/Johnson-v-MIntosh.pdf)
 The italics are not in Marshall’s original opinion.
 Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1856).
 Available at https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/De_Indis_De_Jure_Belli/Part_2
 Watson, Blake A. 2006. “John Marshall and Indian Land Rights: A Historical Rejoinder to the Claim of ‘Universal Recognition’ of the Doctrine of Discovery.” Seton Hall Law Review, Vol.36(2), Article 4, 481ff. Available at https://scholarship.shu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1169&context=shlr , accessed 2022.3.12. For the Dutch claim, Blake cites Francis Bazley Lee 1902. New Jersey: As a Colony and As a State, page 107 (Reprint by Wentworth Press, 2019).
 David E. Wilkins and Tsianina Lomawaima 2001. Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, p. 21.
 James Ernst 1932. Roger Williams: New England Firebrand. New York: AMS, 1969 Reprint. At p. 332. See also Greene v. Rhode Island, 289 F. Supp. 2d 5, 7 (D. R. I. 2003), which observed that “In contrast to other colonies’ charters, the Rhode Island Charter (of 1663) provided that the Indians had title to Indian lands….”
 The image is from a speech given by Frederick Douglass at a Civil Rights Mass Meeting on October 22, 1883, at Washington, D. C., available at available at https://www.loc.gov/item/mfd000438 (accessed 2021.10.10)
 American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition, 2016.
 Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (6th Edition), Oxford University Press, 2017.
 Bharara 2019, 219 (at p.264 a similar claim appears).
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/hearsay (accessed 2021.4.11). The Federal rules of Evidence Rule 801(c) specifically state, “(1) the declarant does not make while testifying at the current trial or hearing; and (2) a party offers in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement.” There are very important exceptions, to be sure, related to admitting prior statements of a witness how is being cross-examined or an opposing party.
 Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (Queensland), Chapter 1, Division 2, section 11 “What is an animal” includes the phrase “a mammal, other than a human being”, and then at 11(2) explicitly affirms, “However, a human being or human foetus is not an animal.” Accessed by PW 4/16/21 3:15 PM at https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/2016-07-01/act-2001-064.
 Both the graphic depicting this imbalance and explanatory text and charts are available at https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1338:_Land_Mammals accessed 5/3/21. A caveat is in order, however, since the analysis draws upon mixed materials, some of which are science-based but others of which are more in the form of opinion.
 Bharara 2019, p.304, citing Stanley Milgram, “The Perils of Obedience,” Harper’s Magazine (1974), at pp.75-76.
 Boo, Katherine 2012. Behind the Beautiful Forevers, New York: Random House, p. 248.
Additional Materials Chapter Nine “Education and Other Animals-- Seeing the Pluralism
QQ1 Chrysalides—Specific Cultures, Particular Places, Unique Times. Education in small-scale human societies illustrates a number of specific attitudes and practices that enable humans as they live in one of the countless local places in this far-more-than-human world. While the examples that follow suggest diverse lessons regarding how self-transcendence is a key to fuller self-actualization, earlier chapters have already included stories of ancient humans watching wolves in order to emulate them in some way—a set of robust abilities to imitate or ape another is, in fact, one of our birthrights as members of the biological group composed of more than twenty-five different ape species that share a common ancestry. Such abilities to copy are, in a minor way, an illustration of how individuals and even groups can enrich their own self-actualization through different sorts of imitation and borrowing. Emulation of this kind raises another important possibility, however, for it calls our attention to a key principle—the more wide-ranging our observations of other animal communities, the broader will be our encountering of new, helpful forms of self-transcendence, and thereby we may also be afforded additional possibilities of self-actualization. A gathering place, then, can in this way be a chrysalis. Thereby, each of us who intentionally spends time in such a gathering place can become the kind of animal that regularly experiences prompts to growth. In previous chapters, discussion has focused on a diverse array of different human cultural and religious traditions—Apache, Potowatomi, a native Swahili-speaking tradition, Cherokee, Japanese indigenes, natives of the Indian subcontinent, Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian, Thai, Estonian, Finnish, Irish, Haudenosaunee, Arabian peninsula indigenes, Oglala/Teton Sioux, Lakota Sioux, indigenous Chinese groups, Tsitsistas/Cheyenne, early Buddhists and Jains from the South Asia, Rock Cree, Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, Dineh/Navajo, Tiwi, Tswana, and Chickasaw. In this Chapter 9, there are additional comments about Chewong, Inuit/Tikigaq groups, Naskapi, Jains, the indigenous Yolngu and Tiwi of the Australian continent, and the Tswana of southern Africa. While no list of examples can adequately represent the diversity of human cultures on the question of human-nonhuman interactions, engaging a wide range of cultures, places and time periods is one way to affirm how fully human it has long been to engage other-than-human animals. Similarly, no list of specific animals outside the human species can represent the astonishing diversity of all life on Earth. Thus, even after broad exploration of our species’ truly astonishing cultural and individual diversity, and even after addressing dozens of different forms of nonhuman community, our kind of animal needs humility-infused caveats to help us maintain perspective on what it means for us to engage the nonhuman “others” who live in, near or removed from human communities. When the important role of humility is foregrounded, the gifts available through engaging multiple human cultures and a diverse array of human groups’ views about their nonhuman neighbors can arrive. Such gifts help open up minds closed down by the stereotypes, self-inflicted ignorance, and conditioned ethical blindnesses that are the foundation on which human exceptionalism is based. These gifts are what prompt claims such as Derrida’s “thinking perhaps begins there” and Lévi-Strauss’ suggestion that other animals are “good to think,” as well as various forms of “animals make us human” comments considered in Chapter 7. Relatedly, experience will reveal again and again that grasping the breadth and depth of the views that prevail in another culture is no easy task even for the most educated and sensitive humans. The history of anthropology has shown that on many occasions even the best-intentioned field researchers, let alone desk-based scholars, often completelymisconstrued the worldviews of humans in other cultures. Beyond humility, however, there are other important keys in keeping an open mind—pursuit, imagination, constant checking with colleagues, and an ability to unlearn. These are, in fact, the same virtues needed to develop the patience necessary for noticing and taking seriously the realities of the nonhuman animals in one’s local world. The overlap in the virtues needed for, on the one hand, cross-cultural learning and, on the other hand, recognizing the diverse manifestations of the animal invitation is no mere coincidence. Unfamiliar “others” demand these virtues. In summary, even when one works hard at acquiring skills in both perception and thinking, and whatever one’s “intelligence quotient” for learning about cultures other than one’s own, difficulties will abound and only sometimes abate. Crucially relevant to such difficulties is that the very act of engaging these challenges teaches one that it is the very attempt to see other cultures that introduces new possibilities, realities, dimensions and valences to humans’ responses to the animal invitation. Correspondingly, when an individual notices and takes seriously the animal invitation as it occurs in that individual’s own local world, such self-awareness can stimulate our own and other humans’ astonishingly powerful animal minds. Such efforts reinforce each other, thereby expanding further an individual’s ability to engage other cultures and, also, explore contexts where the animal invitation is noticed. With these hopes and caveats in mind, some additional perspectives found commonly in humans’ seemingly countless cultures are included to underscore the imagination and responsive perceptiveness of such achievements. The number of different cultures that have existed is impossible to estimate with precision, but since the number of living languages is often estimated in the range of 6-7000, the total number of cultures that ever existed clearly is at least in the five-figure category but quite possibly in the six-figure category. Without question, the fact that the modern field of history developed as a “discipline” by focusing on only some human spheres (the Greeks and Romans of classical antiquity, especially as that story was told by Greek sources, then Roman sources, and then European-based observers) has produced hurdles—for example, accounts of human achievement that were Eurocentric in the sense of either ignoring or distorting greatly the achievements of non-European humans (African, American, Asian) in the development of human cultures. The upshot is that each human alive today lives in a time of continuing discovery of our species’ past. When the larger story is explored, we find not only countless discoveries, but also that our received stories about “our” past distort dramatically—one element of the distortion relevant to this book’s exploration is that our inherited historical narratives discount, dismiss and even disdain both the realities of nonhuman living beings and the many human cultures that worked at paying attention to the many different kinds of more-than-human beings who have always been neighbors to our kind of animal. Because the discipline of history became more sophisticated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by virtue of including “history from below”, in the early twenty-first century it is possible to see more clearly our human heritage. We may even begin to glimpse what our history would look like without the distorting lens of human exceptionalism. One can then begin to imagine a broader, more-than-human world—for example, if one had been born into one of the communities in the Hopewell culture of North America during the decade between the birth of Jesus of Nazareth and the death of the Roman emperor Augustus, one would likely have matured into a community that was building large earthen mounds in the shape of many different nonhuman animals. In another area of the world entirely, the Chewong people in Malaysia have long lived in ways that suggest a fundamental openness to other animals’ realities.
"The Chewong cosmos does not harbor a sense of human superiority. In fact, their language apparently does not even possess a term for that all-inclusive category 'nonhuman animals.'"
While the Chewong do categorize similar animals together—they talk of kawaw (birds), kiel(fish), and talòden (snakes)—many Chewong as they go about life within their own traditional communities grant a distinctive identity and name to each animal in the rain forest. Children in the community are not taught to use any all-embracing term comparable to the artificial category “nonhuman animals” because, in the world of the Chewong, human beings are recognized as only one species among many different kinds of animate creatures.In terms of the dualisms that dominate so much of today’s mainline religion, legal systems, scientific practice and anthropocentric ethics, the Chewong reveal that some human cultures are not invested in a dismissive dualism. Their teachers thus do not mislead Chewong children with binaries like “humans and animals.” A Chewong child learns from elders and observation that each creature has its own perspective, its own lifeway, and, they would say, “different eyes” (med mesign). The Chewong, then, by virtue of being born into (or, to use Haraway’s term, situated in) their culture, are introduced early and easily to an idea that today prevails in many philosophical circles—there is a certain relativity in human meaning, notwithstanding the power of our special human perception, that is evident in the way each human, and even more so in the way any human group, perceives the world. The Chewong culture accommodates the corollary insight that there are nonhuman points of view, and thus the Chewong worldview permits a conclusion that accords with the view of modern science that each individual has a limited range of perception based on that individual’s biological realities. Each living being’s point of view has its limits, then, and frankness about such finitudes is needed to negotiate the world well. Moving to another one of our planet’s eco-universes (the higher latitudes of North America and the northeastern edge of Asia), one finds many different Inuit groups that have been studied by academic anthropologists and others who have provided accounts of the manner in which one particular Inuit group or another has engaged their local world and the animal invitation. It is important to acknowledge that such accounts may or may not be accurate, for even when the modern academic establishment asserts that research-based academic writings of anthropologists represent “knowledge,” some native or indigenous peoples, as already noted, have come to view “research” as a dirty word. The conflict between, on the one hand, an account created by a situated academic researcher and, on the other hand, an account created by a differently situated Inuit group can be profound. One way to negotiate this complex debate is to take each of these competing positions as an invitation to learn and unlearn. Tom Lowenstein offers an account of some bare bones features of Tikigaq life in Point Hope, Alaska. This account opens the door to a worldview where land, humans, other-than-human animals and life choices are woven together by inherited stories that are as formative for this particular group of Inuit humans as are the human exceptionalism narrative and its companion dualism “humans and animals” for the rulers and educators that dominate today’s industrialized cultures. “Tikigaq” is a place name, which is one reason Lowenstein focuses on a very specific locale—known in western culture’s geographical lexicon as Point Hope, Alaska—and “the myths and rituals that explained the supernatural genesis of the peninsula.”
"Tikigaq, said the myth, was once a whale-like creature. Killed by a primal shamanic harpooner, the whale lived on—part body, part spirit—and became the peninsula."
In important ways, Lowenstein explains, this particular landscape was clearly experienced as land, but still mythologically seen as an animal. This people’s conception of the past includes a time “when humans were animals and animals were people.” Indeed, for the Tikigaq, the orcas that frequent the area are invitingly understood to be “part human.” One can only imagine how differently education about orcas proceeds in such a culture compared to those cultures where capturing and exhibiting orcas is taken to be humans’ right. The Naskapi people of Eastern Canada experience invitational features in their engagements with other-than-human lives that are helpfully understood in terms of these humans’ notion of Mista'peo or “Great Man,” a companion to each individual equivalent to the familiar notion of the soul. The Naskapi teach their children that Mista'peo is driven away from one’s inner realm by dishonesty, “whereas generosity and love of one’s neighbors and of animals attract him and give him life.” On the other side of the world, one can find the ancient Jain culture of the Indian subcontinent that for millennia has modeled that a human group can choose to live in ways that protect as many forms of life as possible and thrive thereby. First nations living in the Australian continent comprise a diverse population divided into many hundreds of groups with relatively simple material cultures but profoundly rich views of connection to particular places and a group-identity anchored in complex kinship systems, rituals and religious mythologies.
"Aboriginal culture is particularly striking in the ways in which it affirms the land as sacred and the ways in which it relates human beings to the land and to other species of living beings…. [T]he land in which they live is alive with meaning. [It is] necessary to know the land to know oneself."
Kinship beliefs are clearly not confined to our own species, but, instead, feature a sense of interconnectedness that has affinities with contemporary ecological notions.
"… every person is related in complicated ways to a variety of other human beings, each of whom is also related in different ways to certain animal and plant species. Every Aborigine defines himself or herself in relation to a particular animal or plant species, and that person’s relationship to other human beings and other animals is guided by this definition."
This has extremely important implications for marriage candidates and what one can eat, as one cannot marry within the totemic clan or eat one’s totemic animals with only a few exceptions.
"… totemic identity tends to break down the distinction between human and animal and plant. It is foreign to Aboriginal thought to think of human beings as absolutely or essentially different from animals and plants. … In effect, Aboriginal totemism asserts that human beings are animals and plants, that all three have identical ancestors, and that humans share an essential identity with other forms of life."
The upshot is that a great many stories told by different aboriginal Australian peoples relate how humans and many other living beings, including insects and plants, descended from the same ancestors. So an individual’s relationship with his or her totem
"is best understood as social and familial rather than utilitarian. … [T]otemic identity extends one's horizons beyond the human species. According to Australian Aboriginal totemic thinking, one is not only a human being. Having a totemic identity affirms that one is essentially and vitally connected to other species, that a crucial solidarity exists between each human and the wider world of other living beings."
Another example drawn from the Australian continent’s native people known as the Yolngu reflects their understanding of humans in relation to other animals.
"The Yolngu way of being in the world is about paying attention to, speaking with, and understanding animals as a part of regular life…. The experience of language as something that is shared with all beings, not solely amongst humans, is a near universal assertion across communities, historical and contemporary, who recognize ecological sentience and live with/in more-than-human worlds."
There are other reasons that so many Australian natives notice and take other animals seriously. Learning to hunt leads to “great skill in learning movements that would not scare the animal away.” It is perhaps counterintuitive for some in modern, urban societies who care about companion animals that hunting can produce connection. But among these native Australians, acquiring “hunting skill involves identification with the animals that are hunted. ... not only practical skill but what we might term mystical awareness.” Similar comments are made by the pioneering environmentalist Barry Lopez who says in Arctic Dreams,
"The focus of a hunter in a hunting society was not killing animals but attending to the myriad relationships he understood bound him into the world he occupied with them. He tended to those duties carefully because he perceived in them everything he understood about survival."
The Tiwi, an indigenous people on islands that are part of North Australia whose name means “we, the only people,” did not consider outsiders who lived somewhat nearby (Australian aborigines from the mainland, or Malays) real people. Many other societies both large and small made such distinctions between themselves and other human beings. The people today popularly known by “Navajo” called themselves Dineh or “the people” in their own language. The ancient Egyptians made “a distinction between ‘men’, on the one hand, and Libyans or Asiatics or Africans, on the other. … In other words, the Egyptians were ‘people’; foreigners were not.” Although the views of indigenous peoples were, as noted above, often derided as those of unsophisticated “savages,” one anthropologist after another has observed that indigenous peoples carry worldviews that are as fully complex and rich as are the views of citizens in industrialized societies—Lévi-Strauss includes in The Savage Mind, as noted already, the observation regarding the Ojibwa Sioux that “the natives themselves are sometimes acutely aware of the ‘concrete’ nature of their science and contrast it sharply with that of the whites.” On the same page, Lévi-Strauss quotes a member of that community.
"We know what the animals do, what are the needs of the beaver, the bear, the salmon, and other creatures, because long ago men married them and acquired this knowledge from their wives. Today the priests say we lie, but we know better. The white man has only been a short time in this country and knows very little about the animals; we have lived here thousands of years and were taught by the animals themselves. … [O]ur ancestors married the animals, learned all their ways, and passed on the knowledge from one generation to another."
Countless other examples could be used to illustrate that not only is it possible for human cultures to live and thrive on the basis of an inclusivist, more-than-human sense of community, but, further, that such an arrangement has often been deemed the fullest actualization of human potential. It is even possible to argue that most humans have, in fact, lived in cultures that imagined such an inclusivist community.
"The invention of settled agriculture, which began in western Asia around 10,000 years ago, eventually put an end to most hunting and gathering cultures, terminating a vast epoch of human history. Few people realize that of the estimated 80 billion people who have lived on the earth, only 4% have lived in industrial societies like our own, and a mere 6% have lived in agrarian civilizations. The rest, a full ninety percent, lived as hunters and gatherers in primal horticultural or shamanistic cultures! Or, put another way, for the 2 million years that men have lived on earth, ninety-nine per cent of the time was spent as hunters and gatherers." Some will insist that modern life is superior to the lives led by our hunter-gatherer forebears described in this and the previous chapter, but no matter how each of us chooses to construe these highly generalized facts, it remains clear from both our species’ own history and our contemporary societies that human individuals and groups can choose forms of living that foster co-existence with nonhuman individuals and communities. From the vantage point of practical ethics as lived on a day-to-day basis, respecting other animals that one deems, either on the basis of one’s own experience or because of an inherited cultural narrative, to have their own worldview creates important possibilities. One such possibility is what an indigenous scholar has referred to as “an implicit environmental ethos,” that is,
"an ethos that leads one to fundamentally different emotions about how we ought to relate to the environment, apply technology, and generally live with the earth. The worldview attendant to this ethos requires one to speak of a moral sphere that goes beyond merely thinking that morality is about the relationships you and I have as human beings. Morality and politics have to do with a reality that involves relationships we have with other-than-human persons of the biosphere and the ecology we (human beings) are part of."
qq2 The literature on indigenous peoples NSW 2023.6.1 copied to qq2 file
 On the number of languages, see William J. Sutherland, “Parallel extinction risk and global distribution of languages and species,” Nature 423, 276-279 (15 May 2003) refers to “6809 living languages.” For an estimate of living cultures in the range of 1500, see Macmillan Library Reference USA. "The Encyclopedia of World Cultures." 1999. Macmillan Library Reference.
 Described in Waldau 2013, pp. 44-45 and 247-253 with reference the early 20th century historian Marc Bloch.
 Henry W. Henshaw’s 1883 publication Animal Carvings from Mounds of the Mississippi Valley has much relevant information.
 These comments and the additional observations in the next paragraphs are based on the account in Suzuki, David, and Knudtson, Peter 1992. Wisdom of the Elders: Honoring Sacred Native Visions of Nature, New York: Bantam, 107ff., in a section entitled “Each Species Sees the World Through its Own Eyes.”
 Sepie, Amba 2017. “More than Stories, More than Myths: Animal/Human/Nature(s) in Traditional Ecological Worldviews.” Humanities 2017, 6(4), 78; http://doi.org/10.3390/h6040078. Accessed 2019.11.3. The quoted sentences are the second and third sentences of the article.
 Lopez, Barry Holstun. Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape. New York: Scribner, 1986, at page 200.
 Hart, C. W. M., and Pilling, Arnold R., 1966. The Tiwi of North Australia, New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston, at pp. 10, 13.
 Nielsen, Marianne O., and Zion, James W. 2005. Navajo Nation Peacemaking: Living Traditional Justice. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, p. 17.
 This point is made by John A. Wilson in his essay “Egypt: The Nature of the Universe” in Frankfort, Henri, et al, Before Philosophy: The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1949) (originally published as The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man, 1949, University of Chicago Press), pp. 39-70.
 Lévi-Strauss is quoting Jenness 3, p. 540, about Ojibwa Sioux. Lévi-Strauss, Claude 1966 (originally published in French in 1962 as La Pensée sauvage). The Savage Mind, trans. by (not indicated), Chicago: University of Chicago, at 37.
 Daniel Wildcat, “Indigenizing Politics and Ethics: A Realist Theory” in Power and Place: Indian Education in America by Vine Deloria, Jr., and Daniel R. Wildcat, 2001 Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Resources, 87-99, at 93.
Additional Materials Chapter Ten “Re-Walking the Shared Earth Community”
QQ1. Children as Guides. Children remind us of who adults once were, but also more. Being in their presence can also help adults connect to who we still are, who we want to be, and, in Mary Oliver’s invitational framing, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Adults may, of course, feel insulted by any suggestion that they should stay connected to their “inner child.” But adults have often mis-understood children—as Melson notes, for example, “children's ties to animals seem to have slipped below the radar screens of almost all scholars of child development” even as “a few pioneering therapists were reporting startling results about the power of animals to affect emotionally troubled children.” Addressing the ferment we exist amid, Melson refers to E.O. Wilson’s biophilia hypothesis and observes, “many cultures, including our own, are elaborating a natural attraction children have to animals.” Cognitive psychology, Melson notes, has “uncovered” the fact that each child has “a naïve biology” or "core domain of knowledge about living things. Its first glimmers are discernible in infancy, and by the preschool years, far earlier than Piaget thought, this knowledge base, particularly about animals, already is well established."
This feature of young humans’ lives suggests one reason the animal invitation stays with some people, for as Melson summarized, “every human child begins life situated in what adults call ‘the animal world.’” Some cultures permit children to grow in ways that nurture this feature of life. But one feature after another in today’s industrialized cultures discourages this—consider Freud’s observations in his well-known 1913 volume Totem and Taboo, where he demeans both children and “primitive” humans on the basis of their connection to other-than-human animals.
"The relation of the child to animals has much in common with that of the primitive man. The child does not yet show any trace of the pride which afterwards moves the adult civilized man to set a sharp dividing line between his own nature and that of all other animals. The child unhesitatingly attributes full equality to animals; he probably feels himself more closely related to the animal than to the undoubtedly mysterious adult…."
Freud was wrong, a victim of his own culture’s virulent brew of myopias, biases, and wishful thinking—there is no sharp dividing line between, on the one hand, humans and, on the other hand, all other living beings. The genetic overlap that comes with our “inner fish, reptile and monkey” produces body architecture that ensures intelligence, emotions, and communal inclinations in many of our close evolutionary cousins. We live in shared econiches, and we exterminate “them” (other animals) at our own peril. Those who, like Freud, are in the sway of the stilted logics that lead to human exceptionalism might not notice how Freud’s reasoning ignored completely that children are, through and through, animals when they are born, as they grow, and when they are senescing adults. Freud had been misled by his culture’s dominant assumptions into blindly assuming it to be normal that “education” soon enough prompts children to distance themselves from nonhuman others by focusing on humans alone. Such results are accomplished by teaching children that, only if they no longer notice and take other animals seriously, will they be accepted as an adult. If, on the other hand, a child continues to notice and take other animals seriously, and if the child thereby discovers features of some nonhuman animals not noticed or taken seriously by the adults in their world, the exploring child is likely to find their adult nurturers unreceptive, certainly unsympathetic, often critical. Some children react negatively, demurring much as did the Little Prince in Saint Exupery’s classic, “Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children always and forever explaining things to them.” But for most children in today’s industrialized cultures, the die is cast, and soon enough they will feel the ever-increasing pressure to join the ranks of the large majority of adults who pass along the “wisdom” of human-exceptionalism and ecological ignorance. It can be no source of wonder, then, that many children learn to ignore the nonhuman world in order to gain favor in the adult human world. It is, however, intriguing that a significant number of humans in their daily lives today surmount such “education,” for they do not stop noticing the animal invitation when encountering a nonhuman neighbor. Other sources of hope appear as well—for example, Melson wonders openly about the possibility of revising cultural values by beginning with children. Louv, who gives one chapter the subtitle “Education as a Barrier to Nature,” states powerfully the correlative worry that children are being removed further and further from the natural world by a peculiarly insensitive combination of factors—fears, laws, technologies, and, above all, ignorance of the effects of such a removal. Honoring Tectonic Forces. The very terrain we walk is constantly manifesting underlying, tectonic forces, for within the human collective’s awareness of this planet there are different continents moving and colliding. Such collisions can also be recognized withincontemporary humans’ lives, where a natural curiosity about other lives pushes up against a great variety of exclusivist narratives. While dominant values can prevail for centuries at a time, a recognizable pattern is that one prevailing worldview after another has been subducted, as it were, with the result being that new terrain then awaits future human awareness. This image of moving, subducting continents changing the face of the Earth can be used capture something else altogether human and modern—the destruction that is the result of the ignorance produced in many cultures by human exceptionalism’s deeply impoverished views about the more-than-human world. Our kind of animal, however, retains its native potential for awareness of the larger community. The image of tectonic forces can also be used to bring home why we sense the ground changing beneath some contemporary attitudes such as racism, sexism, and other radical exclusions of human groups. At the level of individuals, both exclusions—that of other animals and that of disfavored humans—dilute human possibility, for we have deep-seated, eminently animal needs and possibilities in the matter of encountering both human and nonhuman “others” in their local world. An environmentalist estimated in the 1980s that the de-population of rural areas in the United States resulted in “the loss of cultural information” which “is far greater than all the information accumulated by science and technology in the same period.” Consider how even greater losses to the human collective were inflicted by the loss of so many unique indigenous cultures during the seventeenth thru twentieth centuries in South America, North America, Australia, Africa, Asia and Europe. The destruction of disfavored human and nonhuman communities may be only dimly sensed in the conquering nation, but as one scholar summarizes such extensive changes wreak damage that is hard to overstate.
"War and dislocation of human communities do more than cut relationships in the present moment. Exodus of people from the land erases the embodied knowledge of a place. Waorani people [an Amazonian tribe] displaced by industry, North American Indians killed and evicted by colonists, Judahites removed to Babylonian exile, Palestinians after the nakba, and even the peacetime depopulations caused by the unprofitability of farming: all these cause the memories embedded in the connections between people and other species to fall out of existence. Exiles can write down and preserve what we carry in our minds, but knowledge created and sustained by ongoing relationship dies when connections are broken. What remains is a network of life that is less intelligent, productive, resilient, and creative." Frankness about the Impacts of Cultural Loss. Such on-the-ground tragedies for whole human communities are not mere abstractions for present-day humans—destructive developments in the past have a continuing life of cascading problems, for “We inherit and live within these dislocations and losses.” On the ground and in community after community, then, harms that arrived in the recent past can have a continuing life that impoverishes each and every human in foundational ways. The observation that “extinction breeds extinctions” (Chapter 5) reveals that while recovering such deep losses is a formidable challenge, there are often additional consequences in the wings. One author, however, sounds a note of hope about humans working together in response to harms done to the networks of life in degraded forests—“In remaking connections, though, we stitch life back together, increasing the network’s beauty and potential.” The potential for recovery is not, we are reminded by a South American indigene (a member of Shuar people of Ecuador and Peru), sourced in reading about now-gone communities, for “What is written dies; only what you live in relationship survives.” There is reason to hope then, for in local worlds on a daily basis it remains possible through intentional actions to nurture “others” inside and beyond our own species, for relationships are nurtured primarily through the living qualities of each human’s life choices in a particular place and time. In this vein, consider a further dimension of life on Earth that can teach humans how deeply and widely community can be found in the many realms the feature our Earth’s abundant living beings. The following is a description of the prevalence of relationship in a non-animal form of Earth’s living communities, namely, trees—“networks of relationship and conversation through which the conjoined lives of trees and people can be understood, remembered, and tended.” Here, there is an inkling of a wider “we,” and intimations of the power of the pronoun “we” as a reference to all living beings on Earth being integrally connected. Such an idea is a rediscovery of an ancient vision that some modern humans are only beginning to consider. Our ancient forebears were comfortable with “we” as a more-than-human pronoun, as is implied in the omatakwiase invocation alluded to above and the encompassing vision of the Axial Age sages. Who Are the Animals that Make Us Human? There remain in humans’ connections to companion animals, without question, great substance that is evident when Melson quotes a pioneering mid-twentieth century thinker on animal issues regarding companion animals as “a glimmer of animal ambience, sacredness, otherness” that is now lost. Note the similar theme in a comment about possibilities offered by familiarity with the more-than-human world.
"Nature—the sublime, the harsh, and the beautiful—offers something that the street or gated community or computer game cannot. … Nature presents the young with something so much greater than they are…. Without that experience, … 'we forget the larger fabric on which our lives depend.'"
For those who have already progressed to human adulthood, it is possible to recognize that, as children, we were educated in ways that impacted both the depth and breadth of our awareness of the animal invitation. Many subjected to such an impoverishing indoctrination have been decisively shaped, thereby becoming the end-product of a number of long-standing, culturally-mediated processes that trained (“educated”) us in ways that narrow the universe of who and what might be included in the human collective.
 Melson 2001, page 12. Additional quotes from Melson that appear in this chapter can be found at pages 13-36.
 Freud, Sigmund. Totem and Taboo: Resemblances between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics. Trans. A. A. Brill. New York: Knopf/Vintage, 1918, at page 164.
 de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine, The Little Prince, New York: Harvest/HBJ, 1971, translated by Katherine Woods, at 4.