Without detracting anything from primates like Kanzi and Washoe, fundamental differences between animals and humans nevertheless remain. Unlike human children, animals: (1) do not have a special region in the brain devoted to language; (2) possess a much smaller brain overall; and (3) lack the anatomy to speak the words they may think. In summary, humans have an innate, built-in, hard-wired ability to acquire and communicate complex language from the moment of their birth. Animals do not. Admittedly, animals do possess a measure of understanding. They can learn to respond to commands and signs, and in some instances even can be trained to use minimal portions of human sign language. As Oller and Omdahl pointed out: ‘One of the most remarkable missing elements in the pseudolinguistic behavior of the trained apes is that they don’t ask questions. They simply don’t seem to be able to understand what a question is.’ Thus, even though apes, dogs, and birds can be trained to do certain things and can convey ideas of danger, food, etc., they still cannot reason with others so as to have true mental communion. Why? The intelligence of animals is, quite bluntly, unlike that of humankind.


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