Week 8

Humans and the Superiority Complex

During last week’s meeting we discussed the connection between animals and humans. Many argue that one cannot draw comparisons because unlike animals, humans are emotional creatures with an intellectual capacity that is unmatched. Many philosophers, scientists and individuals who are keen to this idea use anatomy as their tangible evidence that humans are superior beings. They argue that because our cortex is much bigger than most other animals, we have the ability to carry out higher cognitive functions and perform the one task that no other animal could—reason.

Utopia, the Hierarchy of Humans and Animals

Last week's lecture by Lenore Melan evoked thoughts of utopian society and human and animal consciousness. Most human beings think themselves superior to other animals which is why we believe we can subject animals to experimentations and other degenerating studies. According to George Orwell’s Animal Farm he explains how human society can never be a utopia. Based on Animal Farm, the reason why a utopia is impossible is because humans are intelligent beings who are willing to exploit their intelligence and utilize inferior beings (i.e.

I'm an Animal

Per this week’s discussion, here is my most unusual encounter with an animal. My girlfriend from three years ago had a male poodle---it was the cutest poodle on Earth. Each time I would go to her house and we would sit next to each other or make out, the poodle would run up to my leg and hump my leg. This only happened when I was physically touching my girlfriend and only then would the poodle get at me, but if I was not sitting with her, the poodle would leave me alone.  My incredible charm reaches out to different species. 

Animal Tool Use and Human Phylogeny Show Nothing Separates Humans from Animals

I think the question of what separates animals from humans is a misleading one.  Humans are a subset of animals, a single species within a much larger category that encompasses a wide range of organisms.  To say humans are fundamentally different from the rest of Animalia is a fundamental misunderstanding of genetics and phylogeny.  The things that people seize on when comparing animals to humans are merely differing traits between species.  Many of the traits deemed “unique” to humanity have been shown to emerge multiple times in the animal kingdom.  Ta

Life Without The Bee

During the last lecture, we focused a lot on silk worms and all of their glory, but what was most interesting to me was the conversaiton about bees. Bees are one of, if not the most important animal to keeping humans alive. The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the world's food, over 70 are polllinated by bees. Studies suggest that much of human existence is presently dependent on honeybees. However, the human race is not likely to become extinct. Food production would decline, but not completely disappear.

The Beauty of Sericin

            As I was reading one of the article that Jason brought into class I was amazed with all of benefitial ways sericin can help society. The article is called, Silk Sericin and its applications: A review by M N Padamwar and A P Pawar. The explain how the silk sericin from silk worms consists of two different types of proteins: silk fibroin and sericin. Sericin is very high in 18 essential amino acids!

Hive Mind

Bees and humans exhibit similar interests in forming complex social communities. As pointed out in last week’s presentation, bees are intelligent, meticulous, and social animals. At first, I was struck by the complicated nature of bee societies. In addition to having unique forms of communication, such as “waggle dancing,” bees are also known for being altruistic. Like ants and other animals that form large social groups or colonies, bees act in ways that preserve the well-being of their community rather than simply their own lives.

Week8 Turing Symposium--Shiwei

On Friday, I went to the Turing symposium and heard the talk from Jon Beaupre. The title is “Some Speculations on the Effects of Machine Language on News Delivery Credibility.” Beaupre first introduced us the concept of avatar, which is a virtual representation of the user. Avatar can be two dimensional in online communities or three dimensional in online gaming. Avatars can also be embodied with artificial intelligence. For instance, many websites provide customers with services from artificial assistant with AI.

Blog 8 - Honors 177 - Hayk Barseghyan

Human brain has the ability to store and transmit memories using images. There is specialized area in the brain called Hippocampus that is involved in storage and generation of memories. The way memories are sored is still not quite understood. However, it is speculated that visual or any other stimuli that a person perceives is accompanied by production of proteins in the brain that are involved in generation of new neuronal connections in the brain.

Alan Turing and Fibonacci Numbers

Alan Turing was a mathematical genius. He speculated that there was a relationship between math and nature through the presence of Fibonacci numbers that naturally occur in plants.  Fibonacci numbers are a sequence of numbers, where you can add one of the numbers with the number to the right of it, to get the next number.  For example, the first few numbers of the sequence begin as follows: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.  To get the number after 21, simply add 13 to 21, which gives you 34.

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