American Morning

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August 5th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Can animals think like humans?

A chimpanzee relaxes at the Safari Park in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv, Israel. (Getty Images/File)

(CNN) – Our pets sometimes seem to have better lives than us, but would you treat an animal differently if it could think more like you? Reason more like you? TIME magazine is taking a look at the great divide between man and beast and whether we're not that far apart after all. TIME science editor Jeff Kluger joined us on Thursday's American Morning to explain the sliding scale by which animals – from humans to bugs – have the ability to reason. Watch Video

Filed under: Science
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. John Carbonaro

    Every animal , human and nonhuman values its life. We should spare all animals (petified, food-labeled) our narcissism. Don't make nonviolence conditional to our selfish wants. if you believe that unecessary harm is unethical, go vegan. We can make choices to be morally consistent.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:09 am |
  2. Vulpine

    You'd be surprised at just how well animals can think. However, they don't think in words, as humans do, they think in concepts, which is far more efficient. Personally, I believe we should join the animals and stop thinking in words; all they do is get you into trouble.

    August 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  3. Rich

    Humans can learn a lot from animals.

    August 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  4. Robert

    The fact that so many people love animals and are also so willing to denigrate other humans (as the posts here indicate) shows how much we humans hate each other and themselves. Perhaps people should be asking themselves what is it deep inside their minds that makes them hate and distrust other people so much? Of course we all love animals. Our pets give us what we perceive as "unconditional love." What that really means is that our pets will gladly put up with our neurotic behaviors as long as we feed and pet them. Dependent animals will continually show humans submissive behavior, whereas other humans will not put up with that. Why wouldn't we love animals that submit to our domination and show us what we perceive to be love and affection? Animals, and especially our pets, provide surrogates for the relationships we wish we had with other people!

    August 6, 2010 at 11:37 am |

    Animals think. We don't know what they think or think about. But they do think and feel intensely. Any observant person can see that. Even insects, and even microbes think. All are some aspect and reflection of their creator ,an awesome and interesting God.

    August 6, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  6. Ross Foyee

    Since I have had a cat for the past five years and actually treated that cat from when it was a kitten until now much like I would a son, he has acted much like a human in my eyes and in most folks that see Mice-tro-cat agree. When my wife brought him to me five years ago and put this kitten on the ground...he ran to up me and has been doing that same thing up through today. I feel his love for me when he walks up and rubs agaist my legs with his little self. He weighs eleven pounds and is fed healthy cat food twice daily. I had him neutered shortly after getting him and he stays around my house and yard like a magnet. The more you treat animals as you would humans, I think they tend to act like humans in many ways. This cat follows me around when I take my daily walks in my neighborhood and if he doesn't want to follow me on any given day, he will meow when he sees me walking up from the distance as if to beckon me back to his and our home...

    August 6, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  7. Frank

    Are you serious, again you have this backward. Can human think like animals is more appropriate to ask these days.

    August 6, 2010 at 6:32 am |
  8. Les

    What a hoot! Most of the animals I've come to know seem to be wondering if humans have the capacity to reason. From the trail of destruction humans leave wherever they have been, it appears we do not. During a recent conversation with a Gulf oyster, I was surprised they were conducting observational studies of humans. They are trying to determine if we are intelligent or not. Recent events seems to suggest to them we are not. Who would'a thunk.

    August 5, 2010 at 8:06 pm |