Today's Elites

Friday, January 15, 2010

Behaviorists Behaving Badly

Studying animals in behavioral experiments has been a cornerstone of psychological research, but whether the observations are relevant for human behavior has been unclear. Weill Cornell Medical College researchers have identified an alteration to the DNA of a gene that imparts similar anxiety-related behavior in both humans and mice, demonstrating that laboratory animals can be accurately used to study these human behaviors.

While it is clear that humans may behave as animals behave in the grip of such emotions, what is not clear is whether behaviorists know that which irretrievably distinguishes humans from animals. Reason, i.e., the uniquely demonstrated human capacity to alter the supposed fixed laws of predator prey relationships via noesis.

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