Google [Chimps may be aware of others’ deaths and Neanderthal genome yields evidence of interbreeding with humans] for research that challenges the prevalent myths of human uniqueness. The Judeo-Christian myth, “Man was created in God’s image”, obviously proclaims this uniqueness. This need to pin down our origins is universal, going back into prehistory. The advent of modern science and technology just continues that quest, albeit based on fact more than imagination’s flights of fancy.
Various Tao Te Ching chapters easily nip such myths in the bud, e.g., chapter 1’s The way that can be spoken of is not the constant way, chapter 56’s, One who speaks does not know, and chapter 10’s When your discernment penetrates the four quarters, Are you capable of not knowing anything? Little wonder the Taoist worldview isn’t popular! The Taoist point of view is only palatable if you can endure not knowing anything.
Google the CBS video [Bird Grooves to the Beat] for a delightful example of just how fuzzy the line separating us from other species turns out to be. If this keeps up, we’ll have to admit we are just another life form, neither superior nor particularly special. Such sanity can’t happen too soon to suit me! Alas, that’s certainly not going to happen in my lifetime. Oh well, it is always good to leave enough for our distant descendants to triumph over.
It is striking how driven we are to see our species as different and superior. This is certainly evident in humanity’s spiritual traditions. From a symptoms point of view (p.141), this looks like the survival instinct forcing its way from emotion up into thought and out into speech. If ants could think and speak, I’ve no doubt they would say they were special and superior too. Seen this way, we are not so special after all. Now, is that comforting to know?
See Creation Myths for a brief overview of human creation myths.