04 September 2016

Pattern recognition: What makes us human!

I have been thinking of writing a blog post for some time now on what makes us human.
Increasingly scientists are finding characteristics that were hitherto thought to be uniquely human in many animals and birds. Take tool usage, from Egyptian eagles to apes there are lot of animals that use tools. Feeling emotion as canine lovers would declare is definitely not the preserve of humans. So what makes us human? Unbridled violence?
Looking for a more positive answer I thought of finding patterns. While I do not have the knowledge or understanding of the neuroscience behind it I believe (ok that's a conjecture and not a scientific hypothesis!) that the humans have the ability, nay, the uncontrollable requirement of finding patterns perhaps where none even exist. For example, disparate human cultures have quite imaginatively found patterns of various mythical creatures in the star constellations. In fact, one of the primary endeavours of scientific effort is to classify things. Which is just another name for finding patterns. A lot of good has come of this pattern finding, right from theory of evolution to scales of music. But is this uniquely human?

That is a question only scientists can answer!

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