Thursday, 17 October 2013

Are Dogs People?

Many people call their dog their best friend. There are so many stories about how dogs have shown loyalty, bravery and love to their owners beyond other humans. But is that enough? Does that make them on a par with humans?

Perhaps so.

Genesis makes it very clear that it is humans and humans only that are made in the image of God. As such, they have stewardship over the earth and are essentially 'in charge'. Humans are special and different to other animals; humans have a soul according to many.

However scientists have been performing many tests on dogs to try and establish exactly what goes on in those doggy brains, beside dreams about chasing rabbits!

After spending time training dogs to use an MRI scanner, scientists have discovered "striking similarity between dogs and humans in both the structure and function of a key brain region: the caudate nucleus." This is the part of the brain that determines our likes and dislikes and appreciation for things such as music.

However they have gone on to test this to show that dogs do seem to have a love and attachment to their owners similar to a human child. 

This could cause problems legally as dogs are still considered objects, that can be disposed off in humane ways if need be. Also they are still exploited in certain ways, puppy mills, dog racing etc which could be outlawed if they were differently classed.

This is obviously a long way off, but does such neuroscience start questioning the rights we give to animals?

Do you think this is a sensible idea? How do you feel about pets? Do you need testing to know your dog loves you? Will animals always just be animals?

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