By Michael Hanlon
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Additional resources for 10 Questions Science Can't Answer (Yet): A Guide to the Scientific Wilderness
This is ludicrous, clearly, so perhaps we should think again about these ‘rights’ and dismiss the idea out of hand. But actually the ‘responsibilities’ argument falls down very quickly. Because we grant a whole host of rights to human beings from whom we demand no responsibilities whatsoever. Again, we are talking about the very young, the very old, the sick, senile and the mad. Lunatics cannot vote and neither can babies, but we are quite rightly not allowed to stick electrodes into their brains in the advancement of medical science.
In 1800 there were about 5000 of these people alive, but by 1867 they were all dead, reduced to a series of body parts displayed in museums. This shameful genocide was not considered as such by these ‘guns’ simply because the Tasmanian aborigines were not considered, by them, to be people. Animals are not people, but then again if we are talking about intellectual ability (and sentience) many people aren’t really people either. The critically senile, accident and illness 38 10 questions science can’t answer yet victims in comas, the newborn – all have intellectual capabilities and sentience well below those of, say, an adult chimp or Kola the gorilla, yet across all societies and cultures the human will be granted far more rights under law than the ape.
But the passage of time cannot be described with reference to anything other than itself. We can think of time in terms of mathematics and physics, and we can also think of it in terms of perception. The way we think about time seems to be linked in a rather odd way to the why is time so weird? 45 way we think. We do not really ‘see’ the passage of time, after all. We simply have a series of subjective experiences that are different from the ones in our memories and it is this difference that our conscious brains perceive as time.
10 Questions Science Can't Answer (Yet): A Guide to the Scientific Wilderness by Michael Hanlon