Essay On "Dr. Daedalus," Lauren Slater Essay Which Depicts Her Opinions On Memes

1672 words - 7 pages

Human Into AnimalsThere are humans in the world that strive to become more animal like. Whether they just act like ones, or have surgical operations to look more like one, they try to become more like an animal. In her essay, "Dr. Daedalus," Lauren Slater suggests that by altering our physical selves to emulate something more animal, our brains, and possibly even our souls, we become somehow more animal as well. She feels that we transform, and become more animal like every time we alter our body into the form of an animal. Slater is correct to point out that when we change our self to look more like animals we might have more in physical features in common with them, but she fails to look at how our identities do not change. We look different, but we are as much human after these procedures as we were before. What makes us unique, and different from any other species, is the ability to imitate. Imitation is a quality made available to us through the meme, a theory clearly pointed out by Susan Blackmore in her book The Meme Machine. A meme is defined as a unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. We humans have the ability to use it, and we use it very frequently. Religions, fashion, and even jingles are all memes we use everyday. Blackmore believes that what makes us unique from animals is not our intelligence, consciousness, or soul; it's our ability to imitate and pass something on, the meme. Therefore, when we change our body to look more like an animal, our ability to imitate is lost nor affected. Slater is wrong when she thinks that we become more animal like when we change ourselves to become more animal like, because what makes us unique is our ability to imitate. When we emulate ourselves as animals we are do not become more animal like, but instead we enforce ourselves as unique humans, because our ability of emulation is just a function the meme. When we emulate, we show off and apply our ability to imitate. We can stop at any time acting like an animal at any time with our freewill, because there is nothing there to stop us mentally from acting like humans again. Our ability to act and look like animals is just an extension the meme, and we will always be our unique human selves.The core of what makes us unique and different from animals is our ability to pass something on, the meme. Blackmore considers what makes us humans unique, different from animals and explains that only once we know how we are different from animals, can be better understand if we are becoming more like them. The first of the three points that Blackmore considers is intelligence. She feels that "the notion of intelligence is extremely slippery, with interminable arguments about how to define it, how to measure it and to what extent it is inherited" (22). Her perception is that we can not judge something by an idea that we do not fully understand. It's hard to...

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