Rats and Rationality by Joel Marks
As the scientists Jonathan Crystal and Allison Foote have found that rats have “high mental power,” the report of the research suggests that rats can be used in future neuroscience experiments. As a result, the usage of rats in the neuroscience experiments will be increased. The author of the article, Rats and Rationality, Joel Marks argues against this proposal and emphasizes that the usage of rats in the experiments should be decreased. Mark argues that the conclusion of the research to use rats in neuroscience experiment is illogical. Even though Marks argues that rats should not be used in neuroscience experiments to benefits humans, his argument is not persuading due to contradiction and lack of evidences.
Marks focuses on two main assumptions as he analyses this study. He states that the experiments of rats are invasive. According to the proposal of the study, rats have to undergo the neuroscience experiments, which are often painful as Marks says, “concerned investigators will lead to the future confinements, perhaps torture, and ultimately killing of rats” (Marks). The other assumption of Marks is that the protection for the animal is fewer as he states, “minimal legal protection to over 90 percent of the animals in laboratories” (Marks). This fewer legal protection for animals results in the uncontrolled experiments that use rats as experimental subjects.
Marks assumption regarding the invasive experiments and the protection of the animals is contradictory. The reason is that the rat experiments might be different what he assumes since there are no proper clarifications given about the invasive experiments in Marks paper. Neither all the rat experiments will be invasive nor all the experiments will let rats to be killed. Hence, Mark should not generalize his opinion only based on this particular research to all the rat experiments. The other assumption of Marks, regarding the protection of animals, lacks evidence since the Animal Welfare Act is not the only protection for the animals. There are many other organizations over the world that care about the protection of the animals and work to improve the animal welfare. Therefore, Marks needs solid evidence to support his argument regarding rat experiments and the protection of rats.
To prove his argument Marks compares the reasoning of human and rats, which is considered as a distinctive characteristic of human. He emphasizes that rats and humans are not alike even though rats have higher cognitive power as humans do. Therefore, humans should not under estimate the reasoning of rats and make use of them to improve the quality of humans’ lives. If human can reason, they should be able to reason that what measurements they can use to determine the similarities of the cognition of humans and the rats. Moreover, humans should have the ability to understand that the animals also have the right to live and can feel the pain as humans do. Therefore,...