Every morning I am amazed at what the folks at bring our way via the “Etcetera” section at the conclusion of their morning report.

Fish can learn basic arithmetic…

The article by Zack Savitsky dated March 31 claims that cichlids and stingrays can add and subtract small numbers.

By now I expect readers to find their own way to the The link to the Science article they cite is here. You can view the details of their research as you wish:

The University of Bonn, Germany, conducted experiments demonstrating that fish can work math puzzles using small numbers. For my own part, I wonder how many taxpayer Euros went to some researchers who don’t have enough to do.

My concerns have to do with the point of the research and the sole result of it? These are found in the concluding remarks, quoted from the zoologist Vera Schluessel, who led the study:

“Many people think that they’re really stupid—fish in general,” Schluessel says. “They actually do have personalities … and they also can learn quite complex tasks.”

“People often use the presumed ignorance of fish to excuse “awful” commercial fishing practices and callous pet maintenance, she adds. She hopes her work will encourage humans to see fish as sentient creatures like us that deserve to be treated with more respect.”

“That’s the trend, you know—we’re basically chipping away at human arrogance,” Brown says. “We think that we’re the pinnacle of evolution, but we’re not.”

As for human arrogance, Schuessel’s belief stated earlier in the article that it has taken our finny friends 400 million years to evolve to the point where a few of two subspecies might visually count to 5 gives us cause to ponder whether we or the piscatorial researchers are possessed of the greater arrogance.

Actually, my human experience of fish clearly demonstrates, in the only lab that really matters (the bend in the creek), that when they refuse to hit my fly laid out so carefully to them, well, they simply are not hungry. Or perhaps I have chosen the improper bug to “match the hatch” for that season. Therein lies the distinction between mere response to cognitive impulses and the calculus of reason that separates us ‘arrogant’ humanoids from the creatures who procreate “after their own kind.”

Evermore and anon, the researcher confronts us ill-developed homo sapiens species, barely ahead (or are we in her words) of the piscine intellect, with our lack of respect for the herds in the oceans and the goldfish in the bowl? Speciesism! Yes, speciesism, you male and female pair created in the imago Dei! You must repent of your lack of respect for those who are able, once provided with the triggering colors and the laboratory environment, to count to 5 or so.

The conclusions of these researchers taken together are substantially just more of the anti-human posturing designed to elicit more and evermore government funding for such inconsequential nonsense. But to discredit and to diminish the human? Oh, “that’s the trend.”

As for the last sentence in the quote, revealing both her stupidity and the roots of her true purpose, I leave you, the no-longer-oroud erudite reader to decide. Sounds fishy to me…

Don’t merely emphasize the human. Declare our uniqueness the more…

Father David+

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