Monday, March 16, 2009
Any way you look at it, E O Wilson is one of the greatest thinkers and most creative minds in the world. Besides being a professor at Harvard, having won two Pulitzer Prizes, is considered to be the world most renown authority on Ants, has established the controversial field of sociobiology,is given credit for popularizing the term Epic of Evolution has also coined the two words Consilience and Biophilia to describe a theory of knowledge and the innate tendency that bonds humans to other living things.
A new book by Meg Olmert , in the relatively young field of anthrozoology presents a strong argument about the strength of the attachment between humans and living things especially pets. As it is to be expected, this new book is in essence a total endorsement of the idea of Biophilia as originally explained by Wilson and also as might be expected he has offered his strong endorsement to the book.
Ms. Olmert shows rather convincingly that the strength of this relationship is totally biological. It is explained by the presence of the chemical Oxytocin which has been used to explain the bonding relationship between mothers and their children.
I have no doubt that Oxytocin is powerful and that it plays a major role in explaining our love for pets. But what I find difficult to accept is that Oxytocin is the only explanation for that special relationship between us and animals. If it were so simple then does that mean that Oxytocin injections will stop the mistreatment of animals and that we can all become Vegans?:-)