Unit 8: “A Love That Dare Not Squawk Its Name” Reading Response

Get the discussion on this article started by posting your reading response here. Please remember that you will need to post your response and then read other students' responses and post  a reply.

albatross

In this piece, the author admits that "Grasping for parallels with animals can create emotional truths, though it usually results in slushy logic.  It's naive to slap conclusions about a given species directly onto humans." What are the dangers of making these kind of connections, and what responsibility do scientists have to navigate a balance that seems reasonable?  How are personal politics at play in this essay?

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35 thoughts on “Unit 8: “A Love That Dare Not Squawk Its Name” Reading Response

  1. Matthew Wetherington

    This writing is what happens, when social issues, and science meet. In this essay Jon starts off talking about the Laysan Albatross, and an interesting observation made by one wildlife biologist. This was that female-female partnerships had been going on for as along as this particular flock had been observed, and the great success they had, just as much as the male-female partnerships; minus mating. As the author continues, he begins to reflect, and even discuss the facts that through time many different species of animals have had same-sex engagements. In some means to justify that humans, who choose a similar course, are somehow justified in their actions. However, I believe there is some inaccuracy, as we being humans we shouldn’t try to model ourselves after animals, or the actions they take. With this type of mindset we may as well try to adopt flying, because thats what Laysan Albatross do, and see how well it works for them. Ultimately, animalistic nature should be left with animals, whereas humans, far above animals, should take on human nature, and seek moral standards. The dangers of making these connections, is largely the fact that people doing wrong, want a justification to make themselves feel better; even if that justification is largely faulty. I think is is unreasonable to tell scientist to suppress their personal view in scientific research, as I like to connect all my scientific knowledge and research to God; however, we must be careful not to justify things in terms of nature. Or, because x animal does y, humans must be able to do y just as well, without looking into the deeper meaning of why these things. Personal politics, is heavily intertwined as you see Jon’s personal opinion, and perspective, almost cloud the science at hand.

    1. virginia blake

      Hi,
      I do definitely agree with your reply to this article. I don’t feel we should compare birds sexuality with human or condone it because animals do it. I think things in the world are getting out of hand as it is. Let alone people start using animals as an excuse for there own behavior.

    2. Angelica Kougl

      I agree that making inaccurate connections between research like this and humans is dangerous and naive. I also agree with you that humans are not identical to these birds because of our ability to construct the idea of morals and reflect on them. Animals like the albatross may not look into the reasoning behind their actions and compare it to their morals. Humans, however, do. It is immoral to discriminate other humans based on their sexuality, and it is naive to try and justify whether or not they are doing what is “natural” for them based off an animal of a completely different species. However, I completely disagree that people make these dangerous connections to justify their “wrongdoings”. Homosexuals and other people that are not in a heterosexual relationship are not “doing things wrong”. With that logic, we could also say straight people are committing “wrongdoings” because their behavior is not uniform with that of homosexuals. There is no right or wrong way, there are just different ways. Instead, I think we make these connections because it is human nature to try and relate. We humanize actions that animals do all the time to try and relate to them. And because it is so natural for us humans to try and relate to other animals like the albatross, it is important to be aware of this habit and make our best effort to keep this bias out of scientific studies.

    3. Cassandra Lane

      I mostly agree with your post on this article, however I do not think that anyone is trying to use the study of animals sexuality to justify their own sexualities or anything else. I understand where you are coming from though in that you connect scientific findings to God but not everyone believes this way which is why scientists should at least write more objectively about what they are actually observing and then make their conclusions on what they think that these observations mean. Observations can mean many different things to many different people. Two people can witness the same situation and come up with a different conclusion than the other. For example, my neighbor walks her dog every day by pushing it in a bright pink stroller. One person may perceive this as a spoiled, lazy dog whereas another person might wonder what is wrong with the dog that requires it to be pushed in a stroller.

  2. Emily Nerbonne

    “For whatever reason, we’re prone to seeing animals–especially animals that appear to be gay–as reflections, models, and foils of ourselves; we’re extraordinarily, and sometimes irrationally, invested in them.” Pg.#254
    This essay was an interesting read for me, and when I told my friends what I was reading about, they all looked at me like “WHAT!”. The essay showed the way people use science to validate their own agendas. Lindsey C. Young was a scientist who was fascinated with albatrosses and wanted to understand more of then. Young studied the albatross and found out that there was a number of female-female pairings. She didn’t want her work to be taken to the level it was; she just wanted to reveal her findings to other people. In the beginning of the essay, the author pointed out how hesitant she was to say certain words, in case she was misunderstood for her words. People can take anything and misuse them for their own context. Throughout the rest of the essay, Jon Mooallem kept on writing about other instances of homosexuality throughout nature and the animal kingdom. Different sources would take those finding and misconstrue them to use in their own way. They compare humans to animals in this way. We’re all species, but over the centuries we’ve evolved in to different species than we were. We shouldn’t becomparing ourselves to animals. It’s demeaning on many levels. Nobody wants to be insulted by being called an ‘animal.’ There are many other insults that compare humans to animals, such as: your as big as an elephant, your as stubborn as an ox, and you look like a shrew. None of these are flattering, and nobody wants these said to them. Yet, we keep on comparing ourselves to animals and try to find the similarities. You have to realize that we aren’t the same thing. We shouldn’t be compared for similarities. It brings the human race down when you compare us to animals.
    When scientists publish their findings, they should not be biased in any of their work. Their work should not be objective and try to give opinions to people to push their own agendas. Scientists should try to stay on the road where they just publish their finding and show people the facts behind everything. They should try to manipulate people by their work. Let people formulate their own opinions on things. Young was careful about her words, because she didn’t want people accusing her of pushing her own thoughts forward onto other people. She just wanted to get her findings out and let people know about the research she loved so much. Scientists can have their own opions and ideas, but they shouldn’t push them out for everybody to bond onto.
    This essay has personnel politics at play, because the author himself, Jon Mooallem, has his own opinion on what is happening. He states the facts from all these different scientists, but he has his own thoughts that he adds to the essay to show his ideas of what is happening. He doesn’t leave himself out of the essay, he allows himself to be weaved into this essay.

    1. Amanda Carr

      I agree with what you have written. It is so hard to leave your personal opinion out of…. well really everything. I struggle with this even when I am talking to a good friend that doesn’t really want to hear my opinion but just wants me to listen. Listening is a very hard skill to master. In one way or another we want the topic to come back to us. I think that is what is happening with the studies of these different animals. We want it to be about us. Which I agree with you , is not right.

      1. Emily J. Nerbonne

        My mom told me once, “If you don’t know what to talk about to a person, just talk about them.” People always want to talk about what they are doing and what is happening in their lives. People love to expound about what is happening to them. This furthers on your thought about people wanting things to relate to themselves and to talk about their opinions. We don’t always need to insert our own thoughts. We can just absorb the fact and draw conclusions. We don’t have to be biased and make it more “human” for our purposes. We should just be able to take things as they are and learn from the facts, not manipulate them for ourselves.

  3. Amanda Carr

    The dangers of making these kind of connections is that… when it comes down to it humans and animals are different. Humans are at the top of the food chain for a reason, BUT this does not mean we cannot learn from the amazing animals on this earth (humans being one of them).

    I really enjoyed this article; it was a bit long at times but so interesting. I’m thankful there are people that have patience to watch these birds long enough to find out these extraordinary findings and such a large responsibility for the scientists to navigate a balance that seems reasonable between humans and animals. It is interesting how this article talked about how it is almost impossible for us to not compare ourselves to the animals we are studying. We try to turn them into humans in one way or another. I kept laughing to myself while reading this article because humans are so self-centered. No matter what is being studied, it will somehow end up about us. No matter how hard we try it seems to always come back to us. I enjoyed how Jon Mooalem made this point clear by brining his story full circle and ending with the new name that was chosen for the famous baby bird…“Lola.”

    Personal politics are at paly in this article because this debate has been going on for so long that people have forgotten up from down. It seems that people can’t let some changes that would be better left alone to change organically instead of forced. Which entails forcing other species or cultures to be what we want them to be for our own benefit.
    In one-way or another, everything will come back to humans and our personal concerns. It would be wonderful if there could be studies about whales and birds because they are interesting and then be content with the knowledge of learning about other species, without wanting and trying to benefit from them in one way or another. In the end we all may be painfully self centered, but everyone knows if they are or are not doing their best to try and make this world of ours a better place.

    1. Angelina Lund

      I completely agree with you in the aspect that we try to turn animals into humas in one fashiopn or another and we need to understand that we are different. It is amazing learning from them. Learning their habits and their like or dislikes but their has to be a line drawn somewhere. I also agree that it would be great if we could learn intersting things from the animals and leave it at that. Except the way they do things and leave it at that. Not spend all this time trying to figure out why they do things the way they do and always in the end comparing it to some form of human living.

  4. virginia blake

    This essay was very different from anything we have ready yet. The article was about the laysan albatross and sexuality. Although, the writer was careful in comparing and using terms like lesbian at the end of the day the article was still written this way. They found out many birds that were nesting were female to female when they believed it was male to female. These birds are almost identical so only dna tells them apart. Other animals are also known to have the same sex. It feels like the writer is justifying this for humans doing. I think there comes a problem when we begin comparing animal tendencies to human tendencies. I know scientist do a lot of comparing with animals but were not animals were humans. I don’t think anything about an animal sexuality should be compared with human sexuality. That is just my opinion of course. If we continue to do this type of comparison humans will begin to find reasoning to condone things that as humans we shouldn’t be doing. It’s like social media has caused such a change in human living such as most Americans now eat dinner while on social media. I know the writer several times stated he wasn’t trying to label or categorize the birds however he does compare to human vs human.

    1. Emily J. Nerbonne

      I completely agrees with you about comparing human and animal sexuality to each other. As you pointed out, we’re humans; we’re not animals. There shouldn’t be even the slightest comparison and justification of what animals do because of humans, or vice versa. It’r ridiculous to assume that that comparison is completely acceptable.

  5. Angelica Kougl

    This article is a good example of how dangerous and misleading it can be to draw connections between objective scientific research on a species and human behavior. I believe that humans are hardwired to try and relate to other humans and other species of animals. Even the scientists performing the study, who are aware of the bias humans can have when researching animals, relate to the birds. When Young was observing a male looking around at his surroundings before approaching a female that was not his partner, she narrated “Will anyone see me if I cheat?” (pg 261). Young gave the birds a voice to embody the mindset and behavior of humans without even thinking about it. This narration was likely just her expressing her personal, non-science-based thoughts to her guest, Leonard and Jon, separate from her actual research. However, I think this was an important part of the article because it shows how natural and instinctive it is for us to make connections with other animals, even when we are aware of the bias it can bring to scientific research. This can be dangerous because it can influence our observation of the study unknowingly. It is easy to succumb to this instinct and, for example, label these birds as “gay”. But, this is dangerous and naive of us to do because it explains animal behaviors with human concepts. Brown explains, on page 254, that being “gay” refers to sexual orientation. In reality, sexual orientation was not observed in the study, only their behavior was. Scientists have the responsibility to separate scientific observation of behavior and human concepts. It does not make sense to explain the behavior of one species based of the ideas of our own species. We can think that a bird looking around at it’s surroundings before potentially mating with a bird that is not it’s lifelong partner is scoping out to see if anyone will witness him “cheating”, but we don’t know what the bird is actually thinking and if cheating is even a concept in their species. I think it is very important to know that these observations are unrelated to the behaviors of human kind, and vice versa.

    1. Kristopher Dunkle

      This is an excellent point, and I’m glad you specifically emphasized how it sneaks in without thought, how it seems “natural”. My anthropology class talked about a similar difficulty for ethnographers, who often learn about other cultures via field studies where they go and live within the target group, as one of them. Like the problem of seeing animal behavior through the lens of human concepts, ethnographers struggle with seeing the other culture through the lens of their own, more familiar cultural concepts. So I might generalize the problem you mentioned a step further, and say that it’s an example of people seeing things through the lens of what they are most familiar with. After all, people are naturally familiar with both thinking like a human and with using behavior observations to read into what other humans are thinking.

  6. Cassandra Lane

    I found this piece to be very well written and very interesting. It held my full attention and I could not put it down until I finished reading the whole thing. This writer did a fantastic job at reaching a multitude of audiences and didn’t use a lot of technical terms that would leave the reading asking what they just read because they did not understand certain terms. I knew that some species have same-sex couplings but it never occurred to me how often it is. To me, in humans, this is a normal occurrence and does not bother me one bit. It seems that it would also be a totally normal occurrence in animals as well though we do come to the assumptions that these pairings would be “gay” or “lesbian” couples which is not the case in animals. We do not yet understand these pairings as discussed in the text and should not generalize animals with human terms because animals are and can be much different than human species, even though there are also a lot of similarities. Personal politics I believe have a lot to do with this because people assume that these albatross pairings are “lesbians” or that those that write about these pairings must be “gay” or “lesbians” because they are writing about same-sex pairings without bias. It can be hard to write without bias about same-sex pairings based on one’s views of same-sex pairings in humans. I think that someone who believed that was not okay would have a more difficult time of writing without bias than someone who didn’t see any issues with such pairings.

  7. Angelina Lund

    This read I felt was interesting and similar to our other reads where animals are being compared to humans. I feel that one of the dangers of making these connections is that people will reach out for help or advice from the scientist who does the research that appeals to them or if they have a family member is a similar situation or the family member could benefit from the research. As Davis Featherstone found out with his research using fruit flies , a woman reached out to him about her daughter who found herself attracted to women but would not bring herself to accept the fact that she was and the daughter was contemplating suicide. To avoid this kind of attention, I feel the scientist should observe the animals and take what we can from their actions and not always try to compare with humans. I personally feel that homosexuality comes naturally to people, that they are not born with a certain gene that makes them that way so in this reading I do not feel it was necessary to do all this research and all these experiments when I believe it also comes natural to animals as well. People do what makes them happy or what they are comfortable with. Personal politics come into play anytime homosexuality is brought up. This topic is pretty controversial and people get upset over things they dont understand or things that are different. There are people out there that still believe that we should all be the same and like the same things and look the same way. They often feel threatened by change or differences. Also I am sure that if animals had their way about it, they would not like to be compared to humans just as humans dont like being compared to animals.

    1. Janelle Pascoe

      I 100% agree with your statement, “People do what makes them happy or what they are comfortable with” I think this is the reason for most of human behaviors and it may be similar for animals but I don’t think there is a good reason as to why we should be compared to animals. This relates to our discussion on doing experiments on animals just to get results for human benefit. I think it is both cruel and not right.

  8. Janelle Pascoe

    I think it is interesting to learn about animals such as these Laysan Albatross, as certain behaviors in this species relate to human behaviors like homosexuality. But I don’t agree with comparing the behavior to humans and going as far as to make assumptions or assurances to human beings. “Many pointed out that animals also rape or eat their young; was America going to tolerate that too, just because it’s “natural”?” (Pg. 246) I think Americans in particular are very judge mental and try to find an assurance for something that is going on in society to deem it “natural” or “normal”. Not saying that anything going on in society today isn’t normal. I think humans have certain behaviors that are special to us and that different species have behaviors that may be similar but we can’t directly relate them because the reasoning behind behaviors or norms do not always have a connection. “A lot of zoologists are suspicious, I think, of applying the same evolutionary principles to humans that they apply to animals” says a Japanese researcher Paul Vasey. I think we can learn a lot from making the comparison but I believe that it is not reasonable to assume an excuse or reason as to human behaviors.

    1. Roger Vang

      It is human nature to compare the animals’ thinking process with ours because we really have zero ideas of what goes on in the mind of an animal. We also tend to think that everything an animal does is by its instincts, thus leading us to conclude that since we are also animals, we must have the same instincts. When we see animals behaviors like female-female or male-male couples, we like to think of it as an assurance to our similar actions. But of course, we know this is not all true.

  9. Roger Vang

    It is normal for a scientist to have a personal bias towards their research. However, when they publish their research, the information must be presented unbiasedly. Lindsay Young was careful about her words, allowing the public to make their conclusions. Unfortunately, the media chose to say that her short paper about female-female albatross pairs was “an effort to humanize animals or devolve humans to the level of animals or to further an agenda” (246), or that it was a “clear call for equality” (245). These reactions lead us to question the real issue at play, personal politics. As biologist Marlene Zuk said, we automatically assume animal behavior is similar to humans, that animals are “blurred, imperfect copies of humans” (250). We respond to female-female or male-male animal relationships as if they have evolved to become like humans. But we should not assume this because humans are different from animals. Assumptions such similarities between humans and animals can lead to irrational decisions. For example, just because running on four limbs is more efficient for dogs, does not mean that it will be as beneficial to humans. After reading this essay, I believe that Young never wanted to humanize animals or devolve humans, though her findings can help us better understand the animal instinct and how their reality is different from us humans.

    1. Jessica Mathews

      Great response, I agree that she made it easier for us to read by giving a better understanding of animal instincts reality and the difference in humans. Keep up the good work!

  10. Sara Church

    Politics today seems to be immersed in everything we do now. Many scientific papers can be filled with a political agenda to try and prove a point. Most of the biologists in this article tried very hard to not be biased in their research. Biologist Young tried very hard to not use terms that labeled the female-female pairs of albatross with a definitive term. It was mostly readers of her research that decided to label the birds. For years people have tried using animals and nature to explain human nature and using this way of thinking can be very bad because people will lump very complex things into one very small parameter.

    1. Erin Dodds

      I wasn’t aware that many scientific papers are written to fulfill a political agenda. Can you link me the article that has compiled this data? It sounds interesting because I would think that those scientists who are paid to lie to their colleagues would lose their jobs pretty quickly.
      I agree that humans have made a habit of using animal behavior to explain human nature. But that is ironic because the same people who insist that humans are made in god’s image and are not just animals would also argue that homosexuality is not “natural”. Or even that it is against what god wanted which is not actually explicitly stated in the bible. Oh well. I wish people would just love and not hate (actually what the bible is about), but here we are. I guess it is instinct for humans to want to make themselves different from other humans and yet see their own behavior in animals. Hilarious.

  11. Kristopher Dunkle

    It’s hard to not be cynical when faced with the way people regularly ‘re-purpose’ research findings, like these were, to say something entirely different than the original meaning in order to support their own views, without hesitation. How’s a society supposed to flourish in the long run, when its everyday people demonstrate that, despite what they might say, they care more about winning the argument than they care about the facts, about the reality?

    1. Tarean Allen

      Yes! It kind off seems selfish to me, but that is how most people are in battle with self vs others. I remember asking a friend about something and she immediately responded, “why should I care? It doesn’t effect me.” I feel like everything is a debate and sometimes they are reaching at straws to find any support or validation.

  12. Tarean Allen

    I think humans have compared themselves to animals on many levels. There are many phrases that have been used throughout the ages. We have referenced this since childhood example, “be as quiet as a mouse” or “running so fast as a cheetah” or “climb like a monkey”. These are just a few that I have heard growing up. Whether you believe that humans evolved or created, our superior intellect set us apart from wild and domesticated animals. It’s scientist’s responsibility to report facts. General society may interrupt said facts to benefit their ideas. There are many things in the world that we don’t know how or why they happen and jumping to conclusions without fact is not going to help us. Comparing animals and humans in regard to rearing young and lifestyle doesn’t make since. Some animal abandon their young, others migrate to a breeding ground just to mate, some have many mates, and some have companionship with same-sex or other species of animals. Personal politics can try to use the data to make their own parallels or conclusions and try to use scientist to discover the “gay gene”, but will that really fix anything? I feel like it would divide people more.

    1. Michael Williams

      Do you think that it is a good thing that people do that? I’m not sure that it would be wise to halt scientific progress to avoid finding a “gay gene”. That feels a bit like saying society should bury it’s head in sand to avoid uncomfortable truths.

  13. Erin Dodds

    My brother and I read this together and the Laura Bush part made us laugh and laugh. Oh lordy! And we have both seen Ricky Gervais’ stand-up comedy in which he describes the male-male dolphin coupling.
    It’s sad that Young was just trying to present her findings on the female-female pairings and the article was basically called “bad science” by some people who were not even examining her work from a scientific standpoint. It is tragically hilarious that she is trying so hard but is being attacked from both sides! (By the way, I remember watching the Colbert report and the “albatresbians”. Good stuff.)
    I find it very interesting that Fisher and his colleagues never thought to sex the birds. Of course same sex couple would not have been a common sight in the 1960’s, so I almost couldn’t blame him. Except, like young said, “This study is about albatross…not about humans” (Mooallem 244). It seems to me that that is where the scientific mind would come into play. “Thinking outside the box” and whatnot.
    Okay, I get the point of the article is that we as scientists are not supposed to be relating our behaviors to an animals behavior and we are supposed to minimize our biases but when Mooallem wrote “certain females were somehow finding opportunities to copulate with males…and doing everything else and albatross does while at the colony-with other females” (247) I just thought that was adorable! I can’t help it. I thought it was so cute! I awwwww’d!
    Oh wow I just realized that the book Biological Exuberance by Bruce Bagemihl was the same book that Ricky Gervais was referencing in his stand up act in my previous comment. HAHHA!
    It makes sense that humans want to see themselves in animals, because, for me, I love animals and I think they are very interesting to observe. And humans probably just want to associate the things around them with human behaviors because we probably just want to feel safe with our surroundings even though we cannot actually get to truly know an animal or their intentions. Heck, we even do the same anthropomorphism towards objects. We just want to feel safe, I think. Basing my opinion on no scientific data whatsoever.

    1. Thomas Vorderbruggen

      I’m happy you also found them as cute as I did, there’s nothing like pairs of cute birds to make the day oh-so better. I agree with your statement on feeling safe, and I like that you branched out to even inanimate objects. Good thinking

  14. Thomas Vorderbruggen

    As much as the piece points out the falsehood of compared humans to other animals, I find it interesting how eager people are to do just that. The writer makes an excellent case of wanting to see ourselves in our surroundings–after all, we are beings that seek comfort and closure, looking for anything that could possibly reassure what we’re doing with our lives. And animals oftentimes provide that closure. In this sense I feel the part about emotional truths is especially valid, as is the irrationality of the whole thing. Yet, even in the mindset of scientists, humans can be and are irrational creatures. Pointing out that a pair of albatrosses are gay helps reassure any number of individuals who felt as though they weren’t sure if their attractions were ‘normal’. I believe it relates to why people tend to show such a close affinity with their pets, and why oftentimes people project anthropomorphic aspects onto those pets. The comfort people gain from associating themselves with animal traits, be it subconscious or conscious, usually outweighs any logical blurriness. People will go to any lengths for peace of mind, and that is okay with me. It is a harsh world.

    1. Rebekah Melchior-Waldron

      You’re definitely right about the connection and comfort people get from animals sometimes outweighs logic. It is so easy and natural to do and I think it also can have its benefits because why study these animals if we didn’t have some connection to them? The people that devote their career to a certain species or animal inevitable will develop an affection for it if it wasn’t already present.

  15. Michael Williams

    I believe that drawing parallels between humans and animals can be a useful tool in science to help understand both better. At the end of the day humans are animals so it’s really not that crazy to relate the two. If anything it would be crazy not too notice the parallels. It is always easier to study something that you feel like you understand so it is natural that researchers would want to “humanize” the animals they are studying so that they can relate their findings better. All that being said it is equally important to recognize the distinctions. For example trying to relate the emotions of insects to humans isn’t really going to be very helpful and may lead to some incorrect assumptions. If you are studying chimps though then perhaps it would be wise to relate their emotional spectrum to human’s.

  16. Rebekah Melchior-Waldron

    I think it is irresponsible for people to anthropomorphize animals. This article reminded me of all the times I’ve heard or read about “homosexual” animals mostly due to the media. Like the biologist Young expressed in the article, she didn’t expect people to take the findings of her study to mean the Laysan albatross birds were gay. I liked the example that was used later in the article about the octopus and his shell (250). People feel like they relate to the octopus because of his behavior but in actuality they are misinterpreting the behavior because of the human comparison.
    Concerning the dangers of this practice, it leads to bias. It can also lead to assumptions just like with the octopus case. In the case of the Laysan albatross birds, people assumed the birds were lesbians, but again that’s comparing them to humans. The article discusses another reason behind the phenomena of two female albatross partners called “the prisoner affect”. The situation is “there are fewer male albatrosses than females (although not every male albatross has a mate). Because it takes two albatrosses to incubate an egg, switching on and off at the nest, a female that can’t find a male…has no chance of producing a chick and passing on her genes. Quickly mating with an otherwise committed male, then pairing with another single female to incubate the egg, is a way to raise those odds (252). It is the duty of scientists to keep distinct separation between personal politics and science. I found it interesting how the article also discussed people assuming Young must have a personal connection to the Laysan albatrosses and be a lesbian herself. “…these people seemed to presume that her research was comprised by a personal agenda (253). Really it shouldn’t matter what the researcher’s sexual orientation is because it should have absolutely no effect on the findings.

  17. Jessica Mathews

    What an interesting read we had this week, at first I was not sure how I felt about the essay but at the end of the day, humans and animals are very similar and comparing the humans and animals in a like form in which we can comprehend as humans it makes it much easier to read. I was happy to find this essay to not be filled with a bunch of scientific jargon. Some dangers I believe that scientist may face when making these kinds of connections is the way people react to them, we live in a very sensitive world, and anything and everything can upset someone. Though not all species are the same they tend to have many similarities.

  18. Hunter Young

    I thought that is article was really interesting. Even though it was a little bit on the longer side, I didn’t lose interest. I’ve never heard about these studies, but I do think it was important. I think it was interesting because naturally us humans see our patterns and our habits within other animals. And we’re constantly trying to see this happen (for instance, teaching a dog to shake hands). In this article, I thought it was interesting that Young gave the birds a voice for their thoughts. It brought the humanity into the birds. I think a good point that this article also presented was how to research without any bias and how our human constructs can possibly affect these studies. They were putting human constructs into the experiments like using “gay” as descriptions of the birds (which is sexual orientation, not behavior as they were observing).

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