By Vikas Khatri

36 Unsolved Mysteries of the area is an engrossing account of a few breath-taking mysteries of the days to be learn with abated breath.

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All are possessed by humans and some by 22 10 questions science can’t answer yet many other species as well. A very few species seem to possess all of them. This list of markers begins with a ‘theory of mind’: the ability to know or guess what another being is thinking. ’. Humans older than about four can do it; adult chimps and bonobos possibly. No other species demonstrate this highest-order cognitive skill (severely autistic people and young children of all abilities seem to lack a theory of mind).

As the Australian philosopher Peter Singer, who takes an extreme but persuasive reductionist approach to animal rights, argues, this is illogical. If it is right to take a chimp’s life to save a human then it may also be right, under certain circumstances, to take a human’s life to save a chimp. To argue otherwise is simply wrong and makes one guilty of arbitrary speciesism. The Great Ape project (the name of which, ironically, indicates a certain amount of arbitrary speciesism itself) is a loose group of scientists and philosophers which argues that we should extend certain legal rights to at least the ‘higher’ primates, our closest cousins, as a first step.

One area of these brain areas, the anterior cingulate cortex, seems to be associated with an emotional response to things like pain, sexual arousal and hunger. Another part of the brain, the frontoinsular cortex, generates a similar response when pain or suffering is seen in others. The strong emotional responses we get to other individuals – hate, fear, lust, love or affection – seem to depend in large part on the presence of these rapid-firing spindle cells. And it seems that the great apes (including us of course) may not be unique.

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