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Argument: Evolutionary science debunks the idea of human dominion over animals

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Peter Singer. "Some Are More Equal". The Guardian. May 19, 2003 - "Evolutionary theory effectively debunks the idea that God gave humans dominion over the other animals - used for millennia as an excuse for doing as we please with them. Now the mapping and sequencing of the human genome and of the genome of our close relative the chimpanzee, is showing us just how closely related we are. Next week, the prestigious American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences will publish an article arguing, on strictly scientific grounds, that chimpanzees should be included in the genus "homo", hitherto reserved for humans. To people used to dividing the world up into "humans" and "animals" it comes as a shock to realise that the genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees are smaller than those between chimpanzees and gorillas. We have also learned, thanks to the work of Jane Goodall and many other scientists, how rich and complex the social and emotional lives of chimpanzees and other great apes are. Why, then, do we continue to insist that even the most basic rights, like those to life, liberty and protection from torture, are for humans only?"

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