March 31, 2010

Wednesday Wisdom

The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals.


Sir William Osler

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:24 AM

    Sir William may be a little surprised to learn that humans are animals (der) and many of his "animals" are way ahead of us; always have been and always will be.

    http://www.tigerhomes.org/animal/animal-self-medication.cfm

    j

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  2. I don't know Justin, I think the human "desire" is less instinctive ... more driven by "desire" than by need. Animals instinctively recognize a need.

    Of course, the flip side, as you suggest, is that humans primarily self-medicate. I'd say self-medication in humans is minor, the primary part of medication is, as we learn more scientifically, superfluous ... nothing better than placebos. Perhaps animals have the equivalent of placebos too.

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  3. Anonymous9:46 PM

    I agree, it's a hard one Caz, but I have observed animals do very human things at times; as I have observed humans doing very animal things.

    This may be of interest:

    Animals on Drugs

    "The questions that remain are: what incites the animals to brake their powerful preservation instincts? Do they drug themselves consciously?"

    j

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  4. Anonymous9:49 PM

    Oh I forgot, this in the SMH last week:

    ''I run a bar,'' writes Chris Purcell, of Morpeth, ''and a customer who worked in far north Queensland years back tells of picking up a parrot in a town street. The bird kept falling off the kerb into the gutter. It seems parrots chew holes in mangoes and return later when the fruit has fermented - consequently you see parrots hanging upside down and falling over in the street. The origin of 'pissed as a parrot'?''

    j

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  5. Damned interesting Justin.

    Osler was dead wrong. Not wise, just ignorant!

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