Essay on "Dr. Daedalus," Lauren Slater essay which depicts her opinions on memes

Essay by xtwister161College, UndergraduateA-, May 2005

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Human Into Animals

There are humans in the world that strive to become more animal like. Whether they just act like ones, or have surgical operations to look more like one, they try to become more like an animal. In her essay, "Dr. Daedalus," Lauren Slater suggests that by altering our physical selves to emulate something more animal, our brains, and possibly even our souls, we become somehow more animal as well. She feels that we transform, and become more animal like every time we alter our body into the form of an animal. Slater is correct to point out that when we change our self to look more like animals we might have more in physical features in common with them, but she fails to look at how our identities do not change. We look different, but we are as much human after these procedures as we were before.

What makes us unique, and different from any other species, is the ability to imitate. Imitation is a quality made available to us through the meme, a theory clearly pointed out by Susan Blackmore in her book The Meme Machine. A meme is defined as a unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. We humans have the ability to use it, and we use it very frequently. Religions, fashion, and even jingles are all memes we use everyday. Blackmore believes that what makes us unique from animals is not our intelligence, consciousness, or soul; it's our ability to imitate and pass something on, the meme. Therefore, when we change our body to look more like an animal, our ability to imitate is lost nor affected. Slater is wrong when she thinks that we...