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Why Do Some Animal Display "Love"?

rhinefire

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"Love" for their offspring (for the lack of a more accurate term) is displayed by elephants, dolphins penguins and other creatures while other creatures eat their young. Isn't it odd that in creation some creatures possess affection while similar creatures do not? Is love mental?
 

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"Love" for their offspring (for the lack of a more accurate term) is displayed by elephants, dolphins penguins and other creatures while other creatures eat their young. Isn't it odd that in creation some creatures possess affection while similar creatures do not? Is love mental?

Protection of offspring is hardwired. Some animals (and people) are hardwired wrong. But no species is behaving normally if it eats its young with impunity, since the species would not survive.
 

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Love exists in different levels of being. Sometimes, it's instinctive, such as protective impulses for one's child. Sometimes it exists at the emotional, but purposeful level. Sometimes it is merely the ability to identify with another's pain and joy which elicits a love for someone, or something else. Fortunately, it doesn't restrict us to a set and defined pattern in which we can only either love or hate, with other possibilities being excluded.
 

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Protection of offspring is hardwired. Some animals (and people) are hardwired wrong. But no species is behaving normally if it eats its young with impunity, since the species would not survive.

Tell that to lions and bears and several birds including eagles. Nature is nature and it cannot be judged.
 

Juanita

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Tell that to lions and bears and several birds including eagles. Nature is nature and it cannot be judged.

Yes, but there is a reason why male lions and bears kill male cubs.....For the same reason that monarchs throughout the ages have killed off their male relatives who were in line for the throne....
 

Northern Light

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Having grown up on a farm with a lot of exposure to both livestock and family pets, it's abundantly clear to me that animals are thinking, feeling, sentient beings. They may not conceive of the world or express their emotions the way we do, but they certainly have these faculties. They know when a malicious human is around vs. one that cares about them. They know when they are about to die to provide food for others. They have their own wisdom and intuition that is a product of their living experience. Anyone with a strong empathy for other living beings can see it. It's not mere anthropomorphism, it's simple observation.

If people want to argue that the love and loyalty I've experienced from animals is nothing more than their own self-interested, hardwired behavior patterns, then I would say that there's not much distinction between that and human love, in that case. Watching humans sit around and puzzle over whether or not animals have emotional attachments just shows how disconnected many of us have become from nature.
 

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"Love" for their offspring (for the lack of a more accurate term) is displayed by elephants, dolphins penguins and other creatures while other creatures eat their young. Isn't it odd that in creation some creatures possess affection while similar creatures do not? Is love mental?

Animals That eat there young most usually because the mother would become stressed and would not guarantee the safety of her children . Its like the mother's who kill their children because they believe they are protecting them . A bit to much love , but this happens commonly in the rodent family .
 

HumanBeing

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Protection of offspring is hardwired. Some animals (and people) are hardwired wrong. But no species is behaving normally if it eats its young with impunity, since the species would not survive.

I don't think this is right. The bit about eating the young might be right (except for some fish who produce so many eggs that they can afford to eat a few), but there are lots and lots of species where the adults simply give birth and wonder off, or even leave before their offspring hatch.

Watching a bunch of baby turtles hatching long after their mother had left and seeing them all instinctively start running towards the sea was one of the most fascinating, thought provoking experiences of my life. It perplexed me for years until I finally just had to let it go. If ever there was a valid argument for intelligent design, baby turtles would be it :D
 

Helix

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"Love" for their offspring (for the lack of a more accurate term) is displayed by elephants, dolphins penguins and other creatures while other creatures eat their young. Isn't it odd that in creation some creatures possess affection while similar creatures do not? Is love mental?

love increases the likelihood that offspring will survive to produce viable offspring themselves. and yes, it's in the mind.

is it only that, though? even if it is, i don't really see the point in boiling it down to that. i mean, a great burger is really just protein.
 

StillBallin75

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"Love" for their offspring (for the lack of a more accurate term) is displayed by elephants, dolphins penguins and other creatures while other creatures eat their young. Isn't it odd that in creation some creatures possess affection while similar creatures do not? Is love mental?

It has to do with reproduction. In mammalian species, for example, "love" is the result of the need to care for your offspring because you only have a few at a time. Other species (sea turtles for example) reproduce through the sheer number of offspring that they have.
 

Sarcogito

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At the very least, I think many species of mammals and possibly avians are capable of "love" to one extent or another.
 

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I don't think this is right. The bit about eating the young might be right (except for some fish who produce so many eggs that they can afford to eat a few), but there are lots and lots of species where the adults simply give birth and wonder off, or even leave before their offspring hatch.

Watching a bunch of baby turtles hatching long after their mother had left and seeing them all instinctively start running towards the sea was one of the most fascinating, thought provoking experiences of my life. It perplexed me for years until I finally just had to let it go. If ever there was a valid argument for intelligent design, baby turtles would be it :D

The explanation of naturalists is that it has been shown that baby turtles are attracted to light and there is always more light coming from the ocean than the land because of reflection from waves. This is why there are often laws about outside lighting on beaches where turtles lay eggs.

I also think it may have something to do with the fact that the sea is "downhill" and when creatures flee, they usually flee downhill.
 

Papa bull

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At the very least, I think many species of mammals and possibly avians are capable of "love" to one extent or another.

Animals can bond with each other. Whether that's the same as our human version of bonding that we call "love" or not, is debatable. Love is an abstract concept and we will never know how similar (or not) what we feel might be compared to what animals feel. Or I should say... what OTHER animals feel. The more one understands nature, the more one would tend to believe we are a product of it no less than any other creature, albeit more successful than most. Comparing the differences in conscious experiences and perceptions between animal species, ours and any others is impossible, though. As much as we've gained our strength from intellect, we have never gained enough intellect to know what anything else truly thinks or feels or experiences outside of the cues that they might gives us; cues that can and often are misread.
 

HumanBeing

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The explanation of naturalists is that it has been shown that baby turtles are attracted to light and there is always more light coming from the ocean than the land because of reflection from waves. This is why there are often laws about outside lighting on beaches where turtles lay eggs.

I also think it may have something to do with the fact that the sea is "downhill" and when creatures flee, they usually flee downhill.

Light is one, sound is another. The downhill thing isn't always the case though, because often the exit to the nest is a bit raised, so any direction is initially downhill. It also illustrates a funny point about humans, which is that we start off relatively "useless" compared to almost all other animals. We take far longer to learn how to get around and take care of ourselves than any other species I can think of. If human mothers all started acting like turtle mothers, our whole species would be extinct just as quickly as if it stopped reproducing entirely.

One obvious counter argument when it comes to turtles supporting intelligent design is that for the most part, they are going extinct. That may be due to man, but if intelligent design is how turtles came to be, then its presumably how man came to be too, so the counter still stands as being valid.
 
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