Parsimony and Anthropomorphism Essay

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Ryan Rose PY 364 Dr. Burns Sept. 14, 2012 Rough Draft Parsimony and Anthropomorphism The way animals behave and think have always been a interesting research topic. We have always wondered why animals sometimes behave the way us humans do. Some of their actions we will never be able to investigate while some behaviors have been reearched and we can study and compare why this happens. The most earliest reported studies of human-like animals behavior was discovered by Charles Darwin in his theories of evolution (Roberts 1998). Today, it is a very important topic and still raises eyebrows as to how it fully works. This special behavior of animals performing behaviors similiar to humans is called anthropomorphism. Anthropomorphism studies the way humans and animals relate to one another and how certain actions of humans can also be found in animals (Roberts 1998). The main question is however why do animals perform such actions similiar to us? Is it to communicate with us? show emotion? build a relationship? No one actually knows for sure why but we do know animals and humans can form special bonds and and relate to each other in certain actions performed. Scientists have declared anthropomorphism by using parsimony. Parsimony is using the simplest explanation to explain observations (Roberts 1998). It is an important, basic principle in the study of animal behavior. For example, if a dog sits by the door it is obvious that it needs to use the restroom. It is communicating trying to tell us it needs to use the bathroom in the simplest way of just sitting by the door. Some questions that can be answered in this paper are why anthropomorphism and parsimony are so important between humans and animals, and the history of animal behavior with humans. Parsimony in animals is a very important subject and how it relates to human behavior as well. Why is this topic

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