I wonder if animals dream. Actually, no, I’m fairly certain they do. We used to have a cat, and the way it would twitch about sometimes when it was sleeping, I’m pretty sure it was dreaming. What I wonder is if they get disoriented when they wake up from a dream. Are animals able to distinguish dreams from reality? I wonder.

To answer why Emme doesn’t talk, that’s actually a really interesting question in epistemology. And the short answer is, she doesn’t have a soul. I think like 17th century philosophers argued that communication, specifically verbal communication, is the only criteria we have for knowing that something has a soul. And that’s how we “know” that humans have souls and animals don’t. The fact that we can talk.

Some people were hardcore about it, arguing that mute humans didn’t have souls. That’s going too far. But generally, language is a key indicator of a lot of different things, I think, especially the existence of a soul.

Which is why that whole thing with the gorilla that could sign language was a big deal to me. Just the implications. If a gorilla can communicate, I mean true, higher level communication with structured grammar and abstract ideas, does it mean it has a soul? How is that possible? Predictably, it’s not clear whether that gorilla was really signing. Anyway.

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