Saturday, August 10, 2019

Do Cats Exist?

Are there such things as cats? Do they exist?



We have to begin by pointing out that the debates between dog people and cat people have been around for thousands of years, and this is a very complicated subject. There will always be those who will simply want to be cat people and refuse to listen to any reason, and continue to believe (make-believe) in cats and imaginary fairies and goblins.

I've spent years thinking about this, and there just isn't enough evidence to believe in cats.

First, consider what cats do according to people who have cats. They claw, they scratch, they hiss. They have no regard for other humans or even children. They're bullying egomaniacs bent on controlling everything in their world. They are lazy and show no compassion for others. People go to great lengths to appease their cats, to make them happy, but they are only deluding themselves. Time to face reality. Get a dog.

Second, the history of humanity has shown how we have evolved from believing in cats to growing out of such superstitions. Look at some of the oldest Egyptian paintings and you'll find them even worshiping cats. But as society advances in science and reason, fewer and fewer cultures talk about cats other than in poetical language like "curiosity killed the cat" or the "the cat's out of the bag." These are just expressions. Nobody of any intelligence seriously believes that there is such a thing today.

Third, think for a moment about what a "cat" is. An animal with four legs, a tail, ears, eyes, nose, and whiskers...sound familiar? These cat obsessers just made up their own imaginary creature, and stole all the characteristics of a dog. Just call it what it is, a dog you imagined with a weird face with less intelligence and more vindictive. People ask me, are you a dog person or a cat person, and I say, actually everyone is a dog person, I just go all the way and don't believe in cats.

Well, maybe some one will say, "I've seen a cat." There a number of serious philosophical problems with this claim. First of all, saying that you've "seen" a cat is not evidence. The philosophical tradition critical of human sensory perception is quite deep and robust. To quote Descartes, "The senses are but false delusions." Do we see things? Sure. But is eyesight actually reliable? Who knows...Sight is an interesting phenomena that is still a mystery that perhaps we will never understand. But seeing a cat is no more evidence of a cat than seeing a unicorn. We know that cognitive psychology tells us humans have a habit of seeing all sorts of things that they want to see. Though our eyes are good at grasping some things, like dogs for example, when it comes to cats, the eyes are far less reliable. The probability that people are actually seeing a dog is much more likely given how the brain works. Between what you think you see and the evidence, go with the evidence.

Some people ask, "How do you explain cat droppings?" And my response is, why do I need to? Even if there are these things called "cat droppings," (which I have never seen by the way) there is no way you can conclude that therefore there is a cat, especially not the kind of cat people claim to believe in. Science tells us that what people find to be cat droppings are constituted of nearly 100% the same chemical make-up as dog droppings. For all we know, these could be the droppings of some dogs that we haven't completely understood or discovered. Are dogs sufficient to explain droppings, scratches, and so on? Yes. Go for the simpler explanation rather than making up brand new animals.

Some say, "There's a evolutionary history of felidae." You know people are getting desperate when they have to appeal to evolutionary science. Evolution is on the side of the dog people. The evidence we have for canis are quite remarkably thorough that you can actually prove the existence of dogs through evolution. Does evolution prove cats? Not so much, because again, it's complicated. The biological tree of life is nuanced and fascinating, but it is also a puzzle. The natural selection process that needed millions of years to produce life is a gradual and random process. The mutations were not aiming at trying to produce cats, and even if there was some common ancestor that shared kind-of- like-cat traits over 10 million years ago, that isn't evidence that there are cats still around today. But the biology on this issue is still under review. Right now there's a shift among evolutionary biologists realizing that what they formerly thought were felidae fossils were in fact that of a canis. The true identity of proilurus is still up for debate, and is not conclusive evidence that cats exist. We're talking about piecing together what happened millions ago, so no one can be really sure.


It is sad that in 2019, people still hold onto the superstitions of ancient Egyptians.The worst part is when cat people try to force others to get cats. Please keep your silly cat delusions to yourself. The rest of us are perfectly content without an intrusive, careless, lazy animal.


If you want to believe in cats, be my guest, but don't tell me there's any evidence for them. So until I find any real evidence for cats, I'm remaining a dog person.




No comments:

Post a Comment