First, let me clear up that I am not making a case for human uniqueness. It is really more an effort to understand the effects that seperates sentient beings from the rest of Nature. I'm going to list a few things that I've thought of, that distinguish humanity (the only sentient animals I know of) from the rest of Nature, I welcome any argument or correction on any of the points that I make. Also feel free to bring up any other characteristics that you think of. 1) Purpose: This is a concept entirely alien to the rest of Nature. Yes, other animals work hard towards self-preservation, and the like, but they cannot contemplate their purpose - thus they never create a purpose for themselves at all, and if they don't create a purpose for themselves, who's going to create one for them? For a discussion that directly pertains to Purpose, see: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=24183#post24183 2) Technology: I know there will probably be some argument on this point, but the simple point of the matter is that some of the most advanced "technology" to be found in Nature (outside of human technology) is an ape using a stick as a spoon. There is not even a hint of mastery over other natural forces. This is a result of... 3) Philosophy: By "philosophy", I mean to denote the endeavor to gain knowledge/wisdom/understanding, or to discover "truth". 4) Betterment: This one, I believe, is (even if indirectly) responsible for the distinction between "artificial" and natural. As was brought out in the thread, "Not Artificial", something that is man-made is commonly considered "unnatural", because it didn't come about by chance. You see, in Nature (outside of the Human realm), animals don't (consciously) strive for their own betterment - or for the betterment of their species - because they cannot even contemplate the state that they are currently in. Humans (as sentient beings) stand in stark contrast in this area, and that is what is really responsible for the previous two points. Again, any correction/expounding/arguments/discussion about the points (above) is welcome, as is the introduction of new points that don't fit into the categories above.