Monday, June 29, 2009

TRC #39, #40 & #44 (Canadian special)

The Reality Check #39: Wikipedia/Britannica+Homemade Pesiticides+Dark Meat Myth
(I presented the Wikipedia versus Britannica segment)
The Reality Check #40: Children's Cold Medicine + Ad Hominem + Pool Urine Dye
(I presented the Ah Hominem segment)

and we did a special Canadian themed one for Canada Day:
The Reality Check #44: Avro Arrow Conspiracy + Brain Drain + Beavertails
(I did the brain drain segment)

Critical Thinking by William Hughes

An excellent introduction to critical thinking, both because of the appropriate level of depth given to the diverse topics covered, but also because of the numerous self-tests available to increase encoding and learning of the material. In addition, I appreciated the quick overviews of the main different theories of meaning (reference, idea and as use) and truth (correspondence, coherence and pragmatic).

For many years now I have realized the importance of critical thinking because the complexity, diversity and amount of topics in this world are too large to know much about most of them (let alone any of them). Yet, with critical thinking, even if one is uninformed, they can still have the ability to analyze information and the various arguments being presented to assess their validity. One can read a book about one topic and try to extrapolate the lessons learned, but at least once in your life, you should read a book that gives you a general ability to examine nearly all statements in nearly any book.

Critical Thinking was also useful to me because Hughes stressed the importance of the principle of charity – it is not enough to dismiss poor arguments, for if you are truly interested in discovering the truth or the best argument you should endeavour to supplement or restate a poor argument to make it as good as you can to give the most justice to that perspective (even if you disagree). This is hard enough to do in principle let alone in practice, but I will try to incorporate that notion into my discussions.

Additionally, I was reminded that formal deductive reasoning requires more effort to encode the associated nomenclature. Meaning, I generally understand the logical fallacies regarding deducing certain improper conclusions, but when it gets to p, q, and if p then q and not p or not q and which one is ‘affirming the antecedent’ (valid) and which one is ‘affirming the consequent’ (invalid), it doesn’t stick so well.
I highly recommend this book or something like it.

The Climate is Changing

...but sadly political discourse remains the same:
If you watched the debate on Friday, you didn’t see people who’ve thought hard about a crucial issue, and are trying to do the right thing. What you saw, instead, were people who show no sign of being interested in the truth. They don’t like the political and policy implications of climate change, so they’ve decided not to believe in it — and they’ll grab any argument, no matter how disreputable, that feeds their denial.

As Krugman implies, a lack of logic and reason to understand things may lead to unnecessary deaths. But this time the possible scale is larger than anything we've ever seen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Unbearable Automaticity of Being

Bargh & Chartrand excellently examine how much of our existence is automatic:

First, they review evidence that the ability to exercise such conscious, intentional control is actually quite limited, so that most of moment-to-moment psychological life must occur through nonconscious means if it is to occur at all.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Freedom to Suffer

"Using a conservative definition, 62.1 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92 percent of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5,000, or 10 percent of pretax family income," the researchers wrote.
(From NewsDaily)

Outcast by José Latour

Outcast is decent Cuban crime novel that takes place in both Cuba and the US, but predominantly in various parts of Florida. Written by an actual Cuban, the story and suspense were sufficiently interesting but not astounding. The best part of the book for me was learning about the lives lead in Cuba, how refugees integrated into the United States and some comparisons of US capitalism and Cuban communism. The book isn’t a must read, but falls somewhere between adequate and worthwhile overall.*
*lately I haven’t found most fiction that captivating, so perhaps the issue is my current general disinterest in novels (as others thought more of the book).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tories' Reputation in Tatters - Embassy Editorial

Whether it is actually in Tatters is debatable, but I thought the following Embassy editorial was a useful compliation of some of the actions/inactions regarding Canadian citizens abroad in which the current Government has been involved.

The recent ruling by a Federal Court judge that the government must do everything within its power to repatriate Abousfian Abdelrazik represents the third strike against the Conservatives in almost as many months when it comes to protecting Canadians abroad.
It all started on March 4 when Federal Court Justice Robert Barnes dealt a blow to the government's efforts to define a new policy on seeking clemency for Canadians facing the death penalty abroad.
For more than 20 years, successive Canadian governments had lobbied the governor of Montana to commute the death sentence of Ronald Smith, who was sentenced to die for murdering two men in the U.S. state in 1982. The government's support for Mr. Smith was part of a longstanding policy to seek clemency for Canadians sentenced to death abroad following Canada's abolishment of capital punishment.
However, the Conservative government revealed in late 2007 that it would not be supporting Mr. Smith's bid for clemency as part of a new policy that would instead see the government intervene on a case-by-case basis.
Justice Barnes overturned that, ruling: "The decision by the government of Canada to withdraw support for Mr. Smith was made in breach of the duty of fairness, is unlawful and is set aside." He went on to write that in Mr. Smith's case, the government would have "to continue to apply the former policy of supporting clemency on behalf of Canadians facing the death penalty in any foreign state."
Then on April 23, Federal Court Justice James O'Reilly ruled that the Canadian government must press for Omar Khadr's repatriation from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, where he has been held since 2002.
"The ongoing refusal of Canada to request Mr. Khadr's repatriation to Canada offends a principle of fundamental justice and violates Mr. Khadr's rights" under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Justice O'Reilly's decision read. "To mitigate the effect of that violation, Canada must present a request to the United States for Mr. Khadr's repatriation to Canada as soon as practicable."
The hat-trick of Federal Court decisions on Conservative treatment of Canadians abroad was completed Thursday when Federal Court Justice Russel Zinn ruled that the Harper government had violated Mr. Abdelrazik's rights and that it must fly him home from Khartoum immediately. In particular, Justice Zinn slammed Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon's handling of the case, noting he had asked to the court and Canadians to just "trust me."
The Sudanese-Canadian has been trapped in his home country for nearly six years. Most recently, the Conservative government has refused to grant him travel documents, charging he is a threat to Canada's national security, despite the fact it has not produced any evidence against him, and both the RCMP and CSIS have cleared him of suspicion.
The Conservative government's reputation as a defender of human rights that will stand up for Canadians is in tatters, and instead we see that it will arbitrarily pick and choose who it will defend and help based on its own whims and interests.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Circumcision - To Cut or Not to Cut? Part II

The post below displays a discussion that has been occurring regarding circumcision. In the comments section an excellent article was linked to. I highly recommend reading an article orignally published in the American Journal on Bioethics - "Between prophylaxis and child abuse: the ethics of neonatal male circumcision" - and then the authors' response to criticisms. It is a fine example of balance, arguments based upon evidence and/or reason and an appreciation of the nuaced aspects of an issue.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Circumcision - To Cut or Not to Cut?

The following is a discussion regarding male circumcision, its validity, and if/how it should be compared with female genital mutilation (with acknowledgment that my term indicates part of my stance).
Below is a cut and paste of a status update by Justin Trottier and then various comments that followed.:

Justin Trottier Circumcision is a barbaric human right violation. Global TV: "16X9 exposes a new side to circumcision this"

Darren McKee
Darren McKee
Perhaps, but it does reduce the transmission of HIV. See the links and/or the second segment -
Justin Trottier
Justin Trottier
and should female genital mutilation be shown to impede the spread of HIV (I wonder if we would ever even consider doing such research), would society then be advocating for it, or is a person entitled to bodily autonomy rather than having their penis used as a means to society - or some other individuals' - end?
Summer Blossom
Summer Blossom
Male circumcision is necessary when done for medical reasons. When its done for religious reasons, than it is barbaric & ignorant. I have never heard of female circumcision done for medical reasons, only for religious/cultural reasons. Therefore, I am against female circumcision until the day science proves that its necessary for medical reasons.
Darren McKee
Darren McKee
Necessity is a tricky one. I'll just say I don't equate the two procedures for various reasons and I think most comparisons are false (due to severity, purpose, result, etc)
Bob Margolese
Bob Margolese
I think that what Summer is saying (and I agree) is that you can equate the two if you're talking about a religious or cultural reason for doing it. When the concept of male circumcision was first introduced, the health benefits were not known therefore it IS a barbaric ritual.

When you take away the ritual part of it, there are still questions as to the morality of doing it to babies however, the reasons for doing so are far more understandable therefore the barbarism simply isn't there.

I equate the two in the first scenario and think they are completely different in the second.
There's my .02 but in these tough times, I'll charge you a quarter!
Justin Trottier
Justin Trottier
Many parents are performing this act for reasons of aesthetics, religion, cultural norms, etc, and not considering the medical points, so I submit that in a large percentage of cases it is barbaric.

I'm not convinced by the medical arguments (especially their relevance in north america). We don't prescribe vaccines until they've gone through rigorous testing and been shown to be more effective than alternatives that do not have side effects (in this case harming a man's ability to fully enjoy his sexuality AND the drama to the infant). Until such has been shown to be the case here there should be a moratorium on the practice.

Perhaps in an effort to justify male genital mutilation we've funded the sort of research we'd never think to fund in the case of female genital mutilation. The latter we somehow realize is fundamentally immoral and can in no way be legitimized....

As to Darren's point, I'm not convinced the percentage of the genital brutally removed defeats the comparison.
Darren McKee
Darren McKee
I still think there are two separate, but related, issues: (1) The reasons for the action itself; and (2) the act itself.
The reasons for male circumcisions and FGM are nearly always completely different. This does not in itself justify either, but there are differences that should be part of the discussion; (2) The act itself- The severity and resulting of effects of FGM are so different from male circumcision that while they may both be along a continuum, I would not put them near each other.
Contrasting different cultural practices is useful to understand issues and the supposed reasons supplied for continuing such practices, but each of FGM and MC should be evaluated for what they are.

Somewhat relatedly, while replying to this I ended up thinking about other 'harmful acts' that parents inflict upon their children such as ear piercings, bad haircuts and forced involvement in numerous activities. I'm not saying any of the above are related to the main topic(I've run out of room!
Justin Trottier
Justin Trottier
Darren, there is major difference between the permanent and irrevocable damage of MGM and ear piercings, bad haircuts and other activities, all of which can - in principle - be undone by a child's decision down the line. Also, can you be more precise about why you wouldn't put MGM and FGM near each other by specifying in what quantifiable or qualifiable sense they are different? And what are the different reasons for MGM and FGM?

You watch a video of a helpless infant being mutilated (and I'll give you a link if you want) or attend the actual event and then tell me the practice isn't abominable. Let's not just philosophize in the dark. We're talking about something committed against like half of all boys on this continent. The numbers alone - far, far higher than FGM - suggest we should give this matter far more consideration.
Bob Margolese
Bob Margolese
But as someone born and raised a religious jew, I have been to many brit milah's (brisses) and it is a barbaric ritual where the baby is given wine and then mutilated. It's much different from having a true medical procedure.

The claims have changed many times as to the health ramifications of removing the foreskin however, to my knowledge, the evidence that it has been proven healthy has been unchanged in many years.

Again, I would appreciate evidence to the contrary if it's there. I hate to be under a wrong or misinformed impression.
Thanks again for an interesting topic and healthy debate!
Justin Trottier
Justin Trottier
Well I think we're all agreed that the jewish and likely other religious practices are an abomination. Period. The government should remove all funding to any jewish/muslim/etc communities (eg. their heavily publicly funded community centres) where such rituals are being practiced. I might recommend you boycott these brisses. I was raised a jew too and i would never set foot at one.

When you refer to the evidence that is has been proven healthy, what health benefits are you referring to?

We don't condone medical practices except when they've been shown in repeated tests to be better than a placebo and better than alternatives with less or no side effects with respect to a well defined medical problem we wish to solve, and after years of study. Is that the case here? Or did we go looking for problems we could use circumcision to solve in an effort to justify an unjustifiable cultural practice? The process whereby MGM has been raised up as a health panacea is troubling.
Bob Margolese
Bob Margolese
I haven't been to a bris since my youngest nephew's and I would love to boycott them however that would lead to a divorce and loss of contact with my entire family so it's not a good idea in my case. I simply go when I have to and step into an outer room when the ritual takes place. I was asked to stand by the baby last time and I refused.

As far as the health benefits, I am not talking about the prevention of AIDS because I still can't see how that is proven.

I have read quite a few reports (and unfortunately, I can't cite them right now nor do I have time because I'm heading out shortly) on how circumcision prevents infections due to cleanliness and although I've never experienced an infection there nor do I know anyone who has, the thought of it is unpleasant to say the least.
Xander Miller
Xander Miller
(Tongue in Cheek) There is a continuum of types of female circumcision too. The proceedures range from a mere estetic trimming away of the outer libia - a practice comparable to the removal of the foreskin, to removal of the clitoris - comparable to removing the penis, and the intentional scoring and stitching of the flesh so almost the entire vaginal opening is sealed over by scar tissue.
As for the health benefits as a medical proceedure, they are undeniable and the same as completely severing a penis: by making clandestine sex impossible it offers 100% protection against STDs.
(Tongue between teeth) The medical benefits to
sub-saharan african males who routinely use prostitutes is besides the point. We don't let parents arbitrarily make permanent physical modifications to there children except for this one case that has been culturally grandfathered in. MGM should stop.
Xander Miller
Xander Miller
To elaborate on what I mean on permanent physical modifications, I mean having their teeth altered to look like shark teeth or the teeth of a vampire, which would be cool but also grounds for calling children's aid. Or body tattoos or havign silicon inserted under the skin to creat the appearance of bone ridges or horns. If MGM is either so painless and harmless or has such great health benefits (the arguments seem to go both ways) then why not wait for children to reach an age where they are able to make the rational decision for themselves.
If there is doubt you could rationally convince a young man to cut off the tip of his penis at age 18 then it is immoral for you to inflict that on him as a helpless infant, end of story.
Jonathan Abrams
Jonathan Abrams
I have a few points to make:
1) The health benefits and risks of male circumcision are analyzed and weighed on a regular basis by major medical bodies. Health Canada's most recent judgement is that the benefits equal the risks and therefore they instruct doctors to not recommend the procedure, nor recommend against it (I looked this up a while ago).
For more on the health/risks see Harriet Hall's article on it:
2) I don't think you should refer to male circumcision as genital mutilation. Mutilation is too strong a word to describe an act that apparently does not cause harm. Reports of reduced sexual pleasure is purely anecdotal. My personal anecdote is that I couldn't imagine enjoying sex more than I already do. (I'm circumcised)

3) Comparing male circumcision to female circumcision is not only inaccurate but it's damaging to the perception of the true horror that is female circumcision.
Jonathan Abrams
Jonathan Abrams
I find it odd that you would find the science around the benefits of circumcision to be 'unconvincing'. Do you know more than doctors with this issue? Without good evidence to back up a 'going against the scientific consensus' stance, you'll end up looking like a crank with an axe to grind.

Here's reporting (by a doctor) on another recent study showing the STD reducing benefits of male circumcision.
I'm sure you'll pick up on this:
"they found that men reported decreased erectile function, decreased penile sensitivity"...

But don't forget to read:
"but increased satisfaction"
Justin Trottier
Justin Trottier
Jonathan, your personal experience and anecdotes don't constitute proof. "Mutilation is too strong a word to describe an act that apparently does not cause harm." How can you justify such a statement. Male genital mutilation does cause harm. Watch the video: The fact that you couldn't imagine enjoying sex more is also baseless because you'll never have the experience of having sex with a foreskin. Nor will I. Talk to the men who have trouble getting an erection cause they were mutilated.

Since when does benefits= risks mean we allow a procedure? If benefits=risks in any other medical area we advise against the procedure, don't we? Again, we are ignoring the usual medical process in order to justify the unjustifiable.

I'm comparing MGM&FGM on the legitimate grounds that they both cause needless pain and should be abolished. I'm not arguing that one is more harmful than the other. Why do some advocates against FGM feel they need to defend MGM?
Jonathan Abrams
Jonathan Abrams
I never said my anecdotes constitute proof. you seemed to have conveniently ignored the actual evidence I provided to back up my claims. I suppose it was a mistake to counter anecdotes with an anecdote.

Here's the study showing that most men were satisfied with being circumcised:
I find it highly unlikely you could find a similar study about FGM. You are not just equating male circumcision and FGM because "they both cause needless pain". In that case, you should be talking about ear piercing, it's far more common in this culture. You bring up FGM as a way to make MGM appear more horrific than it actually is, and I don't think that helps this debate.

Now I don't mean to argue that babies should be circumcised (you may have read it that way). I just wanted to make clear that it isn't the obvious horror you make it out to be. I personally am still undecided whether my "future son" should be circumcised. I have equally heated debates with the other side.
Darren McKee
Darren McKee
Hello all, first off I just wanted to say that it is great that we have having an interesting discussion about important issues and we haven't descended into name calling or other absurdities (but I do have it on good authority that Xander is a witch; try to drown him, you'll see!)
In addition to my previous comments, I align with much of what Jon has stated. So, let me reiterate and be more specific.
1) MC without anesthetic and proper medical procedures should definitely be ceased.
2) The negative effects of MC, in my opinion, do not indicate it is clear MC should be prohibited because of the positive effects. In addition to the link Jon posted (, there is also this from Mayo -
3) MC and FGM are so different that, again, I don't think they should be seen as similar and also that the phrase MGM should not be used. Compare the pros and cons of MC with FGM (CONTINUED)
Darren McKee
Darren McKee
CONTINUED from above:
3) Compare MC with FGM -
4) Note that I am not prescribing MC for everyone. I just do not think it is overtly clear that it should be banned (given the aforementioned/linked pros and cons)
5) As we all know the plural of anecdote isn't data, this is a tricky one because if we leave out anecdotal info, then all testimonials, from the people who love their circumcision to the people who are trying to reconstruct their foreskin are thrown out. Consequently, we have to go with current studies, which again do not clearly indicate a ban on MC, as well that one could tenable argue that MC and FGM are different.
6) Justin, I do agree that some of this research was likely done with sketchy motivations, but the data stand on their own. (and the samples in the HIV study were mostly older boys/men).
Jonathan Abrams
Jonathan Abrams
I would also like to add to Darren's comments about anecdotes that anecdotes don't help settle scientific questions (i.e. is MC harmful/helpful?). But anecdotes can help to inform one's opinion. For example, my personal anecdote is that I don't 'feel' mutilated, therefore it will be very hard to convince me that MC is 'mutilation'. But I am open to the argument that it should not be done, because of other reasons (pain to the child, risk of infection etc.)

By labeling it mutilation, MC opponents are trying to bring out an emotional response of disgust, one that I just don't share.

I'm personally more annoyed with being raised to believe in the lies of religion than with being circumcised.
Justin Trottier
Justin Trottier
Jon, by that logic we should insist that opponents of FGM not use the term mutilation since it risks invoking emotional arguments of disgust, but I see no one having trouble with that terminology (perhaps because disgust is a valid response!). In fact, it is often those opposing FGM who go out of their way to distinguish it in terminology from male genital mutilation by insisting the latter be termed circumcision, who have created this situation where one is seen as entirely different than the other. As I mentioned, there is this belief that any redirection on our concern onto the wellbeing of boys/men risks trivializing the plight of girls/women, but that is obviously part of a larger debate.

And the fact that you don't "feel" mutilated is hardly proof that you're not and by your own admission that feeling will prejudice you against admitting the truth should that be the case.
Justin Trottier
Justin Trottier
FYI, please continue this debate on my personal blog where more than just my facebook friends can participate. In fact, I'll be deleting any comments that are placed here in an effort to encourage a larger debate at the blog.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Reagan: Worst President?

Robert Perry makes the case.
(skim the comments too)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Who Are You?

An excellent post on talkorigins provides a detailed biological answer:

You are a metabolic organism.
As such, you are basically a collection of replicative proteins that function according to metabolic chemical reactions and processes. A virus is similar, in that it too is a replicative protein complete with mutable DNA and RNA, just as you have. But viruses lack metabolism, and so may not be considered to be alive in the same manner that you definitely are.

You are a eukaryote.
All remaining organic life is distinguished by structural differences at the cellular level between different groups of prokaryotes (which are essentially bacteria) and the eukaryotes (us). Unlike bacterial or viral cells, our cells have a nucleus. Hence, all non-viral / bacterial lifeforms are as we are; eukaryotes.

You are an animal.
Now I've heard a few creationists argue that there are plants and there are animals and then there are human beings. And that none of them are actually related to one another other than through a common creator. They adamantly argue that we are not animals, as if there is some insult in that association. But you are one of only about a half-dozen kingdoms of eukaryotic life forms. Unlike those of most other biological kingdoms, you are incapable of manufacturing your own food and must compensate for that by ingesting other organisms. In other words, your most basic structure requires that you cause death to other living things. Otherwise, you wouldn't have a means of digestion. This, along with some very specific anatomical differences in the chemical composition of our metazoic cells, are the factors that define and distinguish an animal like yourself from all other kingdoms of life. Given the alternative choice between plants, molds, or fungus, animalia should seem reasonable even to the most adamant fundamentalist.

You are a chordate.
You have a spinal chord and every other minute physical distinction of that classification. You also have a skull, which classifies you as a craniate. Note: Not all chordates have skulls, or even bones of any kind. Once one of the chordates has enough calcium deposited around the brain to count as a skull, all of its descendants will share that. This is why absolutely all animals with skulls have spinal chords. And that is yet another commonality that implies common ancestry as opposed to common design.

You are a vertebrate.
Like all mammals, birds, dinosaurs, reptiles, amphibians, and most fish, you have a spine. Not everything with a spinal cord has a spine to put it in, but everything with a spine has a spinal cord in it, implying common descent.
Every animal that has a jaw and teeth (Gnathostomata) also has a backbone. And of course, you have both as well, again implying common descent.

You are a tetrapod.
You have only four limbs. So you are like all other terrestrial vertebrates including frogs. Even snakes and whales are tetrapods in that both still retain vestigial or fetal evidence of all four limbs. This is yet another consistent commonality implying a genetic relationship. There certainly is no creationist explanation for it.

You are synapsid.
Unlike turtles (which are anapsid) and "true" reptiles, dinosaurs and birds (which are all diapsid), your skull has only one temporal fenestra, a commonality between all of the vast collection of "mammal-like reptiles", which are now all extinct without any Biblical recognition or scriptural explanation either for their departure or their presence in the first place.

You are a mammal.
You are homeothermic (warm-blooded), follicle-bearing and have lactal nipples. And of course, not all synapsids are or were mammals, but all mammals are synapsid, implying common descent.

You are eutherian.
Or more specifically, you are a placental mammal, like most other lactal animals from shrews to whales. All eutherians are mammals, but not all mammals are eutherian. There are six major divisions in mammalia, only three of which still exist; those that hatch out of eggs like reptiles (monotremes), marsupials, that are born in the fetal stage and complete their development inside the mother's pouch, and those that developed in a shell-like placenta and were born in the infant stage, as you were. Your own fetal development seems to reveal a similar track of development from a single cell to a tadpole-looking creature, then growing limbs and digits out of your finlike appendages, and finally outgrowing your own tail. Some would consider this an indication of ancestry. Especially since fetal snakes, for example, actually have legs, feet, and cute little toes, which are reabsorbed into the body before hatching, implying common descent.

You are a primate.
You have five fully-developed fingers and five fully-developed toes. Your toes are still prehensile and your hands can grasp with dexterity. You have only two lactal nipples and they are on your chest as opposed to your abdomen. These are pointless in males, which also have a pendulous penis and a well-developed ceacum or appendix, unlike all other mammals. Although your fangs are reduced in size, you do still have them along with some varied dentition indicative of primates exclusively. Your fur is thin and relatively sparse over most of your body. And your claws have been reduced to flat chitinous fingernails. Your fingers themselves have distinctive print patterns. You are also susceptible to AIDS and are mortally allergic to the toxin of the male funnel web spider of Australia (which is deadly to all primates, but only dangerous to primates, which is why you'd better beware of these spiders). And unlike all but one unrelated animal in all the world, your body cannot produce vitamin-C naturally and must have it supplemented in your diet, just as all other primates do. Nearly every one of these individual traits are unique only to primates exclusively. There is almost no other organism on Earth that matches any one of these descriptions separately, but absolutely all of the lemurs, tarsiers, monkeys, apes, you, and I match all of them at once perfectly, implying common descent.

You are an ape.
Your tail is merely a stub of bones that don't even protrude outside the skin. Your dentition includes not only vestigial canines, but incisors, cuspids, bicuspids, and distinctive molars that come to five points interrupted by a "Y" shaped crevasse. This in addition to all of your other traits, like the dramatically increased range of motion in your shoulder, as well as a profound increase in cranial capacity and disposition toward a bipedal gait, indicates that you are not merely a vertebrate cranial chordate and a tetrapoidal placental mammalian primate, but you are more specifically an ape, and so was your mother before you.

Genetic similarity confirms morphological similarity rather conclusively, just as Charles Darwin himself predicted more than 140 years ago. While he knew nothing of DNA of course, he postulated that inheritable units of information must be contributed by either parent. He rather accurately predicted the discovery of DNA by illustrating the need for it. Our 98.4% to 99.4% identical genetic similarity explains why you have such social, behavioral, sexual, developmental, intellectual, and physical resemblance to a bonobo chimpanzee. Similarities that are not shared with any other organism on the planet. Hence you are both different species of the same literal family. In every respect, you are nearly identical.
You, sir, are an ape.