In the article I said animals don’t experience themselves as belonging to a supernatural dimension. You say that claim is baseless. So what's the evidence that animals are aware of a difference between nature and the supernatural?

There’s lots of evidence that our species generally believes there’s such a difference, since we form religions that advocate breaking our biological life cycle out of obedience to a world that lies beyond anything we can observe with our natural senses.

Are you aware of animals forming religions that butt up against their evolutionary patterns of behaviour? Do you know of a squirrel pope or perhaps a lizard monk? How about a kamikaze turtle that sacrifices its life to honour its ancestral spirits? Or what about an ascetic frog that denies itself the pleasures of mating and eating insects, believing that the entire natural domain is a corrupting illusion? Maybe you’ve encountered a pacifist lion that set itself on fire to protest all the animal violence that occurs on the African savannah. Or perhaps you’ve studied an evangelical kangaroo that tries to convince koala bears to convert to the kangaroo lifestyle and hop incessantly up and down instead of climbing trees all the time.

I assume you’ll say that animals’ instinctive, natural behaviour is perfectly supernatural, since they’re doing exactly what the spiritual source of the universe wants them to do. In that case, how would you distinguish between nature and the supernatural? If there’s no such meaningful distinction, what’s so offensive about saying that animals don’t experience the supernatural? There would be no such thing as a supernatural order that differs from nature, and of course animal behaviour is as natural as anything else we can scientifically explain.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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