Edward Pett Thompson's The Passions of Animals (1851) is a book composed of sixty-four short chapters defending the intelligence of animals by means of anecdotes. Thompson is nowadays almost forgotten (he does not even have a Wikipedia page), but in the nineteenth century his book circulated widely and was quoted by, among other scientists, Charles Darwin and George Romanes. Unlike those two, however, Thompson did not describe the capacities of animals in order to argue in favor of natural evolution; he was a creationist, through and through. Indeed, he began his inquiry with a long list of excerpts from the Bible suggesting that the differences between humans and animals are not very significant and, above all, that those differences tend to diminish as animals acquire novel habits. In Isaiah, it is prophesied that “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the...

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