I don’t know what a soul is, but if people are sentient beings with an internal cognitive and emotional life, then so are dogs and probably turtles.
Ethologist Adriaan Kortlandt once observed a wild chimp in the Congo ‘gaze at a particularly beautiful sunset for a full 15 minutes, watching the changing colors’, forsaking his evening meal in the process. Elsewhere, African elephants belonging to the same family or group will greet one another after a separation with a loud chorus of rumbles and roars as they rush together, flapping their ears and spinning in circles.
Read more from Michael Jawer, writing for Aeon
Animals that express gratitude, play, contemplate nature, act to save a fellow creature, or react mournfully to the loss of family members or other close companions, are all, in my view, demonstrating aspects of connectedness. Such connectedness is the root of spirituality – with the capacity to feel and emote being central.
But can they collapse a wave function?