The Corner

Re: Scully on Elephants

Rich: The elephantine magnitude of the elephant decline is particularly tragic when one begins to realize that this particular species of megafauna may not be quite so different from you and me. That is the thesis (though there is much, much more) of Caitrin Nicol’s stunning piece, “Do Elephants Have Souls?” in the current issue of The New Atlantis:

Given their mental and emotional chops and awareness of mortality especially, who is to say that they don’t have some sense of the metaphysical? The central facts and mysteries of their existence, about which they clearly have deep feelings, are the same as ours: death and love, life and new life, the chasm between the way things ought to be and how they really are. . . . An elephant may only have dim intimations of them, but after all, so do we.

And Caitrin makes a compelling case for elephants’ metaphysical acumen, exploring variously their astounding memory, their vibrant social life, even their funeral rites. It is a magnificent piece of work, powerful, philosophical (in the best sense of the word), and often beautiful — well befitting its magnificent subject.

Read the entire piece here.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More