Nope, not saying we're superior, just saying we're not in the truest sense animals. Whether that was by accident or design, does it actually matter? The fact is that we do have major differences that set us apart.
Yes, animals do indeed teach their young, but how many nurture and house their young until their 18th year or even longer? How many rely solely on their wits and not instinct? None, other than homo sapiens.
There are many humans out there that don't rely on their wits....because they have none!
Also to say that we rely solely on our wits and not instinct is simply incorrect. Have you ever been walking to your car late at night, alone, and just feel like somebody is watching you/following you? I don't think that has anything to do with wit, and more to do with instincts.
In addition humans are NOT the only animals who nurture and house their young until the 18th year or longer. Also, many HUMAN parents are not nearly as good as other animal species. Not all human parents house and nurture their young until their 18th birthday. In the US we are required by law to do this, but children under 18 can get emancipated with the courts permission.
Orcas are an excellent example species to show that humans are not the only ones who nurture and house their young till 18 AND show that humans are not the only species that rely on wit(I took "solely" out because we do rely on some instinct too). There are three main different types of orcas: transient, resident, and offshore. I don't know too much about the offshore orcas, but the young of resident orcas stay with their mothers THEIR ENTIRE LIFE. Resident orca pods can grow as large as up to 40 individuals, sometimes even more. The first born son of transient orca pods typically stay with their mothers their entire life, while later offspring break off from the pod (transient pods are much smaller, typically only 3-5 individuals). Also, orcas definitely use their wits and intelligence when hunting and don't rely solely on instinct. A couple of years ago, a segment on the orcas in the antartic was aired on animal planet. The segment showed a group of orcas and a seal on an ice float. The seal was in the middle of the ice float and could not be reached by the orcas. The orcas then got together and swam side by side. They created waves with powerful thrusts from their tail and eventually knocked the seal off of the ice float. This isn't "instinct", the orcas weren't born knowing how to do this. This is problem solving and team work. This is without a doubt, intelligence. The same orcas were also observed PRACTICING this technique. They washed a seal off the ice float, but let the seal go. This was likely to teach their young how to hunt. Anyways.....probably WAY more than anybody wanted to know about orcas, haha
Did you know that when Linus Pauling first developed his hierarchically classification system, he didn't have any reason (other than obvious physical difference) to separate humans and apes into different families (today we are in the same "superfamily" as apes, but have different families)? He did end up separating humans and apes due to political and church pressure (he was also highly religious, his slogan was "God creates, Linus arranges")
Yes, we do have major differences that set as apart from other animals (i.e: an insect is technically an animal), but an animal is such a broad term. Ask any credible biologist, and they will tell you that without a doubt humans are animals. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but from a scientific stand point humans are animals.