Traits common to all organisms include such non-depressing and religiously fertile capacities as end-directedness and identity maintenance; traits common to all animals include awareness and the capacity for pleasure and suffering; traits common to social beings include co-operation and meaning making; traits common to birds and mammals include bonding and nurturance; traits common to humans include language and its capacity to share subjective experience, and thus to know love.
Ursula Goodenough and Terrence W. Deacon , "The Sacred Emergence of Nature," in
The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, ed. Philip Clayton (NY: OUP, 2008), 860;
qtd in Carol Wayne White, "Stubborn Materiality: African American Religious Naturalism
and Becoming Our Humanity," in Entangled Worlds: Religion, Science, and New Materialisms, ed. Catherine Keller and Mary-Jane Rubenstein (Fordham, 2017), 251-73, 265