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Do you often expect people to die suddenly?
No, nothing humans do is any different from what animals do save that our evolution moved into a more rapid cultural/social form leading to an exponential advancement of sophisticated adaptation. There is no behavior in humans that is "special" or hasn't been observed in some primitive progressive form in other animals."Sentience" is a very mushy term. We make arbitrary distinctions as to where various lines are (self-awareness, empathy responses, self-recognization, tool use, problem solving, etc...), but they are just that: arbitrary. There is nothing fundamentally different between humans and any other animal save our accelerating rate of adaptation brought on by the exponential growth of "culture" and the transmission of memes through symbolic language.
Ralph McQuarrie is dead at 82.