Saturday, June 07, 2008


The following is excerpted from a Discovery Magazine issue called Top 75 Questions of Science (Spring 2008). I wanted to add a corrective to our human animal assumption that we are the favored species on this blue ball called Earth. I bought the magazine in an airport during I and my wife's recent trip back to Ohio.


A Jane Goodall, primatologist, Jane Goodall Institute:

Chimpanzees kiss, embrace, hold hands, pat one another on the back, swagger, shake their fists. and throw rocks in the same context that we do these things. There are strong bonds of affection and support between family members. They help each other. And they have violent and brutal aggression, even a kind of primitive war. In all these ways, they're very like us.

Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.

Thank you, Jane, but I think you're prejudiced.

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