Animal minds Human exceptionalism

At Mind Matters News: Retro future: In a 1960s take on the 2020s, chimps do our chores

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And driving cars. The Rand Corporation actually put out a video promoting the idea…

Jane Goodall sure wouldn’t like it:

The idea that chimpanzees are just furry people must have been well entrenched in those days. It was during the same time period that some prominent scientists, including Frank Drake and Carl Sagan (1934–1996), were actively researching the idea of communicating intelligently with dolphins as well.

But the sad reality is that efforts to integrate chimpanzees (and dolphins) into the human world have often entailed considerable cruelty to the animals. World-class chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall (1934– ) has a lot of information on that.

First, chimpanzees are cute when they are young but, like all animals, they have their own wants and needs, which don’t include learning to do housework. In fact, as they mature, they find it increasingly difficult to even live in a typical human environment

News, “Retro future: In a 1960s take on the 2020s, chimps do our chores” at Mind Matters News

Then they bite off human fingers.

It seems such a crazy idea now. Is that because we have greater awareness of chimpanzees as they really are? Let’s hope so.

It’s good to think we’ve made some progress in the last half century in understanding that chimpanzees are not “almost people.” We must still work on recognizing that we are not “almost chimpanzees” either.

Just for fun:

You may also wish to read: But, in the end, did the chimpanzee really talk? A recent article in the Smithsonian Magazine sheds light on the motivations behind the need to see bonobos as something like an oppressed people, rather than apes in need of protection.

3 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Retro future: In a 1960s take on the 2020s, chimps do our chores

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    “Then they bite off human fingers.”

    My kitty Daisy sometimes likes to bite daddy’s fingers, but it’s never violent enough to injure. I know people have different experiences with cats, but Daisy seems to be able to bite with restraint.

    Andrew

  2. 2
    News says:

    asauber at 1: Cats have a warning bite that they use with cats they live with. They probably adapt it to humans. The cat might behave very differently if she felt seriously threatened .

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    Thanks, News. Duke will use the Warning Bite when I wrestle him with my hand, but Daisy’s biting is just her sniffing, licking, and biting the tips of my fingers for the (excuse the phrasing) sensual experience.

    Andrew

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