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Alert! Common sense has invaded anthropology. Researcher claims: Chimps ‘r NOT us…

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Pan troglodytes & Pan paniscus.jpg
common chimpanzee and bonobo/Chandres William H. Calvin, CC

From Agustín Fuentes at Sapiens:

Researchers have observed multiple chimpanzee societies for more than 50 years, so we know a lot about what these primates do and what they don’t do. Chimpanzees have a fascinating array of social traditions (using stone tools to crack open nuts, drinking from leaf cups, “fishing” for termites) and capacities (complex social hierarchies, deep social relationships, complex group conflict with other communities of chimps). Studying these behaviors can tell us a lot about chimpanzees and their evolution. It may also reveal some things about humans.

But we also know chimpanzees don’t have cash economies, governments, religious institutions, creeds, or fanatics. They don’t arrest and deport one another, or create massive economies of material and social inequity. They don’t change planet-wide ecosystems, build cities and airplanes, drive thousands of other species toward extinction, or write science blogs. We do.

Focusing primarily on the continuities between humans and chimpanzees (and other animals) without recognizing, understanding, and investigating the discontinuities confounds our ability to offer evolutionary insights into critical contemporary challenges. Racism and global climate change are not explained by our shared history with chimpanzees, nor are gender diversity, the #MeToo movement, and the recent rise in nationalism. More.

It says a lot about a culture that anyone could seriously suppose that chimpanzees could tell us much about being human when most of what matters to us about being human is on our side of the gap. And the gap yawns despite the amazing sophistries advanced in order to pretend it isn’t there.

Hope Fuentes doesn’t get too much pushback. For sure, he tries hard enough to be Politically Correct but in the end, he finds he has to be honest and intelligent.

Note: One group that the nonsense isn’t helping is chimpanzees. If they were really like us they wouldn’t be endangered.

See also: Intelligence tests unfair to apes?

and

Are apes entering the Stone Age?

5 Replies to “Alert! Common sense has invaded anthropology. Researcher claims: Chimps ‘r NOT us…

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    he tries hard enough to be Politically Correct

    I just assume every living scientist I hear of does the same, while I remain open to the idea I could be wrong in a particular case.

    The disease is widespread.

    Andrew

  2. 2
    asauber says:

    Seriously,

    Can anyone name just one prominent scientist who delivers the straight poop amid the crashing political surf regarding scientific issues?

    Andrew

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    asauber, as to ‘straight poop’ minus the political rhetoric, you might like this quote I found the other day,,

    “We are unique and alone now in the world. There is no other animal species that truly resembles our own. A physical and mental chasm separates us from all other living creatures. There is no other bipedal mammal. No other mammal controls and uses fire, writes books, travels in space, paints portraits, or prays. This is not a question of degree. It is all or nothing: there is no semi-bipedal animal, none that makes only small fires, writes only short sentences, builds only rudimentary spaceships, draws just a little bit, or prays only occasionally.
    The extraordinary originality of our species is not common in the living world. Most species belong to groups of similar ones.,,”
    – Juan Arsuaga (paleoanthropologist) – The Neanderthals Necklace – 2002 – page 3-4
    https://books.google.com/books?id=zCunKjqcJAEC&pg=PA3#v=onepage&q&f=false

  4. 4
    asauber says:

    BA77,

    I do like that quote.

    A little gem in the mud pit.

    Andrew

  5. 5
    polistra says:

    “Crashing political surf.” Nice.

    This author seems to be saying that chimps are Democrats and humans are Trump. Well then, the author is obviously a chimp. How is he typing his thoughts into a computer? Shouldn’t this miraculous breakthrough be the subject of his essay instead of the well-known and trite differences between chimps and trumps?

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