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?
Are apes entering the Stone Age?