Okay, so onto a more normal science subject than whether Evergreen State College in Washington (state) should be declared a state pen on account of the fact that biology prof Weinstein can’t go back there for his own safety (no guff, apparently).
So let’s talk about science, as such, rather than the latest fashions in campus jackboots:
Dr Leavens said: “The fault underlying decades of research and our understanding of apes’ abilities is due to such a strongly-held belief in our own superiority, that scientists have come to believe that human babies are more socially capable than ape adults. As humans, we see ourselves as top of the evolutionary tree. This had led to a systematic exaltation of the reasoning abilities of human infants, on the one hand, and biased research designs that discriminate against apes, on the other hand.
“Even when apes clearly outperform young human children, researchers tend to interpret the apes’ superior performance to be a consequence of inferior cognitive abilities.
“There is not one scientifically sound report of an essential species difference between apes and humans in their abilities to use and understand clues from gestures, for example. Not one.
“This is not to say such a difference won’t be found in future, but much of the existing scientific research is deeply flawed.”Paper. (public access) – David A. Leavens, Kim A. Bard, William D. Hopkins. The mismeasure of ape social cognition. Animal Cognition, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s10071-017-1119-1More.
So why aren’t apes after our jobs, suing us for custody of baby apes, complaining about science imperialism or …? Look, the science may or may not be flawed but the apes are just not very bright, no matter what tests we want to do.
See also: Are apes entering the Stone Age?