FRANS DE WAAL OUR INNER APE PDF

Bookmark We humans like to think of ourselves as the most supremely evolved species on the planet, elevated and distinct from all others. In his newest book, leading primatologist Frans de Waal debunks this idea. Drawing on nearly 20 years of research on chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest primate relatives, he shows how many behaviors we think of as uniquely human are, in fact, paralleled in the ape world. But while other primatologists may study apes for clues into the biological roots of human aggression and hostility, de Waal insists that many positive human attributes—such as empathy, kindness, and altruism—are part of our animal heritage as well. In making this point, de Waal devotes considerable space to the bonobo, comparing this peace-loving ape to the more familiar chimpanzee.

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Bookmark We humans like to think of ourselves as the most supremely evolved species on the planet, elevated and distinct from all others. In his newest book, leading primatologist Frans de Waal debunks this idea. Drawing on nearly 20 years of research on chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest primate relatives, he shows how many behaviors we think of as uniquely human are, in fact, paralleled in the ape world.

But while other primatologists may study apes for clues into the biological roots of human aggression and hostility, de Waal insists that many positive human attributes—such as empathy, kindness, and altruism—are part of our animal heritage as well. In making this point, de Waal devotes considerable space to the bonobo, comparing this peace-loving ape to the more familiar chimpanzee. While chimpanzee groups have a male hierarchy and routine power struggles, bonobos are matriarchal and display little aggression toward each other.

And while chimps can be cruel, sometimes brutal, toward others outside their circle, bonobos often show kindness toward unfamiliar apes, even sharing food with them.

By comparing these two apes, de Waal outlines the roots of our own sexuality, aggression, power struggles, and aptitude for reconciliation, concluding that humans have as much biological potential for peaceful coexistence as for waging war on each other. De Waal focuses much of his analysis on trying to explain how and why human society looks the way it does.

These stories—of chimps giving hugs of gratitude to a researcher, of a gorilla trying to comfort an autistic woman in distress—make the book highly readable. Which of our inner apes—the peaceful bonobo or the more aggressive chimpanzee—will leave a more lasting legacy on human evolution?

De Waal makes no predictions, but insists we have the potential to follow either path. Only time, millions of years of it, will tell. You May Also Enjoy.

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Our Inner Ape

But not all of these parallels are so appealing: the chimpanzee, for example, can be as vicious and manipulative as any human. After all, we share them with another primate: the lesser-known bonobo. As genetically similar to man as the chimpanzee, the bonobo has a temperament and a lifestyle vastly different from those of its genetic cousin. Where chimps are aggressive, territorial, and hierarchical, bonobos are gentle, loving, and erotic sex for bonobos is as much about pleasure and social bonding as it is about reproduction.

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About the author Human beings are just as closely related to the gentle bonobos as they are to the aggressive chimpanzees. Frans de Waal compares the lifestyle of these two species of apes, in whose groups opposing characteristics such as sympathy and violence, fairness and greed, and dominance and community spirit clash with one another. Their sexual behavior tells us that we need to rethink the origins of our morality. Anyone interested in behaviorism Anyone interested in how morality is established Anyone who wants to know who our ancestors were and what that means for us Frans de Waal b.

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Our Inner Ape Quotes

Published on Sat 31 Dec A bonobo or pygmy chimpanzee at Twycross zoo is famous for gently rescuing a stunned starling, protecting it and helping it fly away. A female gorilla in a Chicago zoo picked up a three-year-old boy who had fallen 18ft into a primate pit: she cradled him, patted him on the back and handed him back to zoo staff. Both animals proved that apes have empathy. That is, they can imagine how others might feel.

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