There are some things humans could learn from their closest cousins, the bonobos
A review of Bonobo Handshake by Vanessa Woods.
Readers can be grateful that a journalist, not bound by unspoken conventions regarding what scientists must never say about non-human primates, married a primatologist. [Brian] Hare may be the scientist, but Woods conveys the real significance of bonobo culture. She thinks that bonobos have a secret: they can tell us how to avoid war.
The question of whether humans are genetically more like chimpanzees or bonobos pops up throughout the book, but as the book also makes clear, whatever the genetic similarities, bonobo culture is not human culture, and nor is chimpanzee culture human culture. Humans are doomed to war, genocide, environmental degradation and eventually self-destruction only if we fail to grasp the processes of culture and continue to take a short-sighted view of what it can mean to be bonobo, chimpanzee or human.
To read Woods’s elegant and entertaining book is to share the experience of a soul realising there is something more – something mankind must learn. In that self-realisation is the secret of the bonobos.
Full article: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/06/bonobos-have-a-secret.html
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]There are some things humans could learn from their closest cousins, the bonobos,