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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Almost Human, and Sometimes Smarter

I strongly feel about chimpanzees.

I believe they should be awarded almost-human rights, if not fully human altogether. They may not look exactly like us, but (starting from Jane Goodall onward) they have shown in many occasions to have an elaborate culture, tool-making and surprising cognitive abilities.

The latest discovery that made the news was the recent report of adult, mostly female chimpanzees fabricating and using spears to hunt bushbabies.

I've now come to know, reading this very nice piece in the NY Times, that chimps can actually outperform humans in some immediate memory-related tasks, computer version of the Kim's game we would play at the boyscouts.

Also, I read of the sad fact that in fifty years their number has gone from an already low million to 150 thousands, may be some more. By comparison, the very same continent contains 800 millions people. All this makes me sad.

If we humans were just able to get our act together forget the source of all diversity (also known as 'religion'), we would be better steward of this planet. And make sure that our siblings (and not only) survive.

anyway, just go, read the article and make up your mind by yourself.

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