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From the NYT:

Lethal Violence in Chimps Occurs Naturally, Study Suggests
By JAMES GORMAN SEPT. 17, 2014

Are chimpanzees naturally violent to one another, or has the intrusion of humans into their environment made them aggressive?

Photo courtesy of Jane Goodall

A new study, published Wednesday in Nature, is setting off a new round of debate around this question.

The study’s authors argue that a review of all known cases when chimpanzees or bonobos in Africa killed members of their own species shows that violence is a natural part of chimp behavior and not the result of actions by humans that push chimp aggression to lethal attacks.

The researchers say their analysis supports the idea that warlike violence in chimps is a natural behavior that evolved because it can provide more resources or territory to the killers, at little risk.

Critics say the data shows no such thing, largely because the measures of human impact on chimpanzees are inadequate.

While the study ostensibly is about chimpanzees, it is also the latest salvo in a long and profound argument about the nature of violence in people, as chimpanzees are humans’ closest relatives in the animal world.

In studying chimp violence, “We’re trying to make inferences about human evolution,” said Michael L. Wilson, an anthropologist at the University of Minnesota and a co-author and organizer of the study.

There is no disagreement about whether chimpanzees kill each other, or about some of the claims that Dr. Wilson and his 29 co-authors make.

Males are more likely to kill than females. Killing chimps in other groups is more common than killings within groups. And chimps tend to attack when they have overwhelming odds on their side.

The argument is about why chimps kill. Dr. Wilson and the other authors, who contributed data on killings from groups at their study sites, say the evidence shows no connection between human impact on the chimp sites and the numbers of killings.

He said that the Ngogo group of chimpanzees in Uganda “turned out to be the most violent group of chimpanzees there is,” even though the site was little disturbed by humans. …

Robert Sussman, an anthropologist at Washington University who supports the idea that human impacts put pressure on chimp societies that result in killings, was dismissive of the paper. “It doesn’t establish anything, really,” he said.

“The statistics don’t tell me anything,” he said. Two sites provided most of the data, he said, while the other 20 communities had few killings. The paper also grouped together killings that were observed, inferred and suspected. There were male killings of males, but also killings of females and infants. And, he said, “They haven’t established lack of human interference.”

… Lurking behind the discussion of chimps is a long-running dispute over whether chimp behavior offers insights about human behavior, as well as an even deeper and older philosophical dispute over whether violence and war are natural for human beings.

Obviously, stereotype threat is at fault. Or lack of universal pre-K. Redlining no doubt plays a role. Clearly, the police dressing in military body armor contributes. Whatever it is, we know that chimps have no agency and thus can’t possibly be responsible for their high rate of chimp-on-chimp violence.

Here’s the abstract:

Observations of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) provide valuable comparative data for understanding the significance of conspecific killing. Two kinds of hypothesis have been proposed. Lethal violence is sometimes concluded to be the result of adaptive strategies, such that killers ultimately gain fitness benefits by increasing their access to resources such as food or mates. Alternatively, it could be a non-adaptive result of human impacts, such as habitat change or food provisioning. To discriminate between these hypotheses we compiled information from 18 chimpanzee communities and 4 bonobo communities studied over five decades. Our data include 152 killings (n = 58 observed, 41 inferred, and 53 suspected killings) by chimpanzees in 15 communities and one suspected killing by bonobos. We found that males were the most frequent attackers (92% of participants) and victims (73%); most killings (66%) involved intercommunity attacks; and attackers greatly outnumbered their victims (median 8:1 ratio). Variation in killing rates was unrelated to measures of human impacts. Our results are compatible with previously proposed adaptive explanations for killing by chimpanzees, whereas the human impact hypothesis is not supported.

I’d recommend my 1999 National Review article on what we can learn about human nature from comparing five Great Apes species, “Chimps and Chumps” for a review of the epistemological issues:

Looking for insight into human nature by studying our closest relatives in the evolutionary tree, our fellow primates, has become a popular intellectual pastime. For guidance on how to live, we increasingly look less to scriptures and more to our cousins with the low foreheads. Now, there are limits to how valuable a role model our furry friends can provide. While no ape would have been so stupid as to have gotten America into our current Banana War with the European Union, none would be smart enough to get us out either. Conversely, those things that all us primates clearly agree upon (e.g., Bananas: Good! Mother Love: Good! Falling out of Tree: Bad!) tend to be unilluminating.

No, what we want apes to tell us are the answers to those fundamental questions about sex and violence that we humans can’t agree upon. What makes this mode of inquiry so popular — yet so fruitless — is that anybody can turn to their favorite primate for support for their favorite lifestyle. Consider sex and family structure. As any upper-middle class American in 1999 can tell you, nature intended us to live in monogamous, egalitarian, affectionate pairs, like Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser on Mad About You. If you doubt it, just ask our fifth closest cousins, those elegant tree-swinging gibbons.

If you’re an NBA star, however, who likes to drop in only every so often on the various mothers of your babies, our fourth closest cousin, the orangutan of Southeast Asia provides all the justification you need..

Each of our three closest relatives is just as useful (if just as inconclusive) an example to somebody. If ayatollahs took up Darwinism, they would find the Koran vindicated by the noble silverback gorilla, who broods in dignified mastery over his harem. …

Similarly, anti-utopian philosophers find their pessimism about human nature vindicated by the thuggish common chimpanzee, whose basic social unit resembles the Hell’s Angels, complete with murderous raids on other troops and frequent gang-bangs.

However, feminists, aging hippies, and queer theorists have recently discovered to their delight that there is a rare second species of chimp, the bonobo or pygmy chimp.

 
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  1. If chimp violence is in any way related to human contact then who, precisely, are the humans that chimps have had the most contact with? You know, what with them living in Africa and all….

  2. We’re still trying to pretend that only humans are fallen and nature is still in its Garden of Eden like perfect state.

  3. LOL at that photo credit.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Funny that's the bridge to Oakland.
  4. “Similarly, anti-utopian philosophers find their pessimism about human nature vindicated by the thuggish common chimpanzee, whose basic social unit resembles the Hell’s Angels, complete with murderous raids on other troops and frequent gang-bangs.”

    I much prefer to have my pessimism vindicated by insect behavior; Mitch Heisman used two examples:Teleutomyrmex schneideri and Polyergus rufescens.
    When ants practice something analogous to evil human behavior our insignificance is especially confirmed.

    • Replies: @Kyle
    Wow. They literally have welfare queens.
  5. “If chimp violence is in any way related to human contact then who, precisely, are the humans that chimps have had the most contact with? You know, what with them living in Africa and all….”

    -Heresy! Its always white men, don’t you pay attention to the Narrative? The handful of pasty white male Christian Southerners who go to Africa to study chimps are clearly the culprits. If those chimps could sew with their opposable thumbs, we’d soon see them wearing clan hoods.

    Don’t look so shocked, the Narrative has spoken already that it was white Christians who introduced all the dysfunction to the dark continent, and some have indicated that blacks behave as they do in the US because they mimic white southern rednecks.

    • Replies: @Lurker
    This reminds me of some insane liberal lunacy I was arguing against the other day:

    You are aware the Black people throughout the world were able to read and write at a higher literacy rate, thanks to the spread of Islam, when europe was in the dark ages.... right? And that the decrease in literacy in the following centruries was specifically due to the transatlantic slave trade.... right? And then Jim Crow laws in the US kept literacy low ....

    And enjoying cars ... huh without Elijah McCoy the internal combustion engine would never have flourished... and that Garrett Morgan Invented the traffic light...

    And electricity... the first practical application was in the light bulb which the filament was invented by Lewis Latimer.

    What do these three have in common.. they are all black

    Try reading a book some time that isnt a Klan manual
     

    http://www.xojane.com/entertainment/why-white-pop-stars-cant-shake-off-cultural-appropriation#comment-1554965958

    Obviously my hateful response had to be deleted.

    Another gem to look out for is the claim that the US system of democracy was stolen from the Iroquois.

  6. “It doesn’t establish anything, really,” …

    … [face bitten off by chimp]

  7. Of course humans affected them, haven’t you seen the original Planet of the Apes? Those apes, chimps, and orangutans wouldn’t have been prejudiced against humans unless they learned how to be prejudiced from humans!

  8. Males are more likely to kill than females. Killing chimps in other groups is more common than killings within groups. And chimps tend to attack when they have overwhelming odds on their side. The argument is about why chimps kill.

    Once again, this is getting to The Onion level.

  9. @Kinstlinger
    "If chimp violence is in any way related to human contact then who, precisely, are the humans that chimps have had the most contact with? You know, what with them living in Africa and all…."

    -Heresy! Its always white men, don't you pay attention to the Narrative? The handful of pasty white male Christian Southerners who go to Africa to study chimps are clearly the culprits. If those chimps could sew with their opposable thumbs, we'd soon see them wearing clan hoods.

    Don't look so shocked, the Narrative has spoken already that it was white Christians who introduced all the dysfunction to the dark continent, and some have indicated that blacks behave as they do in the US because they mimic white southern rednecks.

    This reminds me of some insane liberal lunacy I was arguing against the other day:

    You are aware the Black people throughout the world were able to read and write at a higher literacy rate, thanks to the spread of Islam, when europe was in the dark ages…. right? And that the decrease in literacy in the following centruries was specifically due to the transatlantic slave trade…. right? And then Jim Crow laws in the US kept literacy low ….

    And enjoying cars … huh without Elijah McCoy the internal combustion engine would never have flourished… and that Garrett Morgan Invented the traffic light…

    And electricity… the first practical application was in the light bulb which the filament was invented by Lewis Latimer.

    What do these three have in common.. they are all black

    Try reading a book some time that isnt a Klan manual

    http://www.xojane.com/entertainment/why-white-pop-stars-cant-shake-off-cultural-appropriation#comment-1554965958

    Obviously my hateful response had to be deleted.

    Another gem to look out for is the claim that the US system of democracy was stolen from the Iroquois.

  10. “The study’s authors argue that a review of all known cases when chimpanzees or bonobos in Africa killed members of their own species… ”

    Wait, what? I thought bonobos were too busy being free-love hippie apes to engage in aggressive behavior. At least that’s the line fed to the public for the past few decades. Surely Science! wouldn’t lie to us, would it?

  11. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:

    You mean the mountain-sized gorilla that loves a little white dove isn’t true?

  12. Are blacks naturally violent to one another, or has the intrusion of White people and capitalist White supremacy into their environment made them aggressive?

    The argument is about why blacks kill. Dr. Wilson and the other authors, who contributed data on killings from groups in their neighborhoods, say the evidence shows no connection between White people’s impact on the black communities and the numbers of killings.

    Robert Sussman, a criminal defense attorney, film producer and Democratic party fund raiser who supports the idea that White Protestant racism on black communities is what causes killings, was dismissive of the paper. “It doesn’t establish anything, really,” he said.

  13. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:

    http://youtu.be/l2lVyVqtOGc

    White children victims of relentless racial violence

  14. Went to the site of Robert Sussman, the guy arguing the “liberal” position in this debate. Surprise, surprise, his last book was called “The Myth of Race.” I could tell from his reasoning he was an idiot.

  15. “Obviously, stereotype threat is at fault. Or lack of universal pre-K. Redlining no doubt plays a role. Clearly, the police dressing in military body armor contributes.”

    And let’s not forget the lack of midnight-basketball in the chimp community, or midnight-whatever-it-is-that-chimps-play.

  16. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:

    They say BIRTH OF A NATION is evil for showing a black guy lusting after white women, but what I find more offensive is the scene in GONE WITH THE WIND where a wicked white guy tries to rape Scarlett(who’s unconscious on a carriage), but a noble black guy rescues her from the white would-be rapist.

    Speaking of lies, GONE the movie is the bigger lie. Black guy saving a white woman from a white rapist. When donkeys fly.

  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    After all, what is the difference between the life that is in a cell, a chimp a modern homo sapiens? Do not come and vanishes in the same way, in one breath alone? Isn’t life a single indivisible movement, an information flow that builds up and changes from a common ancestor? So, is the species concept only a weak convention that will disappear with time too, an ephemeral spark? Or perhaps is there a unique quality in the tree of life, a qualitative leap detached from all evolutionary processes and unrelated to the rest of life? Is it the same leap that the human language makes when differentiating between life and the rest of the universe? Also between human beings and the rest of animals, between health and disease, between life and death itself? Along these lines, a book recommendation, a preview at http://goo.gl/rfVqw6 Just another suggestion, far away from dogmas or axioms.

  18. There is a lot of controvery over what bonobos are really like it their natural habitat. Bonobo females run things and they bite fingers off the males who annoy them. It is believed bonobo groups are less violent because they do not have to fight over resources in the area where they live. However, one bonobo male who got uppity and challenged a female was literally torn to pieces by a gang of females. In captivity they seem peaceful, and perverted; adult male Bonobos have sex with infants. Some people like Frans de Waal (who has never studied bonobos in the wild) imply that uncultured human behaviour is naturally like that of bonobos, but he seems to have some rather suspect ideas in this area See “de Waal, F. B. M. (1990). Sociosexual behavior used for tension regulation in all age and sex combinations among bonobos. In: Pedophilia: Biosocial Dimensions, J. R. Feierman (ed.)”.

  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This study reminds me of another debate about whether a species from the chimp clade is violent in a state of nature or only driven to barbarism by contact with civilization.
    Keeley’s War Before Civilization is devoted to the shocking proposition that savages act like savages. Apparently the anthropological consensus prior to Keeley was to explain away early ethnographic evidence of tribal warfare as only showing that savages were (extremely) violent when they came into contact with states (but presumably out in the virgin wilderness remained the Prester John of Rousseauian sentimentality). Keeley effectively dispatches this by drawing on the archaeology of fortifications, human remains dispatched by violence, etc to show that savages gonna savage even before Eden gets guns, germs, and steel.

  20. I don’t even know if “We have become a fundamentally unserious people” is enough for this.

  21. It’s all the fault of Jane Goodall. The chimps were corrupted by her influence. To undo it baby chimps may need to be taken away from their biological families and be raised by well-meaning humans who know what’s best for them.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The baby chimps should be talked to constantly by Ivy Leaguers from Teach for Africa.
  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Throughout human history and prehistory, the people best suited to thrive under local environmental and cultural conditions have tended to marry each other. And until very recently, they had on average more surviving children to perpetuate their genes than their less fashionable peers. ”

    So when exactly did poor people start having more (surviving) offspring than the affluent? Post-industrial revolution?

    Or is it the case that the poor and rich tended to target the same number of surviving offspring in normal times but the poor would get decimated in the frequent plagues, famines, floods and wars?

  23. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In those wonderful books known as medieval ‘bestiaries, – I heartily recommend Steve readers read on the mass market transliterations of a bestiary such as the ‘book of beasts’, the authors, medieval monks wrote a lot true and untrue things about various animal species, but the whole point of the little animal pen portrait was always to insert a little christian moral lecture based somehow on the animals behavior, whether this was biologically accurate or not. In this way the animals were anthromophized into moral actors giving moral lessons to mankind.
    Unfortunately, many modern zoologists etc do the same with chimps and bonobos in particular – the idea seems to be that these creatures are ‘so wonderful’ that they are here to teach us ‘moral lessons’, the moral lessons being whatever the scientist thinks band wants humans to be.

  24. Leftist rule of thumb: Whenever any biological entity is caught behaving badly, some other, more civilized or advanced biological entity is actually to blame. If leftists aren’t yet blaming attacks by one-celled animals on each other on intervention by multi-celled creatures, it’s only a matter of time until they do…

  25. Humans aren’t chimps, though. Furthermore, our genetic similarity to them doesn’t necessarily mean we act like them either – two siblings can act much differently from each other.

    The blogger Andrew Lehman argues that ancestral humans were probably peaceful, but that their men were also much lower in testosterone than modern men are. Matriarchal societies, where men are much lower in testosterone relative to women, are more likely to be peaceful. The rise of more warlike societies is linked to biological changes within humanity.

    neoteny.org

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    "The blogger Andrew Lehman argues that ancestral humans were probably peaceful, but that their men were also much lower in testosterone than modern men are. Matriarchal societies, where men are much lower in testosterone relative to women, are more likely to be peaceful. The rise of more warlike societies is linked to biological changes within humanity."

    http://youtu.be/o4x-VW_rCSE
  26. Humans aren’t chimps, though. Our genetic similarity to them doesn’t mean that our behavior is going to be similar to there’s. For instance, two siblings can have radically different personalities and behave much differently from each other.

  27. I took the pleasure of reading Sailer’s old article(having ignored it in the past for lack of interest in animals) and didn’t expect there to be so much of interest in stuyding apes.

    From the Sailer article:

    “Fifth, the oft-cited 98% figure for shared DNA is less impressive than it looks. Most DNA is unused, so natural selection never changes it…A collie is identical to a pit bull in all but a tiny fraction of its genes, yet the two breeds differ radically in size, shape, behavior, mental, and personality. Small genetic differences can have big consequences.”

    So is there a way for us to compare DNA numbers between humans and animals or between human races? If we looked past all the unused DNA and compared the rest what does the difference look like?

  28. Sussman, hey? Those fuckin progressive WASPs are at it again!

  29. ”Can Chimp-on-chimp Violence Possibly be the the Fault of Chimps?”
    ”Photo courtesy of Jane Goodall”
    I see what you did there 😉

  30. Robert Sussman, an anthropologist at Washington University who supports the idea that human impacts put pressure on chimp societies that result in killings, was dismissive of the paper. “It doesn’t establish anything, really,” he said.
    __________

    Sussman also added “These are not the results I wanted, and thus can be totally ignored.”

  31. @anonymous
    It's all the fault of Jane Goodall. The chimps were corrupted by her influence. To undo it baby chimps may need to be taken away from their biological families and be raised by well-meaning humans who know what's best for them.

    The baby chimps should be talked to constantly by Ivy Leaguers from Teach for Africa.

  32. When will these animals learn? You can’t attack someone who is armed and expect to not get shot! These are wild animals that cannot be tamed. They can never be trusted. There’s no place for them in a civilized society, send them back to Africa where they belong.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/16/chimp.attack/

    Sorry, had to do it.

  33. Chomsky once made the observation about the purported ability of apes to speak a complex language:

    “It’s about as likely that an ape will prove to have language ability as there is an island somewhere with a species of flightless bird waiting for humans to teach them to fly.”

    How likely is it that chimps would have developed the ability to plan and execute the sorts of complex behaviors involved in murdering a fellow chimp if it required human interference before such murders took place? Chimps are going to figure out, entirely on their own, without any precedent before human interference, that certain resources are low, so they need to gather together as a group, and seek out and isolate male chimps from other groups, make sure that they have large enough numbers to overwhelm the targeted chimp, and then, and only then, murder him?

    What world do the people who believe this live on?

  34. @MC
    LOL at that photo credit.

    Funny that’s the bridge to Oakland.

  35. He said that the Ngogo group of chimpanzees in Uganda “turned out to be the most violent group of chimpanzees” – That must be a typo.

    The argument is about why chimps kill. – It’s too bad we can’t just ask them, but i would guess it’s for the usual reasons.

    The question, what effects does civilization have upon primate behavior, is a good one though. It affects different groups differently. White people seem to have (mostly) lost their capacity for violence, whereas others not so much. Apparently for some tribes in the Amazon the homicide death rate for adults was until recently over 60% (it probably still is in some places) – if you made it past puberty, expect to get hacked apart with a machete. But around here that is the stuff of horror movies.

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    "White people seem to have (mostly) lost their capacity for violence, whereas others not so much."

    Eh, Whites are more borderline than antisocial. They may be drifting along calmly now, but radicalize them and all hell breaks loose.
  36. @Suburban_elk
    He said that the Ngogo group of chimpanzees in Uganda “turned out to be the most violent group of chimpanzees” - That must be a typo.

    The argument is about why chimps kill. - It's too bad we can't just ask them, but i would guess it's for the usual reasons.

    The question, what effects does civilization have upon primate behavior, is a good one though. It affects different groups differently. White people seem to have (mostly) lost their capacity for violence, whereas others not so much. Apparently for some tribes in the Amazon the homicide death rate for adults was until recently over 60% (it probably still is in some places) - if you made it past puberty, expect to get hacked apart with a machete. But around here that is the stuff of horror movies.

    “White people seem to have (mostly) lost their capacity for violence, whereas others not so much.”

    Eh, Whites are more borderline than antisocial. They may be drifting along calmly now, but radicalize them and all hell breaks loose.

  37. “How to Prevent or Survive a Monkey Attack”–Good things to keep in mind whenever you are in proximity to violence-prone primates.

  38. Chimps will mastrubate and throw the semen at you, which is why chimp enclosures have glass not bars. The best advice for avoiding all animal attacks (grizzly to coyote) is don’t show fear, but don’t stare them in the eye*. Back off slowly, never run away.

    * Exception is the Australian crow which may zoom in and take your eye out.

  39. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:
    @Curtis
    Humans aren't chimps, though. Furthermore, our genetic similarity to them doesn't necessarily mean we act like them either - two siblings can act much differently from each other.

    The blogger Andrew Lehman argues that ancestral humans were probably peaceful, but that their men were also much lower in testosterone than modern men are. Matriarchal societies, where men are much lower in testosterone relative to women, are more likely to be peaceful. The rise of more warlike societies is linked to biological changes within humanity.

    neoteny.org

    “The blogger Andrew Lehman argues that ancestral humans were probably peaceful, but that their men were also much lower in testosterone than modern men are. Matriarchal societies, where men are much lower in testosterone relative to women, are more likely to be peaceful. The rise of more warlike societies is linked to biological changes within humanity.”

    http://youtu.be/o4x-VW_rCSE

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    “The blogger Andrew Lehman argues that ancestral humans were probably peaceful, but that their men were also much lower in testosterone than modern men are."

    The extinction of large mammals on most continents correlates with hominid migration to that continent. So while the hominids were busy expanding and slaughtering everything in their way, Mr. Lehman would have us believe that gene pool was all lovey-dovey with the intraspecial competition?

    I'm thinking that taking on a mammoth with a sharp stick and some rocks may have necessitated a not inconsequential supply of testosterone. They do look mighty tasty, though.
  40. “Chimps will mastrubate and throw the semen at you,…”
    I wonder if they do this only when confined in a cage. It doesn’t seem like much of a weapon. Do they behave this way toward each other, having a sense of disgust, or are they just aware of ours?

    • Replies: @dixie
    "Researches find poop-throwing by chimps is a sign of intelligence"
    http://phys.org/news/2011-11-poop-throwing-chimps-intelligence.html
  41. @Robinson
    "Chimps will mastrubate and throw the semen at you,..."
    I wonder if they do this only when confined in a cage. It doesn't seem like much of a weapon. Do they behave this way toward each other, having a sense of disgust, or are they just aware of ours?

    “Researches find poop-throwing by chimps is a sign of intelligence”
    http://phys.org/news/2011-11-poop-throwing-chimps-intelligence.html

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    "Such findings led the term to suggest that the ability to throw is, or was, a precursor to speech development in human beings."

    I have long theorized that the bipedal position enabled the development of speech via the intermediary of hand signals. It is very common in some cultures to still "talk" with their hands. The connection between throwing and speech ties right in; it is very difficult to throw from the quadruped position.
  42. @Robinson
    "Similarly, anti-utopian philosophers find their pessimism about human nature vindicated by the thuggish common chimpanzee, whose basic social unit resembles the Hell’s Angels, complete with murderous raids on other troops and frequent gang-bangs."

    I much prefer to have my pessimism vindicated by insect behavior; Mitch Heisman used two examples:Teleutomyrmex schneideri and Polyergus rufescens.
    When ants practice something analogous to evil human behavior our insignificance is especially confirmed.

    Wow. They literally have welfare queens.

  43. @dixie
    "Researches find poop-throwing by chimps is a sign of intelligence"
    http://phys.org/news/2011-11-poop-throwing-chimps-intelligence.html

    “Such findings led the term to suggest that the ability to throw is, or was, a precursor to speech development in human beings.”

    I have long theorized that the bipedal position enabled the development of speech via the intermediary of hand signals. It is very common in some cultures to still “talk” with their hands. The connection between throwing and speech ties right in; it is very difficult to throw from the quadruped position.

  44. @Priss Factor
    "The blogger Andrew Lehman argues that ancestral humans were probably peaceful, but that their men were also much lower in testosterone than modern men are. Matriarchal societies, where men are much lower in testosterone relative to women, are more likely to be peaceful. The rise of more warlike societies is linked to biological changes within humanity."

    http://youtu.be/o4x-VW_rCSE

    “The blogger Andrew Lehman argues that ancestral humans were probably peaceful, but that their men were also much lower in testosterone than modern men are.”

    The extinction of large mammals on most continents correlates with hominid migration to that continent. So while the hominids were busy expanding and slaughtering everything in their way, Mr. Lehman would have us believe that gene pool was all lovey-dovey with the intraspecial competition?

    I’m thinking that taking on a mammoth with a sharp stick and some rocks may have necessitated a not inconsequential supply of testosterone. They do look mighty tasty, though.

  45. “The extinction of large mammals on most continents correlates with hominid migration to that continent. So while the hominids were busy expanding and slaughtering everything in their way, Mr. Lehman would have us believe that gene pool was all lovey-dovey with the intraspecial competition?”

    He is talking about hominids even before that, before widespread hunting of large mammals, when there is evidence that hominids existed as foragers.

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