Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monkeys, mankind and morality

Watch a video, above, of primatologist Frans de Waal's TedxPeachtree talk on "Morality without Religion."

Monkeys and mankind have a lot in common when it comes to moral outrage over inequities, and the need to reconcile the conflicts that arise from these differences. On his Cosmic Log, Alan Boyle writes a great summary of a talk on this topic by Emory primatologist Frans de Waal at the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among the nuggets he gathered:

"Different primate species express signs of reconciliation in different ways. For example, stumptail monkeys make up by inspecting each other's rear ends, without ever looking each other in the eye. In contrast, chimps and other apes (including us hairless apes) 'need eye contact' when they reconcile their differences, de Waal said."

Read the whole article on the Cosmic Log.

Are hugs the new drugs?
Hugs go way back in evolution

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