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November 26

Love my monkey

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Mia @ 10:27 am

Via Wired Science:

How do a science writer and a UC Berkeley obstetrician explain how the ability of humans to turn off their empathy and organize for war?

By looking at chimpanzees and bonobo monkeys of course! Chimps are the only species besides humans who form social groups and attack rival groups, while bonobos, whose DNA also closely resembles humans, are peaceful, have a matriarchal society, and use sex as a form of greeting, conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconciliation.

Alexis Madrigal interviewed Malcolm Potts, Thomas Hayden, the authors of Sex and War, who share their thoughtful reflections on the whys and hows of modern warfare, terrorism, the disabling of empathy, and a uniquely human trait: free will. This book sounds like a fascinating read, and more than just a barrel of monkeys.


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