Could you be dumber than a chimp? That’s not as daft a question as it once was. After all, science has proved that chimpanzees share 99 per cent of our DNA.

They can learn sign language. They can solve puzzles and even make tools. And this week came the most startling discovery of all.

Researchers in Japan have pitted human adults against five-year-old chimpanzees in a test of mental agility and memory – and the chimps won. In a test of short-term memory involving numbers flashed on a computer screen, the apes comfortably beat their human opponents. This astonishing result, published in the journal Current Biology, shows that in at least some respects our position at the top of the intellectual tree may be a bit shakier than we thought.

So what is going on here? Are chimps really brighter than us, even in this sort of memory test? And if so, what does this mean for the way that we treat them? After all, how could it be right to lock up creatures more intelligent than ourselves in zoos or laboratories? Most uncomfortably of all, can it be right to kill and eat creatures which may be less bright than ourselves but may nevertheless be fully sentient beings? In fact, the more science discovers about the animal mind, the less comfortable, philosophically, the findings become.
Apes are not people: they cannot build cathedrals, travel into space or find cures for diseases – but then again, nor can most humans.

What the Japanese research does prove is that once again, a new and hitherto unsuspected ability has been unearthed in animals.

What would you tell Darwin if you could meet him?

  1. Cornelius says:

    Jim are you saying that I should not be thinking that soon I too can be a believer and get into Heaven? I was so looking forward to it. I’ve good with Commandments 5-10(wish alf was) it’s those first four that need a God I’ve been slack on, proof of Afl’s God and I’m there.

  2. Cornelius says:

    What the Second law of thermodynamics is all you’ve got? sorry not divine just good math.

    your home work assignment is to study
    Huxley vs Aquinas come back tomorrow and try to give us any reason to not believe Huxley.

    To bad Aquinas these chimps have as much or as little soul as you.

  3. Cornelius says:

    its been 400,000 plus years of man (well 6000 for you) and we are still waiting for stage 3 on that god thing .

    got to admire your patients.

    you should work on your short term memory

    # 44
    ok you need to look up the definition of PROOF

    I’ve got to go help Taylor in the Forbidden Zone you are on your own for the rest of the afternoon. Study hard we are all pulling for you.

  4. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    That’s just one proof…

    That’s no form of proof. It’s the stupidest comparison I’ve heard out of an adult (??) in a long time.

    The wisdom of Alfred: copper and plastic cannot evolve, so neither can life.

  5. JimR says:

    Alfredo1,Re:”#Old baggy of bull shit, where is plastic or copper in my reply?”

    I’ve bolded them for you. Can you find them now?

  6. JimR says:

    Seriously, Albert, RE #44:”… just as it would be idiocy to suppose the telephone system just evolved…so also the idea a single cell of your skin could evolve.”

    You compared inanimate objects evolving, to a living cell evolving. That’s what # 46 Olo Baggins of Bywater was referring to. But as usual, your delusion balks at the simplest explanations.

  7. JimR says:

    Alfred, RE #43: “According to the German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.-The three Stages of Truth, Dr. Gregory Damato, Ph.D., citizen journalist”

    That describes the history of atheism perfectly. Theism, unfortunately for you poor Albert1, is doing the 3 stages in reverse.

  8. JimR says:

    RE:#43, Alfred1: “…98 out of 100 Alfred1s agree you are a loon.”

    You have 100 personalities Alfred1? That would explain a few things….

  9. right says:

    “But as heat isn’t distributed evenly…as its organized intelligently…there is a God.”

    Prove there is a god, will you?

    How can rational people believe you without proof? Oops, har, rational people wouldn’t care about your imaginary being.

    How is your airy fairy world these days, Alfred1?
    Give us all one scientific fact that has the word god in it.


  10. dcphill says:

    I’m sure glad chimps don’t believe in God or
    we’d all be in deep poo.

  11. right says:

    “I’ve already proven God exists…”.

    Where? When?

  12. Cursor_ says:

    Alfred won’t even accept that he is a levitical jew and keeps claiming he is a christian.

    How do any of you expect him to accept there is evolution or the non-existence of God?

    You all are arguing with a wall.


  13. right says:

    “I’ve already proven God exists…”.

    Where? When?

    Come on, this is exciting Alfred1.

  14. JimR says:

    Re: #54 Alfred1, “Buildings don’t evolve…the only alternative then must be true, they are built.”

    Are you retarded? How many times do you have to be told that the evolution of living things doesn’t apply to buildings and other inanimate objects? Buildings and phone books aren’t alive Alfred. I know that’s hard for you to comprehend, so ask a friend. They’ll tell you I’m not lying.

    Just look around you. If there were a god, he/she/it wouldn’t have to make things so complex and subject to flaws. The fact that everything is so convoluted and and prone to failure should give you a big hint Alfred.

  15. right says:

    Some bible quotes:

    1. The evangelists were fiction-writers — not observers or eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus. Each of the four contradicts the other. — Porphyry, Against the Christians 2, 12-15

    2. Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (1:14-19). 1:11

    3. In Genesis 1 the entire creation takes 6 days, but the universe is at least 12 billion years old, with new stars constantly being formed. 1:31

    4. When Noah was 500 years old, he had three sons.
    [Three sons in one year? Was that with one (nameless) wife or several?] 5:32

    5. Noah is called a “just man and perfect,” but he didn’t seem so perfect when he was drunk and naked in front of his sons (9:20-21). 6:9, 7:1

    6. God wants to be remembered forever for the mass murder of little children. 10:2

    7. God blessed Abraham by giving him lots of slaves. 24:35

    8. It’s OK with God if you slowly beat your slaves to death. After all, they are your money. 21:20-21

    Yep, a humanitarian and all round nice guy if he existed.

  16. qb says:

    right, you’re arguing with horse shit. However I do like your style. 😉

  17. Cornelius says:

    Alfred1 said,

    I’ve already proven God exists

    what and I missed it? damn
    was it yanked by the moderator?

    I think Alfred1 is lying, false witness, going to hell.
    and this is much more likely, he his just auguring for sport and doesn’t really believe any of this.

    You’d think for some one to enjoy a sport they would want to win once and awhile.

    That means he is just lonely and we are his only regular human contact. That makes us his only friends.

    Turns out smart chimps and ape decedents like us are just as social that’s why he is here and trying so hard to keep this conversation going.

    Or the moderator yanked the proof of GOD.
    Damn I so wanted to believe.

    Can they tell from web logs how many of the hits on are from chimps? Please don’t embarrass our species. who knows who is reading this.

  18. qb says:

    Cornelius said “Can they tell from web logs how many of the hits on are from chimps? Please don’t embarrass our species.”

    Primates have an unnerving curiosity which makes them run towards danger instead of avoiding it. Car wrecks, gun shots, alfred, explosions, etc.

  19. right says:

    Alfred1, why would I ever want to go searching for this fiction? All these books were written by weak men to have power over even weaker people and you fall right in that category.
    I’m surprised you’re not into Scientology too. They go after really weak people.

    You say you’ll end this here we’ll never hear form, you again?? Is that a promise????
    Time to celebrate!

  20. Nimby says:

    # 4 Alfred1 said, “In paradise, we were Vegans…after the fall, permission to eat animals was given:”

    How can you guys argue with a deadbolt that just makes this shit up as he goes? Alfalfa obviously believes not only his soul but his corporeal body (that will require sustenance) will visit his god in his heaven. I suppose he imagines himself walking down a street made of gold, chomping on an apple from the tree of knowledge to have a chat with his pal Peter at the pearly gates.

    Or maybe, since after the fall we are allowed to eat meat, you can find a good rib joint in heaven…

  21. Glenn E. says:

    Oh this test is got to be rubbish. You can engineer any test to make skew your test subject to either exceed or lag the control group. That does prove anything, accept how desperate the researcher is for funds. You could probably make up a test that would make Vanna White appear to be a genius, compared to Albert Einstein (like who can turn letters around the best?). So you have to ask just how many tests they went thru to find the right one, the chimps were best at, that humans were not?

  22. qb says:

    He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.

  23. Hugh Ripper says:

    I can’t believe someone hasn’t said it already.

    “I, for one, welcome our new chimp overlords”

    And Alfred1, books do not prove things, so enough of the bible quotes already!

  24. Nimby says:

    Alfie – you haven’t proven anything except you do not understand the meaning of the word proof.

  25. 888 says:

    I’d rather talk to a somewhat intelligent chimp behind the counter than to most of today’s youth samples we all meet in many stores…

    (supposedly our young ones are humans too, but I sincerely doubt it – and I strongly resent the idea such comparison of homo moronicus to a homo sapines)

  26. Mr. Fusion says:

    Geeze, this is like when all the neighborhood kids picked on the retarded kid, and that analogy ain’t far from the truth.

    And if you are going to be a moon bat loon, THEN BE PROUD !!!!!

  27. qb says:

    #77 I don’t know, I think everyone stayed on topic. alfred presented a pretty compelling proof on it.

  28. Hugh Ripper says:

    #76 No doubt its a ripping yarn (except for most of genesis), but it don’t prove a thing. Historical texts are largely OPINION, and while they are useful reference, they prove NOTHING. Even archaeological evidence is somewhat dodgy when you take into account the Pompeii Premise.

  29. Mr. Fusion says:

    #76, Alphie,

    Evidently you equate fiction with book…the Bible contains newspaper like prose testimony what happened…its not a work of fiction…

    The National Enquirer also contains prose like testimony. Like a newspaper. I know, you just read it for the pictures.

    So it can be used to establish what happened…its testimony which in many respects is far superior to what can be had today in newspapers.

    Such as the New York Post and Washington Times.

    If they knew Christ didn’t rise, but were using religion to make money, then the perfect time to confess that is when given the chance…just before you are tortured and killed…

    They refused to recant…they insisted it happened.

    So now you have three possibilities…were they insane, stupid or telling truth.

    Did you ever think that maybe the Romans or Herod’s guards might have stolen the body so his followers couldn’t martyr him? If that was the case, in the long run they failed, but that is another explanation.

    Oopps, my bad, asking you to think is a little over the top.

    So now you have three possibilities…were they insane, stupid or telling truth.

    Or: they were fooled, they conspired among themselves to remove the body, or they picked the wrong tomb.

    Rationally we decide this from their writings…these show they were neither morons, or insane…

    How? You have purposely narrowed yourself to only three possible results when I offered three others. That means there are at least six possibilities that could have happened. Therefore, if the evidence is incomplete, their evaluations will also be incomplete and their conclusions most likely false.

    That leaves the only plausible explanation for their testimony under charge of death…they were telling the truth…they knew Christ rose from the dead.

    Well, not quite. It means they either were fooled into believing that god took the body, when god takes the souls, or they were complicit in removing the body. The bodies are just flesh after the person dies and thus meaningless to god.

    But the body, as a symbol to a group of Jews looking for someone to lead them out from under the oppressive Roman rule, was invaluable. If the body was taken the followers could turn that into a PR coup. And so they did.

    The usual practice in those days was to wash the body, then wrap it in a shroud before entombing it. They allow the body to rot for a couple of years and then remove the bones to an ossuary or small container.

    So either their watches were very fast or they could quite possibly have been up to no good. Once the body was entombed, there would have been no reason for anyone to open the tomb.

    So their being persecuted and killed actually was for our benefit…so we could know beyond reasonable doubt, Christ rose from the dead.

    Or they were persecuted for rebelling against Rome and their vassal Herod. Fomenting rebellion is generally discouraged in most societies. Gee, that would be the same reason Jesus was persecuted and crucified. Nothing personal, just Rome and Herod trying to survive in a ruthless world during a dangerous time.

    And some early version of a Manhattan PR firm started the story that started a whole new religion. And 500 years after he died, a group got together and decided which letters and “testimony” to include in their new book.

  30. qb says:

    alfred doesn’t exist. He is just a bot where someone used the old Kant generator code.


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