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Breaking, breaking: Chimpanzees steal and don’t care how crime affects the neighbourhood

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Since Jane Goodall retired.

From “When It Comes to Food, Chimps Only Think of Themselves” (Science Daily, August 15, 2012), we learn,

A sense of fairness is an important part of human behaviour, yet a research team involving Queen Mary, University of London found it did not evolve from our closest living relatives.

Professor Jensen explained: “In each scenario one ape had to choose whether to steal the grapes or leave a portion of grapes for the other. We found that consistently they would steal the food without taking into account whether their action would have an effect on their partner.

“Neither the chimpanzees nor bonobos seemed to care whether food was stolen or not, or whether the outcomes were fair or not, as long as they got something.

“Our findings support other studies of chimpanzees but also extend these to bonobos. Both apes have no concern for fairness or the effects that their choices may have on others; in stark contrast to the way humans behave.

We are agog. We are aghast.
Their table manners have not passed …

How can this be? Were Jane Goodall and all the rest of the 99% chimpanzee gang unable to teach them kindergarten manners? Take ONE chocolate, and then smile and pass the box to the person on your right?

See also: What those thieving chimpanzees can (;) teach us about the difference between them and us … maybe.  Free boarding house joke as a premium.

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3 Responses to Breaking, breaking: Chimpanzees steal and don’t care how crime affects the neighbourhood

  1. Ummm. Even if chimps did exhibit a sense of fairness, how could we have inherited it from “our closest living relatives”? Horizontal gene transfer? I guess Science Daily writers can’t figure out how evolution is supposed to work either.

  2. Ummm. Just how do you know that we did evolve this ability?

    Please don’t say “because we possess it.”

  3. Thanks for pointing that out, stjones. We noticed the same thing but figured they would think we were arguing against evolution if we so much as pointed that out.

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