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Ape language pioneer Savage-Rumbaugh receives honorary Ph.D. from alma mater
Date:5/27/2008

apes, the more we find our old categories falling into ruin. We now know that we share with some apes nearly 99 percent of our DNA, the code all living beings utilize to pass bodily form from one generation to the next. We are, in fact, really a genera of five great apes, related in the following order from most distant to nearest: orangutan, gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, and human being.

"Even more puzzling to us is this fact: Chimpanzees and bonobos are more closely related to us than they are to the other great apes, the gorilla and the orangutan.

"Thus, if genes matter, and they do, then do how do we justify the categories 'man' and 'animal' when there are two species of animals living on the planet today that are genetically more like us than they are like any other living animal" Such scientific findings have thrown our old simplistic categories into a state of confusion. The field of 'ape language' presses that confusion further and harder still.

"What if we learned that bonobos and chimpanzees, the apes most like us, could speak, reason, make tools and had codes of morality" Should we admit them into the realm of humankind" Or should we now make five categories: humans, nonhumans with human abilities, all other animals, vegetables, and minerals"

"Ape language is on the way to changing the categorical divide of Man versus Animal. As this barrier falls, it will necessarily be followed by deep changes in all other aspects of our daily lives. Because this has been a fundamental category in our minds for so very long, we cannot predict the outcomes, but they have the potential to stagger the mind. They will bring about a seismic shift, equivalent to 7 or 8 on the Rictor scale. All lesser prejudices will quickly fall, and humanity will begin to understand, in a scientific way, what it means, and what it requires, to make a human mind."


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Contact: Al Setka
asetka@greatapetrust.org
515-243-3580
Great Ape Trust of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert  

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Ape language pioneer Savage-Rumbaugh receives honorary Ph.D. from alma mater
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