After opening remarks by each guest, National Geographic Weekend radio host Boyd Matson brought them together and steered the topics, taking questions from the audience as well. Amazement at the complexity of chimpanzee relationships and behavior was common, as was interest in Myerson’s vision of how governments might run more smoothly and enjoy more support from their citizens.
Through it all, the thing that seemed to captivate everyone most though was how many attitudes and behaviors that we think of as “human” are shared by chimps as well. To list just a few, Jill described instances of chimps:
peacefully accepting it when others don’t share
making tools for hunting
males getting jealous of each other
juveniles carrying and playing with “dolls” (namely the bodies of other small animals they accidentally killed)
having groups of specific friends
remembering past kindnesses and conflicts
having individual habits when playing or relaxing at the watering hole
and much more.
The Big Question
So the big question is: Given all these similarities, what is the most important difference between chimp and human society?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Other Big Questions