Tuesday, December 04, 2007


So this morning I woke up to my NPR radio and heard them talking about this new study that some scientist from Japan did. It determined that Chimpanzees have an incredible memory and here's the kicker... it's better than our human memory! These chimps out performed human test subjects hands down. The interviewer said he saw the video and was amazed. I found the story here on BBC and I have to say, I too am amazed! (note: I had some problems getting the video to play on my mac, but eventually it worked.)
I've not read the full scientific report, but I have to wonder, how much practice did these chimps have? ie: I've played video games before and with practice you can get pretty good at these things. I wonder if the chimps just got really good at playing this particular game as compared to a human, or if they had equal time to learn. I know I'm grasping for straws aren't I? :)
But then the interviewer asked a question that has had me thinking on it off and on all day... He said something to the effect of "does that mean that chimps are more on an equal playing field with us humans?" In other words (this is my interpretation), lets say that these chimps have superior memory... does that mean we should be treating them better? ie: No dressing them up in funny costumes for entertainment, commercials, movies, circus, etc... What "right" do we as humans have to claim domination over another species? Does it just come down to might = right? I'm skating into dangerous territory here as a meat eater... Just because a cow may have a lousy memory, or limited intelligence, does that mean we can farm these beasts and slaughter them? Yes, I know it's in the Bible, but still. It just doesn't seem right.
Well, that's enough to think about for today. I think I'll have a salad for dinner tonight :)

No comments: