24 April 2007

Cousin species

A report from a recent symposium in Chicago on chimpanzee intelligence (found via Sentient Developments). It's a short article, but it does give some idea of how startlingly similar to humans these creatures are.

The fact that other great apes have better memories than humans (emphasized here) has been observed before in a variety of contexts. I suspect that this is not so much a distinction between species as a distinction between the literate and the illiterate. Humans who can read and write tend to write down anything important rather than depending on their memories, which therefore tend to atrophy. Anthropologists studying primitive human cultures which do not have writing have often observed what seem like astonishing feats of memory by people in those cultures.



Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

An excellent article! I do take umbrage at the title though - "Almost Human, and Sometimes Smarter." What do they mean sometimes?

24 April, 2007 18:50  

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