What Bonobos Can Teach Us

10/20/10
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Bonobos share 98.7% of our DNA. Physically, they resemble chimpanzees. But something remarkable sets them apart from their primate cousins, making them an altogether different animal. Bonobos live in almost complete absence of violence; work cooperatively toward shared goals; foster a society that values equality; and engage in prolific casual sex. Could these gentle, promiscuous creatures hold the key to a world without war? Vanessa Woods, author of Bonobo Handshake, discusses what we might learn from our evolutionary relatives with anthropologist Brian Hare and NPR RadioLab’s Jad Abumrad.

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Date: Saturday June 5, 2010
Time: 03:00 PM-04:30 PM
Venue: NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
Moderator: Jad Abumrad
Participants: Brian Hare, Jeremy Niven, Klaus Zuberbühler, Vanessa Woods, Patrick R. Hof

Join leading scientists—Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods, Jeremy Niven, Patrick Hof and Klaus Zuberbühler—whose research is challenging long-held assumptions about the differences between “animal” and “human”—and learn about pin-sized brains that can count, categorize, and hold a grudge against those who’ve tried to swat them. Does your dog really think and feel like a human? Do our closest primate relatives have brains and emotions similar to ours? What about the storied intelligence of dolphins and singing humpback whales? And do other species hold surprises for us if we’re...[Read more]

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