Chimps Are Evil and Stupid, and So Are Men

Chimps are flat out nasty, ugly beasts with little to redeem them. They are also pretty shortsighted and often downright stupid. It is downright frightening that these are our closest relatives in the animal world. What does that say about us!?

Chimpanzees are nastier than many people like to think. They kill monkeys and are pretty unpleasant to each other, too. Their sex lives would shock Queen Victoria, and their ethical universe, if they have such a thing, is much darker than our own. They live in groups, but the groups break and reform as their members quarrel. Terror makes their world go round. If two chimps need to pull a rope to get a tray of food, they will, but only if they are out of reach of one another. Otherwise, the dominant animal attacks its subordinate and neither of them gets anything. Anger and greed destroy the hope of reward.

And we humans are barely better, to each other or to our nearest mammalian relatives:

As men and women filled the world they killed off many of their kin. The Neanderthals were the first to go. Human habits have not changed since then. Now just a few remnants of our once extensive clan linger on. In a century or so we will be the only large primate (and almost the only large mammal) found outside farms or zoos. Almost all the apes will be extinct in the wild, some before they have been properly studied by science, and much of our biological heritage will be lost forever.

We are also foolish, great at destroying our patrimony but not so skilled at creating it where we need it most (after we ruined it):

Man has flayed his native planet for ten thousand years. Soil is hard to make but easy to destroy. A modern plough turns over hundreds of tons a day, far beyond the capacity of the most vigorous invertebrate. It digs down no more than a couple of feet, making a solid and impermeable layer at the depth of the blades. When heavy tractors roll across the surface their wheels compact loose earth into something like concrete, in which nothing will grow. Continued ploughing also breaks up the topmost layer and allows vast quantities to wash away. The farmers’ raw material is on the move, from hill to plain, from plain to river, and from land to sea.
The evidence is everywhere. My parents’ house overlooked the Dee Estuary (the Welsh rather than Scottish version). What was, a few centuries ago, a broad waterway has become a green field with a ditch in it, and the local council is much exercised about the rising sand that blows onto its roads. The reason lies in the fertile fields of Cheshire and North Wales. They have been ploughed again and again, and their goodness has disappeared downstream.

That’s just dumb. There’s got to be a better way to grow stuff.
All passages from The Darwin Archipelago by Steve Jones (2011).

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0 thoughts on “Chimps Are Evil and Stupid, and So Are Men”

  1. They’re also dangerous. They can kill and disfigure someone’s face. It’s cool to play with them, but use safety precautions.

  2. I would say that the young ones are cool to play with, but as they grow they get stronger and more unpredictable. Along with tearing faces off, they have been known to bite off fingers and pull off testicles.
    Interestingly, Bonobos which are also closely related to humans, have a society which is much less violent and confrontational than chimps. I have heard that scientists think that this may be a result of Bonobos evolving without as much competition for food.

  3. Hey, I thought man was evil, and chimps were the enlightened ones? Hasn’t anyone seen “Planet of the Apes”?

  4. Robert you gotta check out Bonobos. They are what humans should be like; making love and not making war 🙂 It’s like what Kevin M mentioned about Bonobos.

  5. The males become dominate when they reach adulthood. They are much stronger than humans and will never be subservient to a female. The male that attacked those women just became an adult. He knew they were females by their smell.

    1. yea but that’s why they will always be chimpanzees! I wonder if they could evolve.. if changed the ways.. I guess theyre stuck.

  6. I think maybe you should make a distinction between chimpanzees and bonobos or pygmy chimpanzees. They are both types of chimpanzee, with divergent physical and social evolution on either side of the Congo river. They are almost polar opposites socially from what i’ve read and they are both our closest relatives.
    Despite the name, pygmy chimps aren’t really a lot smaller; they have longer legs and lighter builds. Here are the differences I’ve read about:
    common chimp: patriarchal, aggressive, violent to females.
    pygmy chimp: matriarchal, a lot more peaceful, very promiscuous and diffuses tension with sex instead of violence.
    I think there maybe the common chimp spends more time in trees but not sure.
    Pretty interesting that they are so close genetically and so different socially.

      1. Ha! That’s why Men are violent. Woman aren’t providing them with enough sex. Violence is all Women’s fault.

        1. Bonobos are also matriarchal and bisexual so will you take it all the way and say that women should rule the world and men should have sex with other men as the norm?

        2. Maybe patriarchy is more natural to our species? Or not? Our last common ancestor with the bonobo was about 8 million years ago I think. So plenty of time for divergent evolution. Even chimps and bonobos are socially very different so is that genetic or just cultural?

        3. note 2: chimps and bonobos diverged 2 million years ago. A quarter of the time since human diverged with common ancestor of both. This is also reflected in the genetic distance. chimps and bonobos differ by 0.3% of their genome, a quarter that of the difference between humans and chimps. Or so I read.
          I imagine with that amount of divergence, they would have adapted genetically to their social organisation and social and genetic differences would be related…..however, I don’t think anybody has done it but it would be interesting to see what would happen in a common chimp was brought up by bonobos.

  7. Sometimes i play with the idea bonobos and chimps are put here by god.
    To show us the choices we have for our evolution.
    I don’t see bonobos as matriarchal because i think given the choice more human men then women would like this arrangement.

  8. lowering sex drive has been good for all primates. including human males (in prisons) but we usually just leave them to their own devices which I think is a sin. I wish bible was followed (just kill on sight any who act up even your own child) God didn’t seem to want the ‘monkey side’ of humans to prevail.. but to destroy it at any sign of it. left unchecked and well, we see what happens.disobey God/woman and face the wrath of the monkey! ewwww

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