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Book Review


Survival of The Friendliest:
Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity
By Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods 
Random House, New York 2020

American psychologist Elliot Aronson with guide dog

American psychologist Elliot Aronson with guide dog

Now contrast that example of creatively trying to help integrate an entire nation’s school system for the better with the divisive and partisan political situation in America today (even with Donald Trump out of the White House) where any semblance of friendliness, cooperation and communication has evaporated like steam from a tea-kettle.

The authors lament how far America’s political establishment has eroded in terms of cooperation and communication with fellow lawmakers. Eroded to the point where dehumanizing rhetoric has sadly become the norm.

The couple blame the recent origins of this phenomena on a certain professor of history and geography, former US House Speaker, Republican Newt Gingrich (he spent six months in Brussels in 1969–70 working on his dissertation, Belgian Education Policy in the Congo 1945–1960 undoubtedly learning the fundamentals of divide and rule from the Belgian colonialists experience!).

(Many political scientists and authors such as Sam Rosenfeld, Lililan Mason, Sean M. Theriault and others would agree, having credited Gingrich with playing a key role in undermining democratic norms in the US and hastening political polarization and partisanship of which Trump took full advantage.)

“One of Newt Gingrich’s main tactics as Speaker of the House in the late nineties was to institute policies explicitly designed to make friendships between Republicans and Democrats difficult, if not impossible,” write Hare and Woods. “He started by simply changing the Washington work week from five to three days so Republican representatives would spend the majority of time in their home districts, connecting with constituents and fundraising. This move hindered cross-group friend­ships, since fewer congress people moved their families to Washington.”

Under Gingrich’s tenure, derogatory language was recommended when talking about Democrats or the Democratic Party (the professor often compared the Dems to the Nazis).Bipartisanship went out the window and the norm’s he introduced to the House of Representatives eventually infected the Senate. 

Nevertheless, cooperation appears to be one of those fundamental tenets for the existence and proliferation of life on earth. The foundations of life arose eons ago in some type of terrestrial water body because of an extraordinary cooperation that took place on the molecular level.

“Millions of years ago, mitochondria were free floating bacteria until they entered larger cells. Mitochondria and the larger cells joined forces and became the batteries that power cell functioned in animal bodies.”     

The couple begin their exploration of human cooperation and communication by using the example of a nine months old baby and its ability to point. This early skill is literally the starting point for what experts call the “Theory of Mind”, which allows us humans to communicate with others of our species. 

“Everything we are as Homo sapiens begins with this star”, writes Hare and Woods.

Its origin is one of the great mysteries of human biological evolution mainly because it's a behavioral trait nonexistent in chimpanzees who, along with bonobos, gorillas, orangutans and gibbons, are one of our closest living biological relatives. Chimpanzees are unable to effectively communicate and cooperate at the same time.

One of the book’s many strengths is the numerous psychological experiments conducted by Brian Hare. Hare is an experimenter in the great scientific tradition of Urey and Miller; Watson and Crick, B. F. Skinner, Marie Curie, Ivan Pavlov, Rosalind Franklin, Konrad Lorenz, and Janaki Ammal.

But in modern terms, he is the MacGyver of experimenters. 

“If your equipment broke and could not be fixed with duct tape, your experiment was too complicated.”

Through these experiments the authors were able to enter into the minds of dogs, bonobos, chimps and humans.

Until recently, it was thought that only humans had possessed the Theory of Mind abilities. However, Brian Hare felt otherwise. His instincts and subsequent experiments would prove him right.

One day, Hare told his experiment colleague, the American developmental and comparative psychologist Mike Tomasello, an expert on Theory of Mind in children, that he believed Oreo, his pet dog since childhood, possess the ability of Theory of Mind, in other words, to know what Hare was thinking. Tomosello was skeptical.

“Before our experiments, there was no experimental evidence that any animal had Theory of Mind,” writes Hare and Woods.

(From 1950 to 1998, there were only two major experiments on dog intelligence, and both found that dogs were unremarkable).

The researchers knew that chimpanzees had some ability of Theory of Mind, they cooperate, and they can communicate, but doing both at the same time is a struggle. Furthermore, chimps also do not understand the ability to point with an index finger, which human babies are capable of comprehending after the age of nine months. Chimps do not make eye contact with humans as dogs and human babies do. Instead they spend more time looking at people’s mouths.

Unfortunately, Tomasello’s assumption was based on the hitherto false belief that domestication made animals unintelligent (perhaps Canis familiaris was too familiar as we humans often overlook or neglect what’s nearest and dearest to us).

Through a series of simple (but thought-provoking) experiments which involved Hare hiding food under cups and then gesturing to his dog Oreo which cup the food was hidden under, it was clear that Oreo was understanding the intension behind Hare pointing at the cup with food. He understood his master’s thinking (Hare had even taken the movement out of pointing and instead simply turned his head and looked at the correct cup).

(In order to rule out the familiarity factor, even unfamiliar dogs in a doggy daycare passed Hare’s gesture test.)

“Whatever Oreo was doing, it appeared to be more flexible and cognitively sophisticated than the response of chimpanzees”.

Researchers recently discovered that performance on related problems cluster in human infants. For instance, babies who understand what you mean when you reach toward the correct cup also understand when you gesture or look at the correct cup (referring to an experiment game designed by Mike Tomasello in order to demonstrate that human babies really do understand what you are trying to communicate with a helpful pointing gesture). Hare replicated the experiment game using dogs.

“…they performed the same was, Just like babies, they understood I wanted to help them and would use any new gesture they thought was intentionally helpful”

Both dogs and babies were more likely to pay attention if someone made eye contact and used a friendly voice. They could even use the direction of one’s voice says Hare and Woods. Dogs, unlike chimpanzees, survive by communicating with people.

Curtis Abraham


SURVIVAL OF THE FRIENDLIEST: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity, is a book about the evolution of friendliness, cooperation and communication as a result of human self-domestication, a hypothesis that remains controversial, and how these qualities became advantageous evolutionary strategies for our species enabling us to live in larger communities and to innovate. 

The book also explores the sinister side of human nature which, ironically, arose from and is inextricable linked to the friendliness and cooperation that has evidently made Homo sapien sapien THE most successful species on planet Earth-so far.  

Duke University anthropologist Brian Hare and New York Times best-selling science writer and researcher Vanessa Woods (the couple who brought us the “The Genius of Dogs” and “Bonobo Handshake”), begin the story with a poignant yet instructive historical tale of the triumph of friendliness, cooperation and communication over the darker side of human nature: hatred, xenophobia, discrimination, racism and dehumanization in a newly desegregated public school in early 1970s America. 

The authors narrate the existential plight of one minority student in a newly desegregated public school in 1970s America, and demonstrating that good science does indeed have social utility. English was his second language and he had a slight speech impediment for which he was teased about by fellow classmates who were white. An unlikely hero in this boy’s life (and quite possibly in the desegregated school system in the USA) was the American psychologist Elliot Aronson. Aronson convinced the teacher of this student to let him implement his jigsaw classroom method, which emphasized class integration and participation in the learning experience while mitigating interethnic hostility and prejudice.

(The genius in Aronson’s Jigsaw method was that each student in a group has a piece of knowledge to contribute to a coherent lesson.)

In the end, the technique not only helped this minority student to be accepted for what knowledge he had to offer to his class, but in a general way it helped to bridge the inequalities and latent hostilities in newly desegregated classrooms-giving some measure of confidence to minority children in an alien, all white learning environment.

According to Hare and Woods, it also opened the minds and hearts of the white students and teachers who were initially felt uncomfortable at seeing dark and dusky faces seated next to them.


Oreo pooch

But why should dogs and humans share similar social skills that psychologists had thought were unique to us human?

Could self-domestication have something to do with it?

Self-domestication is domestication via natural selection; a process that some scientists say occur by selection against reactive aggression (spontaneous aggression in response to a threat) leading to docility and greater friendliness (some kind of intentional or unintentional cooperation or positive behavior towards others or your own species).


(Primatologist Richard Wrangham, the Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University, with colleagues Adam S. Wilkins, and W. Tecumseh Fitch, who argue that domestication syndrome is caused by alterations in the migration or activity of neural crest cells during their development, believes that bonobos appear to have domesticated themselves based on ecological factors such as the continuous availability of food resources south of the Congo River).


The domestication process involves several biochemical changes in the brain, which researchers have found to alter behavior. For example, Corticosteroids (stress hormones) appear to be suppressed as an animal becomes more domesticated. Also, the neurotransmitter Serotonin is associated with lower predatory and defensive aggression. This compound is increased in the brains of animals as domestication progresses.


In addition, to behavioral changes, domestication generally does some pretty weird things to animal species. It triggers a set of physical changes that on the surface appear unrelated. Alterations in the shape of the animal's face, curly tails, white feet, the size of its teeth and pigmentation to the animal's hair and various body parts are quite common.


These superficial changes have deep underlying roots. Domestication also affects the development of an animal's nervous system including the size of its brain, which shrinks. It also causes alterations to hormones and the reproductive cycle. Collectively, these transformations are called the Domestication Syndrome.


If we are to believe that humans, like dogs, have undergone the domestication process, then something must have occurred to have advanced canine cognition.


“Since dogs evolved from wolves, they have evolved to be more like us in a variety of ways”, writes Hare and Woods


(One example is the digestion of starch. Researchers have found that the gene that helps us to digest starch has also evolved in dogs enabling them to easily digest human foods. The wolf-like ancestors of dogs were unable to digest the foods that human ancestors farmed and gathered).


What helped Hare to understand why humans and dogs might share the same social skills such as cooperative communication has been described as one of the most important and remarkable biology experiments of the 20th/21st centuries- the groundbreaking Farm Fox experiment.


The experiment was the brainchild of the Russian geneticist Dmitry Belyaev in the late 1950s and continues to this day by his protégé Ludmilla Trut, current head of the research group at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


According to Richard Wrangham, Hare’s graduate adviser, the origins of Belyaev’s experiment had a purely economic and practical purpose. Farmers in the Soviet Union lamented the fact that silver foxes bred only once a year, which limited their opportunity for additional profits from exports. Belyaev knew that domesticated animals bred more than their wild ancestors, so he decided to domesticate silver foxes from scratch hoping that would similarly increase their breeding cycle and document the outcomes.


“Belyaev”s hypothesis was that selection purely for docility (a heritable trait) might produce the domestication syndrome including a faster rate of reproduction”, writes Richard Wrangham in his 2019 book “The Goodness Paradox: How Evolution Made Us Both More And Less Violent”.


Richard Wrangham at Kibale Forest, western Uganda

Belyaev and his team spent decades breeding the wild silver fox (Vulpes vulpes) and selecting for reproduction only those individuals in each generation that showed the least fear of humans (we know today that this  represents a reduction in reactive aggression). After several generations of controlled breeding a majority silver foxes no longer showed any fear of humans and often wagged their tails and licked their human caretakers to show affection.


But the extraordinary part of the experiment were the non-adaptive traits mentioned earlier that emerged as part of the domestication process including reduced fear, docility and friendliness. But there are also other non-adaptive traits initiated by the process of domestication including changes to the shape of the face, the size of the teeth, pigmentation of different body parts or hair, changes to hormones, reproductive cycles and the nervous system. Generally, domestication affects the development of brains and body that are not undergone by their wild ancestors. Such changes have been collectively termed the "Domestication Syndrome". 


Dr. LudmillaTrut, Belyaev’s protégé and head of the research group at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Novosibirsk, continues the research started by her mentor.


(Charles Darwin observed these changes to domesticated animals in the mid-19th century, and discussed it in his 1868 book THE VARIATION OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS UNDER DOMESTICATION. However, Darwin failed to give this phenomena a name, nor could he explain the mechanism (s) behind it).


According to Wrangham, Belyaev’s experiment showed that the Domestication Syndrome is NOT a series of adaptations but represents a series of NON-ADAPTIVE responses. In other words, non-adaptive by-products of selection, which arose by the sole process of domestication.


(Various criticisms in recent times have raised questions about the authenticity of Belyayev’s experiment and thus his conclusions. [See Gorman, James (2019-12-03). "Why Are These Foxes Tame? Maybe They Weren't So Wild to Begin With".  The New York Times] and [Lord, Kathryn A.; Larson, Greger; Coppinger, Raymond P.; Karlsson, Elinor K. (2020). "The History of Farm Foxes Undermines the Animal Domestication Syndrome". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 35 (2): 125–136. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2019.10.011PMID 31810775.


(See written rebuttals to the above criticism by, for example, Ludmilla Trut, Anastasiya V. Kharlamova and Yury E. Herbeck, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, August 2020, Vol. 35, No. 8; and Melinda A. Zeder: “Straw Foxes: Domestication Syndrome Evaluation Comes Up Short”, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, August 2020, Vol. 35, No. 8 647)


(See rebuttals to the rebuttals: Reply to Zeder and Trut et al.: An Attractive Hypothesis in Need of Evidence: Kathryn A. Lord Greger Larson Elinor K. Karlsson


Monument to Dmitry Belyaev, Novosibirsk, Western Siberia Russia


Ludmilla Trut holding a fox that’s part of the Farm Fox experiment

Could cooperative communication skills, like that of other non-adaptive traits seen in domesticated animals, be a by-product of the domestication process?


At the insistence of Wrangham, who suspected that they were, Hare travelled to Russia and visited Belyaev’s silver foxes to test this very notion.


Following a series of tests to both regular and friendly fox kittens he and an assistant conducted, which also included hiding food under two bowls and pointing to the bowl where the food is hidden, Hare concluded that the experiments “provided strong evidence that the basic skill behind the cooperative communication we observed in dogs as the product of domestication.” Furthermore, Hare also came to the conclusion that domestication made animals not less intelligent but friendlier. Cognition appeared to be another by-product of the domestication process.  


Could the friendliness and cooperation of humans also be a lucky by-product of this incredible metamorphosis of self-domestication?


In the 19th century, Darwin was constantly impressed with the kindness and cooperation he observed in nature and wrote that “those communities, which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members, would flourish best and rear the greatest number of offspring.” Darwin and his predecessors have documented that the ideal way to win at the evolutionary game is to maximize friendliness so that cooperation flourishes.


(On the contrary, the great American biologist/neuro-scientist Robert Sapolsky and others have observed that being the biggest, strongest and meanest animal can lead to a lifetime of stress, which weakens the body and can result in fewer healthier offspring. Definitely not what any creature wants including us humans.)


Considerable debate still surrounds the hypothesis that humans are a self-domesticated species (as dogs and bonobos are suspected of being). 


(Some critics argue that “Not enough credit to the effects of intergroup aggression, and other points arising from Richard [D].Alexander’s thinking” [those other points include the Balance of Power Hypothesis or the Ecological Dominance Social Competition Model aka EDSC developed by Alexander and his colleagues and students starting in the 1960s].While others say that “Alternative mechanism may apply” in the creation of human friendliness and cooperation.


The couple argue that natural selection acted on Homo sapiens in favor of friendlier behavior that enhanced our ability to flexibility cooperate and communicate. Over generations, individuals with hormonal and developmental profiles that favor friendliness and thus cooperative communication were more successful.


If we believe that self-domestication has occurred in the course of human biological evolution, then it gave us the friendly edge we needed to succeed as other hominin species went extinct.


(There is fossil and DNA evidence that for most of the approximately 200,000 to 300,000 years that Homo sapiens has existed, we shared the planet with at least four other human species. Some of these humans had brains that were as big as, or bigger than, ours.)


What this increasing friendliness and cooperation did, says Hare and Woods, was to allow Homo sapiens to make the shift from living in small bands of ten to fifteen individuals, like the Neanderthals, to living in larger groups of a hundred or more. 


Our sensitivity to others in these larger groups allowed us to cooperate and communicate in increasingly complex ways that put our cultural abilities on a new trajectory. We could innovate and share those innovations more rapidly than anyone else. 


Technological innovation exploded 50,000 years ago during the Pleistocene, and according to the couple, the friendliness and cooperation initiated by our self-domestication also caused a rapid expansion of social networks.


“Social networks are crucial in many ways, but they are essential to the development of technology. When populations lose their connection to a larger social network, technology does not just stop advancing-it can even disappear.”


We know that selection for friendliness causes physical changes in domesticated animals. Therefore, if humans are self-domesticated, there should be evidence for these types of physical changes in our ancestors. The book provides some examples of the physical evidence that human bodies, particularly face shape, skull size and brow ridge projection did start to change 80,000 years ago prior to human population explosion and improved technology.


One modern physical trait that the couple points to as undeniable evidence of human self-domestication are the whites of our eyes. Only humans have white sclerae, the absence of pigment, while other primates do not. At some point, the couple argue, we went from camouflaging our eyes to advertising them. The evolution of white sclerae, which they believe occurred more than 80,000 years ago, was the result of selection for friendliness.


Our friendliness bred not only more tolerance but, like our cousins the bonobo, towards strangers we were also helpful and kind. 


We recognize group identities. Our social awareness allow us to see these group identities as flexible or elastic. This plasticity is vital to the emergence of social norms (implicit and explicit rules that govern social interaction), which allows us to identify and embrace humans beyond our immediate families.


The neuro-chemistry behind this argue Hare and Woods, is the neuro-hormone oxytocin.


“Basically, serotonin increases the impact of oxytocin. Decreases in available testosterone also increase the ability of oxytocin to bind with neurons and change behavior. With increased available serotonin and decreased testosterone, during human self-domestication, an increase in the efficacy of oxytocin is predicted. It is this increased power of oxytocin over our behavior that likely explains how our species evolved the ability to perceive our group as if they are family,”


During the course of our evolution there was development of the new social category, the intragroup stranger, members of our particular group whom we have never encounter previously. We are not only tolerant of such individuals but are prepared to go out of our way to help them.


But here is where things start to go dark.


The love we have for our own group heightens the fear and aggression towards outsiders with different group identities (in all hunter/gatherer societies studied by anthropologists, men conduct preemptive raids on other groups as a way of protecting their own communities).  


The prejudice that social scientists ascribe to one group’s dislike or having negative feelings towards the other group is insufficient, says the couple.


“The human self-domestication hypothesis suggests our worst behaviors towards other groups cannot be explained as mere “negative feeling” towards others,” writes Hare and Woods. “It suggests we also evolved the ability to dampen the activity of the mental network that produces the unique features of our theory of mind. This allows us to blind ourselves to blind ourselves to the humanity of people outside our group when we feel threatened. This blindness is a far darker force than even prejudice. Unable to summon empathy for outsiders, we feel no connection to their suffering. Aggression is permissible. Rules, norms and morals for their humane treatment no longer apply.”


According to the authors, several studies have demonstrated that reduced activity in every region of our theory of mind network has been linked to negative treatment of outsiders.


Fueling this murkier, sinister side of humanity’s friendliness are some enduring myths and misconceptions of human evolution. Misunderstandings that have contributed to negative social and political attitudes and consequences over the past generations (good science does indeed have social utility as Hare and Woods demonstrate). 


One example is the phrase “survival of the fittest” and how it led to, among other things, discriminatory attitudes towards groups of people (as was illustrated in the US school desegregation episode) that sadly has lasted to this day.


The phrase was first coined by Herbert Spencer, the 19th century English philosopher and polymath renowned for his hypothesis of social Darwinism. However, Charles Darwin in the 5th edition of his magnum opus “Origin of Species” used the phrase as an alternative or synonym for natural selection. He wrote: “Survival of the fittest is more accurate, and sometimes equally convenient” (Josef Stalin reportedly hated the phrase, which he saw as an inherently American capitalist idea and justification for those with superior strength of intelligence to amass wealth while workers lived in poverty).


Sadly, the word “fitness” over the decades since Darwin became misconstrued with physical fitness and not evolutionary fitness (our ability to survive and reproduce in the environment we are in.


Yet another misconception or misrepresentation is the “March of Progress” (“Ascent of Man”) iconography. The enduring image of the evolutionary progress of “man”, which was meant to illustrate 25 million years of human evolution.  


This misrepresentation has led to the emergence of two enduring myths among the general public: the first is that evolution is linear in character AND that humans were inevitably headed for the top of the animal kingdom (as the late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould was fond of saying, evolution is a branching bush not a ladder of inevitable progress). 


Studies done by Harvard-trained social psychologist Nour Kteily of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University used the March of Progress illustration as a measure for dehumanization of other ethnic and religious groups. Kteily found that most of the white Americans he surveyed (172 in total) perceived half the ethnic groups they were asked to rate in terms of their evolutionary development as less than fully human (of course all the groups are fully human without variation in terms of one group or groups being a sub-species or inherently having more or less intellectual capacity than any other. 


Ota Benga with chimpanzee 

Perhaps the worst form of dehumanization is simianization-comparing people of color, and marginalized European communities such as Ashkenazi Jews and Asians to apes or monkeys during particular periods in world history. Even America's first black president Barack Obama was not immune to such abuse(during Obama's campaign one Georgia bar owner, for example, sold T-shirts depicting the cartoon character Curious George, a monkey, eating a banana with OBAMA '08 written underneath).


The book also traces the history of such attitudes by discussing two concurrent historical events and their unflattering, racist convergence. The Transatlantic Slave Trade, which saw tens of millions of Africans shipped to the New World over the course of four centuries, and apes of every variety shipped from Africa to Europe for the first time in human history (nobody has even bothered to estimate how many of these primates were captured and ferried to Old World Europe). These animals were examined by some of the leading biologists of the day such as Carolus Linnnaeus. But it was during this period that some European scientists were comparing black people to apes and monkeys (i.e. Ethiopians, Pygmies, and Sudanese).


“The analogies are far more numerous between the ape and the Negro than between the ape and the European,” wrote the anthropologist and speech therapist James Hunt in his paper of 1863, On the Negro’s Place in Nature.


(On the Negro’s Place in Nature was reportedly greeted with boos and hisses when read at the British Association meeting in 1863 because of its pro-slavery stance in the southern Confederate states in the US and the belief in the separate origins of human races.  


Such attitudes persists to this day. Studies done by Ashley E. Jardina, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University and author of “White Identity Politics” sampled a cross-section of white Americans and asked the following question: How evolved black people were compared to white people.


“On average, white people responded that black people were less evolved than white people, or closer to apes, on the evolutionary scale,” writes the authors.


Perhaps the most popular manifestation of simianization, with obvious racial undertones (in retrospect), was the 1933 movie KING KONG. The film is about Kong, a giant ape, who has an unusual fascination with a beautiful young woman. The movie was a hit and is considered today as the greatest horror film of all time (Merian C. Cooper, the movie’s producer, reportedly said that he thought of King Kong after he had a dream that a giant gorilla was terrorizing New York City. When he awoke, he recorded the idea and used it for the film).


“A white woman goes to a jungle island, where she is met by black savages under the thrall of an enormous black gorilla. The gorilla takes an unnatural sexual interest in the white woman, and the white woman and the white woman brings the black gorilla back to white civilization which he is unable to appreciate. White men kill the black gorilla before he destroys white civilization, the white woman falls helplessly into the arms of the leading white man and the natural order is restored.”


The book also chronicles the rise of Eugenics, the practice or advocacy of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits thereby reducing human suffering by “breeding out” disease, disabilities and so-called undesirable characteristics from the human population, and, in more recent times, the rise of the ALT-Right in America and continental Europe. 


Contrary to popular belief, argue the authors, it is not economic anxiety of poor rural white communities that has caused the growth of the ALT-Right groups such as SDO and RWA, but their extreme intolerance towards outsiders who appear to threaten their group identity. 


“When those high in SDO and RWA feel threatened, they are likely to respond by dehumanizing members of other groups”.


Hare and Woods rightly point out that education alone is not enough to counter racist attitudes, particularly the blatant simianization of other groups (for example, the racist misconception that black people are more tolerant to pain was even believe by 40 percent of medical students from across the racial spectrum in a 2016 study done by psychologist Kelly Hoffman). Trying to educate intolerant people might actually make things worse and cause the offenders to harden their bigoted attitudes.  


In the book, the couple describes one survey respondent saying that if it were not for Europeans, there would be nothing but the “Third World” (the logical response to that would be that there would be no such thing as a European were it not for the “Third World” since the science of paleoanthropology, for example, tells us that humanity’s origin is the African continent).


One of the most profound truths in the book is the authors’ reflections on bonobo society and our own.


“But we ignore the bonobos’ example at our own peril. Among our great ape relatives, bonobos have escaped the lethal violence that plagues the rest of us. They do not kill one another. And that is a feat that, despite our intelligence, we have yet to accomplish.”

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