Our Inner Ape

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There has always been an ever ending debate on the biological origin of human behavior and culture. Primatology, the study of human closest living relatives, makes an attempt to explain how humans and apes are alike. Frans de Waals who is a world renown leading primatologists explores the similarities between humans and two of his closest cousins regarding their friendship, desires, conflicts, group politics and even social manipulations. We must acknowledge that humans and apes share traits considering that we share a common ancestor as most scientists point out. De Waal’s book, Our Inner Ape, gives a holistic explanation of how chimpanzees and bonobos depict the most distinctive human characteristics of love, kindness, and power. De Waal boasts of a 30-year experience studying primates in Netherlands and the United States and uses this opportunity to showcase how humans derive their values and traits from primates. His research discredits myths that primates have a complex lifestyle that is graced by battles for power and supremacy (De Waal, 63). Additionally, De Waal set out to dispense claims that all apes are gender insensitive primates which are generalized as over-sexed. Instead, the author of Our Inner Ape classifies these primates as any other animal that lives on the command of instinct. De Waal proposes that researchers ought to place emphasis on individuality and diversity while studying the ape societies. Our Inner Ape unceasingly poses the question on which traits of the two primates parallels human behavior and characteristics. This question revolves around the violent chimpanzees and the peaceful bonobo. De Waal has made attempts to answer this issue by

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