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20221218 – Our Inner Ape




This book looks at humans from the point of view of their similarities and dissimilarities with their closest surviving relatives: chimpanzees and bonobos. It nicely demonstrates human bipolarity when we combine chimps’ aggressive and violent behavior with their constant and often murderous strive for dominance with mainly peaceful and sexually obsessed bonobos. It is interesting how much the character of both these species, to a significant extent, is defined by their relations between sexes: male-dominated chimps and female-dominated bonobos. We, humans, are a bit more complicated with our mostly male-dominated societies at the face combined with often concealed female dominance. The nice picture below shows how close we are to our relations, which at least somewhat explains all of this:


This book is a nice reminder of our evolutionary roots, which explains our societal structures and individual behavior. However, unlike our close relatives, we invented language and control over the microclimate around us using fire, clothes, housing, effective hunting, and militaristic organization. All these inventions allowed us to take over the world and eventually move from a life of struggle for survival to a life of enjoyment when survival could be taken for granted. We are not all there yet, but we will probably arrive there after some 100 or something years of additional development. I do not doubt it will happen, but the most interesting question is – HOW?

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