May 18, 2006

Apes Are In The News Once More

Live Science is going ape these days with stories about apes and monkeys.

Putty-nosed monkeys, who dwell in African rainforests, give out warning "hacks" when predators are around. I love the description of the goals of the monkeys by the Live Science writer: "Their three main goals in life are to reproduce, eat, and not get eaten." Aint that what evolution is all about? More here.

Now it looks like humans and chimp ancestors may have interbred. " The initial split occurred around 6.3 million years ago. Sometime after, the descendents of the earliest known human ancestor—the 6.5 to 7.5-million-year-old "Toumai," a biped that probably didn't look much different than chimpanzee ancestors—mated with ancestral chimps and created a hybrid species.

Scientists can't say how long the hybridization carried on, but the final speciation occurred around 5.3 million years ago, possibly because the two species' genetic coded were too different to mix or the animals were simply physically unappealing to each other." More here

Unappealing to each other? I don't think they are talking about married couples who have been together too long.

And now for the best story, at least to me. Apes plan ahead.
"To determine if apes can also perform this type of "mental time travel," Nicholas Mulcahy and Josep Call, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, enlisted five bonobo chimpanzees and five orangutans for an experiment.

The researchers first led the animals into a room and taught them how to use a tool to get a food reward. Then the apes were directed to a "tool shed" containing tools for reaching grapes and juice bottles. Two of the tools were well suited for the task, while six were not.

After an ape made its selection, it was not allowed access to the goodie dispenser for an hour, so the animal hauled the tool back to a waiting room for storage.

When the researchers allowed the animals to have a go at the dispenser, the apes returned with a suitable tool and retrieved their treat in less than 5 minutes about 30 percent of the time.

One orangutan, a female named Dokana, was particularly adept at planning ahead. She returned to the feeding area with the correct tool for the task nearly every time. Even when she brought back the wrong tool, she figured out how to alter it to make it work anyway.

In a second test, the researchers extended the wait time to 14 hours and ran the test with Dokana and a male bonobo named Kuno. Dokana took tools with her in all 11 trials, and returned with the proper tool seven times. Kuno did even better, returning with the right tool eight times.

Reading an ape's mind

The authors suggest that selecting a tool, which has no value in itself, is evidence that the apes are actually planning ahead, since the animal knows that the tool will come in handy later on."

OK, now I would have guessed that Great Apes could think ahead. But this leads me to ponder why can't Palestinians think ahead. Maybe some of the Palestinian leaders need brain transplants. Give the Palestinian leaders bonobos brains and maybe, just maybe, there will be peace in the middle east.

Here is an example of how Palestinians think ahead:

Palestinians have yet to show any ability to think even one move ahead. They seem to be stuck on the past. Voting for Hamas was a perfect example of this. I have a feeling that when a Palestinian gets ready for a game of chess, he just imagines suicide belts on all the pawns.


  1. "Their three main goals in life are to reproduce, eat, and not get eaten."

    And drink Jack Daniels.

  2. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
    --Acts 4:13

    Peter and John were two men who had been with Jesus, who for three years had looked into His eyes and heard Him pray.

    They'd listened intently as He taught lessons of the kingdom and what it meant to follow Him. They'd seen His tears in the Garden of Gethsemane. They even watched Him die. Then they saw Him in the glory of His resurrection!

    Because they had been with Jesus, Peter and John acted like Jesus. In fact, their lives had been revolutionized so dramatically because of the time they spent with Jesus that when people observed them-even their enemies-they knew there was something distinct, something uniquely different about these men.

    When the world looks at you as a believer in Christ, I wonder if they can say the same thing. Can a watching world tell when you have worshiped…when you have bowed in your own time of prayer? Do they see evidence of being with Jesus?

    When you interact with your friends, your family, and your business associates, I pray they will see that there is something different about you…that you have been with Jesus Christ.

  3. "Peter and John were two men who had been with Jesus, who for three years had looked into His eyes and heard Him pray. "

    Nice. Start with a total lie.

  4. AJ - I just saw a story a few days ago about Hamas agreeign to reconize Israel in exchange for further withdrawal from the disputed territories. Have you heard this?

  5. A letter was written in prison by a Hamas leader. Nothing was formalized or agreed upon. As of right now, Hamas still does not recognize Israel, and one more thing, from what I read, they are demanding totat withdrawal to the 1967 borders, something that will never happen. You can't move 200,000 people, and some of the cities in the West Bank are like medium sized US cities now. I've always said that compensation should be made if peace was guaranteed, but a deal has to be realistic.

    Anon, when you say that Peter and John had recognized they had been with Jesus, does that mean they had sex with him?

  6. "Anon, when you say that Peter and John had recognized they had been with Jesus, does that mean they had sex with him? "

    That would have been really gross since Paul wasn't even born until 40 after Jesus supposedly died.

    Aj - religion - integrity = hamas

  7. Who said anything about Paul? One more thing, about the Da Vinci Code: Why does the idea that Jesus had heterosexual sex bother Fundies so much?

  8. "Who said anything about Paul? "

    :-P D'oh. That's what I get for reading two blogs at once.

    Talking about Paul on one forum and Peter and John having their way with Jesus on this one and I mixed them up.

    My fault. Apologies.

  9. Jesus is pure. Sex is dirty.

    In fact, I think I must be the son of God because my parents never had sex (as far as I'm aware).

  10. I don't think Muslims play chess. Face it: they can't get their heads around the rules. A woman the most powerful piece on the board? I mean, sheesh.

    (Interesting to note: when a pawn, with or without a suicide belt, advances to the last rank -- kind of like reaching heaven -- it can become a Queen.) Yeah, I figure the jihady brigade would have qualms about such a game.

  11. Off topic, but you'll probably want to look at this and maybe post it.

    Iran eyes badges for Jews
    Law would require non-Muslim insignia

    Chris Wattie, National Post
    Published: Friday, May 19, 2006

  12. Not just Jews but the other original inhabitants like the Zoroastrians.
    Thanks, I saw this earlier today. I'm sure the Palestinian supporters won't give a hoot about it.

  13. Aj - youre such a racist for even SUGGESTING they should care.

    (I'm not quite sure how that works, but since apparently even identifying Arabs as Arab is "racist" then apparently everything is.)

  14. I'm more racist for imnplying they should care, because that is an opinion, than I am for saying Arabs were behind 9/11 (because that is fact)

  15. linear line
    ancestor 7 million years ago - NOW - descendant 7 million years from today

    Toumai = ancestor 7 million years ago. Today, 'we' look at Toumai and think he is not so smart and not so good looking.

    Future 'we' 7 million years later, looks at 'we' of today, says the same thing of us, we once said of Toumai?

    2] What skills and intelligence did 'our ancestor' from "Toumai" have to pick up to arrive here today at the 'we' ?
    Likewise, what skills and intelligence do 'we' have to pick up to arrive at the 'we' of 7 million years ahead in the future?

  16. Thanks, I saw this earlier today. I'm sure the Palestinian supporters won't give a hoot about it. from BEAJ

    Aj - youre such a racist for even SUGGESTING they should care. from kahlo

    How is that first statement a "suggestion" of anything? Clearly, it is not.

    Amateurish bloggers love to put erroneous words in "people's mouths" so they can stand on their soap-box and deliver their bullshit monologues.

    Anyway, it turns out now that the story may be false, or that the law may have been passed but there are no plans to enforce it. The problem seems to be that the primary sources are Iranian ex-pats living in Canada.

  17. Hold on! maybe kahlo was being sarcastic in that remark, if so.... my apologies

  18. Yes, Lya was being sarcastic. It is a running joke, as other commenters have called me racist because I seem to shed a bad light on Arabs.

    I don't see anything denying the story here.

  19. This is a true story of something that happened just a few years ago at USC.

    There was a professor of philosophy there who was a deeply committed atheist.

    His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester to prove that God couldn't exist.

    His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic.

    Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever really gone against him because of his reputation.

    At the end of every semester on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, "If there is anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!"

    In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, "Because anyone who believes in God is a fool".

    If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet He can't do it."

    And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces.

    All of the students would do nothing but stop and stare.

    Most of the students thought that God couldn't exist. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but! For 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

    Well, a few years ago there was a freshman who happened to enroll.

    He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about his professor.

    He was required to take the class for his major, and he was afraid. But for three months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said, or what the class thought.

    Nothing they said could ever shatter his faith...he hoped.

    Finally, the day came. ! The professor said, "If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!" The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom.

    The professor shouted, "You FOOL!!!

    If God existed, he would keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!"

    He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away unbroken. The professor's jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man, and then ran out of the lecture hall.

    The young man who had stood, proceeded to walk to the front of the room and shared his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 299 students stayed and listened as he told of God's love for them and of His power through Jesus.

  20. Nice try. But the story is an old one, and just a story. See here.

    Anon Christian, please sign a name(make something up at the end of your crap posts), so I can differentiate between the Anons here.

    By the way, that is such a stupid story too, but I'm sure Churchies love it.

  21. I like it, Beaj. ... the effort you take to show it is an urban legend and the source, even though we stand on different side of the divide of the metaphysical. One point to you and zero point to the anon who fell for the urban legend. Even if he did not fall for it, and even if it were true, it does not really say anything concrete of religion or the metaphysical. I am more perturbed that, such is the yardstick of religion for that anon, as well as the anon that cited the NT text to show believers behave so well that others see Christ through them, for, even by that, the anon's citing that text in this fashion, only serves to show the contrary. What say, we chip in some $ and send anon to a good degree and postgrad degree course of your choice, Beaj for that anon, either one or two of them ?

  22. I took an anthropology course in college, and it was the most fascinating class of my college experience. I learned all about human evolution, chimps, bonobos, orangutans and every species in between. Admittedly, many of my fellow students seemed to be bored to tears. I, on the other hand, paid attention with rapt interest. What could be more fascinating?

    I love all the news that's been out there lately regarding this stuff. Gaps are being filled faster than fundie creationists can invent them!

  23. As far as evolution is concerned, the US Supreme Court about 19 years ago in Edwards v Aguillard has settled that creation science is NOT science. If some Christians still think the Bible is a science text book, they will over time, realise it is NOT. Any opportunity to point that out to them, is good. Also good is pointing out to these group of Christians that there are OTHER Christians who think otherwise. Also good to point out to non Christians, that there OTHER group of Christians who do recognise that creation science is NOT science.

    The recent ID issue has been said to be creation science revisited with a bit more sophiscation. Whatever, ID is not science and there are OTHER Christians, who do not think ID is science.

    HOWEVER a different issue, is the philosophical implications or deductions of the science of evolution and origin of life.

  24. W, again, I don't see why you won't set up your own blog. If you need help, I will help you set one up. Just email me at

    You seem that you have a message to preach, and you should be looking for a bigger audience than my blog.

    Oh yeah, you should read this.

  25. Doctor B, that was hilarious.

    Simon, maybe you are the Messiah.

    Frances, I'm fascinated in apes and monkeys myself, and I don't understand why others wouldn't be especially in an anthropology class.

  26. That is generous of you, beaj, but I have to finish packing for summer to ..... and I may take a rain check on it. Does it hold good for ten years?

    On the link you provided on Loop Quantum Gravity, it is interesting. There is the
    # scientific understanding AND
    # philosophical understanding of the science of the universe, its origin & development. This distinction is best seen in this online chapter I : Beginning of the Universe and these parts

    # scientific cosmology/#quantum cosmology and inflating universes/#a philosophical evaluation of quantum cosmologies/#philosophical issues/# the question of a philosophical cosmology or something from nothing

    beaj, close your eyes to other parts...:-)))

  27. You don't seem to miss a chance in calling Arabs subhuman or saying how backwards and dumb they are.

    I think you once said that there's something genetically wrong with them.

    Can you explain this please.

    If you think that's a biased site.. Google: Arab Americans

    Thank You.

  28. I believe that middle Eastern Arabs are brought up in a culture of hate and death. This has been backed up by first hand information, people who don't lie about it or spin it.
    I have also posted INFORMATION that up to 50% of Saudi Arabians for example are products of 2nd cousin or less marriages.
    I think the culture is sub human by my standards causing people to ACT subhuman.

  29. I also have acknowledged that Arabs schooled in America and/or born in America have normal IQ and literacy levels. Then again, most Arabs who comes to America realizes that the Western culture is superior to the Arabian culture, and therefore most likely overcame their hatred of the West.

    Again, I don't like and probably hate the culture and/or ideology of Arabia. People are people. But a person brought up to hate, is most likely too far gone for my liking.

  30. Thanks for clearing things up for me. You do make many valid points.


  31. I think the real chess game as played 7 million years ago by Toumai and that has to be played by ALL of "us" is not the board chess game of two sides, one set of black pieces and another set of white pieces.

    Toumai's real man's chess game, led his team of 2,000+ men to arrive at this current destination of 2006 with 6+ billion men [ used in the sense of persons]

    Homo sapien's real man's chess game is that, which will lead 'us' to where we really can be 7 million years into the future. All the pieces, every 6+ billion pieces of the homo sapien's real chess game, are lined up ALL on the SAME SIDE, and we all march towards and into the future to the other side of future 7 million years into the future.

    No message to preach, so f-a-d-i-n-g a-w-a-y..... :-))) Have a hella of a great summer, everyone !! :-)))