Re: Planet Of The Apes & Termonology- Rebuttal

Tue, 10 Jun 1997 22:07:16 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 6/10/97 2:07:31 PM, (Nick Nicholas)

> wrote:

>>So calling an ape (or a human) a monkey
>> isn't really inaccurate, although there
>>are valid reasons for drawing a
>> distinction.

>They are all chordates too. The disinction I am making can be easily
>seen in brain mass alone which varies over an order of magnitude between
>small monkeys and h. sapiens.

Sure; you can define humans either as monkeys with very big and altered
brains or as non-monkeys with a very long list of monkey-specific
biochemistry, behaviour, and anatomy. It's entirely up to you and both
definitions are meaningful. From a genetic point of view we're just another
monkey, with no more genetic changes that any other monkey. From a
behavioral point of view we are very different, with most of the difference
coming from the very slight genetic differences between us and chimpanzees.
If you look at our effects on the earth, at this point we virtually deserve
our own kingdom.

>> Well, perhaps not for the individual (depending on your definition).
>> Domestication, however, is a spectacular success for the species.
>> There's a
>> lot more dogs than wolves today, and with some species (cats and
>> sheep) the
>> ancestor species is nearly extinct.

>I see... more is always better.

Not quite always. But, as I said, from the *species* point of view more in
this fashion is very good.

>To anthropomorphize a bit, you would
>rather be a chattel than a free being?

Free, of course, but that's not the option here. The "choice" for these
species may well be extinction or domestication as pets/slaves (of course,
insofar as a choice is being made, it's ours). Mountain gorillas, for
example, are down to about 500 individuals with a demanding habitat
requirement. In spite of being protected, if they aren't domesticated,
between poachers, natural disasters, and the occaisional war they will
probably soon be gone.

Also, don't forget that monkeys and apes generally live in societies too.
From what I know about ape society, I think I'd rather be a pet in a human
one. Ape societies can be quite brutal. I assume monkeys can as well.