Daily Archives: 2009-03-12 01:07:08 UTC

Do Bad Chimps Go to Hell?

Image from the Mail Online

Image from the Mail Online

Loved this, yet one more story from animal kingdom demonstrating that other species are “people too”.

Chimp Planned Rock Attack on Zoo Visitors? (this title links to the full BBC/AFP/ABC article)

The above pic and others of Santino in action, and original story, and links to similar stories, are found in Mail Online’s Science & Tech section.

Mathias Osvath, a Lund University researcher, says Santino’s behaviour shows convincingly that our fellow apes consider the future in a very complex way. . . . . . . . . . .

“It implies that they have a highly developed consciousness, including lifelike mental simulations of potential events,” he said.

“They most probably have an inner world like we have when reviewing past episodes of our lives.”

So an ape has memory, and the ability to work with that memory to plan future events, and to plan actions now to prepare for those future events?

I loved many of the comments tagged on the end of this story. I’m reminded of what I’ve witnessed with both mice and various Australian birds, especially magpies and kookaburras. I’ll have to write up some stories here as soon as I get some real free time. But I have learned that they, too, clearly have self-awareness and love and other feelings for one another.

But back to this topic. How do Creation Scientists or Intelligent Designists explain this sort of behaviour among animals vis a vis the evidence they assert for some sort of divinely implanted human soul? We know from other studies that chimps not only plan “bad behaviour” (we know of their plans and group activity to go out on search and destroy their fellow-kind missions) but also of their loving and magnanimous gestures towards one another too.

And we know how humans can be so easily treated from bad propensities to “good” ones by the mere addition of a bit of sleep, change of diet or a chemical added to the brain.

Would this stone-throwing “hood” chimp also be changed to go out and offer bananas or gestures of friendship to visitors with an injection of seratonin?

I used to wonder, as a Christian, how God could possibly judge such cases of a child-beater repeating the pattern of parents vis a vis another reformed misfit who could attribute all their change to a good lie-down or kind word of assurance from a significant other.