I love to surf the strange news. I never cease to be amazed by the crazy things people do and what is deemed newsworthy. I also get a big kick out of NPR's news quiz 'Wait, Wait! Don't tell me!' Here's a little tidbit I found this week. It was a toss up between this article, one where Laura Bush makes the profound statement that gang-tattoos hamper employability (ya think??), and one where Newark, NJ is paying a newspaper to print only positive news about the 'Armpit of the East' (SO much fodder there, but I am abstaining in case anyone has friends or family there or perhaps it is too local to be amusing to west coast people)
LONDON (Reuters) - Chimpanzees share many traits with humans but altruism, it seems, is not one of them, scientists said on Wednesday (oct. 26). (I wonder if they have a penchant for inane studies the way scientists do? )
Although chimps live in social groups and co-operate and hunt together, when it comes to helping non-related group members, they don't put up with any monkey business.When given the opportunity to help themselves and other chimps they often choose the selfish option. (This differs from many human beings in WHAT way?)
"This is the first experiment to show that chimps don't share the same concern for the welfare of others as do humans, who routinely donate blood ... volunteer for military duty and perform other acts that benefit perfect strangers," said Joan Silk, an anthropologist at UCLA in the United States. (Do I really want a chimp donating his blood to me? Or volunteering for military duty? Oh wait, the commander-in-chief is kinda chimplike....damn if THAT doesn't explain a lot!)
To test how altruistic chimps are, Silk and researchers from Emory University, the University of Texas and the University of Louisiana studied the behaviour of two separate groups of chimps in captivity. (Researchers from THREE universities designed this and found grant money for it? I am wondering if I will have to go turn tricks at the truck stop to pay for grad school and someone is handing out money to test if chimps will share???)
They devised an experiment in which chimps on one side of a window could pull a handle to provide a tray of food for themselves or to also give the same reward to a monkey in another room on the opposite side of the window.Both groups of unrelated chimpanzees behaved in a similar way. They decided to reward themselves but not others, according to the research reported in the science journal Nature.The scientists said it is possible that the chimps did not understand they could deliver food to the other room. (Well, tell me what the food was that they could share? If it were Brussels Sprouts I'd have been quite altruistic. If it were chocolate then I say, "Mine! Mine! It's ALL mine!")
Academia, dotcha just love it?