De Waal and Kummer What Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

In the wild, the young of both baboons and chimpanzees must be potential prey for other animals. It seems unlikely that a zoo would put a valuable primate troupe in proximity to a pride of lions and just let nature take its course.

Nevertheless, the study of these animals, while always flawed in some way, has significance for humans. Kummer's conclusions about the genetic basis for much behavior in particular prompts some thought. If many behaviors are genetically driven in baboons and other primates, how much of human behavior is genetically driven? Obviously the need to procreate is present in all animals, but do genetics drive who we choose to marry? How much does genetics influence the jobs we choose? How much of our social activity is wholly our own choice, and how much of it is preprogrammed behavior? Most people would not want to believe that their choice to go to a party, or their choices of friends, could be genetically driven, but we share 98.5% of the genes of an animal for whom many behaviors are genetically different. Primate studies raise the possibility that there is still much to learn about human behavior as well.

De Waal, Frans. Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes. 1982: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Kummer, Hans. In Quest of the Sacred Baboon.…

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