Almost Human

Heres a program from our archives.Chimpanzees are remarkably similar to human beings in many ways, and studies of chimp behavior have caused scientists to redefine those qualities that we call human. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience, Gombe Reserve Goodall: Chimpanzees actually are our closest living relatives. They differ from us genetically by just over one percent.Dr. Jane Goodall has been studying chimpanzees over the past thirty years.Goodall: Through the years, the similarities between human and chimp behavior have become increasingly apparent. Studies in captivity show amazing similarities in intellectual ability. And the similarities in some respects, such as non-verbal communication, mean that, when you see chimpanzees embracing, hugging, kissing one another, patting one another on the back, you know intuitively just exactly what they mean.Chimps are so like us in the structure of the brain and the central nervous system. They’re so like us in the composition of blood, and immune system and so forth, that it follows, quite logically, that there would be similarities in emotions, similarities in behavior, and similarities in intellectual ability.One of the things that’s become increasingly clear is that, not only have we learned a lot about chimpanzees place in nature, but that this teaches us a great deal about our own human place in nature. It’s a little humbling because an understanding of chimps shows that, while humans are a unique primate species, we’re not as different as we used to think, and we don’t stand in isolated splendor on one side of an unbridgeable chasm, with the rest of the animal kingdom on the other. And for me, the chimpanzee helps to bridge that supposed gap.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast.

Almost Human

Our closest living relatives.
Air Date:10/18/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

Heres a program from our archives.Chimpanzees are remarkably similar to human beings in many ways, and studies of chimp behavior have caused scientists to redefine those qualities that we call human. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience, Gombe Reserve Goodall: Chimpanzees actually are our closest living relatives. They differ from us genetically by just over one percent.Dr. Jane Goodall has been studying chimpanzees over the past thirty years.Goodall: Through the years, the similarities between human and chimp behavior have become increasingly apparent. Studies in captivity show amazing similarities in intellectual ability. And the similarities in some respects, such as non-verbal communication, mean that, when you see chimpanzees embracing, hugging, kissing one another, patting one another on the back, you know intuitively just exactly what they mean.Chimps are so like us in the structure of the brain and the central nervous system. They're so like us in the composition of blood, and immune system and so forth, that it follows, quite logically, that there would be similarities in emotions, similarities in behavior, and similarities in intellectual ability.One of the things that's become increasingly clear is that, not only have we learned a lot about chimpanzees place in nature, but that this teaches us a great deal about our own human place in nature. It's a little humbling because an understanding of chimps shows that, while humans are a unique primate species, we're not as different as we used to think, and we don't stand in isolated splendor on one side of an unbridgeable chasm, with the rest of the animal kingdom on the other. And for me, the chimpanzee helps to bridge that supposed gap.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast.