Monday, June 19, 2006

The Pope of the Chimps

A short story by Robert Silverberg in which researchers teaching sign-language to a colony of chimpanzees inadvertently pass along notions of God and the afterlife.

"It's possible sometimes to be too subtle in your analysis," Falkenburg said. "You're suggesting that these chimpanzees have a theology?"

"I'm suggesting that they may be in the process of evolving a religion," Yost replied.

Can it be?

Sometimes we lose our perspective with these animals, as Mick indicated, and we overestimate their intelligence; but just as often, I think, we underestimate them.

Jump high come again.

I wonder. Secret sacred talk? A chimpanzee theology? Belief in life after death? A religion?

Filed under Literature, Religion, Science Fun

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