Frans De Waal Quotes
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To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental, about both animals and us.
The enemy of science is not religion... . The true enemy is the substitution of thought, reflection, and curiosity with dogma.
If we look straight and deep into a chimpanzee's eyes, an intelligent self-assured personality looks back at us. If they are animals, what must we be?
If you ask anyone, what is morality based on? These are the two factors that always come out: One is reciprocity, … a sense of fairness, and the other one is empathy and compassion.
Darwin wasn't just provocative in saying that we descend from the apes - he didn't go far enough. We are apes in every way, from our long arms and tailless bodies to our habits and temperament.
Perhaps it's just me, but I am wary of any persons whose belief system is the only thing standing between them and repulsive behavior.
We are territorial, power-hungry and even more brutal than chimpanzees.
We are by far the most contradictory of all primates. An animal with this much internal conflict has never lived on this earth.
The possibility that empathy resides in parts of the brain so ancient that we share them with rats should give pause to anyone comparing politicians with those poor, underestimated creatures.
Socialism cannot function, because its economic reward structure is contrary to human nature.
Female bonobos form a strong sisterhood. They rule through female solidarity.
You need to indoctrinate empathy out of people in order to arrive at extreme capitalist positions.
Dogmatists have one advantage: they are poor listeners.
It wasn't God who introduced us to morality; rather, it was the other way around. God was put into place to help us live the way we felt we ought to.
The sturdiest pillars of human morality are compassion and a sense of justice.
Religion may have become a codification of morality, and it may fortify it, but it's not the origin of it.
Studies of reconciliation in primates have demonstrated that if the relationship value increases between two parties they are more willing to make peace.
Competitiveness is just as much a part of our nature as empathy. The ideal, in my view, is a democratic system with a social market economy, because it takes both tendencies into account.
Male bonobos really don't fit the human male ideal.
If both parties have a stake in the other, the chances of them killing each other are going to be reduced.
You should know as much as you can about the human species if you have a hand in designing human society.
In humans, the family prevents infanticide. Next to language, the core family, consisting of a mother, a father and children, is the greatest difference between us and other primates.
Armies are a purely human invention. Most soldiers who go to war nowadays don't even do it because they're inherently aggressive.
Humanity is actually much more cooperative and empathic than [it's] given credit for.
We justify the inequalities by saying some people are just better and smarter than others and the strong should survive and the poor can die off.
The hamadryas baboon is a harem holder where one male mates with multiple females.
When it comes to social interaction, the chimpanzees appear to be just as intelligent as we are.
I think we need to start thinking about grounding our moral systems in our biology.
I describe in 'Chimpanzee Politics' how the alpha male needs broad support to reach the top spot. He needs some close allies and he needs many group members to be on his side.
Chimpanzees, typically, kiss and embrace after fights. They first make eye contact from a distance to see the mood of the others. Then they approach and kiss and embrace.
The thinking is that we started evolving language not by speaking but by gesturing.
The chimpanzees could tear me apart in no time. They're many times stronger than we are.
There is little evidence that other animals judge the appropriateness of actions that do not directly affect themselves.
I'm personally a nonbeliever, so I'm struggling with if we really need religion.
Personally, I think it is possible to build a society that is moral on a nonreligious basis, but the jury is still out on that.
Humans have a lot of pro-social tendencies.
In Africa, we have the bush meat trade, which means that, on a very large scale, animals are being killed in the forests and sold in the cities as a luxury food.
If I were God, I'd work on the reach of empathy.
The primate laugh is given in playful contexts, and as such has a strong similarity to the human laugh.
Male chimpanzees have an extraordinarily strong drive for dominance. They're constantly jockeying for position.
Exclusive homosexuality is not very common in nature.
When someone brutally kills someone else, we call him "animalistic." But we consider ourselves "human" when we give to the poor.
Wild groups of chimpanzees attack their enemies like gangs. What they completely lack, precisely because of their strong territorial behavior, is a friendly relationship with their neighbors.
The role of inequity in society is grossly underestimated. Inequity is not good for your health, basically.
The more self-aware an animal is, the more empathetic it tends to be.
War is evitable if conditions are such that the costs of making war are higher than the benefits.
Future benefits rarely figure in the minds of animals.
Although elephants are far more distantly related to us than the great apes, they seem to have evolved similar social and cognitive capacities.
It is well known that apes in the wild offer spontaneous assistance to each other, defending against leopards, say, or consoling distressed companions with tender embraces.
I call the notion that we are nothing but killer apes the Beethoven fallacy. Beethoven was disorganized and messy, and yet his music is the epitome of order.