Frans de Waal's new book The Bonobo and the Atheist asks a question that vexed Greek sages thousands of years ago and every philosopher since: are we moral because we believe in god, or do we believe in god because we are moral?
Against all odds, the great apes have hung on in remote pockets of the world into the 21st century. Their fate will decided in the remainder of the century, as we grapple with large scale environmental changes that threaten our own lives as well.
As crazy as politics seems to us these days, politics actually has its evolutionary roots in the primate use of "tactical deception," which is just as it sounds: the use of deception to manipulate your fellows into giving you what you want.
You've probably heard the rumors that dolphins are the only other mammals that have sexual intercourse for pleasure. It appears as though this is almost true, depending again on how one defines sex for pleasure.
If you should happen upon two of the less visited African capitals and you don't have the time for days of travel to see them in their primordial natural habitat, a side trip to great apes who have been rescued is a relatively easy trip.
What if we descend, not from a blustering chimp-like ancestor, but from a gentle, bonobo-like ape? What if we share characteristics with both of these relatives instead of the one favored by our political ideology?