[ExI] Fwd: [EP_group] Is 'Doing Unto Others' Written Into Our Genes?

James Clement clementlawyer at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 18 20:26:35 UTC 2007

There's been much written lately about morals/altruism of non-human animals.  See this article for example: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/science/20moral.html?ex=1190260800&en=dd6059a7b6c8b0db&ei=5070

I've read Dr. de Waal's book, Our Inner Ape, which presents a lot of interesting information about various emotional behavior in Bonobos, including what appears to be empathy for other creatures (not just their own kind).  For example, in one story, he tells of a female Bonobo in a zoo rescuing a bird, taking it to the top of a tree to try to throw it outside their area, and then standing over it until it had recovered enough to fly out on its own.  There are lots of other examples (see the article above too).  I definitely recommend the book. 

Best regards, 


James Clement

> Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 22:10:14 +0200
> From: stefano.vaj at gmail.com
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Fwd: [EP_group] Is 'Doing Unto Others' Written Into Our	Genes?
> On 9/18/07, hkhenson <hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:
> > >Is 'Doing Unto Others' Written Into Our Genes?
> > >
> > >NYTimes from Science Times section
> > >Published: September 18, 2007
> > >
> > >Where do moral rules come from? From reason, some philosophers say.
> > > From God, say believers. Seldom considered is a source now being
> > >advocated by some biologists, that of evolution.
> Why wouldn't moral rules be a cultural product, as it is the case for
> languages, legal systems, etiquette protocols, dressing codes, etc.?
> Stefano Vaj
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