At the beginning of the 20th century, a traveler in Central Africa made mention of some strange people that he had come across. He was traveling among regular, run-of-the-mill natives…probably Bantu-speaking people living in scattered villages and farming for their food. But along the way, strange people came out of the forest. These strange people had sloping foreheads; they were short of stature, bow-legged and otherwise misshapen. They also clearly were, in the eyes of the traveler, of subhuman intelligence. The traveler described these people as a separate, subhuman race that lived in the forest. As I read this, I began to think that perhaps he was speaking of so-called “Pygmies” who live in this region, and as I began to think that, I started to get mad at this writer because so-called “Pygmies” do not look or act as he described. …

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Comments

  1. #1 Virgil Samms
    July 8, 2009

    This latest research is going to be very bad for your ego:
    Monkeys recognise ‘bad grammar’

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    July 8, 2009

    Before I went one word beyond the headline I knew Marc Hauser was behind this.

    I like Marc a lot. Really. But I think if you put a brilliant experimenter and some very smart monkeys together long enough you will get results.

    I’ve done a lot of writing in the rain forest, surrounded by monkeys. None of them ever came over to lend advice…