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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Wisdom from the rabbi: Humans vs. chimps?

On the subject of whether humans are almost chimps (or versa vice), Rabbi Belovski notes:

A while ago, I heard a radio broadcast in which a Californian academic with quite impressive credentials noted that as monkeys have over 90% of the genes of humans, they should be accorded rights in the same proportion. By this, he meant 90% of the healthcare facilities, social services etc. We may assume that in response, our simian friends will have to bear 90% of the responsibility of humans - i.e. taxation and service in the armed. Presumably, in the future, we can expect to share hospitals wards, army barracks and dole queues with monkeys. Criminal monkeys will serve 90% of the prison sentences of their human counterparts and will be required to attend 90% of their quota of schooling. It may also means that a human who steals a banana from a monkey will be condemned to 90% of the consequences of robbing a fellow human. An old joke comes to mind - a monkey that has escaped from its cage is eventually found in a library holding a Bible in one hand and Darwin's 'The Origin of Species' in the other. When questioned about its behaviour it responds, 'I am wondering if I am my brother's keeper or my keeper's brother.'

A thought occurred to me on this theme - since bananas share some genes with humans, would it not be logical to accord them say 30% of the rights of people? Where is the line? Some people might even prefer sharing a prison cell with a banana than a monkey, although I think we can assume that the monkey would prefer to share with the banana!

There's also an adorable graphic of a girl chimp getting her hair done.

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