I believe Cornelius from “Planet of the Apes” says it best:
“Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.”
Honestly, I think that is sadly true. But, You know, there are already primates using written language, who are expressing themselves spontaneously. So it may not be long before you get that Nick. With the speed of their processing and ability for considering problems, if you help them develop complex language, they may give you your argument sooner than you might hope.
To the best of my impoverished knowledge there aren’t any accounts of written language among primates. Are you referring to the use of lexigrams? These are symbolic, and I believe most language studies with primates involve the primate pointing to pre-made lexigrams to form sentences, or combining lexigrams to create “new” concepts to refer to objects or express desires.
If you are referring to primates reading or writing outside of lexigrams, I’d love to check that out.
TD…Oh, My GOD. Great videos!!! I am absolutely in love with both videos. I am going to go look for an experiment on facial mimicry in macaques to ad to these because it reveals a very powerful moral foundation: facial feedback.
And, that spot on dopamine made the psychology major flip out in joy. Great. I am going to look into Robert Salposky. He seems to have a passion for elegant experiments. I love an elegant experiment. As a matter of fact, I think that some of the greatest experimental design is coming from research on non-human primates, and the one that on theory of mind and the dominent monkey/chimp was elegant.
I (too) loved the youtube video of Robert Salposky’s address to a graduating class. There is a documentary that I watched (via netflix) where he was featured. The topic was stress. It was very cool too.