Monday, January 09, 2012

Great, now other apes can create fire, too

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Hey, the ability to spawn flames was supposed to be our little evolutionary trick! Now we’re teaching that sacred skill to just any riffraff with a cute fuzzy face. No fair, I say.

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

Human researcher helps a Bonobo as it gathers sticks and lights them afire with a lighter, then cooks a marshmallow on a stick over it.

To keep this in perspective, though, all we’re seeing here is an ape who was taught by a more advanced being to use a fire-making tool and use it to cook a sweet. It’s just not accurate to compare one bonobos (not a chimp, as the YouTube title and description mistakenly label it) being taught to set a bundle of sticks on fire with a lighter to the fire-creating epiphany of ancient humans in learning to harness the powers of combustion all on their own, and with much less advanced tools to boot. Unless the apes start teaching each other to create their own fires and use them to cook their food and ward off predators, and using different tools than human ones, then all this amounts too is a really neat trick. It shouldn’t be extrapolated to mean anything more, at least for now.

(via Pharyngula)