Monday, August 20, 2007

Bonobos as political pawns?

Hawks looks at a bit of a dust up over the now-tarnished reputation of bonobos:
[C]certainly, there are many who want to push the idea that primates are not peaceful gentle creatures, because it confirms their own view of human nature. Certainly, bonobos are a target for such beliefs, since people have a perception of bonobos that is way beyond their real behavior. Up to now, that perception has fit a stereotype of peace-loving hippie primates. As de Waal points out, that stereotype has gotten them attention, increasing the opportunities to research them. But pushing the stereotype always risks that someone will pop the bubble.

Yeah, same old, same old. Read the whole thing.