- Published: August 26, 2022
- Updated: August 26, 2022
- University / College: University of Leeds
- Level: Secondary School
- Language: English
- Downloads: 11
Are human beings unique? After watching the hour long documentary, my mind was indeed invaded by questions regarding the uniqueness of our species. The PBS documentary titled “ Ape Genius” delves in to the dynamics of the genetic relationship between human beings and apes that also forms the basis of the theory that human beings had in fact evolved from apes. Though, the theory continues to be scrutinized by the society, it still cannot be denied that chimpanzees have great deal in common with human beings. Recent researches and observation of these primates have clearly shown that and is compiled in the documentary.
The researchers discuss the theory of the ‘ Triangle’, which is a term used to refer to a social ability that is found in human, yet absent in apes (Rubin, 2011). The triangle symbolizes the social skill present in humans that enables us to guess what is going on in the other person’s mind, which paves way for effective communication between two parties. Therefore, each point of a triangle is used to refer to the speaker, the listener and the subject of their discourse, respectively. This skill enables human beings to direct and focus their attention to a single object and as a result helps them to work as a team, whereas chimpanzees are incapable of having sophisticated communication and renders them unable to articulate their emotions.
Indeed, this skill creates a vast schism between human beings and chimpanzees; for communication is a pre-requisite for all sorts of development in a community. Hence, chimpanzees can never be as sophisticated as human beings despite the fact that their behavior matches ours in every way. This remarkable similarity is indeed incredible and there were certain parts that intrigued me immensely; for instance, the motherly instinct in female chimpanzees observed by Japanese researchers showed that a female cares for the young ones in exactly the same way a human would by putting their hand to the child’s forehead to check fever. It is truly breathtaking discovery along with the fact that the chimps are in fact going through the stage that our ancestors once did, as they sharpened tools for hunting and other activities. The documentary provides great insight into how chimpanzees behave and form communities; though they are still far from achieving the superiority that human did, but if they were endowed with the social skills as human beings, chimpanzees can minimize the differences (Rubin, 2011).
Rubin, J (Producer). (July 6th, 2011). Ape Genius. Virginia: Public Broadcasting System (PBS). [Documentary].