Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Monkeys like grapes

Jerry Coyne writes:
This video is about as powerful a refutation I’ve seen of the notion that our morality is given by God rather than either evolved or a product of our culture. ... In the one I show below, two naive capuchin monkeys display what looks for all the world like a reaction to “unfairness” ... As de Waal notes, cucumbers are okay food for the monkeys, but they really like grapes (de Waal claims that monkeys like food in proportion to its price at the supermarket).
These evolutionists love to anthropomorphize animals, and to falsify religion. I watched the video, and all I see is a monkey that likes grapes better than cucumbers. Maybe he is jealous of the other monkey getting grapes, or maybe he thinks that he is morally deserving of grapes. Or maybe he just likes grapes.

I previously wrote:
I believe that there are two kinds of people on the world -- those who look for rich explanations of the behavior of others, and those who look for lean explanations. These differences become apparent whenever you talk about intentions or motivations of others.
So the lean explanation is that the monkey likes grapes. The rich explanation is that the monkey watched his fellow monkey establish a fair price for grapes, and then applied a morality requiring giving the each monkey grapes at the rate price. Most people have brains that are wired to leap to the rich explanation. They cannot accept the lean explanation, even when it is presented.

For example, I posted this test question about a talking pineapple. The test makers requred students to adopt a rich explanation of the minds of animals. The question was probably reviewed by dozens of experts, and none of them could understand that lean explanations are just as plausible. They only dropped the test problem after a public protest. I believe that this describes a mental defect that most people have.

1 comment:

A K Haart said...

I like that - rich explanations versus lean explanations.

We don't find it easy to tell it as it is without adding something of our own. Polemicists find it impossible.