News that Vexes

News that Vexes

It's so tiresome to read 'new studies' that reveal Smoking, Stress or Obesity are Bad for you. Yet these studies appear all the time. It's time to take back the newswire from so-called Scientists!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Study Shows Humans Smarter than Apes

I find this story particularly puzzling (but hey it's good news! So I'm not complaining).

One juicy bit that seems odd:

Humans differ from the great apes because their brains are about triple the size of their closest primate cousins. Human brains have also developed language, symbolic math and scientific reasoning skills.

So what's the news? It's this:

This is the first study to compare the performance of toddlers and apes on cognitive and physical tests.

Also, at least they were thorough in their testing:

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany studied 230 subjects, including 100 chimpanzees, 30 orangutans and 100 human children 2.5 years old.

As part of one of the social learning tasks, the researchers demonstrated how to pop open a plastic tube to retrieve the food or toy inside. The children watched and copied the researcher; the apes attempted to break the tube or pull it apart with their teeth.

Ha Ha! You dumb apes! In your face! This proves I'm smarter than you.

But don't feel too bad, apes. This research shows that you might be as smart as scientists in Leipzig.


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