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August 24, 2009 11:30 AM   Subscribe

In which a chimpanzee is shown reacting to sleight-of-hand on a Japanese television show. [SLYT. Overuse of sound effects.]
posted by Liver (104 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Teaching chimps to never trust a human.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:35 AM on August 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Teaching chimps to never trust a human.

It's a pretty good lesson to learn early.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:37 AM on August 24, 2009 [10 favorites]


Sleight.

I was waiting/hoping/praying for the chimp to bite him.
posted by unSane at 11:37 AM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Japanese version of Confuse a Cat?
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:38 AM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is it creepy that I thought the chimp's reactions were eerily similar to my 3-year-old son's reactions to similar things?

Not that I'm comparing my son to a chimp.

Well, actually, I am.

But, fuck it -- my son can't read this.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:44 AM on August 24, 2009 [26 favorites]


Is it creepy that I thought the chimp's reactions were eerily similar to my 3-year-old son's reactions to similar things?

I don't think I'd use the word "creepy". I'd use the phase "somewhat indicative of overall cognitive ability".
posted by mr_roboto at 11:45 AM on August 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


I thought it was pretty interesting from a psychological POV. It's clear the chimp believes there's milk in the cup, for instance. But it also started to seem mean, so I stopped watching. Does the magician ever get a comeuppance for startling a strong, semi-domesticated animal?
posted by DU at 11:45 AM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


It gets less bad, DU. The milk part was what made me want to cut out, too.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:46 AM on August 24, 2009


Am I ever going to get to an age where I don't want a chimpanzee buddy to be my best friend?
posted by Bookhouse at 11:47 AM on August 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is it creepy that I thought the chimp's reactions were eerily similar to my 3-year-old son's reactions to similar things?

Not creepy at all. I kept thinking that the chimp's reactions were very similar to how my autistic son would react.
posted by Lokheed at 11:48 AM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not a fan of seeing chimps used as comedy props.
posted by shino-boy at 11:48 AM on August 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


DU: "Does the magician ever get a comeuppance for startling a strong, semi-domesticated animal?"

In the last 45 seconds of the video, the magician goes into the deep future and is taken captive by a society of sentient primates that mistake his throat injury for an inability to talk and take him captive in a thinly-veiled racism metaphor. (There are still wacky sound effects and speech bubbles filled with katakana.)
posted by Plutor at 11:50 AM on August 24, 2009 [11 favorites]


Hey, I was just wondering when the internet was going to give us something like this. It's been, what, a couple days?
posted by luckypozzo at 11:50 AM on August 24, 2009


Notice how quickly "awe" turns to "fear" in the chimp's reaction to the floating orange juice glass trick starting around 3:50. Scare quotes employed out of epistemological discretion.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:51 AM on August 24, 2009


I don't see the chimp as any more of a comedy prop than any person accosted by David Blaine in any of his street magic specials. He's being fooled, and is reacting appropriately. It's a much less insulting 10 minutes of video than nearly any similar stretch of AFV.
posted by hippybear at 11:53 AM on August 24, 2009


Obligatory.
posted by billysumday at 11:53 AM on August 24, 2009


He's a chimp out of his natural habitat; I'm quite sure his life is filled with confusion as it is. A little surprise about the milk is the least of it. The utility of the video might extend also to the demonstration of how very, very alike humans and chimps can be in their thought processes, at least for those first few years.

Of course, human nature being what it is, the consequence of showing kinship in sentience might very well be the enhancement of our cruelty, rather than its reduction.
posted by adipocere at 11:55 AM on August 24, 2009


From the comments:
jelneutron3 (39 minutes ago)
fake monkey, you can see human fingernails. so obvious


DAMN YOU YOUTUBE. I am no longer able to tell if this comment is intended to be humorous or not.
posted by specialagentwebb at 11:56 AM on August 24, 2009 [25 favorites]


The chimp seemed to be enjoying it, and that he ran away when he thought the guy was dumping milk on his head doesn't, to me, really equate to fear or mistreatment.

It's not clear at the end whether he didn't believe that the sword went through his handler's neck, or just didn't understand.
posted by creasy boy at 11:59 AM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's eerie how much that chimp acts like Cool Papa Bear's 3-year-old son.
posted by mazola at 12:00 PM on August 24, 2009 [16 favorites]


Aliens do this to us all the time.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:00 PM on August 24, 2009 [14 favorites]


But it also started to seem mean, so I stopped watching.

Dunno. I only watched about half, but it seemed to me the chimp was enjoying it overall. I mean, not the moment when he thought he was going to get milk dumped on him, but that he was enjoying the amazement of the moment after that.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:02 PM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


This gives me a great idea: get mind-shatteringly high and go see a magic show.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:03 PM on August 24, 2009


This is the best thing I've ever seen.
posted by empath at 12:06 PM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I feel for the chimp. I have the same reaction to Ricky Jay.
posted by starman at 12:06 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


it also started to seem mean, so I stopped watching.

Ditto again.

And not only can you make a strong comparison to human children, it's also not all that different from watching adults react. I suspect the main difference is that adults restrain their physical reactions to all events, while young people (and chimps) don't. But I've seen - heck, I've used - similar tricks to the milk one on adult audiences, and when you toss the bucket that they think is full of water in their direction, everybody ducks.

We're really not all that different from chimps.
posted by Miko at 12:07 PM on August 24, 2009


The chimp's reaction to the ear trick is fascinating to me; I just read an anthropology article about the difference between human learning and chimp learning.

The premise of the article was that chimps learn that a tool can have a certain effect on the environment and then they try to recreate that effect. Humans imitate the method of tool use exactly. So if I were to do the ear trick in front of a human child, I would expect to see the child try to do a much more exact imitation of the trick. The chimp seems to be trying to figure out how to get the same effect, but instead of imitating the magician's movements, he seems to be trying to start over from scratch.

Something I'll have to keep learning about and researching, as I am by no means an expert, but interesting to keep in mind how chimps are different from 3-year-olds when watching a video like this where the chimp is presented so anthropomorphically.

Also, poor chimp.
posted by kathrineg at 12:08 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


This version gives it the right context. Sweet heaven, is it a great pairing.
posted by ambulance blues at 12:08 PM on August 24, 2009


And most 3-year-olds I know would be asking WAY more questions.
posted by kathrineg at 12:09 PM on August 24, 2009


The part where he was teasing him with the fruit was playing with fire though. That's how people get their faces eaten off.

Anybody have a guess as to how old the chimp is?
posted by empath at 12:12 PM on August 24, 2009


I wouldn't advise trying it with this chimp, however.
posted by barrett caulk at 12:15 PM on August 24, 2009


There was a time when Tarzan would have kicked your ass for a stunt like that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:17 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Enjoyed that vid. Thanks. The Japanese TV shows are often very fun, silly sound effects and all (here with Keyboard Cat). I love the cats weightlifting fish one especially.

Chimpanzees: Almost Human, and Sometimes Smarter
posted by nickyskye at 12:21 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some background:

The chimp is Pan-kun. He lives at Cuddly Dominion, on Kyushu. We've seen him here before. Here's a good list of Pan-kun videos from plokent, though some have been copyright-pulled.

I'm not going to comment on the ethics of chimpanzee captivity except to say that it makes me uneasy. Better ridicule than torture, I guess.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:25 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's right. Cuddly Dominion.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:25 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not the tricks that bothered me, it's the dressing of the chimp like a hayseed.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:30 PM on August 24, 2009


I thought it was funny that a Japanese chimp did the head-bobbing abbreviated-bowing thing as the magician talked to him.

That's right. Cuddly Dominion.

There are Dominionists in Japan? That can't be good.
posted by GuyZero at 12:32 PM on August 24, 2009


it also started to seem mean, so I stopped watching.

Yeah, after awhile it seems to turn towards "mock the chimp who doesn't understand what's happening."

I don't see the chimp as any more of a comedy prop than any person accosted by David Blaine in any of his street magic specials. He's being fooled, and is reacting appropriately.

But a person understands that it's a trick, they understand the point of it and know they are being fooled. The chimp doesn't. It's the same reason practical jokes are meaner than magic shows.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:34 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey It's not the tricks that bothered me, it's the dressing of the chimp like a hayseed.

Indeed. Chimps look so much better in little hats.

Then again, maybe the hayseed look is what all the hipster chimps (chimpsters?) are wearing.
posted by mattdidthat at 12:37 PM on August 24, 2009


Anybody have a guess as to how old the chimp is?

It's a juvenile. From what slim info I could find, I would wager anywhere from 3-5 years old? (I'm no expert.)

Also, poor chimp.

I had a little of that well up in my stomach at first, but this does not seem like two random guys just taunting some chimp with magic tricks. Notice the way he/she runs to hug the men when confused, and notice the interaction between them. This would seem to indicate a fair level of familiarity. I'm guessing the chimp was probably raised with a lot of human contact and has been through this act with these two before. I would not be surprised if some of the chimp's reactions weren't a little over-the-top because they had been reinforced by laughter, attention, food, or some other reward during training or previous shows. In short, I doubt the chimp is having any sort of major breakdown.
posted by Avelwood at 12:39 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait till that monolith shows up.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:43 PM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


This isn't a chimp, it's a baby chimp. You can tell because the magician still has arms.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 12:44 PM on August 24, 2009 [25 favorites]


Forcing animals to watch lame magic tricks may not quite equate to cruelty, but it's close. If it was mime, though, or The Housewives of Random Catfight County, I'd be going all SPCA on their ass.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:44 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think the chimp is being tortured, I did feel bad that they were trying to make the chimp think that its handler/friend/attachment figure was sick/dying.
posted by kathrineg at 12:44 PM on August 24, 2009


For his next trick, Chimpo the Magnificent will rip off an audience member's face and make it reappear on someone else's.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:47 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anybody have a guess as to how old the chimp is?

About the same age as Cool Papa Bell's son?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:48 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


For his next trick, Chimpo the Magnificent will rip off an audience member's face and make it reappear on someone else's.

Hannibal the Cannibal did it first. What a rip off!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:50 PM on August 24, 2009


Does that chimp have the wacky sound effects built-in, or were those added later?
posted by the painkiller at 12:52 PM on August 24, 2009


Bonobos come with wacky sound effects. Common Chimpanzees come with lice.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:55 PM on August 24, 2009


For his next trick, Chimpo the Magnificent will rip off an audience member's face and make it reappear on someone else's.

*hands chimp fava beans; chianti*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:55 PM on August 24, 2009


I didn't think it was mean at all; whenever the magician did something particularly mind blowing, the chimp got excited and would hug him. He didn't seem excited in a frightened way -- he'd sit down and seem pretty mellow afterward -- but I'm not a chimpologist or anything. It seemed to me like the chimp was having fun trying to figure stuff out.
posted by Nattie at 12:57 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm always disappointed that my cat doesn't react with some sort of amazement, when I fold a huge sheet down to a tiny flat square.
posted by nomisxid at 12:58 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Count me in with the "stop doing that to the chimp" group. All that dickishness and game-show nonsense wasted on what could have been a really cool interaction.

I love how the chimp goes and hugs the magician and the other guy, like it's the default motion, at least to my view. It's like he's all, "hey man, okay, we're all still friends here, howsabout you let me in on the joke now, and maybe some real milk too? These klieg lights are a bitch, man."

Also: chimp has massive style. I dress like him all the time. (i.e. overalls - not fake human fingernails and hairsuit.)
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 1:01 PM on August 24, 2009


I guess we'd have to know this particular chimp
posted by kathrineg at 1:06 PM on August 24, 2009


Sometimes it's okay to make a little, gentle fun of not knowing.
posted by nickyskye at 1:10 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


The way chimps react to magic tricks should be able to tell us a lot about how their brains work. They should do more of this in a controlled environment. For science, obviously. The more I learn about apes, the less comfortable I feel with classifying them as animals. But how do you give human rights to something that can't talk? If a chimp is raised in captivity, how do you discern what it wants? It's simple enough, in the wild. You just leave them alone.
posted by empath at 1:12 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


But how do you give human rights to something that can't talk?

I guess that's why we don't let mutes vote...?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:20 PM on August 24, 2009


Ditto feeling bad for the chimp. You astounded the creature with no forehead, hilarious. Look how confused he is!

But then again I'm probably overly sensitive about this sort of thing. I thought this was cruel, for example. Your dog doesn't want to play musical chairs, alright? If you want to give her a treat for her birthday, buy her a steak.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:25 PM on August 24, 2009


I have trouble believing that the (obviously juvenile) chimp is not having fun. It's hugging both the men. I also suspect that it has an inkling of what's going on. At least, that the magician is doing amazing things for it, that this is play. People play these kinds of games with human kids, and they get it too.

The morally troubling part happened long before this video was taken, when someone decided to take a chimp captive and keep it for entertainment purposes. Chimps are animals. So are humans. We are both apes. Chimps are never alone in the wild either ---they are social creatures and suffer terribly when isolated. The biggest problem with captive chimps, is that they become dangerous once they become adults. Then they live out their captive lives in extreme deprivation. They need large physical ranges, and instead they are locked in small (often solitary) cages.
posted by Humanzee at 1:51 PM on August 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


I love monkeys. I seriously love monkeys. I love monkeys so much that I would skip classes in college and go down to the zoo and spend hours in the primate house.

I also thought that, you know, making monkeys react to things was really funny. That was until I watched a chimp batter an inch think plexiglass safety barrier separating him from the three year old boy that made a nasty face at him.

You could literally splatter a human against this barrier without making a sound, but this chip was kicking it with such force that it would rattle like thunder through a valley with every strike. Throw in a screaming chimp, a screaming boy, a screaming mother, and a very concerned crowd.

I learned something about rage that day. I also learned that if I ever met a chimp, I would most certainly *never* insult his dignity.
posted by mrmojoflying at 2:01 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Uh, I'm going to trust the opinion of Humanzee on this one, if for only for reasons of eponymity.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:14 PM on August 24, 2009


The more I learn about apes, the less comfortable I feel with classifying them as animals.

You think maybe they should be classified as plants?
posted by Bort at 2:17 PM on August 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


"Chimpster?"

Can I change my sign on name?
posted by chairface at 2:19 PM on August 24, 2009


I second the Ricky Jay analogy. Whenever he does the Cups and balls, I want to run up and hug him afterwards.

I know the basics of how that trick is done, and I still feel like a 3 year old watching him.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:20 PM on August 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


The more I learn about apes, the less comfortable I feel with classifying them as animals.

You think maybe they should be classified as plants?


I meant in the ethical sense, not the scientific sense.
posted by empath at 2:21 PM on August 24, 2009


I'm sure the chimp is thinking , "Fuck, as long as I get a banana out of this. Or get to punch the guy in the dick."

Simple pleasures.
posted by eurasian at 2:27 PM on August 24, 2009


That last "trick" made me need a hug, never mind the chimp.
posted by nowonmai at 3:05 PM on August 24, 2009


What is it about the Japanese and animals? Second the hoping it bit him.
posted by A189Nut at 3:22 PM on August 24, 2009


WTF. I finally got to watch the thing, and you people who stopped partway through because it seemed mean... well, good decision. The last "trick" is some kind of Voight-Kampff empathy test, and the only ones who fail it are the humans.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:34 PM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Isn't this the chimpanzee from the Segway riding vid?
posted by orme at 3:40 PM on August 24, 2009


But a person understands that it's a trick, they understand the point of it and know they are being fooled. The chimp doesn't.
Are you sure? It sure looked to me like, at points, the chimp was literally trying to look up the magician's sleeve.
posted by Flunkie at 3:58 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are you sure? It sure looked to me like, at points, the chimp was literally trying to look up the magician's sleeve.

He probably was aware that some funny business was going on, but I doubt the idea of "Oh, a magician is going to trick me, what fun" had anything to do with it. (My point being that it's a different situation from humans watching magic tricks.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:13 PM on August 24, 2009


Isn't this the chimpanzee from the Segway riding vid?

Yep, that's Pan-kun as well. He's been on television quite a bit.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:17 PM on August 24, 2009


The more I learn about apes, the less comfortable I feel with classifying them as animals.

Wait 'til you meet the Irish!
posted by John of Michigan at 5:01 PM on August 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


It seemed to me that about midway through he'd caught on that it was a trick of some kind. Watch when he does the vanishing coin trick before the giant coin trick. It looks like the chimp saw what he did and was trying to check the hand that really had the coin, but the magician wouldn't let him.
posted by cmoj at 5:01 PM on August 24, 2009


I also thought that, you know, making monkeys react to things was really funny. That was until I watched a chimp batter an inch think plexiglass safety barrier separating him from the three year old boy that made a nasty face at him.

Apes. Chimps would be apes, not monkeys.

I know, nit-picky...
posted by Avelwood at 5:02 PM on August 24, 2009


Chimps are also known for being literally nit-picky.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:35 PM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Some people would argue that apes are a sub-category of monkey, in the same way that monkeys are sub-category of primates, and primates are a sub-category of mammals.
posted by Humanzee at 5:56 PM on August 24, 2009


Some people would be wrong.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:11 PM on August 24, 2009


I've been bitten for teasing with food as is done to the chimp around 3:00. By a human. Deservedly.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 6:16 PM on August 24, 2009


Some people would be wrong.
Genuinely curious: do you have an argument to back that up? I have no dog in this race, but I found the arguments from the link I posted to be convincing. And certainly not unequivocally wrong.
posted by Humanzee at 6:53 PM on August 24, 2009


Some people would be wrong.

Genuinely curious: do you have an argument to back that up? I have no dog in this race, but I found the arguments from the link I posted to be convincing. And certainly not unequivocally wrong.


I still like monkeys, including y'all. Fucking simians.
posted by mrmojoflying at 7:09 PM on August 24, 2009


If you're looking for animal abuse on TV, then I think this video takes the cake.
posted by armage at 7:17 PM on August 24, 2009


Wow. That made my skin crawl.
posted by mrmojoflying at 7:26 PM on August 24, 2009


I liked the part where they beat the chimp with a metal bar wrapped in newspaper. Oh, I guess that must have been in the part they didn't show on TV.
posted by ChrisHartley at 7:30 PM on August 24, 2009


Is it creepy that I thought the chimp's reactions were eerily similar to George W. Bush's reactions to similar things?

Not that I'm comparing George W. Bush to a chimp.

Well, actually, I am.

But, fuck it -- George W. Bush can't read this.
posted by jeremy b at 7:42 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some people would argue that apes are a sub-category of monkey, in the same way that monkeys are sub-category of primates, and primates are a sub-category of mammals.
The same argument implies that we are fish.

And we are bacteria.

I'm not disagreeing; I'm just pointing out that English terms don't necessarily match up with science, and shouldn't really be expected to.
posted by Flunkie at 7:46 PM on August 24, 2009


The same argument implies that we are fish.
I would say it implies that we are vertebrates, and that "fish" is not a good subclade of vertebrates since it includes organisms that are not closely related (not monophyletic). Certainly, if you come up with a list of properties common to all fish but not common to all vertebrates, it won't include apes.

And we are bacteria.
No, because we are not directly descended from bacteria. There was a process of endosymbiosis involved. I don't think it's controversial to say we're eukaryotes.

Your overall point is well taken though. I didn't mean to imply that only a fool would say that apes aren't monkeys. Merely, that if someone refers to a chimp as a monkey (a common occurrence) and is then corrected, there's another side to it. I've nearly given up on trying to convince people that cucumbers are fruit.
posted by Humanzee at 8:16 PM on August 24, 2009


I would say it implies that we are vertebrates
This is not in dispute.
and that "fish" is not a good subclade of vertebrates since it includes organisms that are not closely related (not monophyletic)
The common meaning of the word "monkey" that the video argues against is also not monophyletic. If the argument is "people are monkeys", then "people are fish"; if the argument is "'fish' is a poor cladistic term", then "'monkey' is a poor cladistic term".
Certainly, if you come up with a list of properties common to all fish but not common to all vertebrates, it won't include apes.
If you assume that, by definition, we are not fish, despite the fact that we are descended from things that were fish. But this goes against the fundamental premise of the video's argument.
we are not directly descended from bacteria
I stand corrected. We are archaea.
posted by Flunkie at 8:45 PM on August 24, 2009


Humanzee: Thanks, I really enjoyed watching that video link. I think I will still continue to make the common distinction unless talking cladistics with a biologist. (Then I will figure out what he/she thinks and just use those terms because everyone in that field has their own "right way" to classify things that they will not hesitate to tell you about at length.)
posted by Avelwood at 8:53 PM on August 24, 2009


And, by the way, "not closely related" does not imply "not monophyletic", nor vice versa. "Animals" are not closely related; they are monophyletic. "Native Americans and Europeans" are not monophyletic; they are closely related.
posted by Flunkie at 8:54 PM on August 24, 2009


Holy shit. Don't watch armage's link if you don't want to suffer a sudden urge to put your fist through your monitor. I hope those fuckers get eaten alive by that bear someday.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:24 PM on August 24, 2009


The way chimps react to magic tricks should be able to tell us a lot about how their brains work. They should do more of this in a controlled environment. For science, obviously.

They do. With babies, too. Probably most child cognition experiments involve watching how babies react to "magic tricks", like using hidden wires to make things roll in bizarre ways, or employing twins to create the illusion of people who can teleport all over the place.

(I just spent a few days with my friend's new 3-month-old boy and had fun testing out a bunch of the classic Bloom and Spelke experiments on him. I also bought it a book of optical illusions to see what the baby would think. The good illusions made him drool.)
posted by painquale at 1:47 AM on August 25, 2009


Very young chimp: so cute now, thrown on the trash heap in a few years. The
sad thing is that the animal trainers who use the chimps are perfectly aware of that they will be disposing of their animals when they hit 5 years old. In the US we have laws that protect them...I have strong doubts that the same is true in Japan.

If you look up in the spray of cherry blossoms, early in the video, you'll see the grape that "appears" there later. My nephew does street magic, and does a similar trick with a card that he puts into a newspaper machine ahead of time. He still finds it hard to believe that no one has ever noticed it before he does the trick.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:56 AM on August 25, 2009


After a nights sleep, the fish counterexample is seeming more apt. The only difference I see is that people often (erroneously?) refer to chimps, orangs, and gorillas as monkeys, whereas they never refer to zebras as fish. Still, the basic point is there, people recognize non-monophyletic groups.

And, by the way, "not closely related" does not imply "not monophyletic", nor vice versa.
Right, that was sloppy writing on my part.

Thanks for the discussion, I hope it wasn't too much of a derail.
posted by Humanzee at 5:23 AM on August 25, 2009


I stand corrected. We are archaea.

Balls. I thought we were stardust and golden.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:01 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you're looking for animal abuse on TV, then I think this video takes the cake.

I don't see why that's any more cruel than mixing up any other kinds of animals that don't really belong together in the wild. It wasn't in any danger.
posted by empath at 8:32 AM on August 25, 2009


In the US we have laws that protect them...I have strong doubts that the same is true in Japan.

I need to challenge this assertion on the basis of implied cultural superiority crap. Can anyone verify or refute this ugly statement?
posted by hippybear at 9:12 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some people would be wrong.
Genuinely curious: do you have an argument to back that up? I have no dog in this race, but I found the arguments from the link I posted to be convincing. And certainly not unequivocally wrong.


Well, not to make a big to-do about it, but besides the "then we're [distant ancestor] too" argument, there's also the little fact that the word monkey actually has a definition.

Also, the diagram in that video (the branchy-looking thing) is misleading:
1. They could have just as accurately drawn a straight line from primordial ooze to humans, from which new world monkeys appear to diverge, then old world monkeys, then apes. That diagram—the exact same thing, only with the kinks pulled out—would seem to show that monkeys split from our lineage, rather than vice-versa (neither of which would be particularly accurate; common ancestor, duh).
2. They've got it set up so that it looks like new world monkeys stopped evolving some millions of years ago, making it seem like they're more "primitive" and "old-timey" and therefore more convincingly ancestral. Humans and new world monkeys both exist in the year 2009, and therefore the new world monkey "limb" on that diagram should extend just as far as ours.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:08 AM on August 25, 2009


I need to challenge this assertion on the basis of implied cultural superiority crap. Can anyone verify or refute this ugly statement?

It's not a verify/refute question.

Yes, there are animal cruelty laws in Japan. Here's some examples of laws pertaining to animal experimentation at Nagasaki University.

No, the nature of animal cruelty legislation and enforcement in the U.S. and Japan are not the same. For example, the U.S. has the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which prohibits even coming too close to marine mammals. On the other hand, in Japan, you can buy whale meat on the open market.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:15 AM on August 25, 2009


Sure it is. Is there a law in Japan which protects a semi-domesticated chimpanzee from being killed when it reaches hormonal adolescence? That's a pretty basic question which can be either verified or refuted.
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM on August 25, 2009


Is there a law in Japan which protects a semi-domesticated chimpanzee from being killed when it reaches hormonal adolescence?

There's no current law on the books in the U.S. that prevents this, provided the death is a humane one, so I don't get your point.

Your past point was that another person's comment about the nature of Japanese animal cruelty laws (or the lack thereof) was likely racist and likely not based in fact. I've given you points that show the picture is muddled at best. What are you arguing now?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:28 PM on August 25, 2009


I'm not arguing, actually. Someone made a statement based on what seemed to be pretty obvious cultural bias, I challenged that assertion and asked for facts in the matter. You chimed in and said that there are no facts to be hand, and so I responded to that. Your tone has gotten a bit strident. Have a good day.
posted by hippybear at 1:07 PM on August 25, 2009


/me waves
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:34 PM on August 25, 2009


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