- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 10, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393347796
- ISBN-13: 978-0393347791
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates 1st Edition
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“A tour de force.”
- Christopher Boehm, Nature
“A writer marshaling the evidence of his life, particularly his life as a scientist, to express a passionately held belief in the possibility of a more compassionate society.”
- Meehan Crist, New Republic
“A primatologist who has spent his career studying chimpanzees and bonobos, two of humanity’s closest living relatives, Mr. de Waal draws on a lifetime of empirical research. His data provides plenty of evidence that religion is not necessary in order for animals to display something that looks strikingly like human morality.”
- The Economist
“The perpetual challenge to atheists is that moral behavior requires religion―all that prevents tsunamis of depravity is a deity or two, some nice hymns, and the threat of hellfire and damnation. De Waal shows that human morality is deeply rooted in our primate legacy, long predating the invention of that cultural gizmo called religion. This is an immensely important book by one of our most distinguished thinkers.”
- Robert Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers and Monkeyluv
“Frans de Waal’s new book carries the important message that human kindness is a biological feature of our species and not something that has to be imposed on us by religious teaching.”
- Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape
About the Author
Frans de Waal has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. The author of Our Inner Ape, among many other works, he is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University’s Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Top customer reviews
I disagree with the few who said that Dr. de Waal engaged in personal attacks against his fellow atheists. In this book, he expressed an unbiased and open-minded view of the importance of BOTH science and religion: “In many areas, it is hard to tell where our worldview ends and science begins, and vice versa. We need to step beyond a simple dichotomy between the two and consider the whole of human knowledge.”
~“The enemy of science is not religion . . . The true enemy is the substitution of thought, reflection, and curiosity with dogma.”
~"Dogmatism closes the mind, whether it is the blindness of biblical literalists for science or the self-righteousness of some atheists.”
The fascinating part of this book is the authors personal accounts of his work with primate species, the sanctuaries, zoos and other scientists in similar or other animal behavioral fields. The similarities and differences between the primate social societies and our own are truly amazing. He concentrates mostly on morality, empathy, sympathy, altruism and a few other behaviours that many mistakenly deem as solely human attributes. If you love animals and love to learn about their behaviours. I definitely recommend this.
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