Chimps don’t want to be chumps and even a monkey can tell right from wrong. This classic experiment demonstrates that a sense of justice is older and broader than the European enlightenment. The lecturer is rockstar evolutionary biologist Franz de Waal and the experiment was supervised by Dr. Sarah Brosnan
In humans injustice lights up a part of the brain called the anterior insular cortex (insula). It was once thought that only higher apes like us had brains like ours. But as Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!” Scientists at the Max Planck institute just discovered that monkeys have the same insula neurons as us. We used to think the use of tools made us human. When Jane Goodall saw a chimp modify a stick to fit into an ant hole then use it to pull out ants for food she said it meant we either had to redefine man, redefine tool or admit that chimpanzees are human. What then is our reaction to the monkey sense of economic injustice?