Chimps Off the Old Block
Researchers Find Striking Similarities Between Simians, GOP
27 October 2005
As reported in the journal Nature, the experiment featured chimpanzees in adjoining cages. When the chimp in cage #1 pulled one rope, it received a small piece of fruit. When it pulled a second rope, both the chimp in cage #1 and the chimp next door received a piece of fruit.
Researchers found that the chimps in cage #1 pulled the ropes indiscriminately, without regard for the welfare of their neighboring chimps. In fact, chimp #1 failed to pull the second rope even when its neighbor was pleading for food.
In a subsequent experiment, researchers replaced the fruit with images of animals. Pulling the first rope exposed a picture of a donkey, while the second rope revealed the image of an elephant. Nearly 95 percent of the chimps consistently pulled the second rope.
White House officials expressed keen interest in the findings.
“We’re expecting to have some openings here very soon,” said an administration official who requested anonymity. “These chimps could make excellent senior staffers.”
In a survey conducted after the experiment, the chimps said they opposed judicial activism, favored more tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, and did not put much stock in the theory of evolution.