Chimp homicide?
    By Robert H Olley | April 19th 2012 04:16 AM | 4 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Until recently, I worked in the Polymer Physics Group of the Physics Department at the University of Reading.

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    Recently, Real Clear Science drew our attention to Chimps show lethal side, about incidents where chimps kill other chimps.  Or “apes kill each other”, as the article actually says, but in my more hyper-logical frame of mind that sounds a bit like “pistols for two, coffee for none.”

    However, the article (and the link to it from RCS) then goes on to refer to ‘chimp homicides’.  It becomes quickly apparent that they are not referring to humans being killed by chimps.

    Now the similarity of chimps to humans is strong enough even to reach into popular song:
    Cigareets is a blot on the whole human race
    A man is a monkey with one in his face
    Take warning dear friend, take warning dear brother
    A fire on one end, and a fool on the other.

                                (Cigareets and Whiskey and Wild Wild Women)
    So if one talks about chimps murdering fellow members of their troupe, it should cause little concern.  But ‘homicide’?  I understand that chimps are now included in the hominins (not to be confused with homobonides*).  Hominins also include gorillas, but not orang-utans.  The latter can only join the hominid class reunion, which is not so popular because durians are served at table.  But only the most way out people, at present, want to include them in the genus Homo.

    How has this word come to be used in this context?  Is it aggressive postmodernism, powered by Genesis-phobia?  Or has the author simply been watching too much American TV crime drama?  Are we soon to see chimpanzees wearing the uniform of the NY/LAPD?

    *a Latinized version of the German Gutmenschen.


    Right wing "real clear science", cough, cough, links mostly to trash; that is not news. "Murder" makes little baby Jesus cry; "homicide" sounds sciency; therefore nonsense results as PC moralizing replaces reason, the latter being almost necessary for "rcs" to link to anything. "Aggressive postmodernism" usually calls murder "murder", so conservative nuts cannot wrap their short thoughts around it.

    Rant/kick/bite mode off (yes, I am angry today)
    RCS right wing?  (just asking, I have no impression one way or another.)

    Does that also apply to Science News, where the article is located?
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Chimpacide would have been a better term, or for fear that that such a term would conjure images of a mafia-like immersion of a chimp in acid, they could have used panacide (chimp: genus Pan).....oops never mind, the word panacide already exists: Nontoxic laxative vermicide effective for Taenia(tapeworm) infestation
    Are we soon to see chimpanzees wearing the uniform of the NY/LAPD?

    Would chimpicide or panicide be any better?
    I looked up the Wikipedia article on chimpanzees and found:
    The two chimpanzee species are ... members of the Hominini tribe (along with extinct species of Hominina subtribe).
    So should I starting singing the following?

        Jammo, n’coppa, jammo jammo ja!
        Hominini Hominina Hominini Homininaaaa ...

    Look at this fantastic fellow, 62 years old, named Gregoire.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England