“We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden.”
After reading “Killer Instincts” in the June 26th edition of The Economist, I’m not sure we’ll all want to sprint to the garden after all. Despite Joni Mitchell’s romantic intentions (remember the song is “Woodstock” – need I say more?), it turns out that the wild is not quite as peaceful as we once envisioned.
“People are not alone in waging war. Their closest living cousins, chimpanzees, also slaughter their own kind – in brutal attacks that primatologists increasingly view as strategic, coordinated assaults, rather than random acts of violence.”
Until recently scientists had wrongly assumed chimp violence was all about the search for mates, but after using global positioning technologies, researchers have concluded that our cousins of the forest use violence as a means of acquiring real estate. (Is there a Century 21 opportunity here somewhere?)
What the wild may need is a little less Joni Mitchell and a little more Robert Frost. The chimps can admire the golden stardust all they want, but they should remember that good fences make good neighbors.