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Monkeys have a sense of morality

February 18, 2009
MONKEYS and apes have a sense of morality and the rudimentary ability to tell right from wrong, according to new research.
clipped from www.timesonline.co.uk

Monkeys have a sense of morality, say scientists


MONKEYS and apes have a sense of morality and the rudimentary ability to tell
right from wrong, according to new research.


In a series of studies scientists have found that monkeys and apes can make
judgments about fairness, offer altruistic help and empathise when a fellow
animal is ill or in difficulties. They even appear to have consciences and
the ability to remember obligations.


The research implies that morality is not a uniquely human quality and
suggests it arose through evolution. That could mean the strength of our
consciences is partly determined by our genes.


Such findings are likely to antagonise fundamentalist religious groups. Some
believe the ability to form moral judgments is a God-given quality that sets
humans apart.

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