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100th monkey

i recently heard reference to the 100th monkey and since the person is of some influence after the meeting i casually mentioned it was a cool story but its not true. perhaps you know the story; macaques washing sweet potatoes in the sea, a new thing taught by baby monkeys after they figured out the trick and taught their parents, proving even monkeys have culture. that’s the true part. the next thing is that this phenomenon suddenly passed to all macaques after 100 or so monkeys learned it. it was foundational for an anti-nuke book of the same name. cool story. not true. it took me 8 seconds to find the evidence. i just googled 100th monkey false and found the scholarly article debunking the story using the same sources as keyes uses in his famous book published in 1985 and probably the root of why i stopped using the reference (without the addendum its not really true). in case you want to check it out: http://www.uhh.hawaii.edu/~ronald/HMP.htm i put it on my list of things i wish were true but are not. even keyes admits its not really factual. there is power in belief but probably not that power. i am still intrigued by the idea. morphic resonance captured my fancy and i’ve not seen the facts supporting that (rat swimming tests, crystallization of new substances) and i haven’t seen counter evidence. its the responsibility of thoughtful intelligent people to look at the facts and share their conclusions thoughtfully. lets continue to place the Truth as more important than our ideology and watch out for our own observational bias. i know i at least am a sucker for a good story, but not this time.

Categories: philosophy, primates
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