Biological research increasingly debunks the view of humanity as competitive, aggressive and brutish, a leading specialist in primate behavior told a major science conference Monday.
“Humans have a lot of pro-social tendencies,” Frans de Waal, a biologist at Emory University in Atlanta, told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
New research on higher animals from primates and elephants to mice shows there is a biological basis for behavior such as cooperation, said de Waal, author of “The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society.”…
“Human morality is unthinkable without empathy.” Asked if wide public acceptance of empathy as natural would change the intense competition on which capitalist economic and political systems are based, de Waal quipped, “I’m just a monkey watcher.”
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