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Frans de Waal: Moral behavior in animals

Frans de Waal: Moral behavior in animals

http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals.html

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The 5 Most Endangered Canine Species Domesticated dogs are some of the most popular animals on the planet, but their cousins in the wild aren’t always as beloved. For thousands of years humans have persecuted wolves, jackals, dingoes, foxes and other members of the family Canidae, pushing many species into or close to extinction. Here are five of the most endangered canine species and subspecies, three of which only continue to exist because a few people and organizations have taken extraordinary efforts to save them. 1.

Edge.org The Power Of One, Two, Three Sometimes even the simple act of counting can tell you something profound. One day, back in the late 1990s, when I was a correspondent for New Scientist magazine, I got an e-mail from a flack waxing rhapsodic about an extraordinary piece of software. Chimpanzee Chimpanzees, sometimes colloquially chimp, are two extant hominid species of apes in the genus Pan. The Congo River divides the native habitats of the two species:[2] Chimpanzees are members of the family Hominidae, along with gorillas, humans, and orangutans. Chimpanzees split from the human branch of the family about four to six million years ago. Chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to humans, being members of the tribe Hominini (along with extinct species of subtribe Hominina). Chimpanzees are the only known members of the subtribe Panina.

How Wolves Changed an Entire Ecosystem Feb 16, 2014 When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, one of the most remarkable trophic cascades occurred. Trophic cascades occur when predators in a food web suppress the abundance and/or alter traits (e.g., behavior) of their prey, thereby releasing the next lower trophic level from predation (or herbivory if the intermediate trophic level is a herbivore). For example, if the abundance of large piscivorous fish is increased in a lake, the abundance of their prey, zooplanktivorous fish, should decrease, large zooplankton abundance should increase, and phytoplankton biomass should decrease.

Unpaid Labor, On Purpose: Why We Volunteer At the San Francisco literacy center where I work, I see more than 40 volunteers every week. They drive an hour from Intel or ride the bus from high school to read with a kid for at least 45 minutes for $0. Some are required to volunteer as part of a class, but most are there of their own free will. Why do they do it? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to go all Ayn Rand and suggest that everyone should have a selfish motive for their actions. Sea slug has taken genes from algae it eats, allowing it to photosynthesize like a plant How a brilliant-green sea slug manages to live for months at a time "feeding" on sunlight, like a plant, is clarified in a recent study published in The Biological Bulletin. The authors present the first direct evidence that the emerald green sea slug's chromosomes have some genes that come from the algae it eats. These genes help sustain photosynthetic processes inside the slug that provide it with all the food it needs. Importantly, this is one of the only known examples of functional gene transfer from one multicellular species to another, which is the goal of gene therapy to correct genetically based diseases in humans.

Saxophone quartets and probability › Heidelberg Laureate Forum Saxophone quartets consist of four saxophones, usually a baritone, tenor, alto, and soprano, or maybe a second alto instead of a soprano. Because all saxophones are essentially the same instrument, just at different sizes, the instruments blend remarkably well. Saxophone quartets are not common, and yet I've run into two in two days. I arrived in Heidelberg on Saturday to have some time to walk around and get over my jet lag before the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) events started. While I was walking around I ran into the all-female sax quartet Femdüsax performing in an outdoor plaza.

Milgram experiment The experimenter (E) orders the teacher (T), the subject of the experiment, to give what the latter believes are painful electric shocks to a learner (L), who is actually an actor and confederate. The subject believes that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual electric shocks, though in reality there were no such punishments. Being separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level.[1] Liter of Light Liter of Light is a global open source movement with the aim to provide an ecologically and economically sustainable source of light to underprivileged households that do not have access to electricity or are unable to afford it. The invention is relatively simple. It involves filling up a 1.5L PET bottle with purified water and bleach and installing it onto the roof of a house.

Last Word On Mozilla I wrote about the Mozilla CEO termination thing (I, II, III). The point of my writing on it was just to continue my long-standing project of pointing out that most procedural arguments — by which I mean content-neutral and substance-neutral arguments nominally divorced from policy and cultural preferences — are not serious. It seems to me that most people have some extreme limit to the kind of processes they are willing to use, but within that limit, they just use and find arguments for whatever processes lean towards their preferred substantive outcomes. In making this point, I have not (as you would expect) tried to make some procedural justification for firing people for their political views.

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