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Peaceable Bonobos, Violent Chimpanzees, and The Evolution of Human Behavior

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 @ 7:00 PM-8:30 PM


—a Conservation Conversation lecture and book signing

Saint Louis Zoo
Anheuser-Busch Theater, The Living World
1 Government Drive, St. Louis, MO 63110 United States
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(Zoo North Entrance and North Parking Lot ONLY– Click Venue Below for Directions)

Free and OPEN to ALL. Junior Academy members and middle and high school students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Reservations not required. Parking is free in the Zoo North lot or on the street in Forest Park.

Featured Speaker: Richard Wrangham, Ph.D., Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University; founder and Senior Researcher, the Kibale Chimpanzee Project; author, The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution

Dr. Wrangham, a primate behavioral ecologist, has studied wild chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda, since 1987. He is the recipient of a 1987 MacArthur Foundation fellowship and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy.

Domesticated animals such as dogs, pigs, and horses often sport traits such as floppy ears, patches of white hair, and other features that are rare or unknown in their wild ancestors. These traits—collectively referred to by scientists as a “domestication syndrome,” are found when selection favors reduced aggression. Drawing from his new book, The Goodness Paradox, Richard Wrangham shows that our cousin apes, the bonobos, also exhibit a domestication syndrome, and he suggests why they do so. Self-domestication is likely a widespread phenomenon in the wild, even appearing responsible for the origin of our own species, Homo sapiens.

Copies of The Goodness Paradox available for purchase and signing by the author.


Praise for The Goodness Paradox

“A fascinating new analysis of human violence, filled with fresh ideas and gripping evidence from our primate cousins, historical forebears, and contemporary neighbors.”
—Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature


Peaceable Bonobos, Violent Chimpanzees, and The Evolution of Human Behavior is a Conservation Conversation of The Academy of Science – St. Louis and the Saint Louis Zoo, co-sponsored by the Living Earth Collaborative Center for Biodiversity.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2019
7:00 PM-8:30 PM
Event Category:


Saint Louis Zoo
1 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110 United States
+ Google Map