Beverly's Reviews > Almost Chimpanzee: Searching for What Makes Us Human, in Rainforests, Labs, Sanctuaries, and Zoos

Almost Chimpanzee by Jon  Cohen
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Jan 25, 11

bookshelves: animals, non-fiction
Read in January, 2011

I think Jon Cohen, who is a science journalist, has raised an important question in this report on chimp science: that is, what makes us human? The gap between ape and hominid is vast even though we have a lot in common with this animal relative. This question can't be answered because it seems that research into the human/ape genome, brain anatomy, physiology, cognition, etc. hasn't yielded enough indisputable information. Unfortunately Cohen uses this book to report on progress to date in mind-numbing detail. He is not good at synthesis or summary. In the last chapter he tries to summarize the current state of chimpanzee conservation, but he left me puzzled. Are chimpanzees threatened or endangered or not? Is there hope for the species in preserves? zoos? reintroductions? I just don't have the patience to sift through so much conflicting opinion to find the facts in this book. This work was a sincere and ambitious undertaking, and it was even well written, but it wasn't well done.

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