Sunday, June 26, 2016

Old monkeys lose interest in toys

The NY Times Science section is pretty good, but it misses a lot of pure science stories because it prefers stories that somehow illuminate what it means to be human, especially if there is a leftist slant.

Here is the latest example:
Humans spend less time monkeying around as they get older, and according to a study published Thursday, so do monkeys.

As anyone who has ever hung out with a grandparent, observed a retiring parent, or grown old themselves may know, many people get pickier with age. ...

The researchers found that the monkeys’ interest in toys waned when they became reproductive. And around 20, (their “retirement age”) monkeys, like humans, had fewer social contacts and approached others less frequently. ...

How human behavior changes as we age could therefore have some biological origins. ...

Dr. Freund said she sees the same behavior patterns in humans.
So the lesson here is that we are just the same as the monkeys we split from 25M years ago. Leftists love the idea that we are just monkeys.

But there is no reason to believe that our relation to monkeys has anything to do with the result.
Perhaps monkeys and humans just lose stamina with age, and maybe the monkeys are too tired to deal with relationships that are ambivalent or negative, she added. Or maybe, as the researchers are now trying to investigate, aging monkeys are less socially interactive because they tend to take fewer risks, which is what appears to happen in humans according to some research.

Whatever the reason behind the behavior of these distantly-related species is, there’s a take-home message for humans: “Our behaviors that seem very much the result of our deliberation and choice,” said Dr. Freund, “might be more similar to our primate ancestors than we might think.”
So it is not in our genes at all. These are just choices that any thinking species might make.

So is anything new or surprising?

Here is some more obvious research. A medical journal reports that men are more willing to risk unsafe sex if the woman is extremely attractive.


  1. Discovering that old mammals stagnate? That's fundable research? I hate "researchers".

  2. Networking ``research,'' guys, networking ``research.''

    Also, ``academic'' ``research.''