More evidence that other primates might not be so different from humans: after researchers taught seven capuchin monkeys to use currency, they soon paid for sex.
I thought I'd mention this phenomenon, observed by Yale economic psychologist Keith Chen, in light-hearted light of the debate occasioned by my post "A Human-Like Race Is Going Extinct." The ensuing comment dialogue -- over the definition of human, and whether it should be applied to great apes -- was one of the most enjoyable WiSci debates to date.
Emerging from the fray were two competing arguments: "human" is either a matter of basic biology -- genetic inheritance and the potential to procreate -- or cognitive, emotional and social capacity.
Both positions are, I think, both entirely arbitrary and equally valid: what's at stake is a definition. And for myself, I prefer the latter definition, as the ability to feel and communicate seems more important than the sequence of my genome. To wit: if aliens arrived today and asked why Earth shouldn't be demolished to make way for an interstellar bypass, would we ask them to delay on account of our genes rather than our feelings?