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A joyous announcement!

Ginger, 42, and a resident of Northwest Louisiana has just delivered a healthy baby girl. I’m impressed with Ginger, who has done all the hard work of pregnancy multiple times and still seems to strongly bond with her babies.

It was the fifth baby for Ginger, who lives in the same social group as Tracy and Valentina Rose, two chimpanzee youngsters at Chimp Haven who were born unexpectedly.

But — forgive me for this, I’m a guy — I’m even more impressed with the father, Conan.

DNA testing pointed to Conan as their father; he was immediately re-vasectomized.

Conan, who seems to be getting the reputation of being somewhat of a player, has now been vasectomized three times and all the females at Chimp Haven have been placed on birth control pills.

Conan is one potent fellow.

Comments

  1. says

    What do you expect from a guy named Conan? He probably beats up all of the other chimps while swearing to Crom and simultaenously performing reproductive acts with the females

  2. Louis says

    I know it’s sexist, and I want to congratulate Ginger obviously, she did all the hard work, but the pride I feel for Conan right now is entirely disproportionate.

    Ahhhhh anthropomorphisation, projection, transference, your sweet, sweet psychological blandishments tempt me even now.

    Louis

  3. jennifred says

    I’m impressed by her biceps. I could have used arms like that when I was nursing my babies.

  4. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    He’s had three vasectomies? Damn. I hope he and I don’t share the same doctor.

  5. dianne says

    Baby born despite 3 vasectomies and birth control pills…Too bad for the goddists that it isn’t a human or they could use this as evidence of god’s displeasure with birth control and ability to circumvent it. Hmm…perhaps god is really a chimp?

  6. AsqJames says

    Yet more proof that the only 100% surefire birth control method is abstinence, just like god intended.

    Now if only we could get the chimps to pay attention in sex abstinence ed. class.

  7. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    Yet more proof that the only 100% surefire birth control method is abstinence, just like god intended.

    A young woman by the name of Mary would probably take issue with the 100% claim.

  8. davem says

    …which begs the question – why, if chimps are a threatened species, are we trying to stop them having babies?

  9. proudmra says

    If Conan has “come back” from three separate vasectomies, he must have a regenerative power on a par with lizards. This should be studied.

  10. tccc says

    @davem The phrase “begs the question” has a very specific meaning and it is not “leads to the question” as you have used it.

    It is one of the more common logical fallacies used by the religious so it is to our benefit to know what it means and recognize it when they make the fallacious argument.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

    I am not just trying to be pedantic, I think it helps to really understand the sometimes subtle and hard to detect error of begging the question.

  11. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    tccc, it’s not helpful to be pedantic (and yes you were being pedantic), when someone is using the perfectly acceptable colloquial use of ‘begs the question’ outside of any formal/logical argument.

    Don’t be an annoying pedant. It’s been gone over many times here what the fallacy of ‘beggin the question’ is. This was not a teachable moment.

    This, however, is a teachable moment.
    _____

    Good for Conan?

    I echo the implied hope that it is not the same surgeon doing the vasectomy again. 42 seems like a very advanced age for a chimp to be pregnant. I’m sure Ginger loves her child, but maybe a break in the reproduction wouldn’t go amiss?

  12. David Marjanović says

    42 seems like a very advanced age for a chimp to be pregnant.

    Seconded, and she looks like it.

  13. tccc says

    Hey Thomathy: your concern is noted. I was as polite and informative as I could be. Any time it is misused casually is a chance to point out the actual fallacy especially one that comes up so often in religious discussions.

  14. Olav says

    I literally LOL’ed at the suggestion of teaching abstinence to chimps. One needs to study chimpanzee behaviour only for about, well, five minutes, to realise why that is not going to work.

    On a more serious note, Davem:

    why, if chimps are a threatened species, are we trying to stop them having babies?

    Because caring for chimpanzees in captivity in acceptable conditions is a very expensive endeavour that requires a lot of dedication. Few places in the world are well equipped to do it. Most zoos, for instance, are not.

    Also, their existence in captivity is not really threatened. As a species they are endangered in the wild, mainly through loss of habitat. Breeding them in numbers is just not a solution for that.

  15. GodotIsWaiting4U says

    “Conan! What is best in life?”

    “To confound your surgeons, to see them driven before you, and to hear the birth moans of your women.”

  16. says

    Excuse me for anthropomorphizing but look at the sweet look on Ginger’s face.

    As far as vasectomies its not just a snip and clamp. Same thing with tubal ligation’s. It really takes a snip, fold it over and clamp or suture. Even then it’s not a sure thing.

    The body has wonderful ways of trying to repair things done by outside influences.

  17. Sili says

    tccc,

    It’s not even a good translation of the principle, as evidenced by the fact that “everyone gets it wrong”.

    The solution is to not use the stupid phrase when discussing the logical fallacy and instead stick with the unambiguous “petitio principii”.

    And don’t get me started on “decimate”.

  18. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Hmm…perhaps god is really a chimp?

    You mean Ray Comfort might be right about bananas after all?

  19. Sili says

    I made do with two vasectomies.

    Of course, if it hadn’t taken my vet refused to do more.

  20. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    tccc, it’s not helpful to be pedantic (and yes you were being pedantic), when someone is using the perfectly acceptable colloquial use of ‘begs the question’ outside of any formal/logical argument.

    It’s not just that it’s colloquial. I’d given this some thought and it seems like pretty much every “pedantically correct” substitute for “begging the question” in this usage has far less “oomph.” “Raises the question,” “suggests the question,” “leads to the question,” etc. just seem tepid in comparison, and people want to communicate what they actually MEAN, impact included, which (combined with the misleading formal name) is probably the main reason for “confusion” on this.

    “Demands the question” is a little better, at least.

  21. loopyj says

    I understand that Chimp Haven is a retirement community for chimps who’ve been used in research, entertainment, or kept as pets, but they’re wild animals, not housepets, so why are humans meddling with their fertility and reproduction?

  22. says

    I understand that Chimp Haven is a retirement community for chimps who’ve been used in research, entertainment, or kept as pets, but they’re wild animals, not housepets, so why are humans meddling with their fertility and reproduction?

    Because they aren’t in the wild and it’s unfair to the baby chimps to be born into captivity. Plus it’s extremely expensive to keep these chimps in an environment as close to natural as Chimp Haven is able to give them. Reducing the number of captive chimps by letting them live out the rest of their lives in peace and not having babies (but giving them the opportunity for good social and sexual lives with each other) is a good goal. We don’t need more chimps in captivity, we need more chimps living in the wild where they belong.

  23. says

    How about, “begs for the question” as a substitute? It’s got the same verb (well, not if we’re being pedantic, I suppose) but actually means something close to what the wrong version is expected to mean.

  24. lexie says

    Davem #12. Yes Chimpanzees are a threatened species and overall zoos around the would be trying to increase the captive population. While I don’t know the specific reason for this zoo not breading I can explain some of the reasons why zoos but threatened species on birth control as I have worked in zoos and am a DVM student so I know a little about animal breeding programmes. Firstly she is quite old and as with humans older mums tend to have more pregnancy and delivery problems so it is possible the zoo has decided that she shouldn’t have any more babies. Secondly, breeding programmes are normally very tightly controlled to ensure that there is sufficient genetic diversity in the population the international breeding programme will tell the zoo which animals should be mated together and they are also allowed to tell you not to breed from certain animals any more if they are over represented in the population. Thirdly, zoos can be in situations where there is either not enough space or staff to deal with an increase in the population so they use birth control to prevent an increase in the population which they would be unable to handle. Finally, there can be health or behaviour issues with a particular animal which make them undesirable to breed from but as these animals have been breed from in the past I would guess it’s not this reason. There are some other issues which way in to these decisions but those in my experience these would be the biggest. Hope this help.

  25. pipenta says

    Damn it Godot, this is why I should read PZ’s posts as soon as they come out, hell, sit at my computer and just wait for the posts to appear. I am so bummed that you beat me to a “Conan, what is best in life?” joke.

    Loopyi, “why are humans meddling with their fertility and reproduction?”

    You are shitting us, right? Just trolling and trying to fuck with us. Because I am baffled that you even ask this question. How many wild chimps do you reckon are living free in Louisiana anyway? For their safety and the safety of humans, Chimps and humans should have minimal interaction, as most any resident of Stamford, Connecticut can tell you.

    So you need a facility where their basic natural chimply needs are met. This is expensive. Very. How will it be funded?

    It is ironic and tragic, but hardly a secret that there are species vanishing in the wild that are having population issues in captivity. Zoos and entertainment venues and pet industries and private pet owners often create, through intentional or unintentional breeding, more animals than can be supported. It is rotten enough when pet cat & dog owners don’t spay or neuter out of some kind of fuzzy-thinking about respecting “natural instincts” and thousands of animals end up in shelters and destroyed. But when the animal that is killed because it is undesired surplus is an endangered species, the tragedy ramps up dizzyingly.

    Even if this chimp shelter can raise the funds to support the additional chimps, is that the best use of limited resources? Isn’t it be a better idea, if the goal is to keep chimps on our planet in some context other than at zoos and theme parks, to put the money into preserving habitat? And if you can’t do that, instead of breeding new chimps that are going to their lives out in an EXPENSIVE altruist sanctuary that is, functionally, a zoo, how about putting that money towards humans who are in need?

    Help the chimps who need the help, by all means. They never asked to be born in captivity. But why in hell would you think is the moral high ground to breed more??

  26. Irony says

    I prefer the translation of the Latin phrase, “assuming the initial point”. Philosophers have a bad habit of trying to make their field as obtuse as possible, to combat this you should always use clear English* language terms when they exist.

    *Or whatever language is most appropriate for your audience.