Make Love, Not War.

Some scientists say: ‘Bonobos, chimps and humans shared a single common ancestor from about 6 million years ago, Chimps and bonobos shared the same common ancestor until about a million years ago, when the Congo River formed. Then the bonobos developed on one side of the river, the chimps the other.

Bonobos are our ape cousin that is kinder, nicer, and gentler than the chimpanzees and us,humans. They make love, they do not make war. But chimpanzees and humans make wars. We humans are as close genetically to the peace-loving bonobos as we are to the more violent chimpanzee. Bonobos and humans share 98.7 percent of the same genetic blueprint. Chimpanzees and humans share 98.7 percent of the same genetic blueprint.

Chimpanzees and bonobos are much more closely related to each other — sharing 99.6 percent of their genomes. Chimpanzees kill and make war. They do not share food with total strangers. Chimps tend to use tools better and have bigger brains, like humans. Chimpanzees are ruled by male chimps. Chimps get more violent as they age. They kill.’

Humans make love, but they also hate and kill and make war. Some humans do not share food with strangers, some do. Humans are ruled by male humans. They are not necessarily get violent as they age. Humans kill.’

Bonobos make love, not war.Bonobos share food with total strangers. They stay close to their mothers — who even pick out their sons’ mates — long after infancy like humans. Bonobo heads are slightly smaller and their teeth are arranged differently. In behavior, bonobos are far more tolerant, more social. They are inordinately sexual. Instead of releasing tension by fighting, they make love repeatedly. Bonobos are ruled by alpha females. Bonobos don’t get violent as they age. They bite, but they don’t kill.’

We are a little bit of bonobos and a little bit of chimpanzees. We should work hard to be more like bonobos and less like chimpanzees. We should try to stop wars. We should stop fucking each other. We should love more, we should make love, make more and more love.


  1. Tyrant of Skepsis says

    I’ve often thought that it is a pity that the third chimapzee behaves so seldom like the second, and so often like the first.

    btw, concerning “Some scientists say”, I think the history you outline is pretty much the scientific consensus, isn’t it?

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    It’s all the gorillas’ fault!

    … the Congo River 500 miles inland from the sea … a formidable barrier several miles wide … it was not surprising that gorillas were never able to cross it — they live only north of the Congo. Somehow, however, some chimpanzee ancestors made the crossing. Lacking competition from gorillas, those ancient chimps began to eat leaves as well as fruit, and they evolved eventually into the species we now call bonobos. With a better, more diverse, and more stable food supply, bonobos can afford to forage in groups, whereas ordinary chimpanzees are often forced by scarcity of food to feed individually, exposing them to attack by male groups from neighboring troops. In bonobos, where individuals are less likely to be found alone, team aggression either never evolved or has been lost, not so much because it wasn’t necessary as because it wouldn’t provide any benefit — the strategy depends entirely on finding lone enemies to attack. … Statistically speaking, the most plausible explanation is that the common ancestor of human beings and both chimpanzee species had a predisposition for team aggression and bonobos lost this behavior because they no longer needed it. … bonobo males still practicing team aggression would have met with fierce group resistance and many defeats, would not have increased their opportunities to breed with females, and indeed, may not have survived their attempts.
    — Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden, Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World, pp 128-129

  3. says

    Why War Isn’t Inevitable: A Science Writer Studies the Secret to Peaceful Societies

    By Brad Jacobson, AlterNet March 18, 2012

    When President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he expressed a well-worn notion about warfare: “[W]ar is sometimes necessary, and war is at some level an expression of human feelings.” Today, as the drumbeats for war with Iran once again reach bellicose heights, a timely new book argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, waging war is not an innate part of human nature.

    In The End of War, veteran science journalist John Horgan applies the scientific method to reach a unique conclusion: biologically speaking, we are just as likely to be peaceful as we are to be violent. So what keeps humans bound by a seemingly never-ending cycle of war?

    In a phone interview with AlterNet from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley — situated within earshot of the mortars and howitzers at West Point Military Academy’s artillery range — Horgan dispelled multiple myths about the impetus for war, the combination of which, he believes, sustains the institution of war despite rational thought and an overwhelming human aversion to killing. A longtime Scientific American writer and director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, Horgan also charts a new course for rejecting the old paradigm of war’s inevitability and finally releasing mankind from its destructive grip. …

  4. Dee says

    Of course, it is male aggression that built civilizations and furthered the sciences. Without it, we would be similarly peaceful like bonobos as well as similarly primative. For whatever reason, mankind evolved to create civilization and part of that required aggressive males as well as the tendency for females to be most attracted to aggressive males (which as been shown through research).

    Also, there is some dispute regarding the peacefulness of bonobos:

    Bonobos also commonly engage in pedophelia and engage in prostitution (exchange of sex for food):

  5. ik says

    We have the human power and, being like chimpanzees are able to use it. We have the horror and the glory, and those such as you have the duty of destroying the horror to preserve the glory; yet we could not have the one without the other.

  6. Enkidum says

    “We should stop fucking each other”???

    Surely you mean “fucking each other over”, or something like that. Otherwise we’re definitely not learning from the bonobos, who seem to spend a huge chunk of their life fucking.

  7. Gorbachev says


    “the most plausible explanation is that the common ancestor of human beings and both chimpanzee species had a predisposition for team aggression and bonobos lost this behavior because they no longer needed it”

    And, alas, we have 6 million years post-Chimpanzee/human common ancestor, filled with mixed group aggression and co-operation.

    Until the advent of state societies, group aggression was more or less constant, brutal and usually genocidal. Studies of hunter-gatherers almost always paint a picture of constant death from violence. Without an authority of some kind, “game theory” suggests that humans default to no-trust, attack-first-or-be-attacked actions.

    It’s perfectly rational, actually – which is the problem.

    If an enemy is weak, it’s easier to steal than to make for yourself; if the enemy resists the attempt, it’s useless to let him/her live or consider them as people – because you just want the resources for yourself.

    And EVEN IF you don’t want to do this, you need to consider that they might do this to you. If you measure up the odds, it makes more sense for you to pre-emptively attack than it does for you to trust.

    Only when you have common bonds of trust – a shared social system, language, identity, perhaps even family relations – can this be effectively overcome.

    We are a bunch of cold, calculating social apes. Nothing more.

    Really nothing more.

    We can be nice and friendly. We can also tear out each other’s throats and butcher other people’s families, and it takes little to push us to either side.


    In most situations, we’re peaceful. So we’re both naturally aggressive, and naturally peaceful.

    We must build social systems that don’t deny our brutal animal natures. They have to control and restrain them, but they must accept that this is the way we are.

  8. Gorbachev says

    Actually, more in-depth observations of bonobos reveal some shockingly human behavior.

    Individual females and males in many troops must be kept clear from other individuals’ babies: more than once, apparently psychotic bonbos kill (and sometimes eat) other mothers’ babies.

    Some females will gang up on unrelated or new females and pummel her until she leaves; usually they do this to weaker females or those without established social status. Of course, the female being punished may have committed social faux pas that we don’t recognize.

    And males, of course, especially large, powerful males, will often kill any newborns or young chimps. This also makes perfect sense: why let the females tend to other males’ children, when you can kill them, impregnate the females and spawn your own?

    We’re descended from animals that used cold, calculating logic to maximize reproductive success.

    Of course, our social systems are far more complex, but they’re based on exactly the same principles. Male jealousy, intra-female competition (who gets the nicest handbags or has the slimmest waist – it’s not about what men want at all), male status-seeking (to impress females and be the father of the most children)–

    All of these things, all of the things we see in dramas and on TV, not one of them doesn’t have obvious roots in basic primate behavior.

    We think we’re special. But we’re nothing more than extremely clever apes.

    What’s even more interesting is that at one time, there were several species of us alive at the samae time, the same way there are several species of great ape. There were several hominids walking around. It’s possible that several varieties of Homo came into contact –

    it’s even suggested that archaic Homo interbred with modern Homo (Denisova genes) in Central Asia, and that our more recent sub-species, Neanderthals, didn’t entirely disappear – that we carry a tiny amount of their genes in us.

    But the violence and aggression inherent to humans means one thing: In order to prevent it, we must understand it. To understand it, we have to understand what motivates people individually and in groups.

    And I’m not surprised to find that as women gain more freedom, they become more and more like men, and men become more and more like women.

    Instead of making men more civilized, which has seemed to happen, women have become much more violent. Highschool bullying, actual killings, rowdiness and drunkenness, actual physical violence (even in the face of reprisals) – these are all common themes for anyone who patronizes bars, sports events or places where men and women congregate in the West.

    A police officer friend said to me a few years ago, that when his father was a cop, there was almost never a case in Boston of a woman starting a fight and getting violent, even at night, even among prostitutes angling for their own territory, even among drunk women – and there were few drunk women in public. usually, a woman would commit violence by proxy – by lying to her boyfriend or husband to get him to act, or using a man to attack another man (or woman).

    He said in his own career, since the 1980’s, the number of assaults by women at night, the level of drunk and disorderly conduct charges, the level of domestic assaults started by women in which weapons were used (blunt objects, knives, scissors in a case he investigated several times), … you name it,m …

    And anyone who’s been to London at night and watches the men and women, tottering drunkenly, pushing and shoving each other, women tearing at each other’s hair over minor differences, …

    As women gain more freedom, more power, and more control, unshockingly, …

    They become more like men.

    If you don’t believe me, have a trip down to a local bar or watering hole or dance club. The whole, shocking, brilliant brazenness of common human instincts are on display for the whole world to see.

    We really are a very interesting large primate.

  9. Gorbachev says


    Bonobos are very sexual, but one thing they share in common with all primates:


    Males very frequently pay for sex with females with luxury food items. Some males have been known to seek out luxury food items at the expense of eating themselves, solely to acquire more access to sex.

    Whatever you want to say about chimps – they share a lot of characteristics with humans.

    Apparently, prostitution is essentially the oldest form of exchange among primates. I’ll bet it goes back to the time when the first primates were rat-sized things living in trees and in holes in the ground 90 million years ago when the dinosaurs were still around.

    BTW, mass warfare is found among all social animals, from monkeys to dogs to ants. it appears to come from exactly the same roots and have the same cold, calculating logic to it.

    What ants will do to rival ant colonies is shocking. You need to see videos of it to see it in action and believe it.

    War is a mathematical game concept. The fact that it’s basic not just to life but to social existence is evidenced by the fact that ants, with brains the size of grains of sand and social orders moderated by hormones, engage in highly complex, tactically predictable and calculated warfare on a regular basis.

    There’s something in the mathematics of social behavior in lifeforms that hints that warfare is more or less inevitable.

    This means that to STOP war, and all of its inherent evils and waste, we need to fully understand why lifeforms engage in it, why we do it, and therefore work to create incentives not to do it.

  10. GMM says

    How can you prove that observing the sharing of food by chimps = prostitution? Sounds like a lot of projection and wishful thinking.

    If an alien species came to earth and saw my boyfriend pass me the potatoes at the dinner table, then later we have sex, if they were stupid they might conclude the same thing.

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