“Cool, Monkeys Are People Now Too,” laments a headline. Unfortunately, the story has nothing to do with monkeys. But hey, it’s black, furry, probably eats lots of bananas, and exists primarily to keep us entertained. Cartoons have already equipped us with all the information we need to make complex ethical decisions about the animal's treatment.
The news in question actually relates to a group of chimpanzees who, for the first time in US history, have been granted a day in court under a writ of habeus corpus — a right granted to humans to challenge unlawful detention.
But chimps are apes, not monkeys; the closest living relatives we have. Conflating the two in a discussion of law and scientific research is to ignore evolution. The animal kingdom is not divided as human and non-human in unyielding binary states of development.
Monkeys like the rhesus macaque play an important role in the research of human diseases like malaria and AIDS, and furthering our understanding of neuroscience. The fact that many support this is not an uncommon position to take by a human species that exists largely above and beyond the reaches of the food chain. Fewer people, however, support medical research on chimpanzees and other great apes.
To be ethical and humane, shouldn’t we at least start by knowing what a monkey is?
Five stories to start your day
For the first time in US history, a judge has decreed that a pair of chimpanzees held at a university research facility are covered by the same laws that govern the detention of humans, effectively rendering the animals as legal "people" in the eyes of the law.
Netflix has ordered a 13-episode season of Fuller House. John Stamos will produce the Full House sequel and guest star in his reprised role of Uncle Jesse. Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber will star. Discussions with other Full House cast members Bob Saget, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Dave Coulier and Lori Loughlin are said to be "ongoing."
Genetic tests for cancer can run thousands of dollars, but Color Genomics plans to change that: it's offering testing for the cancer risk variants BRCA1 and BRCA2 — as well as 17 others — for $249, starting today. By comparison, Myriad Genetics' similar test costs about $4,000.
Nowhere on Apple's website will you find a solid gold link bracelet for the Apple Watch. Jony Ive never mentions it at any point in this video describing the gold watch's creation. But in a set of photos posted to her website, Beyoncé just proved it exists.
Last week, when the second trailer for the new film came out, there was a very obvious question: "What if, in classic movie trailer fashion, this had music from someone else?"