Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity – thinking and caring about the well-being of others may at first glance seem like a uniquely human trait. But it turns out that it isn’t. Many animal behaviourists have been saying for some time that ‘moral’ behaviour exists in other animals.
In the fascinating TED talk at the bottom of this post, Frans de Waal shares some videos of behavioral tests on primates and other mammals that suggest that morality is not unique to us humans.
From a theological perspective this research raises a plethora of questions. Is theology up to the challenge of integrating current scientific knowledge into a biblical worldview that is less domineering and more cognizant of the complexity of the rest of creation? Let’s hope so!