Anne Lisette P. Manliclic
Reaction Paper on “The Social Climbers” and “Food for Thought”
The two documentaries showed that there are a lot of similarities between humans and monkeys. Like humans, monkeys use their brains a lot. They utilize their brains through techniques and good memory in order to make up for their weaknesses such as their sense of smell. They can even crack nuts, open shells and identify the kinds of leaves and food around. Like humans, monkeys learn through their experiences. These experiences are then passed on to the next generation through observations. They can even imitate the skills and actions of humans. Through imitation, the species start to accumulate their knowledge. The development is gradual but this is how they progress through time. This is really similar with the humans because humans gain knowledge not only through their own experiences, but also from the experiences of others. As time passes, humans enhance inventions and discoveries. These correspond with the theory called “Idea of Progress” in historiography, which states that there is always progression in the human species socially and scientifically. The development may become slow or fast, but there is no such thing as retrogression.
What is interesting is that the monkey species also have a society. Although the human society is more advanced, monkeys are also social creatures. They build relationships through grooming or hunting together, just as humans create bonds through doing good things to each other or sharing experiences. This is how we build trust, which is essential in forming relationships. Monkeys also practice dominance in their social structure. Both in monkeys and humans, the influential ones receive more benefits. There are also alliances and rivalries in the monkey world. In the monkey society, each creature has a specific role in the group. The monkey hunting groups are really amazing because each kind of monkey has a duty to perform. For instance, depending on their abilities, some monkeys guard above or below. Humans are also the same, since the roles that people play in the society depend on each individual’s knowledge or skills so that the group will be able to function well and succeed. Monkeys also have a diversity of cultures. One can see that this kind of social structure can be seen not only in the human species. What was said in the film that “The larger the brain is, the larger the group the monkey belongs” may hold some ground since humans have large brains and they in turn are capable of becoming members of a very large social group such as a nation.
Monkeys and humans alike adjust according to their needs. When the surface of the earth was changed because of a volcanic eruption, monkeys learned bipedalism. This is because we have to adapt to our needs. Greenhouse gases, for example, were created because of scarcity of food, as well as other advancements in technology.
There are many similarities between monkeys and humans which make them the closest species to us. Through observing monkeys, we can probably see how our ancestors evolved and developed. This will help in fields such as history, biology and many more. This will also help us understand more about the human species.