Fido may be cute, but does he know it's wrong to chew your slippers? Can a dog, or a chimpanzee for that matter, actually distinguish right from wrong? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, a biologist says animals do have moral codes. Also a close look at two creatures you probably don't like: why cockroaches and scorpions are splendid in their own ways.
In his book "Dark Nature: A Natural History of Evil," biologist Lyall Watson redefines good and evil in genetic terms. He tells Steve Paulson that animals are programmed to be greedy, duplicitous and violent.SEGMENT 2:
On the other hand, primatologist Franz De Waal thinks animals have moral codes and even a sense of justice. He tells Jim Fleming some stories from his work with monkeys that prove his point.SEGMENT 3:
Ecologist Paul Shepard tells Steve Paulson that animals and the natural world teach humans how to co-exist with "the Other" and by extension, with each other. Shepard is the author of "The Others: How Animals Made Us Human." And, Natalie Angier, a science writer with the New York Times, tells Judith Strasser how she learned to love some of the other-est creatures of all, including the roaches in her apartment. Angier is the author of "The Beauty of the Beastly: New Views of the Nature of Life."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 96-04-07-B.
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