Pet Peeves

Some science news stories just have to be challenged.

And when it comes to any story about chimpanzees or raccoons, I am the guy to do it.

Did you see the story about the chimp who could “remember” then touch on a computer screen five numbers in sequence after the numbers had turned to white squares?

The five numbers show up scattered on a screen in the blink of an eye (to humans) then in this same instant turn into white squares!

College students were asked to point to each square in the numerical order in which they disappeared. The college kids could only do it 40% of the time, but the chimp could do it 80% of the time.

No kidding!

Ever see a chimp swing through the trees, or a gibbon if you want some fast action? Their hand eye coordination is off the charts compared to a human, let alone the memory part of the test.

Chimps may have co-dominant eyes, phenomenal peripheral vision, a photographic memory, to survive swinging around in tree tops, who knows. This wasn’t a fair test for the college kids.

You might as well had a “let’s see who can grow the most hair on their back” contest for goodness sake.

But the glaring difference I saw in this rigged deal was that the chimp got a treat every time he finished tapping the screen.

What did they give the college students, a Heineken?