Dame Jane Goodall is best known for her studies in primatology, but even as the world’s top expert on chimpanzees, she knows infinitely more about animals as a whole than I could ever hope to. At the age of 89, she’s still incredibly active in the worlds of primatology, ecology, and conservation. Now, she’s answering a truly mind-tickling question: could animals be smarter than humans?
When 10-year-old Ronan submitted his question to CNN, I bet he never expected to get an answer from Jane Goodall herself. But, “in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation,” the news agency reached out to the famous wildlife advocate for her thoughts.
“Ronan’s question really made me think, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to give this some thought once the video was over. Are humans truly smarter when we’re destroying our own planet? It’s undeniable that the human race shows higher intelligence levels than animals in regard to memory and problem-solving, but perhaps there’s another piece of the equation where the animals have us beat.
In my personal opinion, I can see the ways other species care for and interact with their habitats so directly. Everything in an animal’s environment impacts their quality of life–and even their survival–so they have every reason to be so in tune with nature.
As for humans, though, we’ve lost a lot of that natural instinct. Our attention has turned from survival to success as humanity evolved and industrialized, and even though this modernization has had many wonderful effects, it also has its fair share of consequences.
Even if people show higher intelligence levels than animals, I think we still have a lot to learn from other species.” – says Jane Goodall.