Chimps and bonobos are really similar to us.
Researchers have discovered that chimpanzees and bonobos put the same sort of effort into hellos and goodbyes as we humans do. Moreover, they put slightly more effort into the goodbye part of the social interaction. In other words, they find goodbyes as difficult as many humans do. We are all familiar with the guest who takes ages to leave, lingering on the doorstep with one last story. Chimps and bonobos are the same, it turns out. Some will immediately jump to the conclusion that they must therefore have consciousness, just like we humans. Hold on. The key question, why does all this need to feel like anything at all, is still there. But this discovery does at least lend weight to the conclusion to the extent that consciousness evolved to help sophisticated animals navigate complex social groups. Chimps and bonobos really may have consciousness, just like we do.
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