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On the Differences Between Chimps and Humans45:42
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New science says we’re not like chimps after all. And we talk with “Water for Elephant’s author Sara Gruen about her new book “Ape House.”

Chimpanzees play with a soccer ball in the Ramat Gan Safari, central Israel, June 10, 2010. (AP)
Chimpanzees play with a soccer ball in the Ramat Gan Safari, central Israel, June 10, 2010. (AP)

Since the 1920s, the big message from science to humanity has been that chimps – chimpanzees – are “almost human."  With the 1960s and the work of Jane Goodall in Africa, that message got even louder. And to some degree, it’s true. We share an enormous genetic inheritance with these apes.

But the differences matter, too. A new look at the research examines how key differences made us human. It’s fascinating.

Plus, we talk today with Sara Gruen, author of the big bestseller “Water for Elephants.” She’s writing now about apes. 
-Tom Ashbrook
Guests:

Jon Cohen, correspondent with Science magazine and author of "Almost Chimpanzee: Searching for What Makes Us Human, in Rainforests, Labs, Sanctuaries, and Zoos." His other books include "Shots in the Dark" and "Coming to Term."  You can read an excerpt.

Sara Gruen, author of "Water for Elephants" and the new novel "Ape House." You can read an excerpt.

This program aired on September 16, 2010.

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