A female lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) photographed at the Bronx zoo in 2007.
According to Reuters the Spanish Congress is set to extend legal rights to apes in captivity, ending cruel experiments, isolation in circuses, and other forms of mistreatment. (Zoos will still be allowed to keep apes but the conditions there must be improved.) Although not yet passed, the legislation has enough support that victory is close. The folks behind the Great Ape Project have been pivotal in pushing this initiative and I sincerely hope that other countries in which apes are still subject to cruelty in labs, circuses, and elsewhere follow Spain’s example.
[Post-Script]; William Dembski considers freeing apes from cruel and unethical treatment as evolutionary propaganda and claims he senses “lunacy around the corner.” (But apparently he cannot sense the lunacy that is closer to home.) At least he comes clean about the Disco Institute’s Creationist program, though;
Discovery Institute’s persistent stress on humans being made in the image of God and that not being a privilege extended to the rest of the animal world makes more and more sense.
Even though we’re told that Moses couldn’t even look at God without dying (Exodus 33:18-23), Willy D has been able to look at the Designer and is adamant that he looks nothing like a chimpanzee. Apparently Dembski can’t recognize the family resemblance (which sundry scientific disciplines have overwhelmingly supported) with our closest relatives in the African forests. At times like these I wonder what would have happened if some of our extinct relatives, say Neanderthals or even the robust australopithecines, had survived and lived alongside us today. Given the hatred and contempt we show towards members of our own species I can’t imagine that they would have been treated with kindness.