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Not a Chimp: The Hunt to Find the Genes that Make Us Human

by Jeremy Taylor
New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 256 pages.

Reviewer Jonathan Marks summarizes, “Jeremy Taylor argues that (1) we are genomically more different than the 98–99% datum has indicated; (2) we are cognitively and behaviorally more different than the inhabitants of the post-Goodall world have been led to believe; and (3) the elision of human and chimpanzee, as animal-rights advocates have promoted, is unwarranted. He documents all three points admirably.” A weakness of Taylor’s argument, Marks adds, is that it fails to address the question “Why should we suppose that genetic relationships are ‘realer’ or just ‘more important’ than other kinds of relationships?” and thus “takes the privileged position of genetics for granted.”