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• Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” If he were walking among us today, he would say, “Blessed are the bonobo peacemakers,” as I discuss in chapter 5 of my book, Green Kingdom Come!

Bonobo primates are as close to homo sapiens genetically (over 98 overlap) as the chimpanzees, and are powerful examples that our genes do not make us violent. The latest research, as documented in Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo, by Vanessa Woods, shows that our species is not alone in showing tolerance and empathy.

Bonobos demonstrate tolerance and empathy systemically. Unlike chimpanzees and humans, there is no abuse of females, no infanticide, and no warfare.

Bonobos make peace because for 6 million years they have not had to be aggressive to eat. They have lived in the tropical forest of Africa (left bank of the Congo River) where food is abundant. Children receive food first. A female network equally distributes food and nurture, and collectively nips male power displays in the bud.

For our species to survive, we must imitate the bonobos, our very close, exemplary cousins.

My book discusses bonobos in chapter 5, which asks the question, Would Jesus picket against warfare?

Follows developments in a bonobo sanctuary called Lola in the Congo which includes a photo comparison of bonobo and chimpanzee faces, a photo of Vanessa Woods and a bonobo and a photo of woman holding a bonobo.

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