Frans de Waal

On Atheists and Bonobos is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and primatologist Frans de Waal, Emory University, who is renowned for his work on the behaviour and social intelligence of primates. This thought-provoking conversation examines fascinating questions such as: Are we born with an innate sense of “the good”? Do we learn from others what is “wrong”? Does religion determine, or is it a result of, morality?

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Aping Morality, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

  1. Denying Our Inner Animal – Cartesian dogs, religious baggage and false dichotomies
  2. Morality and Evolution – Between chimpanzees and bonobos
  3. The Demise of Veneer Theory – Science discovers human cooperation and empathy
  4. The Roots of Religion – A sociological approach
  5. Community Concern – Chimpanzee groups and Golden Rules
  6.  Beyond Theatrics – Reconciling science, religion and mortality
  7. American Exceptionalism – Speculations on religiosity
  8. Testing Morality – Fairness, cooperation, risk-taking and more
  9. Reasons for Optimism – Positive behaviour throughout the animal world
  10. Breaking Down Barriers – Towards species continuity

Now available in electronic format on:

On Atheists and Bonobos is also available as part of the 5-part Ideas Roadshow Collection called Conversations About Biology both paperback and electronic format.

Read more

We’ve produced a one-hour video of our conversation with Frans de Waal which is available on Vimeo On Demand: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/onatheistsandbonobos