What we learned from Washoe the chimp

There aren't many people who lived through the 20th Century, including learned philosophers, scientists and thinkers, whose lives and work so forcefully altered the human intellectual landscape as did that of Washoe, a 42-year-old female chimpanzee who died October 30th in a research center in eastern Washington state.

Her life permanently changed the popular perception of animal intelligence, overturning long-held assumptions about differences between humans and other great apes, and presaging the genetic revolution that would reveal that humans and chimps biologically aren't separated by much.

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