Apes, as we all know, are general led by alpha males. However, scientists have been studying a tribe of apes where all the aggressive males were killed off, after they caught tb while fighting over human garbage. This leadership vaccum was filled by a female, who then changed the tribe around into a more peaceful, sharing entity. Instead of the old brutal heirarchy, the tribe became more gentle, took better care of the babies, started sharing... they became woman run, matriarchial (as opposed to humans, who are primarily patriarchal (spelling?).
The significance here is that the apes culture changed, and the apes changed. This happens with humans, too, as we all know from looking through old photos or ourselves and seeing the hairstyles etc... that were slowly inserted into our minds by tv, friends, critics, etc... The apes changes show that culture and genes work together; our genes only determine 'possible' behaviors, but our culture decides which of these behaviors will manifest.
This is why I harp on and on about religion and why I believe that nation building is not just some choice we have -- it is our primary means of keeping our culture alive. And say what you will about american culture, but I think americans, judging by my thousands of conversations int he cab, are kind, concerned, and willing to fight if there is a cause. The problem is like Nader says, the democrats and republicans are the same, basically. None of them are going to give us national health care, or spend more on public schools, or continue the tradition of allowing more and more people to benefit from the freedom here -- such as gay marriages (the horror stories of people being kept from their 20 year companions funeral, kicked out of the house, losing their kids, etc... are unacceptible to anyone who thoughtfully looks at this issue without the homophobic taint that is also part of our culture -- did you know there was a time when gays were totally accepted, in all kinds of cultures all over the world -- from the native americans to europe? This is a cultural affect. Our closest living relatives, the Bonobo's, a matriarchial tribe that has orgies before eating so everyone is in the mood to share, simply fuck whoever is closest of whatever sex).
I know the human condition is a bit more complex than the apes, or at least seems to be (actually, the bonobo's are being wiped out by all the wars in the congo, and they do not do well at all in captavity -- they are approx. 99.7% the same as us on a genetically level -- so they will probably extinct soon). However, this is somewhat decieving. People think they change because of individual ideas, but no... we are like a huge organism that agrees to use words certain ways, which makes certain behaviors bad and praises other. This is something un--intuitive to us about seeing our behavior as part of something larger, but this has been known and used since time immemoriable to destroy other cultures and promote mindsets that fit into whatever particular government is in control (the Hitler youth come to mind, but also america, a few hundred years ago, when most southern whites believed that blacks were inferior).
What does all this mean? I think it means that Hillary Clinton should be president. Or maybe it just means I should go live with the Bonobo's? Oh, if only I could....