The Killer Ape

From the moment in 1963 when I finished reading Jane Goodall’s first article in National Geographic, I was enthralled with her work and still consider her one of the greatest personages of my lifetime.

During the nearly six decades that have followed, inspired by her revelations (and by the insights of Desmond Morris’ The Naked Ape), I have come to believe that — despite Mother Culture’s multi-millennia-long, quintessential “lipstick on the pig” scam that is intended to convince us we have risen above the slime of the World of Fang and Claw — human behaviors are driven by our primate biology unless individuals make conscientious efforts to oppose it.

The fact that we are naked apes — highly intelligent and inventive apes to be sure — has not been a part of any conversation I have been a part of (unless I bring it up after one too many glasses of wine), nor is it ever mentioned in conjunction with never-ending examples in our newsfeeds of primitive behaviors that would not have been unusual three million years ago in the African habitats in which hominid primates lived, behaviors that have long dominated human civilizations in defiance of the efforts of prophets who devoted — and in some cases sacrificed — their lives to explain how we might rise above our primate biology.

The Killer Ape Theory hypothesizes that violence and aggression were driving forces behind human evolution. Raymond Dart is accredited with bringing the theory forward in the 1950s, and it was developed further in African Genesis by Robert Ardrey.

Greed. Acquisition of territory. Fear of “the other.” Maintaining one’s status via threat of and actual physical violence primarily to ensure access to fertile females. All are internal drives that elicit survival behaviors that have contributed to our species’ eventual domination of the biological world. These biological responses were once essential to species survival in the World of Fang and Claw; today, they are the roots of toxic masculinity and the enduring characteristics of killer apes.

According to the (killer ape) theory, the ancestors of humans were distinguished from other primate species by their greater aggressiveness, and this aggression remains within humanity, which retains many murderous instincts.

The expression “killer ape” does not mean an outstanding aggressive kind of ape; in fact, the term refers to anthropological analysis of human aggression. Accordingly, the killer ape is a notably belligerent species on which our instincts might be rooted, because this very ancestor could establish itself due to its special aggression.

The first version of this post was born in May 2021 out of the disgust I felt toward the opposing clans of killer apes in Israel who had, once again, inflamed the hatreds created by their killer ape predecessors, lineages that stretch far back in time.

In this composite image, the alpha killer ape to the left is Ismail Haniyeh of the Hamas Political Bureau; the alpha killer ape to the right is Benjamin Netanyahu, who at the time of the original post was the Prime Minister of Israel.

I have been motivated to present the current featured image and this revised re-post by the horrific actions being perpetrated upon innocent Ukrainians by one of the most vile killer apes in human history: Vladimir Putin.

Once again, death and destruction are raining down upon innocents because in Ukraine a single, toxic, alpha human male is acting out what are—despite multiple millennia of prophet-driven efforts focused on enlightenment—unconscionable survival instincts implanted in our primate biology.

The only difference between the three killer apes depicted in this post’s images and that of alpha males and their clans a million years ago is the sophistication of their weaponry and the refinement of strategies of terror, torture, and murder. These toxic males and their followers are nothing more than naked killer apes in suits behaving like male chimpanzees behaved in the Gombe War.

As the linked Wikipedia article about the Gombe War summarizes …

… chimpanzee societies, in their natural state, wage war. A 2018 study published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology concluded that the Gombe War was most likely a consequence of a power struggle between three high-ranking males, which was exacerbated by an unusual scarcity of fertile females.

Ostensibly, the conflict in Israel was attributed to a court case about the eviction of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near the city’s al-Aqsa Mosque; Putin’s contrivance is the totally false notion of purging Nazis from Ukraine; but in both instances those lame excuses are examples of alpha killer apes smearing lipstick all over the pig.

What is happening in Ukraine as I update this post is but one more in the list of countless confrontations that stretch back at least three million years to (and probably before) the origin of our species, a species that has proven to be so deadly to all life that it has spawned one of the greatest extinction events in biological history, a species so deluded as to its importance that its collective behaviors are leading us to the end of civilization as we have come to know it.

And what of those prophets? When Jesus, a Jew, was asked, “of all the commandments, which is the most important?” he responded:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.

If you take the time to read 4 Lessons of Love and Mercy from Prophet Muhammad, you will discover that Jesus and Muhammad were aligned in their thinking about what we’ve come to call The Golden Rule.

What about traditional Jewish views on love?

One of the core commandments of Judaism is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). This commandment stands at the center of the central book in the Torah. The Talmudic sages Hillel and Rabbi Akiva indicated that this is the central commandment of the Torah.

Humanity has long known the solution to the pain and suffering of the world because the prophets of religions great and small have spelled it out for us; unfortunately, their guidance has proven no match for the instincts natural selection has imprinted in the minds of killer apes. Not even some of the greatest prophets of our Boomer Generation have been able to move us beyond our biology when they wrote …

Love is all you need


In the composite feature image (also shown below), the image on the left is from Smithsonian Magazine and is a photo of a reconstruction of an Australopithecus africanus by © P.Plaily/E.DyP.Plailly/E.Daynès – Reconstruction by Atelier Daynès Paris of a fossil between 2.1 and 2.7 million years old. The image of Vladimir Putin on the right is a copyright-free image from

No copyright infringement is intended in the use of the images in this post, nor is there an intent on the part of the blogger to monetize the use of the featured images.

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2 thoughts on “The Killer Ape

  1. Good read. I see along with much else, our early reads are similar. [I’m working a caustic piece of cynicism on greed. Odd how posts run with parallels?] I fear ‘man’ has lived beyond his merit, greed among other characteristics that should have erased him from the scene long ago.

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