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Page #47

MA: I believe that you paint the picture much too dark. It is true that this is a subject more suited to Hollywood than casual conversation. But it is not true that people would rather not know.

We must never put ourselves into a position where we believe that information should be filtered. The heart of science is that knowledge is shared. Even our conjectures, opinions, and observations are distributed. The very soul of science has been tempered on ridicule and even persecution. The road to understanding our world is paved with open discussion.

So being challenged in ones belief is no roadblock to any true person of science. And if I may say so, it should never be an impediment to your profession as well.

Q: Touche MA. I didn't mean any offense.

MA: I know that.

Q: It is just that I would like to go even farther into your observations but I fully intend to publish your comments on the Internet. And I do not care to diminish your reputation.

MA: Laughing - my reputation?

Q: Well you know what I mean.

MA: Child yes I do, and God bless you for caring but I am so far past such considerations that it seems a bit unnecessary. These are the days in my life where I am much more concerned with God's opinion of my actions than of man's.

So perhaps we can agree to just have our little discussion and let others form their own opinion. OK

Q: Good by me.

MA: What is it that you would like to know?

Q: MA, I have read some of your writing about the great apes, do you feel they are near extinction?

MA: Well the non-human great apes are not doing that well, but we humans are quite successful.

Q: Are people great apes?

MA: Why yes, didn't you know that?

Q: I am embarrassed to say no.

MA: All non-human great apes are endangered species. Actually there are very few breeding populations outside of captivity. It is a sad story and it is not getting any better. Great apes or Hominidae not only include humans but chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.

In Africa the "bushmeat" trade is wrecking havoc on the primate population in the wild, also there are periodic outbreaks of Ebola killing breeding adults.

We have about 200,000 western gorillas and only about 6,000 eastern gorillas left. It is crunch time for their species and with the exception of those in captivity the prognosis is poor.

MA: These are our closest relatives. This is not an abstract lesson in Biology - this is real and it very bad.
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