You set-up the experiment in such a way that the hungry chimp had to make a tool to get the bananas. Putting the small bamboo stick into the larger one can be considered making a tool. You did it -- a major scientific breakthrough!
Now, suppose that the results didn't work out this way, and that you didn't see the chimp making a tool. Would that have proved that chimps can not make tools? No! In a demonstration experiment, we can only find evidence to support our hypothesis, or fail in trying. Logically, we can't prove that something is impossible, just because we didn't happen to see it. Lucky for us, we saw the chimp making the tool, and were even able to take a picture of it.
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Dec. 10, 1997.
This document was last modified on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 11:51:36