Friday, November 27, 2009
Jane Goodall... Reason for Hope
Jane Goodall speaks in Bill Moyers Journal
Watch the interview.
BILL MOYERS: When you and David Greybeard were communing, what language were you speaking?
JANE GOODALL: Well, we didn't. I tried always not to use chimp language in the wild because we really do try and look through a window. And now we know how dangerous it is to, you know, transmit disease from us to them. So we keep further away, which is sad for me.
BILL MOYERS: But I ask the question, because it seemed to me, watching the documentary, watching the films, is that there was some language being spoken, some prehistory language. Means of communication without words that communicated even feelings.
JANE GOODALL: This was this wonderful situation when right in the early days, I was following David Greybeard. And I thought I'd lost him in a tangle of undergrowth. And I found him sitting as though he was waiting, maybe he was. He was on his own. I don't know. And I picked up this red palm nut and held it out on my palm. And he turned his face away. So, I held my palm closer, and then he turned; he looked directly into my eyes. He reached out-- hold out your hand with a nut on it. He took it. He didn't want it. He dropped it. But at the same time, he very gently squeezed my fingers, which is how a chimp reassures. So, there was this communication. He understood that I was acting in good faith. He didn't want it, but he wanted me to reassure me that he understood. So, we understood each other without the use of words.