Monday 4 April 2016

Mysterious chimpanzee behaviour could prove they believe in God, according to scientists

4 APRIL 2016 • 11:16AM

New footage of ritual behaviour by chimpanzees, taken and analysed by researchers, shows they may be engaging in spiritual practices - and could even believe in God.

West African chimpanzees have been captured on camera throwing rocks into holes in trees and engaging in other bizarre behaviour, where the objects they use are not being used as tools but as part of a perhaps ritualistic practice.

Laura Kehoe, a scientist from Humboldt University, Berlin, said she had "never seen anything like it" and that it "gave [her] shivers".

The discovery may help researchers piece together how human religious rituals started and developed, as the behaviour of the chimpanzees is incredibly similar to that which scientists think was exhibited by primitive human tribes.

“This represents the first record of repeated observations of individual chimpanzees exhibiting stone tool use for a purpose other than extractive foraging at what appear to be targeted trees,” the researchers write in their abstract.

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