Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human MOBI ✓


Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human [PDF / EPUB] Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human Project Nim, the brainchild of a Columbia University psychologist, was designed to refute Noam Chomsky s claim that language is an exclusively human trait Nim Chimpsky, the chimpanzee chosen to realiz Project Nim, the brainchild of a Columbia University The Chimp PDF Î psychologist, was designed to refute Noam Chomsky s claim that language is an exclusively human trait Nim Chimpsky, the chimpanzee chosen to realize this potentially groundbreaking experiment, was raised like a human child and taught American Sign Language while living with his adoptive Nim Chimpsky: ePUB Ñ family in their elegant Manhattan town house But when funding for the study ended, Nim s problems began Over the next two decades he was exiled from the people he loved, put in a cage, and moved from one facility to another, including, most ominously, a medical research lab But wherever he Chimpsky: The Chimp PDF/EPUB Á went, Nim s humanlike qualities and his ability to communicate with humans saved him.


10 thoughts on “Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human

  1. says:

    This book is scarcely about Nim Chimpsky at all, its farabout all the humans in his life It s about the person who bought him, the many people who raised him as a human child although they would never have given up on a child as they all did so quickly with Nim and all the people who were part of the various experiments on him Finally it is about the people who looked after him in his retirement.As a book about an animal, animal behaviour and language acquisition, this book fails mis This book is scarcely about Nim Chimpsky at all, its farabout all the humans in his life It s about the person who bought him, the many people who raised him as a human child although they would never have given up on a child as they all did so quickly with Nim and all the people who were part of the various experiments on him Finally it is about the people who looked after him in his retirement.As a book about an animal, animal behaviour and language acquisition, this book fails miserably Vince Smith s A Chimp in the Family The True Story of Two Infants One Human, One Chimpanzee Growing Up Together and Roger Fouts Next of Kin My Conversations with Chimpanzees are two of the muchinteresting and detailed books on this subject However, it was thought provoking to see the wheeling and dealing and politicking of the world that lives on research grants and where jealousy rather than co operation is the name of the game for these scientists


  2. says:

    Don t bother with this book, I was very disappointed in what I read From the very beginning she mixes up what is fact and what is not, for example when talking about the genetic similarities between chimps and humans, she states In 2006 Harvard geneticist David Reich discovered evidence that we share a common ancestor, the product of sexual relations between humans and chimpanzees pg 9 This is speculation, but she is stating it as fact It is also total crap There has never been any cross Don t bother with this book, I was very disappointed in what I read From the very beginning she mixes up what is fact and what is not, for example when talking about the genetic similarities between chimps and humans, she states In 2006 Harvard geneticist David Reich discovered evidence that we share a common ancestor, the product of sexual relations between humans and chimpanzees pg 9 This is speculation, but she is stating it as fact It is also total crap There has never been any cross breeding between humans and chimpanzees, it is not genetically possible There has, however, been possible cross breeding between different species of early man eg homo sapiens homo neandertalensis Maybe she was simply mixed up We evolved from common ancestors, that is why we re so similar And to believe that and write in a book we re the result of an ape man mating tells me that she is completely uneducated in the process of evolution And her reference for this fact An article from the New York Times She also goes out of her way to bash Roger Fouts repeatedly, even straying from the story for pages at a time to do so She has never, to my knowledge, met or even talked to him She repeatedly praises William Lemmon, a man well known for his cruelty to chimps and other animals I could not figure out why she was making him out to be a hero and Fouts to be a jerk, but then in the back I found that many of her photos and references came from Lemmons son It is obvious from the beginning that she has no background in biology, genetics, animal husbandry, or chimpanzees And if I were just a random person reading this book, I wouldn t know how much of what she is claiming is actually untrue I would have taken it as fact as it is presented as such This upsets me greatly because her false ideas and views are now in the hands of many people the book was promoted in magazines including Cosmopolitan as a must read I have been studying and working with animals including chimpanzees for over 11 years, and this is the first time I have read a book about primates where I have had to mark multiple pages to research on my own because I knew the statements made could not possibly be true She should have used the classic line story based on real events rather than non fiction, for this would excuse her mess of a story She has written the book based on accounts from people, and we all know everyone sees and remembers events differently from others who have experienced the same event especially 40 years later Please, if you have read this book, read others that are based less gossip andon research, like Through A Window by Jane Goodall, and Next of Kin by Roger Fouts


  3. says:

    Wowwhether you are a BF Skinner or Noam Chompsky fan, an animal acitivist or advocate, are interested in language aquisition or linguistics, this book is fascinating Though I am well aware of sentient animals being used in both behavioral and boimedical research, this book really was a wake up call for me I have read many nonfiction accounts of amazing animalsanimals who clearly have the ability to think and feel, Nim illustrates the humanness of primates poignantly I would highly recom Wowwhether you are a BF Skinner or Noam Chompsky fan, an animal acitivist or advocate, are interested in language aquisition or linguistics, this book is fascinating Though I am well aware of sentient animals being used in both behavioral and boimedical research, this book really was a wake up call for me I have read many nonfiction accounts of amazing animalsanimals who clearly have the ability to think and feel, Nim illustrates the humanness of primates poignantly I would highly recommend this interesting and thought provoking book


  4. says:

    This is the story of Nim Chimpsky, a young chimp chosen to be part of a language experiment The idea of the experiment was to prove Noam Chompsky wrong Chompsky thought that language is inherent in human beings and for this reason can t be taught, that language is exlusive to humans Project Nim is trying to prove that you can teach a chimp to use sign language and that the chimp is then able to communicate his thoughts and feelings.To make the chimp s life as close to human as possible, Nim This is the story of Nim Chimpsky, a young chimp chosen to be part of a language experiment The idea of the experiment was to prove Noam Chompsky wrong Chompsky thought that language is inherent in human beings and for this reason can t be taught, that language is exlusive to humans Project Nim is trying to prove that you can teach a chimp to use sign language and that the chimp is then able to communicate his thoughts and feelings.To make the chimp s life as close to human as possible, Nim is adopted by a human family when he s only a few days old and the book then follows his life The first years are great he lives in a family and are well taken care of But partly because of Nim, the family breaks and Nim is placed in another living situation where he also enjoys himself But suddenly Project Nim comes to an end and Nim is suddenly shipped back to the place he came from and is expected to suddenly live together with other chimps, live in a cage and no longer wear clothes or getting to sleep with his favourite blanket.As if this wasn t hard enough, he eventually ends up in a medical trial facility and is supposed to be part of a hepatitis experiment Luckily, Nim s fame saves him and he ends up in an animal sanctuary All is not well yet for Nim but finally, he gets a decent place to live and a companion and in spite of a few setbacks, he lives the rest of his life in peace I particularly liked the fact that he has two books one about sign language and the other a book about himself, The Story of Nim The Chimp Who learned Language filled with photos of him and how he took very good care of these two books They obviously meant something to him and I thought that was very sweet.One of the things that surprised me about this book was it s lack of emotion I had expected it to be a very passionate book filled with emotions but it wasn t and I actually really liked that about it To some extent, the books let you decide for yourself whether Chompsky s theory still stands or is shot down by Project Nim and I liked that the book didn t preach to me about animal rights but presented Nim s life story very straightforward.But it s hard not to feel sorry for him having been raced human, taught sign language and then just dumping him to fend for himself in very harsh circumstances because the project was over and he became to difficult to keep in a home.My problem with this entire line of work is that we take the chimps out of their way of life and cuts off all contact to other chimps so they think they are human then we teach them a human way of speaking and expect them to show us their feeling through this to them alien language I mean, I have a hard time speaking Dog to my cairn terrier of course a chimp has a hard time learning Human Even though this type of experiment doesn t physically hurt the animal, and even though the animal is put in a loving family, these types of studies are still cruel because they isolate the chimps for a part of their life and get them used to one type of life and suddenly, they are to big and to difficult and are snatched away and put back with their own kind, probably not even knowing that these weird hairy animals are their own kind And don t even get me started on the sexual relations some of the chimps had with their human parents In my opinion, animals speak to each other, they do have language But they don t speak the same way we do and they don t see the world the same way or feel the same about what they experiences of course they feel pleasure and pain and this makes it extra difficult to expect them to tell us about themselves, their hopes and dreams, in our languages, even though chimps and other apes are physically capable of using sign language.The book was very interesting and it details a lot of the research done on and with chimps during this period and I highly recommend it to people interested in this kind of animal tests or in the famous Nim himself


  5. says:

    We live in a throw away society, even when it comes to animals, as evidenced by the pets found in shelters And Nim, a chimpanzee who lived with humans for the first few years of his life, was also a victim of this mentality.Nim was taken from his mother within weeks of birth and went to live with a human family and taught American Sign Language Researchers wanted to disprove Noam Chompsky s theory that language is inherent only in humans Some studies were successful, others were not But what We live in a throw away society, even when it comes to animals, as evidenced by the pets found in shelters And Nim, a chimpanzee who lived with humans for the first few years of his life, was also a victim of this mentality.Nim was taken from his mother within weeks of birth and went to live with a human family and taught American Sign Language Researchers wanted to disprove Noam Chompsky s theory that language is inherent only in humans Some studies were successful, others were not But what was apparent throughout the book was that Nim was intelligent, sensitive, and sociable Yet what some people seemed to forget is that he is not a human child but a chimpanzee with innate characteristics different from us When they could not handle him any, he was basically tossed aside.Fortunately, there are some heroes throughout the book who always wanted the best for Nim and watched out for him He never could have been sent to the wild, but many tried to provide for all of his needs as he lived alongside human beings


  6. says:

    Nim Chimpsky The Chimp Who Would Be Human is a discomforting and absorbing biography of a research animal In 1973, Columbia University psychologist Dr Herbert Terrance set out to prove the renowned MIT linguistics professor Noam Chompsky wrong about language acquisition Chomsky asserts that language, as defined by the innate ability for one to understand grammatical structure and to produce creatively new sentence structures, is an exclusively human trait Terrance, on the other hand, believ Nim Chimpsky The Chimp Who Would Be Human is a discomforting and absorbing biography of a research animal In 1973, Columbia University psychologist Dr Herbert Terrance set out to prove the renowned MIT linguistics professor Noam Chompsky wrong about language acquisition Chomsky asserts that language, as defined by the innate ability for one to understand grammatical structure and to produce creatively new sentence structures, is an exclusively human trait Terrance, on the other hand, believed that language was a behavior that could be learned via reinforcement To achieve these aims, he planned to raise the chimp as a human and to have his human family teach him language using American Sign Language ASL In the end, the ambitious Professor Terrance would recant and side with Chomksy I first learned about Project Nim in an undergraduate level linguistics course Intrigued by the idea of interspecies communication, I never forgot about the study and was delighted to find Elizabeth Hess s thorough account of Nim s life and a short history of primate language studies In the book, we learn about the personal lives of the many research scientists, students, and volunteers responsible for Nim s care and learning At first I was surprised by the detailed drama of these people, but later realized how important it is to know qualitatively about Nim s habitat These people and their conditions provide a context for the language study and it became very clear how difficult it was to maintain any controls over the project I was astonished by the lack of planning and loose methodology with Project Nim Graduate student caregivers came and went This itinerant nature of his family caused Nim to become moody and violent Professor Terrace did not bother to hire staffers who were fluent in ASL thus, signing was loose and nuanced Mid study when an ASL teacher was brought on board, she asked why the chimp was not raised by a deaf couple who would sign effortlessly and continuously Inconsistency was detrimental to the study Despite all the media attention Project Nim attracted, Terrance was unable to continue to secure funding for the tremulous project and while his last two graduate students were passionate about continuing, it was doubtful either would stay for the long haul Project Nim was finished Terrance returned Nim from whence he came, the Institute for Primate Studies IPS in Norman, Oklahoma The remainder of the book relates how IPS failed, too, and how Nim and his peers were sold to a medical research laboratory A public campaign to save Nim the Precocious ensued Hess has written an important book that challenges us to rethink our assumptions about animal research If you read this book, prepare your heart as you will be charmed by this extraordinary animal, and prepare your mind to explore the gray area between language and communication


  7. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here It s been said you can t judge a book by it s cover, and boy was that the case with this book The title is a clever play on the name of Noam Chomsky, the famous linguist who asserted that language was an exclusively human trait Couple this with a picture of an adorable little chimp wearing cute little red sweater, while reaching out to grasp a human hand, and I thought I was going to be reading a fun and amusing tract relating the methods in which some kind hearted and well meaning humans use It s been said you can t judge a book by it s cover, and boy was that the case with this book The title is a clever play on the name of Noam Chomsky, the famous linguist who asserted that language was an exclusively human trait Couple this with a picture of an adorable little chimp wearing cute little red sweater, while reaching out to grasp a human hand, and I thought I was going to be reading a fun and amusing tract relating the methods in which some kind hearted and well meaning humans used to teach American Sign Language to Nim Nothing could have been further from the truth I was shocked and at times appalled by the physical and emotional hardships Nim was forced to endure Some of these hardships were caused by simple cold indifference to the emotional needs of chimpanzees In other cases the humans involved with Nim did have his best interests in mind but bureaucratic, political, and financial circumstances beyond their control further added to Nim s hardships.In many ways these cases were harder to read because the humans involved suffered as well That being the case, it is in my mind, absolutely inexcusable, if not down right criminal, to place a chimpanzee, who was raised in human homes, as a member of the family from infancy, into a primate medical research lab, after the language acquisition experiment was terminated The press eventually got wind of Nim s plight and the famous animal rights activist Cleveland Amory, got involved and was able to secure Nim s release Nim was sent to Armory s ranch in Texas populated with numerous and varied hoofed animals such as burros, retired thourobreds, buffaloes, even elephants But for over a year Nim was kept isolated in a small cage devoid of any sunshine or chimpanzee company Nim suffered terribly under these conditions until somebody finally got the bright idea to provide him with another chimp for company Duh Eventually threechimps were brought to the ranch and by all accounts Nim was finally provided with the type of physical and emotional environment he needed to thrive Unfortunately he only had a few years to enjoy them before suffering a massive heart attack It was a gut wrenching read , but well worth it


  8. says:

    The amazing backstory of Nim named for Noam Chomsky, MIT linguist who challenged the behaviorist theory of language , the famous chimp used to study the acquisition of language As opposed to other famous chimps, who acquired sign language capabilities while caged, Nim was raised from the age of ten days as a human, first living with a family in a NYC brownstone and then, as he became harder to handle, in a Riverdale mansion associated with Columbia University The basic thrust of the research The amazing backstory of Nim named for Noam Chomsky, MIT linguist who challenged the behaviorist theory of language , the famous chimp used to study the acquisition of language As opposed to other famous chimps, who acquired sign language capabilities while caged, Nim was raised from the age of ten days as a human, first living with a family in a NYC brownstone and then, as he became harder to handle, in a Riverdale mansion associated with Columbia University The basic thrust of the research was to determine if a chimp raised as a human would acquire languagequickly and if Noam Chomski s theory of language syntax brain development could be evidenced in a chimp While Nim touchingly related to his family and caretakers as a human and participated in astonishing conversations using ASL , he was indeed, an animal, who eventually became a danger to himself and others while living freely In a heartwrenching turn of events, he barely escaped being sent off for animal experimental use and was sent to a primate sanctuary to be caged Herein lies the parallel story the opposing viewpoints of all the humans in his life was Nim a scientific linguistic subject or a son friend The bitter struggle between his researchers caused a constant turnover of humans in his life, till eventually, he was caged Alive, but with no one around him who understood ASL although he did teach some of his primate companions signs , he became depressed and lonely Acknowledged by all who knew him to be special and capable of human feeling, he died twenty years prematurely from a stroke


  9. says:

    I read the majority of this book, but I could not finish it My lack of commitment has nothing to do with the author s prose She writes well, and she goes into extraordinary background detail about the subject matter.I m queasy about the subject of vivisection to begin with This book outraged me on the perversity employed by scientists when deciding what to do with unwanted language acquisition chimpanzees.Many of these chimps had been raised with humans in their homes and then taught how to s I read the majority of this book, but I could not finish it My lack of commitment has nothing to do with the author s prose She writes well, and she goes into extraordinary background detail about the subject matter.I m queasy about the subject of vivisection to begin with This book outraged me on the perversity employed by scientists when deciding what to do with unwanted language acquisition chimpanzees.Many of these chimps had been raised with humans in their homes and then taught how to sign They saw humans as friends or family, but these friends had no end plan in what would happen with their subjects after their experiments ended.Most were sold for medical experimentation when their projects ended after loss of funding Through activism, some like Nim were rescued A good many died infected with diseases, hurt by experimental operations, or lost in the system without record.I m letting my emotions overshadow other pertinent parts of the book The history of primate language experiments is covered Controversies in battling academic theories are explored Many parts of this book are relevant for those studying linguistics.The overall idea of examining interspecies communication is fascinating I just hope we re in a better era today in regards to responsibility to such experiments subjects


  10. says:

    Elizabeth Hess s biography of signing chimp Nim Chimpsky is no doubt the best piece of non fiction I have read in years If Dickens had written in the 1980 s instead of the latter half of the 1800 s, he might have created a fictional Nim Chimpsky with as tortured and erratic a life as poor Nim s real one With a cast of characters, both human and animal, as disparate as the teen ager who would later become Janice on Friends , to animal advocate Cleveland Amory, to other signing chimps like Wash Elizabeth Hess s biography of signing chimp Nim Chimpsky is no doubt the best piece of non fiction I have read in years If Dickens had written in the 1980 s instead of the latter half of the 1800 s, he might have created a fictional Nim Chimpsky with as tortured and erratic a life as poor Nim s real one With a cast of characters, both human and animal, as disparate as the teen ager who would later become Janice on Friends , to animal advocate Cleveland Amory, to other signing chimps like Washoe, to many, many eccentric or gifted psychologists, this book is terrific You can easily get the multitude of characters confused, but luckily there is a complete index that lets you go Now, who was that guy when a name is mentioned on page 212, go to the index and find out who he is from his introduction on page 50 The book also has informative endnotes, and an enjoyable Where are they now section on both humans and animal characters As an Oklahoman who actually supplied frozen breast milk to Washoe s infant in the late 1970 s, I learned far, farthan I had ever known about OU s controversial primate studies This book is a marvelous summer read


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