Chimps and children, gulls and Greeks-the ethologists go their merry way, comparing bits of human cultural behavior with bits of genetically programmed animal behavior. True, humans are animals; they share certain anatomical features with other animals, and some items of human behavior may seem analogous to the behavior of other animals. But such analogies can seriously mislead if we fail to look at the context of a particular item of behavior. Thus one ethologist compares the presentation of a twig by a cormorant with gift-giving in humans. Yet the cormorant's twig-presentation simply inhibits attack and is comparable to other appeasement rituals found in many species. Human gift-giving differs in form and purpose not only from culture to culture, but within the same culture in various social contexts. Everything significant about it derives from its social context. Thus, ethologists can accomplish little-beyond reminding us that we are animals-until they study humans as cultural beings.
The author is primarily concerned with
A.Demonstrating the usefulness of ethology in discovering the behavioral limits within which humans operate
B.objecting to the degradation of humanity implicit in the ethologists equation of humans and animals
C.pointing out the dangers inherent in comparing highly dissimilar species, such as humans and cormorants, rather than similar ones, such as humans and apes
D.refuting the idea that the appeasement rituals in human cultural behavior can be profitably subjected to ethological analysis
E.arguing that the ethologists' assumption that human behavior can be straightforwardly compared with animal behavior is invalid
The author's attitude toward contemporary ethologists can best be described as
Which of the following statements from a report on a cross-cultural study of gift-giving would, if true, most strongly support the author's assertions concerning human gift-giving?
A.in every culture studied, it was found that some forms of gift-giving are acts of aggression that place the receiver under obligation to the giver.
B.Most governmental taxation systems differentiate between gifts of property given to children during a parent's lifetime, and a child's inheritance of the same property from a parent dying without a will.
C.Some gift-giving customs have analogous forms in nearly every culture, as in the almost universal custom of welcoming strangers with gifts of food.
D.In North America, generally speaking, money is an acceptable holiday gift to one's letter carrier or garbage collector, but is often considered an insult if given to one's employer, friends, or relatives.
E.Some gifts, being conciliatory in nature, indicate by their costliness the degree of hostility they must appease in the recipient.
E E D