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South African Journal of Science

Print version ISSN 0038-2353

Abstract

MORRIS, A.G.. Zuckerman versus Marais: a primatological collision. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.105, n.5-6, pp. 238-240. ISSN 0038-2353.

The Afrikaans poet and writer Eugène Marais is well known in South Africa but not elsewhere. The publication of his The Soul of the Ape in 1969 triggered a hard hitting response from the British primatologist Solly Zuckerman, in which he attacked Marais' writings and rejected him as a legitimate scientist. The two never met and Marais had been dead for nearly 40 years when Zuckerman's attack took place. This paper examines the basis for Zuckerman's attack and looks at the context of both men, especially in the light of Zuckerman's combativeness and Marais' naivety and lack of scientific rigour.

Keywords : Eugène Marais; chacma baboon; primatology; Solly Zuckerman.

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