Barbara J. King

Friday Animal Blog

On the Finite Nature of Expendable Energy

September 23, 2011

My second post at NPR went up yesterday, and brought in some vibrant discussion on the top of ascribing human emotions to animals. (Do check out the comments as well as the text itself.)


My discovery of the week: It takes lots of mental capital to devote Thursdays to both book-writing and to NPR’ing! Soon enough, I’ll learn to plan better and maybe save some energy for here.

Meanwhile, happy autumn, everyone!

Selected Works

Why are animals so irresistible to us? Why do we live with and care so deeply about them? From the famous "art caves" of ice-age Europe, to the ancient villages where animals were first domesticated, to stories of apes, whales, dogs, and cats doing fascinating things today, King weaves together a scenario about the animal-human bond that encompasses our past, present and future.
Can scientists discover a prehistory of religion just as they have traced the evolution of technology, language, and art? What does compassion in chimpanzees, or burial patterns in our human ancestors and Neanderthals, tell us about the origins of religion? In Evolving God, named a Top Ten Religion Book for 2007 by the American Library Association, Barbara King explores these questions.
How do chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas-- the African apes -- communicate using body postures and gestures? Using her many years of experience studying these apes, Barbara King answers this question in a book that offers a new perspective on the evolution of language.