I was mostly joking when I asked some friends a few months ago if they thought that flowers have morals. Humor's good, no question, therefore long may the jokes continue, but in any case, the idea seems worth pursuing. Seems to me a case can be made for the great role of morals in the lives of lots of us, not just humans.
Morality: a sense of good and bad that's shared by a group. "Food! Good! Go there!" "Attackers! Bad! Run away!" I'd call these moral messages. Wouldn't you? And closer to flowers, "Water here!" Maybe without any exhortation, maybe little more than a simple statement, but with some plus or minus to it, some electrical charge, however subtle, that carries a message, or maybe is itself the message, of good or bad, yes or no.
Listening to monkeys up in a tree, researchers have isolated the call that alerts the group to attack from the air (maybe a hawk), another call that says something's coming up from the ground (maybe a snake), and a third distinct call about some predator already in the branches. No question about it, monkeys got morals.( Collapse )