Many books published over the past quarter-century claim that because self-interest in present in all animal species, humans need not feel ashamed of consistently catering to self first.... Yet anyone with a modest knowledge of the natural world--and minimal inferential skill--could find examples in nature that support almost any ethical message desired. If you wish to sanctify marriage, point to pair-bonding gibbons. If, however, you think that infidelity is more natural, nominate chimpanzees. Elephants should be emulated if one believes that women should be in positions of dominance, but elephant seals are the model if you believe that men should dominate harems of beautiful women. Nature has enough diversity to fit almost any ethical taste.

source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 163-164 tags: Science, Morality