Since we've all likely heard about the 10 percent rule, it's a cool dream to think that there's some inner-superhero inside us just waiting to be released. Unfortunately, the idea that humans only use 10 percent of their brains is as much a piece of fiction as Lucy's new abilities to control time and space.
"... the brain, like all our other organs, has been shaped by natural selection," Barry L. Beyerstein of the Brain Behavior Laboratory at Simon Fraser University told Scientific American. "Brain tissue is metabolically expensive both to grow and to run, and it strains credulity to think that evolution would have permitted squandering of resources on a scale necessary to build and maintain such a massively underutilized organ. Moreover, doubts are fueled by ample evidence from clinical neurology. Losing far less than 90 percent of the brain to accident or disease has catastrophic consequences."
The new film continues the story of that rebellion's instigator, an intelligent chimpanzee by the name of Caesar, but picks up his story after a manmade virus has devastated the human population. Amid the rubble of our civilisation, the apes are pitted against surviving pockets of Homo sapiens in a battle for mastery of the planet.
Prof de Waal calls the storyline "impressive", adding: "I'm not usually into action films like this one, but this held my attention.
"The apes are very humanised: They walk on two legs, they talk - somewhat - they shed tears. In real life, apes do a lot of crying and screaming, but they don't produce tears like we do."
However, other aspects of ape behaviour in the film, he says, are true to life.
"We know chimpanzees are aggressive and territorial - they wage war. The use of tools and weapons is also a possibility," he explains.
To quote a colleague in his field, he said: "If you gave guns to chimps, they would use them."