episode 75 - E. O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler - part 02
Uploader: The Drexel InterView - Archives
Original upload date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:00:00 GMT
Archive date: Sun, 28 Nov 2021 02:52:44 GMT
Part 1: Renowned entomologists E. O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler discuss their latest collaborative work, The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies. In this, the firsShow more
t of a two-part interview, Wilson and Hölldobler, who jointly won a Pulitzer Prize for a prior book, The Ants, explain that a superorganism is a group of animals living together in such a tightly organized fashion that it develops the characteristics of a single organism. Superorganisms are found in insect societies with a clear division of labor, with members divided into reproducing and non-reproducing castes. This episode includes fascinating photographs of various types of ants involved in such collaborative behavior as feeding one another and recruiting nestmates for defense against invaders. Part 2: In part two of this two-part interview, renowned entomologists and co-winners of the Pulitzer Prize, E. O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler, continue their discussion of ant societies by offering observations about altruistic care-giving behavior in ants. The conversation then moves on to more personal and philosophical topics. Wilson and Hölldobler maintain that there is a human nature, and Hölldobler points out that it is natural for societies of the same species to fight each other, although humans strive to overcome that tendency through teaching and moral philosophy. Wilson observes that humans "live in a Star Wars civilization...have stone-age emotions...live in medieval institutions...and have God-like technology. That's a dangerous condition for an advanced species to be in." He adds his hope that the situation could be remediated by better science education. The two scientists also speak of their genial personal relationship and the nature of their collaboration.