Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Clinton's must read - insects and humans, the advantage of social life

(posted by Livia Margon)

Last Month the Journalist Fareed Zakaria from CNN interviewed the former President Bill Clinton on a variety of topics, from his Global Initiative project to his grandchildren. At the end of the interview Zakaria asked Clinton, as is his ritual, one book recommendation that was a must read for the former president. The president mentioned two books. The second, The Social Conquest of the Earth is an elaboration on why social insects and humans have been so successful in conquering the Earth. Below is the transcript of his explanation.

"Edward O. Wilson is a Nobel Prize winning microbiologist, but he writes as best he can from all the known evidence about the history of life on Earth from single-cells organisms to the present day. The reason I would like them to read that is that he said if you look at all the species that have ever lived on Planet Earth, the most successful were ants, termites, bees and people. Why? Because they're the greatest cooperators. And even - and I saw the other day a story about how there are 25,000 species of spiders on Earth and for reasons nobody understands, a couple of dozen of them have started cooperating and they build stronger, better webs. Cooperation will save the future. And America should lead it. Every time humanity has been in danger of extinguishing itself, our consciousness and our conscience have led us to come together. That's the big issue of the 21st century. That's the great fight of the next 25 years."

BLOG EDITOR"S NOTE: EO Wilson is not a microbiologist and he has not won a Nobel Prize! He is an ant and biodiversity  biologist who has won two Pulitzer Prizes though. Bill, please get your people to check the facts :)


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