Monday, March 20, 2006

Lewis Thomas, in "Lives of a Cell," writes about humans as a social species.

It's usual to speak of humans as a social species like monkeys--naturally hanging out in groups and noticing in other.

Thomas thought we might be more social than that--social like ants or bees, where the group is so inter-related it is kind of like an organism itself.

This would explain the strong drive of some humans to do particular things--learn X, create Y, study Z with greater intensity than other humans understand. It is what those particular humans are created to do for the whole hive, whether individual members of the hive can understand it as it happens or not.