Social complexity: Why modern humans are more like certain ants than chimpanzees

Session Date: 
Nov 3, 2023

The most complex organizations in the living world beside those of humans are the colonies of ants. I will argue that points of comparison between sharply different organisms like ants and humans are exceptionally valuable to science, and indeed that modern humans are in many ways much more like certain ants than we are to our nearest relatives, the chimpanzees. I consider such issues as the role of individuality and group identity in ant societies; the advantages to ants of flat organizations without leaders or hierarchies; and what we can learn from ants with respect to direct and indirect communication, self-organization, job specialization, labor coordination, and global domination.

File 2023_11_03_05_Moffett.mp41.36 GB