Lord of the Ants

LORD OF THE ANTSWhen I first heard the title of this television show, my first thought was that it would involve a dancing E. O. Wilson in tights. Sadly, no.
Or, maybe that’s a good thing–you tell me.  I think Dancing with the Stars could really use an evolutionary biologist to liven things up.

Either way, this is a neat profile of someone who’s been incredibly influential in biology for the last 50 years.   I don’t agree with everything he’s written, since I tend to think more along the lines of Lewontin in terms of my issues with sociobiology.  The  idea of a “unified theory” of animal behavior is a snipe hunt. (There is also a nice biography of Wilson in the Atlantic this week, BTW, where he has some surprisingly harsh words for Stephen J. Gould over this topic.)

However!
Wilson’s work on biodiversity, biogeography, ecology, and conservation is solid and important.  He used his unexpected fame (infamy?) to really push forward conservation. He took his bully pulpit and did something with it.

Enjoy this long interview with Dr. Wilson.  He IS the Lord of the Ants.
(I can also report that he’s charming in person, and I’m fairly sure he will find my photoshopping liberties amusing.)

2 thoughts on “Lord of the Ants

  1. Love the video. EO Wilson is one of my personal heros/inspirations. But I do agree with you about Lewontin. His writing about the play between environment and genome, multiple levels of selection, and the just so stories of adaptationism are important contributions to biology, and often clash with Wilson’s work.

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