One of the preeminent biologists of our time has died.
He started his career with insect colonies. The bigger perspectives he gained had implications for human biology. His ground breaking and provocative formulation of sociobiology was a break through as well as a reminder of the long shadow eugenics casts over seeing human beings as what they are: advanced animals.
My first encounter with him was in 1996 or thereabouts when I read his book Biodiversity on a train ride from Coventry to London. It changed my perspective on biology and on our planet. I since bought several other of Wilson’s books. They are all worth a read.
The last time I saw him was about 2014 when he gave a talk at our university. As far as I could tell, I was the only non-biologist attending.
"Is Humanity Suicidal?
If Homo Sapiens Goes The Way Of The Dinosaur,
We Have Only Ourselves To Blame."
by Edward O. Wilson, New York Times Magazine, 30 May 1993 Available at: http://www.well.com/user/davidu/suicidal.html
I was given a photocopy of this article by one of my professors. Once again E.O. Wilson warns his readers that humanity is in danger unless changes are made in the way we treat the environment. While doing so, Wilson compares two opposing camps: the environmentalists and the exemptionists.
I found that two issues dominate the article: extinction and population issues. Wilson focuses on these as key issues to be addressed for humanity's sake and the sake of biodiversity.
Wilson sees that no matter what action we take, people are still going to suffer. Poverty is abundant, a standard of living that could take hold of many societies unless lower our population levels and conserve natural resources.
Some people have listened to Wilson and others about our environmental problems. But is it enough to spare humanity from extinction?