Big Picture Science
July 29, 2019: Let's Stick Together
Crowded subway driving you crazy? Sick of the marathon-length grocery store line? Wish you had a hovercraft to float over traffic? If you are itching to hightail it to an isolated cabin in the woods, remember, we evolved to be together. Humans are not only social, we’re driven to care for one another, even those outside our immediate family.
We look at some of the reasons why this is so – from the increase in valuable communication within social groups to the power of the hormone oxytocin. Plus, how our willingness to tolerate anonymity, a condition which allows societies to grow, has a parallel in ant supercolonies.
- Adam Rutherford – Geneticist and author of “Humanimal: How Homo sapiens Became Nature’s Most Paradoxical Creature – a New Evolutionary History”
- Patricia Churchland – Neurophilosopher, professor of philosophy emerita at the University of California San Diego, and author most recently of “Conscience: The Origins of Moral Intuition”
- Mark Moffett – Tropical biologist, Smithsonian Institution researcher, and author of “The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive and Fall”