What is Eusociality And How Does It Apply To Us?

in Species

Eusociality means the highest level of social organization within a heirarchy. Martin Nowak, Corina Tarnita and evolutionary biologist Edward Wilson presented their work on the week of August 26, 2010 in the Nature journal. The goal of their study was that their modeling paradigms alone proved that Darwin's Natural Selection Theory on it's own proved the evolution of Eusocial Behavior without proving Kin (family) Selection Theory.

Darwin's Natural Selection Theory as mentioned in Theories of Development, Concepts and Applications 5th Edition states that only a fraction of members of a species live long enough to transmit their characteristics to the next generation and that there is a struggle for existence. Nature then selects only members of a species who can best adapt to their surroundings. The main finding of this article was that Eusocial species like ants, wasps, and bees form hierarchical social systems with reproductive queens and sterile workers. This means many individual species take the evolutionarily
counterintuitive step of sacrificing their own reproduction to care for the offspring of others.  

The article states that Eusociality is rare but important to study in evolutionary biology because only a few species practice it which means the majority don't. But most importantly is the fact that humans practice it to an extent although they are more loosely eusocial than the few species studied. But the few species that do practice Eusocial Behavior make up a majority of the planets biomass. Interestingly enough the teams studies go on to mention that Eusociality is not easy to get started but once established it's been proven to be the most stable reproduction model.

Their study concluded by mentioning 3 steps species could take to become Eusocial Organisms, however these 3 steps didn't focus on how humans could do this and I believe applied more to insects. I think a more important point the author should have addressed in this study is how humans could become more Eusocial than they already are. Now personally I believe that the over 6 billion people that already occupy the planet are plenty, in spite of all the natural events like tornados and earthquakes and manmade events like murders that cause the death of humans each year, not including other forms of death from diseases, substances like tobacco and recreational drugs that kill off a percentage of the population each year.

Lets pretend for a minute that the entire human population was only 1,000,000 or so, we had all the medical wisdom we have now and that we needed to reproduce at the most expeditious rate possible to ensure we didn't become extinct. I think one solution to make us more Eusocial Organisms would be to setup massive sperm banks and heavily reward women for bearing children. I think our brains and intellect would train is to become as Eusocial as we needed to be to survive. The woman would be able to choose from a mate or go to a sperm bank to get fertilized. I want it known for the record that I don't believe in this solution, but I do believe it could be a viable Eusocial reproduction option under these circumstances.

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What is Eusociality And How Does It Apply To Us?

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This article was published on 2010/10/05
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