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Friday, September 19, 2014


Ants are evolutionarily elegant.  They are social insects with small brains (read: minimal calorie expense) and have therefore successfully colonized the planet. 

They leave reproduction to specialized individuals (which is more calorie efficient than widespread fertility). 

They create extensive shelters and alter their environments.  Some even cultivate mycelium and milk aphids (meaning: some ants have evolved a symbiotic relationship with some mycelium and aphids). 

Their brains are in total service to the genes.  Though each brain is small, networked with chemical memes (derived solely from the genes and environmental factors) from other ants, their brains are able to join together in a way alien to humans, creating collective choices.

This is advantageous.  Big brains are a liability, not an asset to survival.  They require development, maintenance and experience decline.     They demand calories.  Only those species which have been pushed and pulled by prolonged evolutionary pressures evolve big brains and their long term survival is tenuous.  In the history of the Earth, the best long-term survival strategy has been to keep brains small, if they must exist at all. 

Continue to The Waggle Dance of Bees

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