Tag Archives: social insects

The ant colony as a test for scientific theories of consciousness

The appearance of consciousness in the universe remains one of the major mysteries unsolved by science or philosophy. Absent an agreed-upon definition of consciousness or even a convenient system to test theories of consciousness, a confusing heterogeneity of theories proliferate. … Continue reading

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Accessibility in Networks: Understanding Social Insect Nest Architecture

Networks and the associated tools from graph theory have now become well-established approaches to study natural as well as human-made systems. While early studies focused on topology and connectivity, the recent literature has acknowledged the importance of the dynamical properties … Continue reading

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Social Insects: A Model System for Network Dynamics

Social insect colonies (ants, bees, wasps, and termites) show sophisticated collective problem-solving in the face of variable constraints. Individuals exchange information and materials such as food. The resulting network structure and dynamics can inform us about the mechanisms by which … Continue reading

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Deleuze Appreciating the Intelligence of Insects

This article will be a brief examination of the some of the concepts found in the philosophy of the French writer Gilles Deleuze, with the ant colony as an example of how its insights can be applied. The philosophy of … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Extreme Altruism and Inequality in Insect Societies

In eusocial organisms, some individuals specialize in reproduction and others in altruistic helping. The evolution of eusociality is, therefore, also the evolution of remarkable inequality. For example, a colony of honeybees (Apis mellifera) may contain 50 000 females all of … Continue reading

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One giant leap: How Insects achieved Altruism and Colonial Life

The advanced colonial state of eusociality has evolved in insects as a defense of nest sites within foraging distance of persistent food sources. In the Hymenoptera, the final step in the approach to eusociality is through a suite of preadaptations … Continue reading

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The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies

The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, … Continue reading

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