your daily microdose of genius
E.O. Wilson on the 'Knockout Gene' that Allows Mankind to Dominate Earth
Why did humanity, among all the species that have ever existed, come to dominate the Earth? Famed evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson argues it's on account of humanity's unusual genetic mutation, or "knockout gene," that gave rise to eusociality, or the social condition that allows non-reproductive members of a species to support its reproductive members. Wilson walks through the unusual historical evolution of eusociality and discusses how humanity is one of only 20 species in existence that currently exhibit the trait as well as the largest primate species to do so.