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During this sprawling episode, biologist and author, Dr. Mark Moffett, discusses societies. Mark observes that the acceptance of strangers was a breakthrough in the evolution of humanity. Moreover, humans maintain allegiance to group identities, and our uneasy coexistence with outsiders is reflected both in the fault lines within societies and in the relationships between nations. These topics are explored along with the involuntary nature of social membership, cosmopolitanism, immigration, and subtle micro-signals which indicate group belonging. Mark’s upcoming research efforts will examine how animal societies stay together and what causes them to break apart, and compare the situation for humans; his field work will encompass a wide range of vertebrate animals, from lions and chimpanzees to Florida scrub jays and parrot fish.
- Books and Articles by Mark Moffett
- The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall by Mark Moffett
- “Doctor Bugs” Naturalist Mark W. Moffett investigates insects—and now, evolving human societies
- One Of Us: Mark W. Moffett On The Social Behavior Of Humans And Other Animals
- The Social Secret That Humans Share With Ants
- Divided We Stand by Mark Moffett
- How Freedom Divides: An expert on animal societies on what sets human societies apart by Mark Moffett
- Societies, identity, and belonging by Mark Moffett
- Why a universal society is unattainable by Mark Moffett
- National borders are not going away by Mark Moffett
- Apples and oranges, ants and humans: The misunderstood art of making comparisons by Mark Moffett
- Ant colonies: Building complex organizations with minimal brains and no leaders by Mark Moffett
- Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned
Link to full show notes and resources
Guest Bio: Dr. Mark Moffett is a biologist at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian and the author of ‘The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall.’ Dr. Moffett has published three other highly regarded books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles. He has carried out research and exploration in over one hundred countries, earning him a medal from The Explorers Club, and has received an award for writing from Harvard.
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