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Harvard’s modern-day Darwin warns against humanity’s downward slope -Breaking


© Reuters. E.O. Wilson, an American biologist. Wilson interviewed by Reuters at Lexington, Massachusetts (USA), October 21, 2021. Picture taken October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl


Kanupriya Kapoor and Tim McLaughlin

BOSTON, (Reuters) – A Harvard University scientist has called for half of the Earth to be preserved as a natural preserve. He believes that the slope in human history is always downward unless global cooperation exists to protect existing species.

Edward O. Wilson is a 92 year old naturalist who has been called the Darwin of 21st Century. He said that humanity can be saved even though the largest polluters of carbon are slowing their progress on reducing global warming and carbon dioxide emissions.

He believes that preserving biodiversity and preventing climate catastrophe (the goal of U.N. Climate talks beginning in Scotland Sunday) are two important initiatives.

Wilson stated that “This is the greatest communal undertaking with a clear, definable objective” and said to Reuters during an interview in Boston on October 21.

“Otherwise the slope of human history would always be down.”

Today’s species are rapidly disappearing at an alarming rate. Around 1 million of them are currently in danger. To limit the loss, the United Nations has urged countries to commit to conserving 30% of their land and water – almost double the area currently under some form of protection – by 2030.

Wilson’s Half-Earth Project inspired the “30 by 30,” target. This plan, which was originally outlined in 2016, calls for protection of 50% of the Earth’s land- and sea areas so there is sufficient diversity to reverse the trend towards species extinction.

The point is that the human nature of man hasn’t changed sufficiently. Wilson stated that our strongest social propensities tend to favor the lives of other species.

Wilson stated that humanity continues to find solutions by using fossil fuels – oil and coal – which are left by old organisms.

The G20 rich nations remain split over the issue of phasing away coal and agreeing to limit global warming by 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels. While the G20 countries account for over 80% of global emission, big polluters like China and India are also involved.


Wilson, along with Sir David Attenborough the British naturalist is recognized as being the leading authority in natural history and conservation.

In addition to being the foremost authority in the field of ants worldwide, he also discovered more than 400 species. His Pulitzer Prize winning books, as well as the popularization of “biodiversity”, led to the creation of a movement for the preservation and protection all species in the world while the safeguarding humankind’s destruction. Harvard is his 70-year tenure and he continues to work as an entomologist curator.

At the tender age of 10, he began to pursue entomology, which is the study of insects. He spent many hours exploring Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C.

Wilson stated that “I had already built a substantial library using my collections of insects and butterflies.”

He would climb more than 13,000 feet (or 3,962 metres) in Papua New Guinea’s Sarawaged Range, a highlight of his life.

His great-grandfather William Wilson (“Black Bill”), who was an American Civil War pilot, is said to have influenced his passion for adventure. Union troops captured Wilson and placed him behind bars for trying transport arms and other supplies to Confederacy.

Wilson’s natural storytelling ability is evident in his 1990 book “The Ants”, which he co-authored with Bert Holldobler. It has 700+ pages and weighs in at more than 7lbs (3.2 kilogram).

His greatest achievement was determining how ants use chemicals to communicate with each other.

Wilson lives in Boston’s suburbs now, and continues writing.

He is fascinated by ants and doesn’t believe humans should try to imitate them.

Wilson stated, “I am going to do something bold.” We would be more aggressive in our (resources) usage if we followed the ethical and behavioral patterns of all other species, Wilson said.

However, he remains optimistic that humankind will be able to set aside greater space than in the past for the preservation of Earth’s remaining biology.

Wilson stated that it would be “one of the greatest achievements in human history.” If we don’t do it and large amounts of biological diversity are allowed to disappear, then for the next generation that carelessness will be considered one of mankind’s worst failures.”