Scientist and author E. O. Wilson is professor emeritus and honorary curator in entomology at Harvard University. He is regarded as the father of sociobiology.
E. O. Wilson on
In concert with this extraordinary advance in our knowledge, our communication, our global economic systems, and so on, there is an accelerating destruction of the natural environment and, with it, of irreplaceable natural resources. Climate change, as almost everybody should understand now, has catastrophic potential if allowed to continue. So we have a kind of death race going on for humanity.
In my judgment, there are three initiatives that we ought to have in mind of a global nature. First, I think an honest, thorough appraisal of what humanity, the human species, is, what the meaning of human existence really is. That can only be based on a dedicated pursuit and evaluation of factual, science-based information to answer the ancient questions of the philosophers. Finally, with this kind of understanding, universal and in-depth, we can ask the question that very much has at its core a global ethic: Where do we wish as a species on this one small planet to go?
I'm very optimistic. There are signs. There's no question that nationalistic wars, which raged right through most of the twentieth century, are declining, partly because of the fear of what could happen beyond just a clash of military forces.