Barista reports on a fascinating experiment involving selection of Siberian foxes simple for friendliness, which has produced social intelligence within about 30 generations. (The foxes follow a human gesture and gaze to find food, something their “wild” cousins can’t do.)
This might have implications for human evolution – if you became calmer, less aggressive, more friendly to others, then social intelligence might follow. It is a bit of a jump but it seems feasible to me.
I’ve read many books trying to imagine early communities of Homo sapiens sapiens (and indeed Neanderthals) and have always thought that those, such as Jean Auel’s, that posit a basically co-operative society are far more believable than those the Hobbesian ones (eg the Gears People of the Wolf).
And indeed I believe that anthropological studies suggest that humans who live in small bands are very seldom physically violent.
* You’ll never look at a bee in the same way again after this article.
Did you know that for many centuries it was believed that bees practiced “Christian chastity”, and that Christopher Wren and John Evelyn together tried, and failed, to produce the perfect hive?