As the APF Reporter says,
What (Gordon) has discovered by charting the life cycles of 300 ant colonies spread across a 25-acre swath of chapparal are findings which upset many of our assumptions about how the world works.
I'm wondering which of my assumptions about how the world works could have come from my observations of ants. I don't recall observing ants so much as destroying them whenever I could. During much of my early childhood and that of most kids I know, my encounters with ants often consisted of killing them on sight--stomping on them with my shoes (never my bare feet) or smashing them with my fists. Perhaps assumption number one thus would have to be "anything that's not human is fair game." Where did this come from?
My sense of superiority to ants came only from encounters with single ants, however. When I saw LOTS of ants all at once--as when the ants moved en masse to a new place, or when two colonies of ants, similarly en masse, attacked each other, I watched from a safe distance. Also, we children learned to distinguish by their color which ants had the potential to cause us pain if we messed with them. The black ants never bit. Red ants, however, did bite, and it hurt!
Ants appeared to cooperate in large tasks, also. Sometimes two ants had to carry something large. Did I learn cooperation from watching them haul the eggs from their old nest to a new place? Don't think so.
What did ants teach me about how the world worked? I haven't watched Gordon's talk yet. I'm curious to find out which assumptions about ants the APF Reporter is talking about....