[ExI] ants again

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Sun Apr 5 05:05:29 UTC 2009

Thanks for this refreshing and post Spike.  Good to read something other
than the arms, punishment and creationist posts!

Nlogo1.tif  <http://www.natasha.cc/> Natasha Vita-More



From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of spike
Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 5:00 PM
To: 'ExI chat list'
Subject: [ExI] ants again

Earlier I had described an ant experiment, the double straw, which I am now
pretty sure will fail even before I try it.  Ants and humans are two species
that have externalized a great deal of knowledge, humans with our libraries
and internet, ants with their mysterious chemical repertoire of instincts so
eloquently described by Darwin in chapter 7 of OoS.
As a preliminary step to the double straw, we could set up the double hole
experiment in which the ants are allowed to set up their aphid farms in the
tree using a paper bridge over the goo.  The bridge has goo barriers with
two adjacent holes large enough for one ant to pass easily but not large
enough for two to squeeze by each other.  The holes would be about two mm
diameter and about four mm center to center.  The experiment is to see if
the ants can figure out a way to make one hole the in and the other one the
out.  The holes are circumscribed by a goo ring so the ants cannot go around
the holes.  It's thru the holes or no access to the aphids.
Anyone wish to speculate on whether the ants will split their lines and form
two one-way holes, thereby reaching their aphids relatively impeded, or
whether they will get in each other's way in both holes.  Do state your
Humanity is in so many ways analogous to the ants, where a little more
profound insight could make the whole process work better.  I hope the ants
figure out how to make one in-door and one out-door, but I fear they will
not do it.  See sketch below:

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