There is a certain type of termite in Africa that builds their nest in a particular fashion. They build it out of dirt and other materials, creating a giant tall, but relatively thin wall shaped structure. It has to do with purposes of heating and cooling the nest. The interesting part is that, even without a queen to give orders, each individual termite will have the ability to fix the nest if damaged, even if their "regular" job is something totally different. They somehow have the nest repairing skills built into their programming, and the ability to know when the nest needs to be repaired somehow.
I am wondering how they have the ability to self-organize like this. I also wonder if humans are similar.
If you took a random group of normal humans (from different backgrounds and societies) with a sufficient number of both sexes, stuck them on an island somewhere with limited resources and no books for reference material, they would likely be able to form a stable society that would be recognizable as a normal society.
I could be wrong, but I think humans would have a better chance at self-organization than a group of termites. I don't really have any evidence off hand that I can refer to though.
The only situation I can think, and where this didn't work is at Pitcairn Island, where the Bounty mutineers ended up. This society didn't work out. They ended up killing each other off, and there was only a group of kids and one adult male left. But: the majority of males were mutineers, and criminal mindset. There were more males than females. All of the 'good' males were killed off first. There were very limited resources. Not enough food for everyone, and many of the women died trying to get food. The gene pool was insufficient.
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They are just killing people in an argument over who has the best imaginary friend.
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