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E.O. Wilson
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    (June 10, 1929- )
    Born in Birmingham, Alabama
    Birth name was Edward Osborne Wilson
    Entomolgist, naturalist and author
    World's leading expert on ants
    Known as 'the father of sociobiology' (the study of the biological basis of social behavior)
    Wrote 'Insect Societies' (1971), 'Sociobiology: The New Synthesis' (1975), 'On Human Nature' (1979), 'Biophilia' (1984), 'The Ants' (1990), 'The Diversity of Life' (1992), 'Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge' (1998), 'From So Simple A Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books' (2005), 'The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth' (2006), 'The Social Conquest of Earth' (2012) and 'Letters to a Young Scientist' (2013)
    He injured his right eye in a childhood fishing accident, but continued fishing instead of getting treated, eventually resulting in a catarct forming, leaving him blind in that eye.
    As an entomologist, he initially studied flies, but because of a shortage of insect pins during WWII, he switched to ants, which could be stored in vials.
    His suggestion that much of human social behavior was determined by genetics was initially controversial, with critics claiming he was promoting Social Darwinism and eugenics.
    He requires an assistant to type and edit his books and articles on a computer, noting 'I haven't had time to learn iPhones and tablets or even how to run a computer properly.'
    His statement 'The evolutionary epic is probably the best myth we will ever have' was inevitably seized upon by creationists to claim, 'See! Even the scientists themselves think it's fake.'
    He won two Pulitzer Prizes for General Non-Fiction.
    During the initial sociobiology controversy, a heckler at a lecture poured a pitcher of water over his head, leading him to note, 'I believe I was the only scientist in modern times to be physically attacked for an idea.'
    He said about ants, 'Karl Marx was right, socialism works. It is just that he had the wrong species.'
    David Attenborough said, 'He will go down as the man who opened the eyes of millions to the glories, the values, the importance of biodiversity.'
    Avoiding the troublesome word 'myth,' he also wrote, 'The true evolutionary epic retold as poetry, is as intrinsically ennobling as any religious epic.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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