X-Message-Number: 25591
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 10:49:36 -0500
From: Robin Helweg-Larsen <>
Subject: Duplicates paradox - amoebas and bees
References: <>

Regarding the duplicates paradox, I wonder if this seems particularly 
paradoxical to humans because we think of ourselves as being so clearly 

If we reproduced by fission like amoebas I suspect we would think 
differently about the individual/continuity issue.

Another area that interests me is that of the bee hive.  According to my 
memories of Maurice Maeterlinck's century-old book, "The Life of the 
Bee", which I read a couple of years ago, the hive operates in some ways 
as a single mind.  Faced with ingenious human-devised difficulties, bees 
devise a practical or engineering solution which can be shown to be 
beyond the ability of any individual bee to conceptualize, let alone to 
create.  The hive itself appears to be a mind which can think and make 
decisions at an animal level, a mind made up of the processing units of 
the individual bees, just as a human mind is made of individual cells 
which can communicate with each other, but no one of which is 'the 
mind'.  Particularly interesting is what happens when a swarm occurs, 
and the mind divides in two. I strongly recommend the book to anyone who 
hasn't read it, as a meditation on the mind if nothing else.  (You can 
find the text on line, Google: Maeterlinck bee.)

And if anyone can point me to recent scientific studies of the bee, I 
would be grateful.  (One limitation to Maeterlinck's work is that he 
knew the bees were communicating, but not how.  The use of the dance for 
communication had not yet been identified.)

Robin HL

Robin Helweg-Larsen
Andromeda Training, Inc.

t:   1.919.933.6555
f:   1.919.933.1968

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