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Somewhere in E.O Wilson's writing, he discusses how human values are rooted in our nature as a specific kind of animal. He argues that we have an identifiable optimal living place -- a grove at the top of a hill, with surrounding grassland give an area of clear view, overlooking a body of water. He then goes on to further make this case by imagining that naked mole rats have risen to intelligence. He pens a speech that such a being might give on some patriotic holiday. And boy howdy, it sure does not sound like any epideictic speech you could imagine a human giving. The use of shit as a metaphor for sustenance alone is sufficiently jarring, but there were a bunch more, all firmly anchored in aspects of mole rat biology and social structure that differ from ours.

I would like to cite and quote this passage. I thought this was either in Biophilia or Consilience, but I have not been able to find it in either book, or in a bunch of other searches via google scholar, and through my own books and ebooks of his.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Can you point me toward where I would find it?

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    $\begingroup$ Shit and sustenance are not in the same formal context of English. you should paste verbatim the quote including the metaphor. Currently that's one of the most insane questions i have ever seen on this website. It uses the word epideictic which is 5 times less frequent that the word Jocund, and shit and howdy and is rhetorically illogical. Wiki states that he has written two books on the human mind. $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible Feb 13 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ @com.prehensible If andrewH could quote the section verbatim, I'm sure it would be easy for him to find the relevant text. To andrewH: I have not actually read any of EO Wilson's work, although I'm familiar with it from secondary sources. Have you looked in 'Sociobiology: The New Synthesis' or 'On Human Nature'? $\endgroup$ – Eff Feb 13 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ It could also be from 'The Biophilia Hypothesis.' But I don't know at all for sure. $\endgroup$ – Eff Feb 13 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ If human values are rooted in our nature, why don't we all have the same values? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Feb 13 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Eff it would be good to state the source of the information and the logic of the metaphor, not confuse readers with garden-fence English: we can't hear the vocal tone of the theatrically phrased question, without confusion. Indian, Australian and 2nd language english people don't understand Boy Howdy and epideictic! most of us have to fetch a dictionary. E O Wilson doesn't start his written phrases with And! E O Wilson is kind and if you address him a written request, he will respond to you in writing through is secretary or by mail / email. My friend wrote to him and had a signed letter. $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible Feb 14 at 3:11

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