E.O. Wilson is perhaps best recognized as a lifelong champion of biodiversity. For the past 50 years, Wilson has been reaching beyond his core discipline of entomology to make connections with evolution and social science, in the 70s becoming the founder of the controversial science of sociobiology.
Now, at the age of 77, Wilson is plunging into yet another contentious territory, hoping to bridge the science/religion divide for the sake of salvaging the planet. His new book The Creation, in fact, takes the form of a series of letters written to a Southern Baptist minister.
Although today an acknowledged atheist, Wilson himself is no stranger to evangelical Christianity — having been raised a Baptist and “born again” as a teenager.
You can read more about Wilson — who I admittedly have a “science idol” crush on — in the current issue of Seed magazine (sorry, it’s not available online, but for a mere $4.95 you’ll get the feature plus some great photos).
Ultimately Wilson recognizes the power of numbers. “In order to get a response from political leaders, and of course, a response from the media,” he says, “you have to have enough people who are interested and who care.”
But his use of the word “creation”?
This approach may be more than just a good deed, well intentioned and exemplary of the power of cooperation. It may be political genius.