The Consilience

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Accordingto Wilson, Consilience is an idea of unified learning while gaininginsight when undertaking scientific studies. According to the author,classification of species does not lead to the distinction ofcreatures according to traits and characteristics but a connectionthrough evolution. Linnaeus influences his thinking, elaborating thatdespite the fact that animals are classified into species, groups,families, order and kingdoms, we can still draw a comparison from aplatoon of soldiers, who from different units, come together to forma solid army that receives orderly directives (p.3-8). By applyingConsilience in learning, which means integrating the differentdisciplines in a field like ethnic conflict, we can learn from eachdivision and help each other in appreciating diverse cultures. Justthe same way an army platoon receives orders from the chief of staffin an orderly manner, leaders in the world should offer direction forvarying ethnic groups to bring integration and co-existence. Issuesaffecting humankind currently such as terrorism can be solved byunified learning and unified problem to encourage a holisticunderstanding of the conflicting issue without bias (p.15-30).

Thesame way Einstein tried to unify his discoveries throughout his life,such as gravity, motion, cosmology and electromagnetism, evolutionhas offered all species a way of connecting to a single component,water. According to the writer’s observation, which is in line withspeculations of Thales of Miletus in Ionia, the world is a unifiedstructure with water being the unifying factor among all things. Theauthor also signifies the importance of unification in a piece on TheIonian Enchantment. What the writer is trying to suggest in relationto conflict is that if we believe that we are unified and culturethat belief in our generation, conflicts will reduce or stop. Theworld is material bias, as he puts it, which means, different regionsare endowed with different resources. If we identify ourselves as oneunified people, it would be easy to share our different resourcesinstead of fighting for their control.


Studieshave shown that there is a connection between genetics and culture.These studies suggest that a variation in the genes for centralnervous system neurotransmitters such as serotonin is partlyresponsible for individuals’ differences in their socialsensitivity. Serotonin regulates a person’s response to experiencesand social events. Therefore, a variation in the gene for thisneurotransmitter means a difference in the way people react todifferent experiences, which leads them to align with some practicesand shunning others. A person may feel comfortable to be identifiedwith certain practices that identify with a certain culture becausetheir reaction is positive towards the practices (p.137).

Accordingto the research, there is huge evidence showing the correlationbetween the relative frequency of the genetic variants and therelative individualism-collectivism degree. Therefore, collectivismstarted and developed in people with a high number of putative socialsensitivity alleles since it was compatible with the groups.Additionally, there is a correlation between the proportion of thesealleles in a population and the depression levels in the population.In a population with high social sensitivity, alleles have been notedto have reduced depression due to the element of collectivism asopposed to individualism with a low proportion, who are more inclinedto individualism. It is also an echo to the idea in question onewhere, suggestions are that collectivism, which initiates and fostersunified learning and living, reduces levels of conflict due toreduced levels of stress (p.136-139).


Knowledgein social science helps to clarify lessons learnt in the variousdisciplines of nature science. There is a correlation between socialscience disciplines and those of nature science. To being with,sociology, which is the study of behavior through human interaction,gives more insight into behavioral science, which studies the geneticand chemical component of human interaction. Through sociology,people can understand the relevance of stimulating certain areas ofthe brain. Sociology also helps people to understand differentreaction among people in relation to different experiences andevents. Behavioral science and physiology give us a reflection of theneural function, which influences behavior (p.49).

Humanitiesare there to give more clarity to scientific subjects that wouldotherwise sound ambiguous or uninteresting. Humanities such asgeography and history place the time and essence in the findings ofnatural and social science. While social science explains the organicpart of a human being, humanities give more information as to who andhow this happened through relating human beings to their origin,occupation and geographical region. When studying natural sciencesubjects such as anatomy, researchers put into consideration aspectsof humanity in explaining their findings. This includes relating theprevalence of a specific disease to the topography, altitude orvegetation of a place or explaining the phenotypic variations withaccounts of the history of the specific group and their occupation.For scientists to understand the behavior of different animals, theynot only need knowledge of electromagnetism, but also an in-depthknowledge of the pattern of behavior of these animals (p.50).


Wilson,E. O. (1998). Consilience: The University of Knowledge.

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