(1975), regarding a native pig from the Amazon domesticated in a Surinamese village he visited in 1961. This banal excerpt from his vast technical and popular work tells something about the eminent entomologist (insect specialist) and myrmecologist (ant specialist) that we lost to the 92 years in the last month of 2021.
Wilson he was one of the last explorer naturalists in the noble tradition of Alexander van Humboldt, who joined his passion for nature told in beautiful prose, acquired early to replace the few friendships of a lonely boy from Alabama, with a scientific production enviable for its volume, originality and courage. That passion wasn’t dampened by a fishing accident at age seven, when a fish permanently injured his right eye with its fin — at 01 years, early on, he was already determined to become an entomologist, his left eye had a good focus on the ants. That tamed Surinam collarbone offended Wilson because, when taken captive by humans, he had lost a part of his behavioral repertoire: “a mute speaker trapped in an artificial clearing, like a messenger who speaks to me from an unexplored world.”
Conservationist and agnostic, the biologist alleviated this tension between, on the one hand, being offended by the violation of nature by human beings and, on the other hand, understanding him as one of the species on the planet with the same affection he had for ants and collared peccaries, with dialogue. One of his latest projects was to appeal to religious people for the conservation of the planet’s species — while some of his colleagues were dedicated to trying to evangelize atheism, EO Wilson saw it in his biophilia a point in common with religious faiths.