John B. Calhoun's Experiment, A Metaphor For The Potential Fate Of Man

Discussion in 'Random Quotes' started by GutFeeling, May 2, 2020.

  1. GutFeeling

    GutFeeling Member

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    John B. Calhoun - Wikipedia
    Mouse experiments
    [​IMG]
    John Calhoun with mice experiment
    In the early 1960s, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) acquired property in a rural area outside Poolesville, Maryland.

    The facility that was built on this property housed several research projects, including those headed by Calhoun. It was here that his most famous experiment, the mouse universe, was created.[1] In July 1968, four pairs of mice were introduced into the habitat. The habitat was a 9-foot (2.7 m) square metal pen with 4.5-foot-high (1.4 m) sides. Each side had four groups of four vertical, wire mesh "tunnels." The "tunnels" gave access to nesting boxes, food hoppers, and water dispensers. There was no shortage of food or water or nesting material. There were no predators. The only adversity was the limit on space.


    Initially, the population grew rapidly, doubling every 55 days. The population reached 620 by day 315, after which the population growth dropped markedly
    , doubling only every 145 days. The last surviving birth was on day 600, bringing the total population to a mere 2200 mice, even though the experiment setup allowed for as many as 3840 mice in terms of nesting space. This period between day 315 and day 600 saw a breakdown in social structure and in normal social behavior. Among the aberrations in behavior were the following: expulsion of young before weaning was complete, wounding of young, increase in homosexual behavior, inability of dominant males to maintain the defense of their territory and females, aggressive behavior of females, passivity of non-dominant males with increased attacks on each other which were not defended against.[2]

    After day 600, the social breakdown continued and the population declined toward extinction. During this period females ceased to reproduce. Their male counterparts withdrew completely, never engaging in courtship or fighting and only engaging in tasks that were essential to their health. They ate, drank, slept, and groomed themselves – all solitary pursuits. Sleek, healthy coats and an absence of scars characterized these males. They were dubbed "the beautiful ones." Breeding never resumed and behavior patterns were permanently changed.

    The conclusions drawn from this experiment were that when all available space is taken and all social roles filled, competition and the stresses experienced by the individuals will result in a total breakdown in complex social behaviors, ultimately resulting in the demise of the population.

    Calhoun saw the fate of the population of mice as a metaphor for the potential fate of man. He characterized the social breakdown as a "second death," with reference to the "second death" mentioned in the Biblical book of Revelation 2:11.[1] His study has been cited by writers such as Bill Perkins as a warning of the dangers of living in an "increasingly crowded and impersonal world."[3]


    Thoughts on this?
    Interestingly, the lockdown of the Corona is causing violence and several problems, there's a good amount of studies on the decline of the young (part of it is probably caused by biological toxins ofc). But even before birth controls and antidepressants the society was hell, actually worse than now. Seems like humans are quite egoistical, take the insane amount of school and workplace bully for example, it is one of the main causes of people leaving jobs and developing severe depression and anxiety disorders. I guess the lack of resources bring the worst of an evil machine, not sure if humans are evil in essence, however the Roman violence games is an example of human desire to see cruelty, this desire is already established by age of 4 and even babies can have vile atitudes depending on the stimulus.
     
  2. revenant

    revenant Member

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    IIRC he continued his experiments after that and was disappointed that the mainstream only picked up on this "failed" experiment. The more successful utopias never got much publicity.

    "Calhoun had even observed this among the mice to some extent, noting that the ones that had become resourceful and creative, as well as those more able to handle social interactions, had been the ones most likely to survive the world crumbling around them. In spite of the negative connotations related to his work, Calhoun remained hopeful that mankind could utilize our innovation, creativity, imagination, and positivity to overcome our limitations."

    "He wanted to find ways to creatively change our behaviors and how our cities were designed in order to promote innovation and positive interaction between us, and to prevent stagnation so that we would not reach that dreaded behavioral sink that would spell our certain extinction. To this end, Calhoun would go on to create over 100 additional rodent Universes and his work would become influential in city planning philosophies all over the world."

    The Amazing Rise and Fall of a Rodent Utopia | Mysterious Universe
     
  3. OP
    GutFeeling

    GutFeeling Member

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    Thank you

    Guess empathy is the solution to most problems. Ray said that a neonatal being is likely to be the evolution of humans. Babies aren't perfect but they are altruistic, fair and full of positive qualities. If combined with high intelligence, creativity
    and with very little aggressiveness that would be almost perfection... Maybe I'm dreaming a little too much,or in a very good mood... I pray that humans will follow this path and not the other (authoritarianism) , Ray tend to be right, so one more pinch of hope on humans.

    Loved this quote:
    Calhoun remained hopeful that mankind could utilize our innovation, creativity, imagination, and positivity to overcome our limitations."

    You made me a bit less misanthropic, which is kinda rare. thanks
     
  4. theLaw

    theLaw Member

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    One of the most unique channels on YouTube:

     
  5. Regina

    Regina Member

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    :yuck: creepy
     
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