If this deus plus machina had not arrived, would the Supercolony have perished, having expanded beyond the capacity of its environment to keep it supplied with food? Or would it just have kept expanding outward in a ring, like a mushroom, leaving a dead center?
Wilson draws explicit parallels between ant colonies and human civilizations. Each arises, builds itself up, fights off competitors, flourishes, goes into decline, and eventually perishes, overwhelmed by stronger invaders. Is this parallel fully merited?
What about the “gods” – the equivalent of the human beings with insecticide sprayers? Are we in danger of becoming our own annihilating “gods,” and if so, what form might this act of self-extermination take?