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Some scientists make educated guess as to the number of ants on Earth

It’s time for junk science! By combing through thousands of research papers, a team of scientists have estimated the Earth’s population of ants numbers approximately 20 quadrillion.

So for the work, researchers combed through 12,000 reports from databases in many languages, including Bulgarian and Indonesian, finding 489 studies with rigorous enough methods of collecting and counting ants to be included. Most of the studies were not focused on ants per se but on larger questions of biodiversity and evolution and just happened to sample ants. The team was surprised to find how concentrated ants are in the tropics, being most plentiful there in savannas and moist forests.

This estimate is 2 to 20 times higher than previous guesses. It is also a somewhat pointless exercise, mostly because there is no way to check the number. It is simply an educated guess, from which little real knowledge can be gleaned.

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Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

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Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

4 comments

  • Andrew_W

    From the paper:
    “Integrating data from all continents and major biomes, we conservatively estimate 20 × 1015 (20 quadrillion) ants on Earth, with a total biomass of 12 megatons of dry carbon. This exceeds the combined biomass of wild birds and mammals and equals 20% of human biomass. ”

    The interesting bit is that human biomass weighs several times the combined biomass of all wild birds and mammals.

  • Col Beausabre

    And it lumps together hundreds if not thousands of species

  • Next up: Angel pin-dancing.

  • Craig Austin

    There is no way human bio mass exceeds the bio mass of life in the oceans.

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