Humans are just another unique species. As social animals, we can be expected to share key social behaviors with honeybees, guinea pigs, trematodes, and zebra finches. Comparisons with other social animals can provide a broader scope for social science. In fact, given that humans are just another species of social animal, ignoring this broader scope leaves bankrupt the human behavioral sciences: economics, political science, history, sociology, communication studies, education theory and psychology. Social scientists have failed to answer basic questions (e.g. why are humans social?) or settle upon foundational methodologies. So why are cross-species comparative research methods and existing scientific knowledge about other social species (e.g. our primate ancestry) still untapped resources?
Anthropocentrism… would that it could it be educated out of existence. Perhaps biology teachers have failed social scientists. Perhaps it is not made sufficiently clear from the outset of high school biology class that humans are just another unique species, equally subject to evolutionary and ecological conditions that define all species’ behavior.
The anti-anthropocentric tendency need not be taught with raps on the hands alone. Awe-inspiring activities are carrying on beyond our species at every moment. Social species are particularly accessible to our imaginations, and particularly industrious as well. Consider the termites nest. Compare with Gaudi’s cathedral: