In Response to: The wisdom of crowds

I have read with great interest the article by Katherine Hobson ’94 (feature, May 12) about Iain Couzin and his studies of herds, flocks, swarms, and all varieties of crowds.

What is missing from Professor Couzin’s very important studies is something way “out of the box” for any scientific study: These various flocks do not have indwelling minds.   There is such thing as a soul. In the case of the human being, we all have indwelling souls. Particularly with flocks, these animals and insects have what is called a “group soul.” A good way to explain this is to look at our fingers. They are also very well coordinated, but by our thinking abilities. The human being does not have a distinct separation of our bodies and our souls. The thinking abilities of these animals and insects, on the other hand, reside out of the physical body.

Until our own souls are rediscovered, understanding collective animal (and human) behavior will remain a great puzzle.

Andrew Flaxman ’57