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Continuation of the previous section: When it was found that the rats were behaviorally corrupted and divided into specific groups: female rats in heat, high-status male rats with more violent tendencies, and three groups of low-status rats: ” pansexual”, “somnambulist” and “prober”.
In public, Professor Calhoun’s assistant described the disgusting rat cage as a “hell” scene. This is also when Calhoun ended the experiment, and conjectured based on the mouse’s behavior, that this rodent community would not last long.
Then, he picked the 8 healthiest individuals, with 4 males and 4 females, for them to continue breeding. But the behavior of these mice was so severely distorted that the pups did not live to adulthood.
In 1962, Calhoun published an article in the journal “Scientific American”, showing the results of six of these experiments. Immediately, the effect of the conclusion “behavior alienation” makes readers and scholars immediately think of the phenomenon of population explosion in big cities.
The different behaviors of the rats in the experiment seemed to allude to the society at that time: the heavy pressures from population growth, the stratification of social status, the neglect of parents to take care of their children. , high crime, more and more individuals live separately from society. People fear the reality either resembles the scene in the study, or will soon reach this stage.
“Population density” became a hot topic of research and discussion at the time, but on the other hand, many people also questioned Calhoun’s experiment and thought the experimental design was somewhat impulsive. Many population survey projects have been devised to prove Calhoun’s rat cage model exists in reality, but none of these reports provide solid evidence of the existence of the “rat city”. real.
But with the support of many parties and the success of the previous experiment, Calhoun carried out another utopian experiment. He created a mouse house called “Universe 25”, and the whole experiment took 11 years from planning to publishing the final paper. Report titled “Death Squared: Explosive Growth Rate and Decay of a Cluster of Rats” was published in the journal Royal Society of Medicine in January 1973.
Universe 25 is a real rat’s paradise, in addition to unlimited food and unlimited water, this house also has no electricity grid that separates the areas nor the connecting bridges. Instead, it is surrounded by 16 “rat colonies” and the central area is a large square with food and water sources everywhere, it is estimated that this house can hold 3,840 rats.
This time Calhoun also selected 4 males and 4 females to include in Universe 25, but no longer using Norwegian mice, Calhoun used white mice. This group of mice was selected and raised for research purposes, with absolutely no disease spreading between individuals. No longer interacting with Universe 25, his mission is only to observe, and he points out four distinct stages in the rat’s activity.
Initially, the rat population grew at a slow rate, and like pioneers when they arrived in a foreign place, it took a long time for them to adapt, which also included battles for territory. , children, and even mice that had to die. This stage lasts until the moment the first cub is born, and referred to by Calhoun as the “Settling Stage”.
After the 104th day, the rats entered a second phase – Mining Stage. They began to reproduce rapidly, the number of rats doubled every 55 days, the rapid growth of the rat population continued until day 315, then growth slowed down. Day 315 marks the end of the second phase, ushering in what Calhoun calls the “Stagnation Period”.
The Stagnation phase, which lasts from the 315th to the 560th day, is when behavioral corruption begins to take hold.
At this stage, the rat society begins to become abnormal, just like the previous experiment. The first is that high-status rat families will occupy dormitories favorable to habitation, while a large number of lower-status rats will congregate in the central area and live outside the “zone”. group”.
Rats “outside of society” live in huddles, do not move, and then later show violence to individuals lying near them. Attacked rats simply lay still in pain, not responding to the aggression. At the same time, outcast female rats live huddled together in the upper floors of the “apartment”.
However, the high-status male rats were no better, as the rapidly expanding population was unable to cope with the constant challenges of the new generation of male rats, so they gradually exhausted themselves from maintaining a healthy lifestyle. maintains its territory and is unable to protect the female rats in the nest.
Rats live in small groups around food placements. Once again Calhoun saw the behavior of the Norwegian rat in the previous experiment existing: the rats refused to eat alone, only eating in the presence of another.
The mother mouse is now forced to both take care of the cubs and protect the nest. In this case, the female rat became increasingly aggressive, even accidentally hurting her cubs. And then the female mice gradually developed the “Bruce Effect” – also known as the self-abortion effect is a trend observed in pregnant female mammals to terminate the pregnancy on their own after. when exposed to the scent of an unfamiliar male. Along with the destructive behavior of male rats, the population growth rate of the rat population is also slowing down. Pressure from self-protection of the nest, “amnesia” forgetting children when moving to a new nest, violent behavior on both other individuals and young children, causing the mortality rate of rats to increase.
And the fourth stage, named by Calhoun as the Stage of Death, begins on the 560th day.
Calhoun believed that the original behavior of the rats had indeed collapsed, and that it was only a matter of time before they were destroyed. At this point, the number of mice has not increased anymore and the maximum value is still around 2,200 mice.
Almost all pups that grow up at a later stage have serious mental problems, they were abandoned by female rats at a young age and lacked the support and care of their mothers. After that, the female mice in later generations also lost their motherly love. This generation of female rats with this problem do not know how to raise their young even while they are pregnant and giving birth.
On the other hand, male rats also have no desire to mate, and they are not violent towards their fellow humans; There is not a single scar on these individuals. Their life is extremely simple, just eating, drinking, sleeping and grooming. Calhoun calls them “beautiful males”. Calhoun calculated that the last male rat that remained fertile would die on day 1780, which would be the time when the death of the rat community would be declared.
At the time the article was written in 1973, Universe 25 was still running. Various “behavioral alienations” exhibited by rats in utopian conditions very similar to human collectivization in some special scenarios, such as prisons, gang conflicts , etc. But the utopian destruction of rats is actually directly related to the special habits of rodents and cannot be taken as a norm to apply to human society. If the test animals were replaced by dogs, the results could be very different.
Whatever ideas arise from this report (thoughts have been and are being distorted by some parts, in order to filter out arguments that fit their own motives), let’s respect the work. research by Professor John B. Calhoun and concluding the article in his own words. Calhoun prefaced the report that “I talk a lot about rats, but my thoughts turn to humans, about recovery, about life, and about evolution. There are two deaths that threaten life and evolution, the death of the spirit and the death of the body“.
And he said part of the conclusion as follows:
With an animal as complex as man, there is good reason to believe that a sequence of similar actions on humans would lead to the end of the entire species. If opportunities for fulfilling responsibilities are not satisfied by individuals who are able to carry them out, or even have no intention of fulfilling them, then a violent and divided society will arise. Individuals born under these conditions will lose their connection with reality, even unable to grow alone. The most complex behaviors of the species will fall apart.
The ability to receive, create, and utilize the ideas that sustain life in a post-industrial society, a society of culture-concept-technology, will be blocked. Just like communicating a mouse’s biological purpose will revolve around the most complex behavior they possess [tức là chỉ ăn, ngủ, chải chuốt và không còn tương tác xã hội], so will the transmission of ideas on people.
Losing these complex behaviors would mean the death of the species.
The death of the body means the second death.
The death of the second death will equal one death squared.
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