What about Plan Bee?

Charles Darwin in “The Descent of Man” explained that the survival instinct is inherited and evolved with the anatomy and physiology of each creature. Morality in humans is part of it. If humans had evolved the same morality as honeybees, he reasoned, it would require our queen to kill thousands of her unborn sisters.

Now indulge me a little. Let’s turn Darwin’s musing around. If bees inherited conscious thought and language and morality, how would that likely turn out? Humans would be regarded as dangerous predators who steal their food and poison them with glyphosate. Bees presently use a dance to communicate to each other where they found nectar: probably if they had symbolic reasoning they would compose in their dance gestures the equivalent of a Bible. Call their morality Plan Bee.

Our country’s founding fathers were the American Enlightenment. It was a time of throwing off magical thinking and replacing it with cerebration and forethought. A classic Plan Bee. They honored tradition: for example, the Constitutional Bill of Rights used much of the same wording as the English Bill of Rights a century earlier. But the idea of NOT having a king who inherited ownership of the nation was new. The idea that there might not be a kingdom in heaven, either, must have arisen at the same time. Freedom of religion essentially originated in America. Our Constitution did not dictate Judeo-Christian ethics any more than the Great Spirit and rain dances. Or hula dances. Or bee dances. Our instincts/God gave us freedom of choice and our democracy extended to our religious life. It’s our moral duty to find out for ourselves where the nectar is.

Michael Ireland