The description by R.Ardrey of the development of the slug is apparently completely
unobjectionable, but on further consideration one finds unexplainable phenomena. It is a
question of a process that has to result that the forming of a body on a higher level than the
cells of which it has been formed.
Neither phase one nor phase two means in itself any problem. It is a question of an amount of
selfish cells, which are living in territories and in phase two it is has reference to a very simple
body. Neither of those phenomena consists of anything new, but it is the transformation
between them, that is unexplained.
What requires an explanation is the presence of the latent altruism that according to my
assumption has developed within the territory and which is being activated in connection with
the rise of the level and that has to result the forming of a body on a higher level. How has
this higher level been able to develop in a territory population consisting of selfish cells and
what kind of force has caused the rise of level?
Darwinism ought to imply that cells regarded as individuals only can have selfish properties
and that they not shall be able to act in an altruistic way. It can also be expressed that
biological individuals not by their own force are able to act altruistically and thus transform
into a higher level with an unselfish cooperation.
These selfish cells thus behave after the level rise in a way that has not been predicted in the
theories. One may again make reference to Bettelheim’s prisoners. Was their change of
attitude something that was accomplished by their selfishness, something that they
intentionally and consciously decided to carry out, and if it was not so, from where came their
change of attitude?
Altruism according to my definition in chapter 1 has reference to that which arises in
connection with the forming of a body. This kind of altruism means that the cells are being
sacrified when the body dies, except for the cells of reproduction. Through the mediation of
these the complete genetic matter can be transferred to the next generation.
- * -
I return to the situation I described in the preceding chapter and that was illustrated by three
That course of events seems to be in conflict with the principles of Darwinism, there arises
altruism. That altruism is clearly demonstrated in the description by Ardrey and can not be
In the state being established after picture 2 the history ought to have reached an end and the
experiment turned out to be unsuccessful, at least if one sticks to what Darwinism is teaching:
“Yet Darwinian theory advocates no higher principle beyond individuals pursuing their own
self-interest – i.e. the representation of their own genes in future generations.” .
In the catastrophe situation I have assumed, apparently some unknown force has affected the
territory, thus creating a latent altruism that finally has brought about the momentarily transfer
from the lower state of life to a higher.
Here is embedded a difficulty for the thought that is not easily overcome. If regarding the chin
of events from the perspective of the lower level, that of the cells, the higher level and the
transfer into it seems to be unexplainable, it is impossible to concretize for the cells and that
is a general experience. The presence of different levels of life is nonetheless something that
awakes many questions
In order to give a concrete form to the impossibility of a cell perspective upon the body, one
can as an intellectual experiment try to familiarize oneself with the situation of a cell, situated
in its context within a body, for example an eye. I have chosen my example from normal
bodies; it is difficult to give a concrete form to something within such an incomplete body as
the slug. The cell has its very restricted and local task; it obeys the instructions from the
superior function, i.e. its programming. It is not able to have an apprehension of the context
where it has its task, not about the outer world, not even that an outer world exists. Its
apprehension is restricted to the phenomena of the cell world. And, if it, e.g. due to a mutation
should loose its altruism and become selfish; the whole coherence of the body would appear
to be meaningless and maybe hostile.
That it all does not seem to be in agreement with the doctrine of evolution appear to be
obvious, or rather, it is a question of phenomena that are not being considered by this doctrine.
The behaviour of the cells does thus not agree with Darwinism; here it is a question of a jump
in the development that is incommensurable with that theory. Accept then that exception from or addition to the doctrine of evolution by restricting its validity to biological individuals,
directly subjected to the environmental pressure!
For individuals in the process of forming a body and for individuals in a body other laws are
apparently other laws valid.
Different experiments that have been performed in order to solve the problem of body
forming assume as something obvious that it is a question of a continuum – a continuous
development from simple collections of cells to functioning bodies. In that case there is no
need for the concept of altruism, which does not belong to the doctrine of evolution. My
starting point is that selfish cells can not form a selfish body, if first not their selfishness has
been eliminated. They must in other words first become altruistic. Altruism as an inescapable
element of life does not belong to the doctrine of evolution and my claim constitutes therefore
a departure from it. But the basic selfishness of life is not questioned, which can easily be
I test a hypothesis, a guess among many; perhaps this can simplify the equation. The slug is
obviously beginning its development from zero and its situation is therefore maybe
comparable to that of the hypothetic first molecule, as one would imagine it. Its properties are
the reproductive ability and selfishness. All that has thereafter been developed can be derived
from those properties and from the interaction of the first molecule’ with the environmental
pressure; all abilities which are required in order to survive.
One can approach the problem by investigating what the phase-one cells are loosing in
connection with the level rise and what is originally characterizing the slug of phase two; i.e.
which properties that have been eliminated with the individual phase-one cells and which
properties that have arisen in the common body. It is obviously the reproduction that is now
managed by the slug on behalf of the cells and selfishness, which is characterizing the slug,
the cells simultaneously being altruistic.
These are the properties that can be supposed to have characterized the hypothetic ‘first
molecule’. The new specimen on a higher level than the cells has to begin from the same
situation as the ‘first molecule’, hence from zero and the cells are now only important as
constituents and instruments of the body.
The cells are physically unchanged.. It is in connection with the level rise only a question of a
“change of attitude”. What later undergoes a change is only their behaviour.
Ordinary properties do not change momentarily; they are stable on the short or the long run
and can become changed among others due to the environmental pressure. Selfishness and
altruism, however, can not be counted among these ordinary properties that can become an
object to a development. Here it is a question of a transition from a free state at a lower level
to another, controlled state at a higher level. That a change of state takes place momentarily
and not through a successive development demonstrates that it is not a question of ordinary
The selfish slug hence exists on a higher level than the selfish cells of phase one. It is not in
any case a question of a transfer of properties from the cells to the slug. “The active force”,
whatever it is, has created a genuine identity. The cells still have their identity as cells, but
they have lost their selfishness; they are altruistic, controlled by the superior function. The
cells have made over to the slug to resolve the reproduction problem and can no more exist separately. There is no turning back and they have only one task, to obey the orders of the
This model can be imagined to be effective for the slime molds, living in a territory, and with
the same signification but realized in other ways it can be assumed to be valid in other cases
of body forming.