Home Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins: Ants that farm, compost and weed – Nebraska Vignettes #4

Richard Dawkins: Ants that farm, compost and weed – Nebraska Vignettes #4


Richard Dawkins explains how fungus-farming ants from Central and South America make their living.

Download Quicktime version (720p HD):

Get the RDF TV podcast through iTunes!

If you enjoy the video, and would like to help us make more videos like this, please consider donating $1 (or any other amount you’d like) to The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science:

During Richard Dawkins’ 2009 American tour, we visited Judy Diamond’s “Explore Evolution” exhibit at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln. This exhibit has now been replicated in six museums around the country. While visiting we filmed a collection of short unrehearsed and unscripted videos—just inspired by the “Explore Evolution” exhibit.

See the “Explore Evolution” web page here:

Special Thanks to:
Dr. Judy Diamond
The University of Nebraska State Museum

Produced by The Richard Dawkins Foundation and R. Elisabeth Cornwell

Camera & Music by
Josh Timonen

See more at:



  1. If there were a creator why would he create life and allow the amount of suffering involved in natural selection? More than 99% of all species that have existed are now extinct and almost all life struggles to survive living in fear and dying in pain. Any creator would have to have been created and what created that? Once you claim magic the answer isn’t sensible just nice and easy. If there were a creator considering his methods he isn’t deserving of praise.

  2. You just assume God created the world how it is today, and you also assume that the creator needed to be created. God is eternal and does not have a beginning or an end. God made a perfect world and when the man and the woman sinned in the garden of eden it brought death into the world. God said, "If you eat of it's fruit, you will surely die." and yet they ate it. And that was his one rule, one tree was forbidden among countless other trees, all fruit bareing.

  3. The religion doesn’t have explanations of how nature works. Traditionally the religious have fought long and hard to stop the investigation of nature. If religion had its way would still wouldn’t have electricity and the major cause of death would be tooth decay in our thirties. God saves no one.

  4. "God said, "If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die." and yet they ate it."
    A creature that is all powerful and knows the future, would have already known before it even made humans that they would eat the fruit. Even if it were to remove itself and give its creations freewill it would still be making the decisions as it would already know the future decisions of its creations and the ramifications of removing itself.

  5. Why blame women? It was Adam who God told to not eat from the tree, not Eve. Both of their eyes were opened right after ADAM ate the fruit. Later the Bible says in Adam all die, because of one man's sin. The Bible does explain how nature works. You can't use nature to explain nature you moron. All evidence evolution uses supports God.

  6. Now those are just ignorant assumtions that you spew out just to argue. The Egyptians had electricity, look that one up. You know religious they were. Science and the Bible are not at odds. There is plenty science in the Bible, you go about saying the Bible is no good and you think that whatever scientists have to say that's how it should be rather than believe God. History is full of examples when science has been wrong but the Bible correct.

  7. The claim that Egyptians had electricity is conjecture and unverified. To claim the bible has any science is a joke. The bible states the world is flat and bats are birds. There is no legitimate science that supports a global flood and no valuable medical knowledge even though the bible is supposedly inspired by the creator of all life. Your claims are ridiculous.

  8. Egyptian hyrogliphics show some sort of mechines and uses of electricity. The Bible does not claim that the earth is flat, it does claim bats are birds. But with today's taxinomical classification system a bat is a mammal, but back then in bible days if it flew in the sky it was a bird. Don't put twenty-first century methods on ancient writing. There is plenty of evidence for a global flood, why that's what you believe caused the ice age, am I wrong?

  9. There is zero evidence for a global flood.
    If all animals came from one arc it would have been proven genetically long ago.
    and there is allot of animals still left, they clearly weren't wiped out, and they certainly couldn't fit unto an arc for months, so just stfu before you mention the word miracle

  10. Let's ignore the impossibilities surrounding Noah’s Ark and assume the story true for the sake of argument. The 'Flood' was God's way of eliminating wickedness and sin and this demonstrates his total incompetence to achieve anything at all. What a dead set loser this murderous God is to kill almost all life and we still have wickedness and sin. Who but a child or an idiot would believe in Noah's Ark.

  11. God did it to show us today his judgement. People don't like to believe it happened because it means God has the authority to judge his creation. The Bible said Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord, everyone but Noah must have been wicked. That means it's only a matter of time till the second judgement day.

  12. "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." (Genesis 6:5-7 RSV)Your god seems to lack the ability to see the future (if not he/she/it should have been aware of the problems that would occur before even making humans). Also, How is it logical to kill everything rather than just killing humans?

  13. As humans we can hardly begin to understand the nature of God. When God create man he saw everything was very good, and he knew that before he created him. But he would also know that the world would go corrupt, it was good, then bad. God has the authority to judge his entire creation, not just man. God did it to show us today his power and authority.

  14. "As humans we can hardly begin to understand the nature of God." No, I understand his action are purely for plot convenience (as the actions of a god who is truly all powerful would make for a boring story).

  15. "drrrrr." says cameron…"Me thinks God made all this…" But wait, children…Will cameron realize that there is a bigger question? Will cameron ever ask, "…but who made God?"…stay tuned children, stay tuned for a very long time…

  16. The creator is a unique form of energy and as we know from basic physics, energy is neither created or destroyed it simply transforms into other forms of energy. The creator was always present and will always be present. This explanation is as plausible as anything I have heard from the atheist. To date scientists have not been able to create a living organism from carbon molecules. No human can know the truth as the planet is 5 billion yrs old and humans have only been around for 150,000 yrs.

  17. No, the bible clearly says he made man in his image. That means God is just one of us, complete with penis, testicles and nipples. Your holy book says so, black on white. Are you telling us, that the bible got it all wrong? Who and where came up with that energy babble? Looks like someone is watching too much Star Trek after reading its Deepak Chopra.

  18. LOL, no the evolution of the eye can't be traced back to light sensitive skin and no it doesn't slowly change over time in the way that evolution would demand. Non optical instruments don't become optical. FAIL

  19. The eye is a perfect tag to prove common descent because part of it hasn't changed for more than 500 million years.

    Evolution works on small incremental changes each giving the creature an advantage. Because the nerves causing a blind spot in all vertebrates eyes requires a 'jump' to fix the problem the blind spot stays unresolved.

    The eye and the backbone remain constant establishing common descent while the rest of the creature's bodies evolve unrecognizably.