r/WhitePeopleTwitter Sep 23 '22 Silver 3 Helpful 5 Wholesome 5 Take My Energy 1 Bless Up (Pro) 1

Who makes you feel unsafe?

/img/wvwpu40p5ip91.png

[removed] — view removed post

79.2k Upvotes

View all comments

Show parent comments

120

u/itsadesertplant Sep 23 '22

It’s also incorrect, and the scientist who came up with it admitted as such. Wolves forced in enclosures who don’t know each other exhibit unnatural behaviors, while wolves in the wild are typically in cooperative family groups without such a strict hierarchy. But “alpha” and “beta” mythology lives on

111

u/Glass_Memories Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

L. David Mech is the biologist in question. Wolves used to be almost extinct so biologists could only really observe them in captivity, that's when he wrote “The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species" back in 1970. Since wolves have made a comeback and we have things like GPS trackers, he's changed his theories to reflect the new, more accurate information of how wolves really behave in the wild.

Because people have been misusing the now disproven "alpha" concept in recent years, he's been trying to get his old book pulled from circulation, but the publisher refuses. He has an article on his webpage about it.

https://davemech.org/wolf-news-and-information

Why people would assume that human social structure or behavior is anything like a wolves' in the first place can't be placed on him tho.

1

u/RestlessARBIT3R Sep 23 '22

I mean, sure, that might be true of wolves, but what about other species? Alpha males do exist in the animal kingdom. Just look at any species with a harem… Elephant Seals for example. The male that can fight off all other sexually mature males gets to breed with all of the females in the group.

I’m sure it doesn’t happen with chimps (our most recent common ancestor), but Silverback gorillas do actually form harems as well. Great apes aren’t even that far off from the human lineage.

Now, humans are a very community-oriented tribal species, so I’m not arguing that they should have alpha males, but to deny alpha males exist in the wild is false

1

u/Glass_Memories Sep 23 '22

Good thing no one made that claim then.