As an anthropologist, I find today's America provides the greatest source of cultural diversity and challenges to a discipline that many in the public still identify as the study of "rocks and bones". Cultures clash and synthesize all around us. They compete with one another and cooperate synergistical with others in larger systems. It is this quality that leads me to view organizations, communities and institutions -- societies for short -- a superorganic entities.
Nature creates plant and animal communities that adapt and fill their ecological zones and expand to neighboring territory through adaptation. Adaptation comes from inbreeding whether by genes, synergeyes, ideas, values, and/or through inter- and cross-breeding. History provides the record of the new emergent structures. Patterns emerge as these systems grow, and then eventually retreat into a smaller, narrow ecological zone much like we see in biological viruses or social movements such as the Taliban, or cultish political ideologies. There they join to form a local system. or community. Each element becomes part of the community's own life cycle.
But more than just a rich field for academic research is the challenge of applying the lessons learned by humanity over the thousands of years of our existence ,collected, analyzed, and evaluated by academics to the solution of human and societal problems that serve all human-kind and the general welfare of human actions on the planet.
Today, as we see, the world is becoming a singular place, people and a vast network of conflicting values. A challenge to anthropology and all the social, biological and medical sciences.
This is the world of the present and future. Technology and climate change are forcing all life to adapt, adjust, or die off. Earth will survive but will the higher life forms or at Venus or Mars our eventual destiny?