Xenos vesparum is a parasitic organism that has to be read about to be believed. Wired.com did a fantastic job explaining the life cycle of this parasite and what it does to its host in its 2010 article, Parasite Turns Wasps Into Outsider Zombie Queens.
One of the things that strikes me about Xenos vesparum in particular is its ability to completely take over the body of its host and manipulate it into becoming exactly what the parasite needs it to be. The host ends up as a
willing mindless delivery system that only exists to further the existence of X. vesparum. Independent thought (do paper wasps have such a thing?) is subsumed for the needs of the horde. It occurs to me, in contemplation of this phenomenon, that the effect of ignorance on a group is similar.
(Bear with me here.)
Ignorance, which I define as willful refusal to change one’s viewpoint despite being presented with facts that disprove it, if allowed to flourish in someone who is a persuasive speaker, can affect an entire group. The group can take on and spread the ignorance it receives as fact – one has only to look at the continual reference to Christmas as a stolen Pagan holiday, or ancient matriarchal societies in Stone Age Europe, to see this at work! Eventually, the ignorance becomes the norm, and the process repeats.
(Now, granted, the effect of ignorance on society isn’t as interesting to read about as zombie wasp queens…but did you really expect it to be?)