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Re: the future is wild, review

At 5:06 PM -0500 1/2/03, Robert G. Tuck Jr. wrote:

My major problem with the program was its pretense of being based on "scientific" extrapolations of the "laws of evolution." The honest approach would have been to bill it plainly as "fantasy," meant for entertainment purposes only.

I didn't see the program, but I read Dougal Dixon's original "After Man" long ago. That was presented as honest speculation of what might evolve from the plants and animals most successful in human-dominated world after the people went away. I find that sort of "what if" extrapolation fun because it _is_ based on our knowledge of how evolution works. For example, the discovery of flightless extinct geese in Hawaii that evolved from Canada geese led me to imagine a flightless ostrich-sized Canada goose, evolved from the denizens of northern golf courses.

There's nothing wrong with speculation that's identified as such. From the recent round of complaints, it sounds like the latest documentaries (which I haven't seen) don't do a good job of identifying what's speculative. -- Jeff Hecht