[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Fw: the future is wild, review



----- Original Message -----
From: "Rita D Miller" <blackholesnbones@sbcglobal.net>
To: "Daniel Bensen" <dbensen@bowdoin.edu>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 1:11 PM
Subject: Re: the future is wild, review


>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Daniel Bensen" <dbensen@bowdoin.edu>
> To: <blackholesnbones@sbcglobal.net>
> Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 12:35 PM
> Subject: Re: the future is wild, review
>
>
> > >>After all, 200 million
> > years ago, had there been somebody to predict it, there was no way of
> > knowing the dinos would become extinct. There was no predictive model to
> > follow that would tell anyone that a tiny shrew-like creature would
> > eventually evolve into hominids that would evolve into homo sapiens
> > sapiens
> > who would eventually rule the world. How unlikely was that, anyway?<<
> >
> > True, it's impossible to predict something as inherenty random as
> > evolution with any accuracy, however, I believe that 'speculative
> > biology' is a usefull teaching tool, becuase it applies the rules of
> > biology as we understand them in a way that makes them easy to absorb.
> > It's a game, and the point of the game is to make creatures that are
> > plausible.
>
> I do agree with this. Anything that makes young people aware of evolution
as
> a fact and not a theory, and anything that educates the population about
> natural selection as opposed to superstitions like "creationism" is a good
> thing. That's with the caveat that the people being told about this are
> advised ahead of time that we CAN'T predict the evolutionary paths of
> animals and plants and are told about Chaos Theory and just how intricate
> the whole planetary system really is.
>
> >
> > >>The reason that show doesn't work is that MOST of the species that
> > now live
> > on this planet are selected to survive by MAN -- not by nature.<<
> > I think that distinction is a bit arbitrary.  Humans are part of
> > nature, after all.  We evolved on this planet, we use its reasorces, we
> > effect and are effected by the enivoronments that surround us, just
> > like every other organism on the planet.  Looked at from a broad
> > perspective, humans are just another mechanism of global change.
> >
> > The funny thing is, the selective pressures humans place on other
> > organisms, is about the same as any other natural disaster.  Small
> > animals with high reproductive rates and a catholic diet survive
> > meteors, sea-level shifts, and urban sprawl, while large, specilized
> > animals die.
>
> The problem with this is that human interference is so widespread. A
volcano
> erupts and only those species directly within its path are effected. A
> massive earthquake may effect a larger area and more species are therefore
> effected by it. Some become extinct and some evolve to be more hardy and
> capable of surviving the next volcanic explosion or earthquake. It's
> limited. Except for the comet or asteroid that caused the extinction of
the
> dinosaurs about 65 million years ago, there has been no worldwide
catyclysm
> that has effected ALL species ALL over the planet -- except for human kind
> and our interference with the evolution of the entire planet. There is no
> place on earth where human kind has not interfered with natural selection.
>
> That comet or asteroid 65 million years ago did not destroy as many
species
> as people have -- and just think of how short a time our interference has
> taken to cause this worldwide disaster! We have been capable of this kind
of
> interference for only about 10,000 years! Granted, the comet (or asteroid)
> was somewhat faster in its total destruction, but for a species to have
> effected the entire planet in just 10,000 years is unprecedented.
>
> I don't have anything against humans -- being one -- and I think our own
> evolution made this series of destructive events on planet earth an
> eventuality because we are so curious and intelligent and our tendency is
to
> conquer whatever we have to to enhance our lives. That doesn't make it a
> good thing, though.
>
> Rita
>