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Re: the future is wild, review

----- Original Message -----
From: <philidor11@snet.net>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2003 4:15 PM
Subject: Re: the future is wild, review

> HP Rita Miller stated:
> <Previous to that, we humans believed, and many still believe,
> that we "own"
> this planet. It's that whole "Go forth and multiply and subdue
> the earth"
> mentality.>
> Expanding on a point made previously, we're part of the ecology
> too.  Any dominant species or group like dinos is going to make
> things difficult for other species, particularly competitors.
> Some Victorians (among others) insisted that nature is trying
> to kill us, and often succeeds, so we'd better control it.
> Nowadays we have a more sentimental feeling about nature (limited
> definition), in part because the non-human world has receded
> so far from our daily lives.  But we do want to feed our children
> and protect ourselves from threats, so nature is going to be
> rendered as productive and harmless as possible.
> We're human.

The dinos could only effect their ecosystem as carnivorous predators and as
herbivorous prey. They were limited in how much they could affect their
world. They did not build, make tools or poison the system with insecticides
and petroleum products. Their natural world was not damaged by their
presence. They were supposed to be there.

Well, we are too but did nature ASK us to overbreed our populations to the
point where we stuff the world in every corner (with the possible exception
of Antarctica and the tops of the highest mountains)? Did nature request
that we build massive cities, poison the surrounding land, driftnet the
oceans, burn down the forests, create atomic weapons, dump our heavy metals
in ocean and on land?

Up until about 10,000 years ago, we H. Sapiens Sapiens fit into the ecology
very nicely. We hunted and gathered and our populations were kept down by
disease and injury. There is some indication that Pleistocene animals like
cave lions, cave bears, giant sloths, etc. were made extinct by our species,
but the liklihood is that these giants were already tending toward
extinction before mankind appeared on the scene. Large preditors require
large prey and the large prey were passing into history while we were still
trying to figure out how to walk upright on the African velt (according to
the fossil record.)

But our natural curiousity made us travel and spread our populations, our
intelligence made us create bigger and better tools and weapons, our
creativity and inventiveness of imagination convinced us we are somehow
"special" by creating mythologies in which we really did own the planet and
could do whatever we wanted to with it.

We just couldn't help it. Couldn't we? With all that curiousity,
intelligence and creativity, surely we could find ways not to rape the
planet or to do it less. Yes, we are only human -- ONLY human. We are part
of the ecology still and perhaps the answer to the problem is to realize