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Re: the future is wild, review

On Fri, 3 Jan 2003 16:42:57   

>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.)

I respectfully disagree.  Pete Ward has gathered some of the most persuasive 
arguments for human-induced large mammal extinctions in his books _The Call of 
Distant Mammoths_ and _Rivers Through Time_.  They are both excellent reads.  
Of course, there is also a variety of papers by Paul Martin and his colleagues, 
but I haven't examined any of them.

Very little, save for large bolides, has wreaked as much environmental havoc as 
humans.  But, I think that any intelligent species is bound to change nature.  
It comes with intelligence, and the problem is that there is no real way to 
remedy it.  Creating nature preserves and setting aside land are necessities, 
but we can never save _everything_.  That was made inevitable by our evolution.


Stephen Brusatte
Geophysical Sciences
University of Chicago
Dino Land Paleontology-http://www.geocities.com/stegob

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