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Re: primers

"Jaime A. Headden" wrote:
> Otherwise, selective breeding, as put
> forward by Darwin himself (and others like Elliot Smith) is _artificial_,
> not natural.

Nonsense. Why this constant dichotomy between 'human' and 'natural'?
Humans are a species that evolved naturally, therefore anything they do
that provides selective pressure to other species is just as natural an
evolutionary process as climate change (or any other non-human process). 

If a new species enters an environment 'naturally' (via land bridges,
etc), and it then alters the ecosystem to an extent where extinctions
occur, it's considered natural. If humans do the same thing, for some
reason it's considered 'unnatural' - as if Homo sapiens isn't a natural
species at all, but rather transported here from another planet, or
created in an alien lab.

It's human arrogance that leads to the assumption that humans are
somehow separate from the 'natural' world, as if they have ascended to a
higher state of being or something. Reality check people - we're just
another species amongst millions of others. Anything we do to the planet
(or other species) should be considered as natural a process as volcanic
activity or continental drift.

Selective breeding by humans has enhanced the survival of many species.
The ancestor of domestic cattle, the aurochs, is now extinct. If humans
hadn't entered into a symbiotic relationship with cattle then they'd be
far less numerous and occupy far fewer ecological niches than they do
today. The way humans shape the evolutionary development of domesticated
animals is no different to other symbiotic relationships. The fungus
that leafcutter ants cultivate grows nowhere else but in their nests.
Fig wasps and fig trees are completely dependant on each other. There
are many other examples of species that are locked into symbiotic
relationships, where each has influenced the development and behaviour
of the other. Human selective breeding is no different - just a little

Tirade ends.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia        http://heretichides.ravencommunity.net/