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Re: primers

In a message dated 12/8/04 11:42:08 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
qilongia@yahoo.com writes:

<<  Pugs arose not through symbiosis, but through selective breeding and, 
most recently, selective breeding programs, to keep their blood-lines pure, or 
find particularly "pleasant" traits one would like one's family to possess. A 
shaggier coat? It can be done. Give me two generations, and your kids will 
have a shaggier pug. This is not symbiosis, as I see it. >>

I have to agree with Jaime on this, since breeds like pugs are essentially a 
special form of parasite that we call "pets" (and therefore not symbiotic in 
my understanding of the word: the cooperative, mutually-beneficial sense). I 
don't know whether there was ever a good reason to breed pugs - were they some 
kind of hideous sentinel? Whatever. I'm betting they're only tolerated now for 
the amusement of their owners.

But to get back to Dann's original point: I've been on both sides of the 
argument about "Man being a part of nature" so I understand his objection as to 
the use of the term "artificial" to differentiate from "natural." However, this 
is starting to remind me of the "bird vs. dinosaur" discussion, in that MOST 
people use the term "artificial" in this way, and Jaime has made some points as 
to why he thinks it is useful to distinguish between what is & what is not 
directed by human hands. In fact, perhaps it is "artificial" to draw a line 
between Man & the rest of Nature. Then again, there are relatively few pugs (or 
other non-humans) reading DML postings.