Re: NANFA-- Endagered Species Report
Wed, 19 Nov 2003 15:50:09 EST

In a message dated 11/19/03 11:09:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> The alternative is that humankind's evolutionary destiny *is* to dismantle
> ecosystems and bring about the next great wave of extinctions, including,
> ultimately, Homo sapiens. The planet will not die, however. New species and
> new ecosystems will emerge, and Earth will continue being -- as far as we
> know -- the only place in the universe that contains Life.

Maybe mans evolutionary destiny is a little more benign than that. If you
think of the earth as one organism and the animals and plants as organs of that
organism then it plausible that humans are the planet's way of reproducing and
spreading complex life to other planets. Only a technological advanced species
has the capability to do that. Also there is reason to believe that planets
with complex life forms are very rare. Life may be common but complex life is
probably very rare and our destiny (if you believe in destiny) may be to spread
complex life to other planets where it never came to be. See the book "Rare
Earth" by Peter Douglas Ward, Donald Brownlee. It took me a long time to warm
up to the idea, to a Space travel junkie like me it was almost blasphemy to
think that Earth like worlds didn't fill the Galaxy. But the Earth has so many
unique traits that are almost surely necessary for complex life to flourish that
I have reluctantly become to believe there are very few if any other planets
in our galaxy that might contain vast land and sea ecosystems full of complex
animal life. If this is true then every animal we drive into extinction is a
far more criminal act than we think. OK, I'll get off my soap box, but this is
the slow time of the year, so maybe not much harm done.

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