losing species

Patrick patrick at corona.med.utah.edu
Sat Apr 27 11:33:08 EST 1996


On 23 Apr 1996, BROWN,DAVID,MR wrote:

[...]
> of 150 - 200 species a day arrived at? 4) Is this a particularly high
> number, i.e. if we weren't around to muck things up, how many species
> would be dissapering each day?

This is not my area but I do have a basic comment...
It would be erroneous to make any judgements about whether it is OK or 
not for humans to destroy species in any number based on what might occur 
in our absense.  There is a major difference in the way species are 
destroyed by nonhuman processes vs human processes.  The spread of 
species would be different AND in the case of nonhuman extinction, a 
natural, dynamic balance in species would occur.  With human-caused 
extinction, there is no balance for we destroy too fast for a balance of 
any kind to be reached.  Another aspect is that we have a choice as to 
what we do to habitat and species but lack foresight as to what the 
consequences might be...this must be taken into account no matter what 
the numbers might be when estimating the two.

patrick



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