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Evolution and Environmentalism

Kermit Duncan jodunca2 at vt.edu
Fri Sep 5 00:21:46 EST 1997

> >Actually, it sounds like you would (your idea and all).  Besides, do you find
> >it ironic that we would have to fiddle with our genes only to solve problems
> >that would not exist is we hadn't spent our time fiddling with other stuff and
> >instead let nature do it's thing?
> So explain to me why human behaviour is not 'nature doing it's thing'? Are
> we not part of nature?

About 10000 years ago, along with the agricultural revolution, some humans in
various places around the world got it in their heads that the world belonged to
them.  In a way it has to do with the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil"
thing.  They decided that their new (settled, agricultural) lifestyle was the
"right" way to live, and even though it required hard work and had its problems,
they felt that turning on it would mean that they had lived the wrong way.  Not all
agricultural people felt this way, but those who did thought that "primitive"
people were living the "wrong" way.  When these early agriculturalists tried to
change how the hunter/gatherers lived, the h/gers didn't see the point because they
weren't deluded by the right/wrong crap.  Their lives were based on what worked
well for them, not what was "right."  So when the Right/wrongers couldn't change
the h/gers, they said, "these people choose to live the wrong way, so they are
wrong *and* they are eating food that we could eat," so they began to go to war.
War was new, by the way.  Other species don't go to "war," they fight for their
needs and their lives, but not for their "morals" or some other flawed concept.  If
you think this story is crazy, read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.  He explains it very
clearly and convincingly to me, especially because I don't believe most of the
Bible as it is taught, and this struggle between the right/wrongers and the
hunter/gatherers is described metaphorically in the story of Cain and Able (the two
sons of Adam(man)... it opened my eyes).

Our society is based on this right/wrong crap, not what works.  Think about the
major social arguements and their causes.  More often than not, morals and whats
right/wrong get involved, not what works well, that stuff doesn't matter to us,
though it should be the only thing that matters.  The bad part is that this
behavior doesn't allow for the hunter/gatherers or other primitive, nondestructive
cultures, it leads to their extinction and along with them go several million years
of evolved society, unlike our 10000 year old society that doesn't work and keeps
falling apart and rebuilding itself, but never getting better, only worse.

> >>
> >> We are probably better prepared to solve crop failures due to disease,
> >> mainly through genetic technology, than ever before in history
> >>
> >Now on to the mold and insect/rodent predation... DOH!
> That doesn't change the correctness of the statement - we're not PERFECT
> but we're a lot BETTER.

Whatever... that is a value judgement that I don't care to tangle myself with.

> >>
> >> Problems, problems, problems...Human history has your answers.
> >>
> >Just so I'll know, Mr. Hale, where in human history do you find evidence that
> >technology has made us immune to weather?  I can find plenty of examples to
> >the opposite, but can you help me with your 'answers'.  If human history (the
> >time that led up to the present) has answers to all of our current problems,
> >then why aren't we using them?
> That was a rather odd answer, and your criticisms are fair. I prefer to believe
> the future has the answers, based on a history of escalating technological
> sophistication (which no-one has yet proved any physical constraints to, other
> than exceeding the speed of light).

You didn't say that the future has answers, you said that human history (you know,
the past) has them.  If your ideas were poorly organized, I can't help you.  Also,
if conditions are worsening and species are dying higher than any scientific
estimates say they naturally should, then when are all of these future answers
supposed to get here? or are we supposed to remain optimistic until we're dead?

> >> World, behold, the next Malthus; stand aside Ehrlich, back away Meadows,
> >> our next author of millennialist nonsense has arrived, I present Tracy
> >> Maurer.
> >Wow, personal insults, how clever.
> I agree, I see little point in personal attacks.
> >Why can't anyone convince me that there are serious problems with society?
> >I'm open minded and all, but I can't find any good arguements...
> I'm scared to say it, but I'm not entirely sure what your point is here...
> if you're being satirical, then about what? If you're being serious, then
> why so many people are unhappy?

In another message I explained what I meant.  Change the "...there are serious..."
to "...there aren't serious..."  Sorry about that.

Kermit Duncan

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