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The concept of endangered species assumes that species dying out is a bad thing. Is it possible that natural selection that weeds out problems in nature is itself endangered?

I'd love to see both sides address this. Are there moral philosophers out there who have already drawn sides?
(08-30-2011, 10:57 PM)WmLambert Wrote: [ -> ]The concept of endangered species assumes that species dying out is a bad thing. Is it possible that natural selection that weeds out problems in nature is itself endangered?

No Bill, it isn't. But humans are on the verge of learning gene manipulation, which will change the equation. In other words, we will be playing G-d with ourselves.

In truth there is both "Gradualism" and "Catastrophism ". The former is natural selection, and the later is almost always Impactors from space. The former is orderly and the later is not.

Quote:I'd love to see both sides address this. Are there moral philosophers out there who have already drawn sides?

You'll have top talk to Ron about that one.

Actualy we have hundreds of species dying because of human activities. These species would thrive in absence of man. The natural selection is transformed.
Today species which can survive in urban areas or in polluted waters or resistant to all sorts of chemicals we spread on the fields will be the winners.

Not those who can eat the others like before.

IMO the process still works, just with a different paradigm.

The bad thing, from a scientific standpoint is lower biodiversity. Polluted areas, the destruction of habitat and the extention of urban areas also means less biodiversity.
(09-04-2011, 06:32 PM)Fredledingue Wrote: [ -> ]Actualy we have hundreds of species dying because of human activities. These species would thrive in absence of man. The natural selection is transformed.
Today species which can survive in urban areas or in polluted waters or resistant to all sorts of chemicals we spread on the fields will be the winners.

Not those who can eat the others like before.

IMO the process still works, just with a different paradigm.

The bad thing, from a scientific standpoint is lower biodiversity. Polluted areas, the destruction of habitat and the extention of urban areas also means less biodiversity.

Fred, of those hundreds, can you show us five of them? In the 80s there was the Spotted owl issue, and Eco-Wackos were wringing their hands over the loss of habitat, and how human encroachment was leading to their demise. But when they showed up nesting in some road sign, next to the highway, and people started finding them all over the place, the issue suddenly passed out of existence. If you look here, you will see all sorts of photos of this rare and endangered species.

Doesn't paleontology prove species have been dying out way before mankind was here?

Why are there 2X the # of deer ( more like 10 X here), ground squirrels, squirrels, whistlepigs, skunks and such now as opposed to when I was young if mankind causes all these issues?

The only thing that seems lesser here are Bob Whites and pheasant due to ruining their habitat with suburbia. They just moved further north. They ain't dead.

Also, we have witnessed an explosion in coyote population here and that was unheard of until >1980.
I suspect the increase in predator population, such as coyotes, actually leads to the low numbers of pheasants, wild turkeys, and partridge. There are some areas where pheasants, and doves, actually live in large numbers around humans.
It is an interesting question actually. Plenty of species have come and gone over the past billion years or so. Whenever another species comes in and out-competes, another species may go extinct. It's the way it works. We, humans, are another species.

It's the same with "invasive" plant species. They are invasive because they make better use of resources than the native plants and so they take over. That is basically natural selection isn't it? Whether the seeds for the "invasive" are carried by water, birds, wind or a person, what does it matter?

Human beings are peculiar in that we are the only animal that cares if another species goes away. If a great horned owl goes extinct, it doesn't effect us really, but we still care. We like to have these animals around. That seems to be the only real reason we like to prevent extinctions like that. Sure there are some cases where we are actually trying to preserve a resource like wild caught salmon, where, if hunted to extinction we could never replace. We eat salmon and we would like to keep doing it. But over the long term, think eons, whether one species survives or another is unimportant.
Most plants, animals and aquatic species tend to fill an ecological niche which may be either currently occupied or vacant of competition. And most of them tend to be 'specialized', in that they rely on a certain food source/habitat. It's easier to dominate a niche if one is specialized. But that makes the species more vulnerable to losing out, as a result of some catastrophe or another. 'Non-specialized' species, such as humans, are able to dominate more than one ecological niche, and are better suited to survive crises, even though they do so in far smaller numbers. They are just more spread out.

But throughout history the overriding cause of extinctions are caused by Impactor events. There is approximately a thirty-one million year cycle of mass extinctions, some greater than others, and they all fit within the thirty-one million year cycles. The Permian and KT extinctions are just the two biggest, but there are many lesser ones.

And there are many other smaller ones which do not fit within that cycle. All other extinctions are small in comparison, and man can't begin to come close to doing this, even if man tried.
There's plenty of animals that has benefited from living close to human population due to the fact that there are less predators where human beings are. Humans has a tendency to chase off or kill any predators that could be dangerous to them, and as an result many animals have learned how to take advantage of this.

it seems that many animals would trade up living in a pollution-free zone for safety. S6
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/uni....06.x.html
The outline only covered a few of the city dwellers, and left out a host of animals. Falcons, opossums, the brown rat, and red fox(loves golf courses), are just some of many others.
sadly, there aren't many lists of city animals on the net... that was one of the few I found.

one of the biggest population of city animals here, seem to be bats. During the night here you can look out the window and see them flying about.

followed by that is many various bird species, rabbits, owls and even hawks.

There's a few large hawks who's been nesting on the top of the capitol building here. S6 they're the common kind... the red-tailed hawks.
At least there are topics that attempt to cover how critters have managed to not only survive, but thrive, amongst humans and their civilization.
John L, while of course we still have a continuing obligation to be responsible stewards of the earth as much as we can, I believe that in the end it does not matter what or how many species become extinct, since God will recreate them to populate the New Earth. What Revelation calls "the Lake of Fire" will be the molten surface of the earth, as God produces a new Creation Week. The "waters above the atmosphere" in whatever form it existed before the Flood will be placed there again, moderating the earth's temperature virtually from pole to pole. God may reset the length of the year to 360 days, as it probably was in the beginning (hence the 360-day year in the "sacred" calendar of the Bible and of so many ancient cultures).

God will likely do away with the fangs and claws (and thorns and thistles) that arose as a result of the disruption of nature caused by mankind's rebelling against God which resulted in a distancing of God from even the natural world. He will completely remake the earth into the Paradise it was before the Fall and the Flood. Animals will play with each other as He originally created them to do, not prey upon each other (which God allows now as an object lesson to us of the end result of following a course of selfish striving). And hopefully, if mosquitoes exist at all, the females will drink juice from fruit like the males do now, instead of drinking blood. All bacteria will be benign, and viruses and prions probably will no longer exist.
HUmans are able to exterminate large animals (bigger than a dog) or any animal living in a restricted niche very quickely. It only takes him not to care and let poachers do the job.

It had already done so, even before firearms were invented and before our population reached one billion.
In Europe bisons, bears, wolves, wild horses lives almost exclusively in natural reserves. They numbers are counted.
In Asia the Giant Panda, the Ouran-Outan, the Ceyland Tiger and Rhinos were dangerousely close to disapearing.
In Russia, the famous beluga sturgeon was almost totaly extinct 15 years ago and is still treathened.
Japanese would kill all the whales in the ocean if there were no Greenpeace activists. Chinese would kill all african rhinos for their aphrodisiac horns, while they even lack women to test the effect on. The rhino is so rare now that they try to steal horns from museums.

Smaller species also disapear before we even repertoriated them: small birds, insects, snakes who live only in some place disapear instantly when the forest is razed for its timber. The jungle grows back, but some species are gone forever.

The good news is that preservation campains, national parks, hunting quotas and sensibilisation helped save these species and some of them, like tigers, see their population slightly increasing.
We should continue in this effort.
Quote:Actualy we have hundreds of species dying because of human activities. These species would thrive in absence of man. The natural selection is transformed.

Because man is outside of nature, right? This is the mistake almost everyone who wants to "save endangered species" makes. Man is part of nature. Would the species thrive in absence of man? who knows. The fact is, man is here, and our effect on other species is natural. You know what isn't natural? Saving endangered species (including saving stupid humans from themselves so they can breed).
That's your definition of natural.
One of Limbaugh's thoughts on endangered species is to put them on the menu, and they will become plentiful.

There is some sense to the idea that synergistic survival is very important to a species' survival alongside mankind. Anopheles mosquitoes were pretty much extinguished with the advent of DDT, which also rid the world of malaria. The disease vector came back by the decree of Ruckleshaus. The spotted Owls loved Kmart signs on the front of the stores, who'da thunk it?

Most species that die out do not really die out - but are supplanted by a near variation that shows more success at survival. A lizard that has two spots instead of three spots may die out, but why that three spotted variety shows greater promise at survivability is usually a mystery. The two-spotted variety may be gone, but except to them, there isn't much impact from the loss.
That remark, by Rush, has always been a profound one, but he actually got it from either Dr. Walter E. Williams, or Dr. Thomas Sowell. I can't remember which, but I remember him making some passing remark about it about two decades ago. And yes, I have been listening to him longer than that.

It could be either, since both are two of the wisest men I can think of.
Quote:That's your definition of natural.

and it's just as valid as your definition.
I tend to take a mostly neutral stance on the whole "Man VS Nature" thing.
I happen to think that Humans are part of nature, and in many ways Nature affects us just as much as we affect it. So if we do stupid shit to it, then it also does stupid shit back to us in return. it doesn't do things to us in return as punishment for our actions as many people would like to think. That would be anthropomorphizing nature, which is not only silly but flawed in it's reasoning. it's just the way it is... it would still do those things even if we had done nothing wrong.

That said... Many animals do have the ability to overdo their breeding, their hunting and eating habits. Humans certainly have this ability, but they are far from the only "evil" animal who can do this. just look at those animals who crossed over to other countries in one way or the other, and then quickly took over because there was no natural predators to stop them. as an result they wiped out entire species of plants, animals and royally fucked up the ecosystem. Locusts, Mice, Rabbits, and so on forth... they are but many of the dozens of species who wiped out many other species while they were doing what they were made for-- to be fruitful and to muplity.

the only difference between us and those other "harmful" animals... is that we can make decisions to do it or not, fully aware of the consequences. that's the only thing that separates us from the animals.
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