Truth To Power wrote:Things are getting better. There is no reason to mourn extinct species. Evolution runs on extinction of species. ~99.999% of all the species that have ever existed are now extinct, and we don't miss them a bit. You might as well mourn the loss of dead indigenous languages.
The evolutionary process requires
that species go extinct, and by that token we should not be unduly alarmed that species do, indeed, tend to go extinct. They are usually replaced by new
species, which may or may not be 'better' than their extinct predecessors, but which will certainly be different
. And it is this difference which is important - the Earth's ecosystem strives towards diversity
as time passes. Without this diversity, the ecosystem is impoverished and food chains are short and fragile. To get a proper grip, life must be diverse
. This lengthens food chains, creates food webs
, and makes the biosphere more resilient to sudden shocks or disasters. It is, in fact, diversity rather than complexity or intelligence which the evolutionary process generates. Most living organisms are no more complex now than they were three billion years ago. A few have achieved a high level of complexity and intelligence, but they are niche species and only constitute a vanishingly small proportion of all living organisms. No, the average (in the sense of the mode rather than the mean) complexity of all living organisms has remained essentially unchanged through more than three billion years of evolution. Nature doesn't care about complexity or intelligence; it cares only about filling trophic niches and making life as diverse
as possible. Human activity - and not just anthropogenic climate change - has had a catastrophic effect on bio-diversity on Earth over the past ten millennia or so, especially among the vertebrates. And we should be very
concerned about this.
But that cannot happen as a result of anything brain-dead environmentalists are shrieking about. The biggest immediate threat to our species' survival is bioweapons research; a few decades from now it will be superhuman artificial intelligence (SAI), unless self-replicating nanotech comes first.
Agreed. The human race is highly unlikely to go extinct any time soon. In fact, we have overrun the entire planet like a plague of vermin. And anthropogenic climate change is a self-correcting mechanism - as our industrial civilisation collapses under the strain of climate change, the cause
of that climate change, which of course is our industrial civilisation itself, will dwindle away. It's a negative feedback loop, which will kick in long before we are in danger of going extinct as a species. We'll end up living in mud huts and wiping our asses with leaves, but we'll survive.
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Marx (Groucho)