I recently finished a book that I thought was very interesting. It is called Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.


The book is pretty much just a conversation between a man and a gorilla. It discusses this idea that western cultures have significantly diverged from the laws that all other creatures (and indigenous human cultures) follow. Since the agricultural revolution, humans have not only diverged, but altogether rejected the laws of competition that make the planet ecologically sound. Learning to plant food for ourselves instead of living the hunter-gatherer lifestyle has allowed our populations to grow beyond carrying capacities of our local regions. This forces us to expand cultivation. We exterminate other species that get in the way of this. The decrease in diversity that has occurred in recent times is limiting competition with us, but also that decrease in competitive adaptations that normally exist in ecosystems will affect the rate of evolution and the development of other complex creatures. Our culture assumes that man is the pinnacle of evolution, that now we are the greatest creature. We have removed ourselves (we think) from the competitive laws that affect all creatures. How do we expect to continue evolving if we have no competitors? We exterminate and kill and assume we have the power to decide what dies and what lives. How did native americans live? Accepting of their place in nature, reaping the fruits of their own garden of eden, allowing for change and for the need to adapt to a climate or a landscape. We force the earth to adapt to us. It is quite scary, the modes of thinking I've gained since finishing this book, and there are so many layers to it too. There is a choice humanity can make, to invite other creatures in instead of forcing them out. As the first complex, self-aware organism on the planet, we are stewards of the idea that we don't have to destroy everything. If we didn't come about, other creatures would have fulfilled this role themselves, we are not hte end of evolution. This story made me think about this:

Return of the Once-Rare Beaver? Not in My Yard.

While on a run a red-winged blackbird attacked me, chiding me for coming close to its nest, a quick snap and impact with its claws on the back of my head. I'm sorry, blackbird, you do have a point.

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