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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.
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"....The truth is out there."

-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer






Sunday, April 27, 2008

 

-- Sunday Meditation --


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Just some passages from astronomer Chet Raymo today taken from his 2003 book, "The Path: a One-Mile Walk Through the Universe" :
"...however one chooses to romanticize what in retrospect seems a fetching life, it is impossible to reclaim it... Technology -- with its awesome potential and perils -- is here to stay.
The inventory of Earth's living species currently stands somewhere near 2 million. There are almost certainly at least ten times as many species that have not yet been described and named --- the true number of species may be more than 100 million. Many of these are inevitably doomed by human population growth....

All life --- the whole glorious parade along the path --- depends upon the photosynthesizers... With the invention of photosynthesis, life plugged into a star, and the battle against entropy was won. The universe continues to run down, as it must, but on the surface of the earth there spreads out a film of highly ordered matter of marvelous complexity and resourcefulness. The one-celled organisms that ruled the Earth 3 billion years ago were no more advanced than the scum that lives on our shower curtains, but that scum had evolved the ability to make carbohydrates with sunlight... Animals developed along a different branch of the evolutionary tree, and it seems unlikely that you and I had photosynthesizers among our ancestors. But the tree of life is a web of interdependence. Green leaves are our necessary link to our yellow star.

...The Arcadian ideal of humans living in harmony with tamed nature did not begin with Frederick Law Olmsted, Capability Brown, or even the supposed Peloponnesian paradise itself (witness the more ancient myth of the Garden of Eden), nor was it discredited by the obscenities of the twentieth century's wars, the Great Depression, or the grimmer excesses of technology. It is a sturdy old myth, and in it we might still hope to combine the Enlightenment, with its confidence in the power of the human mind to make sense of the world, and romanticism, with its belief that all of life is a miracle. Along the one-mile walk of the path, I have found these ostensibly competing tendencies happily fused: order and surprise, artificial and natural, civilized and wild, human self-interest and organic wholeness.
....About half of the earth's land surface is presently exploited by humans, and all of the land and water surface is touched in some way by the waste products of human cunning...
The technological products of human ingenuity represent an inevitable stage in planetary evolution, yet our Arcadian yearnings are dictated by millions of years of pretechnological human evolution. It is a conundrum of human life that our intellects have outraced our instincts; cultural evolution has overtaken organic evolution. Biologically, we are hunter-gatherers who suddenly find ourselves in command of almost unimaginable powers for planetary transformation."
....and lastly this thought from E.O. Wilson:
"If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos. "
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