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January 01, 2003

A losing fight

This article in the LA TIMES highlights Hawaii's attempts to preserve its endemic species and fight "exotics" that are invading the ecosystem. Laudable, but I found some of the attempts rather bizarre. Children are being encouraged to destroy ant-hills. The fact is, what are the chances that social insects will now be extirpated from the islands? It seems resources should be concetrated on mammals-we have a good track record exterminating them.

On a whimsical note-if the human race goes extinct because of some super-plague, and millions of years from now another sentient species attempts to develop biological paradigms, Creationism might not seem that implausible because of "exotic species." The presence of Red Deer in New Zealand, Camels in Australia, Gray Squirrels in Europe and Starlings would be difficult to explain via a naturalistic process and would no doubt confound attempts by the E. O. Wilson's of the day to publish an Island Biogeography.

Posted by razib at 11:36 PM




Well, fortunately the future paleontologist would no doubt find ample evidence of humans and human migration and would likely surmise that humans are the cause of the odd dispersal of animals.

Posted by: Steve at January 2, 2003 07:42 AM


they would find well-preserved remains of missile silos deep in the desert, no doubt. Maybe even the spent nuclear fuel dump in the Yucca mountains

Posted by: Suman Palit at January 2, 2003 11:56 AM


you mean the work of the gods of yore? :)

Posted by: razib at January 2, 2003 03:46 PM


addendum-my cryptic phrase above indicates that yes, i think they WOULD FIGURE IT OUT, but the agassiz of their day would have much more tangible proof of their "Flood Geology"-and probably slow down evolutianary science.

anyway, this is starting to become a science fiction scenario :)

Posted by: razib at January 2, 2003 04:10 PM


Of course, all this is just wild speculation, but I would think that we would play a central role in the mythology of any intelligent animals that evolved after us. Yes, "the gods of yore."

Posted by: Steve at January 3, 2003 06:46 AM


Congrats on a mostly problem free move. In Netscape 7.0 there is an awful lot of grey space between the sidebar on the left and the text, so much that it's only half on screen @ 1024x768. Is this intentional?

Posted by: Grady at January 3, 2003 10:08 AM