Friday, June 28, 2002

Too long for comments section... again There are many little points I want to make here, now that we're at a more godly (pun) hour. - Godless points out that Lomborg uses UN data. Since when is UN data reliable? - Godless's math gives him the extinction of 4.9 percent of species. This is for direct wipeout, though -- it doesn't account for the ramifications a 4.9 percent loss would have for the other 95.1 percent of organisms on the food chain that depend on the 4.9 percent. And dependence, of course, isn't just about eating. There could be symbionts lost, or organisms that depend on other complex behavioral webs that we don't even know about. - "The extinction rate will probably be dwarfed by the discovery rate." I doubt it. The species we haven't discovered yet are the ones that aren't very common. If we're already managing to take out the more common ones -- which should theoretically have a better chance of surviving thanks to sheer numbers -- how can you assume the less common ones are going to still be around? Especially given how heavily they probably depend on the common ones? - "Was the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs evil? The mass extinction did, after all, make way for the mammals." Sure. After several million years, it did. The pace of evolution is so slow that we won't see a new mammal analogue rise in the human lifetime. (And hell, if it did, we'd probably kill it off. I think we've got a pretty good grip on biological hegemony. Even if the "new mammal" were something that evolves fast, like bacteria, we're hard at work trying to figure out how to kill those too...) - "Does Wilson think that there is some mystical value in biodiversity?" I dunno. I'd be willing to bet he subscribes to something similar to Gould and Einstein's philosophies on nature -- should be celebrated because it exists. (It's not an Earth-Mother type belief so much as a crystallization of that feeling we all get when we learn something fascinating and new.) But even if he doesn't, you can make the argument that nature should be studied because it exists. And it's hard to study it if it ain't there. - "Mankind has introduced a lot of diversity. ... Look at how many mammals (sheep and red deer prominent among them) now roam New Zealand, or the wild horses in the American west and camels in Australia." Does knocking something else out of its niche and replacing it with an intercontinental transplant count as "introducing diversity"? If that's the case, then we should applaud the introduction of zebra mussels in the Great Lakes. Species invasion isn't about introducing diversity; if anything, it's about decreasing it. - We should all discuss this over drinks sometime. Game, set... and cheers!

Principles of Population Genetics
Genetics of Populations
Molecular Evolution
Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Genetics
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution
The Genetics of Human Populations
Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits
Epistasis and Evolutionary Process
Evolutionary Human Genetics
Mathematical Models in Biology
Evolutionary Genetics: Case Studies and Concepts
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 1
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 2
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 3
Statistical Methods in Molecular Evolution
The History and Geography of Human Genes
Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory
Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory
Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
Evolution and the Genetics of Populations
Genetics and Origins of Species
Tempo and Mode in Evolution
Causes of Evolution
The Great Human Diasporas
Bones, Stones and Molecules
Natural Selection and Social Theory
Journey of Man
Mapping Human History
The Seven Daughters of Eve
Evolution for Everyone
Why Sex Matters
Mother Nature
Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
R.A. Fisher, the Life of a Scientist
Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology
Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics
A Reason for Everything
The Ancestor's Tale
Dragon Bone Hill
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
The Selfish Gene
Adaptation and Natural Selection
Nature via Nurture
The Symbolic Species
The Imitation Factor
The Red Queen
Out of Thin Air
Evolutionary Dynamics
The Origin of Species
The Descent of Man
Age of Abundance
The Darwin Wars
The Evolutionists
The Creationists
Of Moths and Men
The Language Instinct
How We Decide
Predictably Irrational
The Black Swan
Fooled By Randomness
Descartes' Baby
Religion Explained
In Gods We Trust
Darwin's Cathedral
A Theory of Religion
The Meme Machine
Synaptic Self
The Mating Mind
A Separate Creation
The Number Sense
The 10,000 Year Explosion
The Math Gene
Explaining Culture
Origin and Evolution of Cultures
Dawn of Human Culture
The Origins of Virtue
Prehistory of the Mind
The Nurture Assumption
The Moral Animal
Born That Way
No Two Alike
Survival of the Prettiest
The Blank Slate
The g Factor
The Origin Of The Mind
Unto Others
Defenders of the Truth
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
Before the Dawn
Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era
The Essential Difference
Geography of Thought
The Classical World
The Fall of the Roman Empire
The Fall of Rome
History of Rome
How Rome Fell
The Making of a Christian Aristoracy
The Rise of Western Christendom
Keepers of the Keys of Heaven
A History of the Byzantine State and Society
Europe After Rome
The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity
The Barbarian Conversion
A History of Christianity
God's War
Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
The Sacred Chain
Divided by the Faith
The Reformation
Pursuit of Glory
Albion's Seed
From Plato to Nato
China: A New History
China in World History
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Children of the Revolution
When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World
The Great Arab Conquests
After Tamerlane
A History of Iran
The Horse, the Wheel, and Language
A World History
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Human Web
Plagues and Peoples
A Concise Economic History of the World
Power and Plenty
A Splendid Exchange
Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD
Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations
A Farewell to Alms
The Ascent of Money
The Great Divergence
Clash of Extremes
War and Peace and War
Historical Dynamics
The Age of Lincoln
The Great Upheaval
What Hath God Wrought
Freedom Just Around the Corner
Throes of Democracy
Grand New Party
A Beautiful Math
When Genius Failed
Catholicism and Freedom
American Judaism

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