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7/29/06 12:36 AM
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MR BIG1
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Edited: 29-Jul-06
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i AM NOT COMPARING MY FRINED i AM JUST ASKING QUESTIONS AND GIVING MY OPINION
7/29/06 1:32 AM
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pfsjkd
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i AM NOT COMPARING MY FRINED i AM JUST ASKING QUESTIONS AND GIVING MY OPINION

Then what was the purpose of the statement about not being the first intelligent beings to inhabit the planet if not to compare us to them?  Just asking.

7/29/06 1:34 AM
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nine1524
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Edited: 29-Jul-06
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"aww yeah, you're sucking my jagon." "Ughh put your finger inna my thrusher"
7/29/06 1:46 AM
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iblis73
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Edited: 29-Jul-06
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With all due respect, everyone keeps saying we are "out of balance". Then at what point is there BALANCE? I have never heard it defined, ever. I don't think anyone knows wtf they are talking about.
7/29/06 8:02 AM
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crescentwrench
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Can you give an example?? 

Not a specific off the top of my head since it's impossible to track every cause and effect of every animal species on the planet.  But earth's history is full of evolution and extinction and it would just be silly to think that no species has ever been wiped out by the paws of another.  Here's a hypothetical.

Say a species of bird migrated to an island with no large predators.  Without the need of costly wing muscles for escape they became quite flightless.  This is exactly what happened to the dodo btw.   Now let's say a few predators found their way to that island, either by "rafting" or some other event.  Like how iguanas got to Galapagos for example.  Well it would be all buffet all the time for those predators.  It's quite easy to imagine that those predators completely wiped out the prey species. 

This has been going on since there's been life.  Species have come and gone for every reason imaginable.  Predators wiped out prey, parasites wiped out hosts, large animals destroyed the habitat of small.  There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to life and death.

First you say you doubt it then state how good humans are and how we do everything bigger and better so I am confused. 

I think you misunderstand the context of good here.  I'm not saying we're good as a value judgement.  I'm saying we're good as an indicator of ability.  We can wipe out species just like any other species has a chance to, we can just do it on a much larger scale.  We're the Michael Jordan of extinction.  See?  Michael Jordan is better than me at basketball, but he's not "better" than me. 

It would also be unreasonable to assume we are the first and only intelligent civilization of beings that have inhabitted this planet or others in the so estimated 4.5 billion years old earth.

Actually it's unreasonable to the point of silly to assume that we aren't.  We're the first species (on this planet) to develop intellegence to the level of civilization.  There is not a shred of artifact to the contrary and no hint in biology that anything like us occured. 

7/29/06 8:15 AM
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crescentwrench
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BTW, an example that follows exactly my hypothetical.  This species happened to be introduced by us, but it's occured "naturally" for hundreds of millions of years.  You can see how easy it is for a new species to wipe out another, usually isolated, species in a very short time.  Way faster than the prey can hope to evolve. 

The brown tree snake has caused extensive economic and ecological damage to Guam. It is responsible for numerous power outages across the island each year. This species is an opportunistic feeder and has eradicated most of Guam's native forest birds.

The brown tree snake, an invasive originating in the South Pacific and Australia, has extirpated 10 of 13 native bird species, 6 of 12 native lizard species, and 2 of 3 bat species on the island of Guam.

7/29/06 8:47 AM
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crescentwrench
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umm, perhaps north america pre-europeans?

Nope.  Unless you call a few Lakota forcing entire herds of buffalo over a cliff and leaving most of the meat to rot "balance".  Like I said, extinction is more rare not from lack of desire, only lack of ability.

Again, to have a balance assumes there is an ideal.  What's the ideal?  You keep trying to give human centric value to nature and that's just not right.  Nature isn't a balance, it's a pendulum.  As one species falls another is always around the corner to take its place.  We're part of nature and subject to the same thing.  If we fuck ourselves enough we'll start swinging back and something else will replace us. 

It's odd to me that people always insist on placing human values on their perception of nature, yet their scenarios of "good" and "balanced" is when humans are nowhere around. 

7/29/06 8:59 AM
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Jack Carter
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Are Humans the only animals that hunt spieces to extinction? No, but we are the only species capable of saving species from extinction. When humans hunt a species to extinction doesnt that destroy ecosystem?? (Mother Earth) No. The planet simply adapts like it has been for billions of years. What man can do rigyht now pales in comparison to what nature can do to itself. If all humans were hunted to extinction instantaneously would our absence have a negative effect on the environment?? (Mother Earth) Lets put it this way: Human beings are the only species on the planet that have the capacity to save the entire planet from extinction-level-events Any more questions you want me to answer for your son in the 3rd grade?
7/29/06 9:13 AM
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FetFnask
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Edited: 29-Jul-06
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crescentwrench has said all that needs to be said.
7/29/06 9:21 AM
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crescentwrench
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did that promogulate extinction? or anything close?...

No, I didn't say the Lakota Sioux were a brown tree snake or anything.  But for that localized population the relationship between predator and prey was extremely out of balance.  They left literally tons of meat at a time to waste.  That's why I said the reason they didn't wipe out the species was because of ability, not intent. 

 

7/29/06 10:01 AM
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crescentwrench
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The intent wasn't there in the sense that they didn't deliberately set out to eradicate the buffalo.  The intent was to maximize their hunt.  They had no management philosophy, they just wanted to kill as much as they could and eat as much as they could as many times as possible.  That's the intent of every predator.  They didn't do it to the species, but they took more than their "fair share" in their population.  And that's how you're supposed to look at the ecosystem. 

A species can wipe out another in its population, like Guam or Hawaii for instance.  Never is there any thought to its future generations in any species but our own, at least beyond infancy.  Our population happens to be big enough now to encompass the whole planet, which is something no other animal has had the capacity to do.  But it's not separate from nature, it is still nature.  What does it matter if it's done for survival or for profit?  The outcome is the same.  Only the scale is different.  What do you think will happen to the brown snake once it's eaten the last prey species?  It'll probably die off, it's bison will be gone. 

Jack was on the right path.  It's not against nature to hunt and destroy to the point of extinction.  Quite the opposite, it's precisely because of our nature that we do it.  What's not nature is the willingness to try to stop that inevitable slide towards extinction of species other than our own. 

7/29/06 10:32 AM
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FetFnask
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CW, I'd argue that our willingness to stop extinction of otherspecies also is natural. As you've said, we are a part of nature. Assumed that there is no kind ofspirit world, it's a tautology.
7/29/06 11:07 AM
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BushHog
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"Maybe those animals should learn to adapt before they get extinct-ed." Oh the fucking irony!!!
7/29/06 11:20 AM
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ChampionBigMouth
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Edited: 29-Jul-06 11:28 AM
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Species are actualised in time, they are the product of a process. You are considering a species as some kind of eternal archetype, which it is not. Trying to preserve the earth as it is now, to hold it in stasis, is deny the forces that formed it imo. I agree that we as a species should be more responsible for our environment and preserve what wildlife we have but not because it is against nature to destroy them. I think these things enrich our lives and looking after our habitat is an obvious survival strategy.
7/29/06 11:45 AM
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Jack Carter
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except for the fact that, as intelligent beings, we ought to try to keep the pendulum from swinging back and correcting, in regards to balance... That makes no sense what-so-ever. The problems we create, we find solutions to and use that solution to save lives, ecosystems and "mother earth". You can't swing the pendulum both ways at the same time & ultimately, you no longer have a pendulum if you prevent it from swinging. And if you want to reach a pont where humans simply do nothing but correct/prevent destruction then you have to wait until we make enough errors to be able to accopmlish such a task. Without doing a lot of harm ourselves, we will be unable to accomplsh your ideal. It's a catch-22
7/29/06 11:55 AM
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crescentwrench
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CW, I'd argue that our willingness to stop extinction of otherspecies also is natural.

Well, it is by fact that we're natural beings.  But in that instance I was borrowing the meaning from those who regard nature as separate from humanity in an antagonistic sense.  You're correct in the literal sense though.  We can't do anything unnatural since we exist only in nature. 

except for the fact that, as intelligent beings, we ought to try to keep the pendulum from swinging back and correcting, in regards to balance...

A pendulum that doesn't swing is simply dead weight.  Why ought we try to resist the natural order of the earth?  Imbalance with extinction is the engine that drives evolution.  What makes us think we're even capable of stopping it?  And why are the species that are alive today more valuable than the 99.9% of species that have come and gone before humans even picked up a rock?  Simply because they had the good fortune to live at the same time we did? 

we could let nature run it's course, but what will be the outcome... a correction, a pendulum swing... .. now define that... what will it be?

 That's impossible to predict.  It would certainly mean a huge shift in human development.  Would it wipe us out?  Maybe, who's to say?  Would it force us to progress and eventually wind up better adapted to the world as it will be?  Probably. 

we should try to achieve, as intelligent beings, the fore-mentioned balance.

Yes, balance that is never defined, and has not been given any historical context.  Nature has never been in balance.  If it were it would have stagnated.  

 not rape the planet and let the next generation sort it out. granted nature could run it's course, but is that the best solution?

Is the natural course not what's "best" for Mother Earth?  Is it even the "best" solution for the next generation, which seems to be the real focus? 

7/29/06 12:07 PM
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crescentwrench
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hwy can't we find solutions to the current problems AND foresee future problems and PREVENT them?

You first have to agree on what defines a problem.  The introduction of big cats to South America during the eocene was certainly a problem I'll bet to the native species that previously evolved without their threat.  And they enjoyed some happy times for a good long while, until the pre-European Americans came around and played a big part in the destruction of them, the mammoths, and just about every other large American mammal. 

Where is the problem in that scenario?  Would it have been more balanced if humans didn't destroy the cats?  Or what if the cats never got to SA and left it in "balance"?  Or what if reptiles didn't overtake large amphibians to usher in the age of dinosaurs? What point in history are you going to stop in time, focus in on, and say, "That right there.  That's balance.  If it veers from that it's a problem."?

The only time there was balance in nature is when the earth was molten slag.  Ever since then it's been non-stop struggle to pass on your DNA no matter the cost.

7/29/06 12:15 PM
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ChampionBigMouth
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Edited: 29-Jul-06 12:28 PM
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"Ever since then it's been non-stop struggle to pass on your DNA no matter the cost." Exactly, only now we can use mental strategies as well as our physical attributes to achieve this. Causing long term problems for short term gains, as we are currently, is just not the right way go. I lol at members of Greenpeace as much as the next man but surely anyone can see that.
7/29/06 12:32 PM
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crescentwrench
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Yeah, but that's a fairly new concept and if anything can be considered unnatural it's that.  Nature has always been about the short term.  Sure ultimately it becomes about survival of the species but individually it's only about siring immediate offspring.  There has never been an ultimate goal or Big Picture in nature.  Long term survival has been completely reliant on short term success. 

Now, we're the first to come along and actually be aware of the process.  And in that yeah it's kind of scary to think that what we do now has an effect on the future.  But that's a problem only in a very ego-centric sort of way.  A problem for us might be a great opportunity for the rodents to take over.  Is that good or bad?

So as to the original questions on the thread, no we're not the first to wipe out a species.  Our extinctions don't hurt the ecosystem (or help) because value judgements of hurt and help are irrelevent here.  Same answer for the third question. 

Good, bad, right, wrong, balance, imbalance.  Those are all human values that we're placing on a valueless system.  Humans are bad for nature but our eventual extinction is a problem.  None of this is consistent.  You want to say there is a balance and harmony to nature that is fragile and will crumble if changed from its current state.  In reality there is no harmony and nature is a tough nut that can handle extremes we couldn't begin to imagine.  Nasty, brutish and short.  That's just the way it is.

7/29/06 7:06 PM
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Jack Carter
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wy can't we find solutions to the current problems AND foresee future problems and PREVENT them? We are doing that
7/29/06 7:36 PM
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FastAndBulbous
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"With all due respect, everyone keeps saying we are "out of balance". Then at what point is there BALANCE? I have never heard it defined, ever."


Look around for once: every day is half dark and half light. Every year is half hot and half cold. And even within that system there is balance - when one half of the world is dark, the other half is light. When it's summer in the northern hemisphere, it's winter in the southern hemisphere. And the pendulum balance of temperature is tempered by the constant balance of the always-hot tropics and the always-cold arctic and antarctic.

Animals inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants inhale that carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen for the animals to breathe again.

Ocean water evaporates, rains onto the land, and then flows back into the ocean.

Some animals eat grass. Those animals are eaten by other animals which shit out fertilizer for the grass.

Life and death are a cycle, and everything that comes will leave again. Everything is balanced in the world except for human choices. To understand why, you'll have to understand that humans are different from animals. We have free will because we have souls.
7/29/06 8:10 PM
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Jack Carter
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Edited: 29-Jul-06 08:35 PM
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Everything is balanced in the world except for human choices. Incorrect. The only difference between the choices we make and the choices animals make is that our choices can have a greater impact on the environment around us. You listed some of the abstract innate balance of this earth, but are only capable of seeing one side of the human coin. Yes humans destroy and their decisions have a greater impact on the environment, but the flip-side is that their innate desire to survive as a species enables them to create, protect and prevent beyond anything another species is capable of. The more we temporarily damage the earth, the more we come up with the technology to correct those mistakes & protect the planet. Who knows, "mother earth" might have created humans to protect it from events that are outside of it's realm of protection like huge fucking asteroids that completely destroys millions of years of evolution in a matter of days. Humans are quite simply a part of the balance - potentially the most important part. Differing from animals does not mean we are not a part of the balance & anyone who draws such an asinine conclusion is deluded.
7/29/06 9:05 PM
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FastAndBulbous
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"The only difference between the choices we make and the choices animals make is that our choices can have a greater impact on the environment around us."

The only difference?

Can animals choose to make long-term plans for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

Can animals choose to engage in passive self-destructive behavior?

Animals can't choose anything. They eat, sleep, reproduce, and fight according to the situation. Their struggle is for survival, and our struggle is against ourselves.
7/29/06 11:01 PM
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iblis73
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Edited: 29-Jul-06
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Still I see no idea of what balanced living on the planet is. Mostly hyperbolic talk about rape, profits, euro american culture and other nonsense talk. People from all over the world, even just in Mexico, flock to North America for a better life. The WORST pollution and environmental degredation was in the former soviet block and currently in the developing world. In a way, nature is always "in balance", owing to the fact that is is ever changing.
7/29/06 11:12 PM
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tjmitch
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fricity frat....I wont read all that.

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