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Paul Ehrlich: The Dominant Animal

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naturalpreservation Avatar
Posted: 09.03.10, 04:00 AM
It's more than democracy, it's an important part of the intellectual process to challenge ideas which forces others to defend and know more about their position and vice versa. So because someone had a message that was ahead of its time and was a little premature this would exclude Ehrlich from ever criticising. I think you are confusing Ehrlich with God there because to date there has never been an intellectual who has been near perfect. Behaviourally modern humans emerged from the evolutionary process 40,000 years ago and since then have created and designed an entirely new dimension of life (style) from the organic and this is faciliated by culture. Even diehard gene-centrists like Dawkins (memetics) and to a lesser extend Edward O. Wilson (gene-culture co-evolution) have had to respect the power and weight of culture although it has been a profound mystery for evolutionary theory over the last 151 years. Ehrlich is pointing out something that Malthus pointed out in the early 1800s that if populations keep expanding there will be a push on resources. This is important because it's the closest we have to a eureka moment in Darwin's biography. It's also worth nothing that Malthus' book also prompted Wallace's thoughts on natural selection, so they are not trivial. As a consequence of humans emerging and extending from the evolutionary process they are to a degree in unchartered territory as they/we have to live increasingly to our own imperatives. This was not lost on Darwin who in a reply to Hooker stated that 'nature does for the good of the organism, culture....for man's pleasure.' So if mahogany is 'in' this year then humankind will be cutting down vast amounts of mahogany to satisfy 'man's pleasure' (Darwin also referred to it as 'man's fancy') and if there is an unfolding effect on the habitat of many, many species, so be it. Ehrlich is pointing out something that is evident but difficult to nail down all the while we don't have a general theory of culture (our second nature). To bring up 'The Population Bomb' has a veneer of observation to it, but scratching below the surface of complexion and get to the complexity and it's a very different story. Malthus was aware of something, as is Ehrlich and when we reach figures where humans require 1.5 planets to survive at present levels and the alarm bells should be ringing. With India and China almost 40% of the global population and 'developing' fast that figure is only going to move towards 2.0 earths and exponentially fast. So if you want to stick your head in the sand on a real, lasting and easily the most pressing for humankind, good. It's difficult to use copious amounts of energy and carbon with your head down there.
Andreabertuccioli Avatar
Posted: 07.18.09, 04:43 PM
That's a silly comment Everyone has the rihgt to criticize everything. it's what we call democracy
Andreabertuccioli Avatar
Posted: 07.18.09, 04:42 PM
That's a silly comment Everyone has the rihgt to criticize everything. it's what we call democracy
merany1 Avatar
Posted: 08.17.08, 08:24 AM
Paul Ehrlich has no right to critize other "scientists." "The Population Bomb" anyone?
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