Greetings, HolySmokers, from Holland. During the past two days, a rare chance to examine b

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Greetings, HolySmokers, from Holland. During the past two days, a rare chance to examine book reviews presented itself by virtue of taking my ease at the lakeside resort Hotel Baron. Among one of the many book reviews read, I found a few comments in one in particular which HolySmokers may be interested in. Scientific American March 1993; a book review by Robert M. May. This review took an overview of Edward O. Wilsons book "The Diversity of Life." This book is, in fact, something of a rehash of his original book "Biodiversity" which was published in 1988. Two points of interest to HolySmokers which I felt might be worthwhile passing along: Human population and creationism. "Wilson says relatively little about the continuing growth of human populations. But this is the engine that drives everything. Patterns of accelerating resources use, and their variation among regions, are important but secondary: problems of wastefull consumption can be solved if population growth is halted, but such solutions are essentially irrelevant if populations continue to proliferate. Every day the planet sees a net increase (births less deaths) of about one quarter of a million people. Such numbers defy intuitive appreciation. Yet many religious leaders seem to welcome these trends, seemingly motivated by calculations of their market share." Prior to this comment about what the marketing of religious superstitions does to the survivability of the planets ecosphere, May equates the last chapter of Wilsons book to a new type of religion. What's interesting about this is that this "new" religion isn't quite so new... It's Wicca and Pagani only he either doesn't know it or would rather not like to invoke those labels. "The final chapter offers nothing less than a new religion, the Environmental Ethic. Unlike the vast array of existing religions, essentially all of which see humans as special, deffering only to some god or gods (commonly males of choleric disposition), Wilson's Environmental Ethic sees us as one among many species, with our only special responsibility being to respect and conserve the biological riches we have inhereted: 'The evidence of swift environmental change calls for an ethic uncoupled from other systems of belief. Those committed by religion to believe that life was put on earth in one devine stroke will recognize that we are destroying the Creation, and those who perceive biodiversity to be the product of blind evolution will agree.'" If you missed it, creationists are constrained by their need to believe in what they've committed to believe whereas the rest of us are perceptive enough to recognize that evolutionary processes are not subject to belief nor disbelief... merely recognition of fact. Sadly, Wilson's credentials are missing from this book review. It's strange that the only discernable credentials offered were those of the individual doing the book review. Robert M. May is a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford and Imperial College, London.


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