Greetings, HolySmokers, from Holland. During the past two days, a rare chance to examine b
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
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
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank