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(Japan Times)   Oregon environmental officers swoop in, use "short burst of fire" to strip Japanese tsunami dock of seaweed and barnacles containing species that might kill us all   (japantimes.co.jp) divider line 10
    More: Followup, invasive species, checks and balances, Tohoku, native species, tsunamis, Japanese, Oregon  
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8700 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jun 2012 at 12:11 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-09 06:41:15 PM
2 votes:

WhoGAS: FloydA: WhoGAS: We're just a catalyst for the next and more highly evolved species to happen.

Please don't ever use that phrase. It is incredibly misleading and smacks of Lamarckism. Thank you.

Why? Without explanation, you may as well tell me to never open my mouth in public again and I'll obey just as well.


No, please, "open your mouth" all you like, your opinions are valuable.

The thing is, the term "more highly evolved" is implicitly based on an assumption that evolution has a single "goal" in mind, towards which all species are striving, which is not accurate. The term "more evolved" implies that (metaphorically) all living things are ranked from "most perfect" to "least perfect" and that the difference between chimps and humans (for instance) is that they have not yet "traveled down the road as far as us" or "climbed the ladder" as high as we have.

That metaphor (like the famous "walking guys" picture) is a fundamentally misleading way to depict the process of evolution, which typically proceeds through cladogenesis and "branching," in which each of the descendant "branches" from a single shared ancestor are adapting to different environments. The separate branches become increasingly dissimilar to each other over the passage of time, but neither is "higher" or "closer to perfection" than the other.

A tiger is not a "better" kind of animal, in any absolute sense, than a shark. Both are apex predators, each in their own environment, but a shark in a tiger's environment, or a tiger in a shark's environment, is just food. It would make no sense to rank one as "higher" than the other, unless there is some metric by which we could rank "rainforest" as a "better" or "more perfect" type of habitat than "ocean."

Prior to Darwin (and sadly, even since then), people tried to sort species into "higher" and "lower" categories, relative to others, in accord with a notion of a "great chain of being." One of Darwin's most significant realizations was that a "uni-lineal" ranking of living organisms does not present an accurate picture of the organization of the biological realm. A "tree" topology is a better, more accurate depiction of the relationships between species than a "ladder."

Graphically, what I'm trying to say is:
i105.photobucket.com

Berkeley explains it better

The problem with the "higher" and "lower" terminology is that when we use it as a convenient shorthand, it is frequently hijacked by creationists and other pseudo-scientists. They critique the flaws of Lamarck (the "ladder") and then claim to have refuted Darwin (the "tree").

In short, a human is not "more evolved" than any other species, we are just evolved to fit a different habitat.

I'm cautious about how I use terms, because I've been deliberately misquoted in the past, and I just don't want you to have to go through the same tired, silly, and pointless arguments that I had to go through.

I hope I explained myself better that time.
2012-06-09 12:29:58 PM
2 votes:
Yeah, unless this procedure is performed on every single ship and boat that crosses the Pacific, I don't see how sterilizing this one piece of junk is going to make any difference.

Furthermore, this isn't the first earthquake that has sent debris across the Pacific.

In other words, this isn't the first time something has crossed the Pacific.
2012-06-09 12:20:10 PM
2 votes:

Walker: I'm sure none of those invasive species could have been washed off the pier right before it was beached and are in the water being invasive. Nahhhhh could never happen.


Some probably did. It's still a good idea to try to prevent it from getting worse. If there's one razor clam in your harbor, you're OK. It there are two, you're screwed.
2012-06-09 12:16:15 PM
2 votes:
what? those species are already here, there... boats. it's one ocean. if u flew them on a 747 and dumped them into boston harbor it might be a different issue or used nuke to complete link the atlantic and pacific along the panama canal route... but ... you know what... u get imbalance then nature balances out after awhile. homeostasis. complex nonlinear systems. life finds a way. these environmental freaks are just looking for jobs. that flamethrower would be better used cooking soup for the homeless.
2012-06-09 03:13:20 PM
1 votes:
Invasive species can be catastrophic for eco systems. An example is the zebra mussel, which is a filter feeder so efficient that it completely cleans up lakes to which it is introduced. Clean, clear water might sound good, but in this case what it cleans up is the food for the natural ecosystem, with the result that virtually every other species starves.

If it is reaction to try to prevent this sort of thing, then bring it on, baby! Lock and load! Ecological bibles in one hand and rifles in the other!

It takes an estimated average of 10 million years to create the new species to rebuild a complex ecosystem, and the human race won't be around this long.

Being married to the idea of "free markets" and "free trade" to the point of allowing the utter destruction of everything is going a bit far. Some government regulation and control is necessary to maintain a free society (or any society), a healthy environment for business and for living things, and the viability of man.

After all, if you allow the random and massive transplantation of organisms from one natural ecosystem to another, you will inevitably find the one organism that can crash each of them. I believe this is a law of nature. Read Gödel, Escher, Bach, a very seminal work in many fields, and you will find that any complex system is 1) incomplete (Gödel's Theorem) and 2) has one or more strings of code that will crash it (whether it is a computer program or an ecosystem).

We have been experimenting unwittingly since we began to move out across the world, experimenting by adding pollution and fire and over-population and over-exploitation to various eco-systems and then seeing what happens (they crash). It's high time we started to behave like a responsible member of the community rather than as anything-goes pirates and psychopaths.

A new species enters San Francisco Bay every two weeks on average. Consider it a grand experiment in destruction testing of natural ecosystems. In fact, consider the human race God's way of destruct-testing his Creation, if you like. How far do we have to go before we destroy not only the communities of every other living species, but ourselves?

All perfectly natural, like death, disease, famine, pestilence, war and stupidity.

Mother Nature can be such a biatch, but humans can be far more destructive than even the most destructive invasive species.

By over-fishing, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, etc., we are destruct-testing the very Oceans which make all life possible. For example, some filter-feeders (other than zebra mussels) have bloomed in massive quantities where we have over-fished, resulting in massive swarms of jellyfish, sea urchins and such completely wiping out the natural ecosystems, leaving nothing but themselves and some of the plankton that other species besides themselves used to feed on.

This is not the right way to run a planet. If we don't learn to run a planet right, we're going to have a dead planet instead of a living planet with tens of millions of species working together to keep it that way.
2012-06-09 01:02:35 PM
1 votes:

WhoGAS: We're just a catalyst for the next and more highly evolved species to happen.


Please don't ever use that phrase. It is incredibly misleading and smacks of Lamarckism. Thank you.
2012-06-09 12:46:45 PM
1 votes:

WhoGAS: utah dude: i just favorite-d you.

I hope you used protection; you really don't know where I've been!

/Thanks!


i'll merely integrate your retroviri into my genome and treat the euks- and prokarys- as immune-challenges..
2012-06-09 12:44:51 PM
1 votes:

Snarfangel: Oregonians always greet foreign invaders with fire or high explosives.


We just can't allow whales and such to just wander up the beach.

Ya gots to blowed it up.
2012-06-09 12:31:46 PM
1 votes:

utah dude: what? those species are already here, there... boats. it's one ocean. if u flew them on a 747 and dumped them into boston harbor it might be a different issue or used nuke to complete link the atlantic and pacific along the panama canal route... but ... you know what... u get imbalance then nature balances out after awhile. homeostasis. complex nonlinear systems. life finds a way. these environmental freaks are just looking for jobs. that flamethrower would be better used cooking soup for the homeless.


Yeah...I agree but not just from this point of view.

The Tsunami was a natural disaster. The only reason that dock is here is because of NATURE. Even if that dock had been a log, a bit of coral or another bit of natural flotsam we'd have the same problem. Are you saying that we're bigger and better than nature? The world's lived a long time just fine without us humans poking at it and it'll be here a long time after we're gone. We're just a catalyst for the next and more highly evolved species to happen.
2012-06-09 12:16:54 PM
1 votes:
Xenomorphs!
 
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