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  Extinction & Loss of Habitat
From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2001.11.07 at 19:47:29(7772)

Can I congratulate you on provoking discourse & then taking part most
sensitively so that everybody could both agree & agree to disagree without
anybody losing their dignities in the face of hurt insecure egos! If you
or any other optimistic person was to be written off the list then I would
certainly not remain silent. I would however request that you do not use
Yank-slang that we Old world peoplemost don't understand - like "cool" &
"parking lot".

Obtusely under the above heading - If only marmosets could war against Man's
visionless eco-terrorism, then I'd be the first to request instant


From: Ted.Held at hstna.com on 2001.11.08 at 00:53:27(7776)
Thank you Ron,

I am actually a good-natured person who likes to challenge conventional
views. And I agree with you completely about marmosets.

I wish there were an alternative for those people who chop down the natural
world to make a living. I think the majority are helplessly poor. And they
certainly don't know about the complexities of an ecosystem. I believe one
day we will solve the crisis, but I think quite a bit more destruction will
take place first. I am not in favor of it. I am resigned to it and hope it
can be minimized.

I'll have to take your advice about American slang. I am quite cognizant
about slang as I am the slang consultant for our European colleagues who
work here in the US (I work for Henkel of Duesseldorf, Germany). I find
that our coworkers arrive with a very good command of English but they
cannot understand anything discussed in our meetings.

I have had two other comments to me from the list to my private e-mail. The
whole subject of extinction and the history of life is a passion of mine.
Thanks for responding.

"Ron Iles"
Sent by: cc:
aroid-l@mobot. Fax to:
org Subject: Extinction & Loss of Habitat

11/07/01 02:47
Please respond
to aroid-l


From: "Phil Bunch" pbunch at cts.com> on 2001.11.08 at 17:11:01(7789)
Actually there is one hopeful aspect to mass extinctions. They are
generally followed by "rapid" evolutionary radiations. Not of course
that we will enjoy the process since rapid in the evolutionary sense
is slow by our measure. We are losing much that is beautiful and/or of
interest. However, as we create many new habitats, something will
adapt to grow in or on them. I don't think that DNA will just give up.
In fact since we consider these new habitats to be ours, much of what
evolves will be seen as weeds or pests. We just barely stay ahead of
the species we don't like. There is no question that we will reap
what we sow.

From: StellrJ at aol.com on 2001.11.12 at 17:07:51(7804)
In a message dated Thu, 8 Nov 2001 12:12:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, "Phil Bunch" writes:

> In fact since we consider these new habitats to be ours, much of what
> evolves will be seen as weeds or pests. We just barely stay ahead of
> the species we don't like.

Are you familiar with the book _After_Man_? It is quite fanciful, of course, as it conjectrures what new species will/may evolve on earth after our extinction (in fact, some seem downright implausible); but the writer/artist did have many of his imagined future species evolve from rodents and other current pests, since these are most likely to survive the age of man. His predatory "rats" were especially believable -- in the absence of carnivorous megafauna, rats likely would seize upon the opportunity.

From: "Phil Bunch" pbunch at cts.com> on 2001.11.13 at 04:23:10(7815)
I have not read the book you mention. I suspect that humans will
continue for quite some time, perhaps not at the same level of
"development" we currently "enjoy" but we are a highly adaptable
species. The mass extinction problem will almost certainly get worse.
It may be that if we are careful and wiser than we appear to be there
will be refugia from which a fair amount of the extant DNA will

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