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InvisibleSilversoul
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Humans = Angels of Death?
    #4717709 - 09/27/05 01:00 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I was reading up on the Holocene extinction event(which we are currently in the midst of), and it just amazes me that a species that evolved naturally on this earth could go on to destroy so many other species.  All the other 5 major extinction events were caused by natural disasters such as meteors, climate change, and gamma ray bursts, but none were caused by a single species, as is the case here.  It boggles my mind how a species could evolve which is capable of destroying half of all species on earth.  We are the 6th great natural disaster.  It almost makes me wonder if that's our purpose here.  Maybe we are nature's angels of death, sent to wipe out all these species so that new life can evolve.  And perhaps the last species we will wipe out is ourselves.  :crazy:


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4717759 - 09/27/05 01:06 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I have been amazed at all the events of life. I was taught some fairy tale and then found out that almost none of it was true. So now I am amazed that we haven't destroyed ourselves already. That's a real zinger. :tongue:


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"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4717798 - 09/27/05 01:13 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I wouldn't give humans too much credit. We're just a bunch of primates trying to find comfort and expand across the earth; inevitably, if there's a mammal as successful as humans have been, other species will suffer. Nature will recover as always, and we'll be simply another interesting fact about evolution and our affect on the evolution of other species.

At least we're not in a Snowball Earth, eh? And to my knowledge, cyanobacteria played a large role in having Earth freeze over, which is worse than anything modern humans have yet done.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Ravus]
    #4717885 - 09/27/05 01:26 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I honestly don't concern myself with issues like this too much anymore. I really don't think I'm going to be able to do much about anything. I think the Taoists recognized this and relaxed. I am trying to reprogram myself to do the same.  :mushroom2:


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"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4718069 - 09/27/05 01:50 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Just because a species "evolves naturally" on Earth doesn't prevent it from causing harm to the other species that live here (obviously, if you've looked at the Holocene EV...)

Sometimes I want to laugh when I hear people talk about "natural balance". Or, like Smith in The Matrix, when people say that other animals (other than humans) all form a natural equilibrium with their environment - as if the animals had a choice to do so.

In reality, all life is trying, constantly, to trump all other life. This is how life works (and evolution!) - not through generalized inter-species cooperation...but through brutal and NATURAL inter-species conflict. In the wild MOST species are held in equilibrium by the simple fact that they cannot totally over-power the other species in their habitat (and in the case that they can - they do, often driving the other species to extinction in the area).

This can only work when all the species involved evolve WITH eachother over millions of years - so that they have time to form the equilibrium. If any change occurs too fast (that is, faster than genetic mutation can accomidate) then the equilibrium is tossed out the window in a hurry!

Look at introduced pests, for example. Rabbits in North America don't cause too much trouble, and I certainly haven't seen masses of millions of rabbits grazing bare miles and miles of land....yet this is what now occurs in Australia. Rabbits were introduced into an environment over night - so the rest of the species in that environment were not given time to adapt. The rabbits have no natural preditors...so they breed out of control until they all run out of food and die en mass.

Humans are unique thus far (that we know of) in that we change ourselves not through genetics, but through information. This allows for, on both geological and evolutionary time scales, INCREDIBLY fast change. The pace of change we humans are cabable of is unprecidented in the rest of the animal kingdom.

Thus we have a unique ability to cause MASSIVE destabilization of the equilibriums that exist around us. I think we're doing a damned good job of it, too :smirk:

I wouldn't call it our "purpose"....but I would call it the natural order of things. We're not doing anything that any other species wouldn't do if given the chance.


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Offlinedr0mni
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: trendal]
    #4718872 - 09/27/05 09:52 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

um... god has a plan... or something?


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OfflineAsanteA
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4719401 - 09/27/05 01:02 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

We Will All Go Together When We Go  -- Tom Lehrer


When you attend a funeral,
It is sad to think that sooner or
Later those you love will do the same for you.
And you may have thought it tragic,
Not to mention other adjec-
Tives, to think of all the weeping they will do.
But don?t you worry.
No more ashes, no more sackcloth.
And an armband made of black cloth
Will some day never more adorn a sleeve.
For if the bomb that drops on you
Gets your friends and neighbors too,
There?ll be nobody left behind to grieve.

And we will all go together when we go.
What a comforting fact that is to know.
Universal bereavement,
An inspiring achievement,
Yes, we all will go together when we go.

We will all go together when we go.
All suffuse with an incandescent glow.
No one will have the endurance
To collect on his insurance,
Lloyd?s of london will be loaded when they go.

Oh we will all fry together when we fry.
We?ll be french fried potatoes by and by.
There will be no more misery
When the world is our rotisserie,
Yes, we will all fry together when we fry.

Down by the old maelstrom,
There?ll be a storm before the calm.

And we will all bake together when we bake.
There?ll be nobody present at the wake.
With complete participation
In that grand incineration,
Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak.

Oh we will all char together when we char.
And let there be no moaning of the bar.
Just sing out a te deum
When you see that i.c.b.m.,
And the party will be "come as you are."

Oh we will all burn together when we burn.
There?ll be no need to stand and wait your turn.
When it?s time for the fallout
And saint peter calls us all out,
We?ll just drop our agendas and adjourn.

You will all go directly to your respective valhallas.
Go directly, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dolla?s.

And we will all go together when we go.
Ev?ry hottenhot and ev?ry eskimo.
When the air becomes uranious,
And we will all go simultaneous.
Yes we all will go together
When we all go together,
Yes we all will go together when we go.



------------------------------------------------------


We're not an extinction level event yet, nor do I think we necessarily have to become one. Last week I heard Mars has Global warming too, dry-ice caps melting an all.. I thought *my* now we're *really* going too far with pollution :evil:

It will become mighty interesting the coming millennium, and I'm sad I can't ride it out to the year 3000 to see all this glory and decay.
Take our postings for instance.. The size of the Shroomery will be a blip in the computers of 2020. By 2010 we talk about terabytes like we now discuss gigabytes. This means that copies of the Shroomery will be all over the place, for we have great useful posts!

That means that this post, and yours, one day when we are long since dead will be read by a Martian - a human born and raised on Mars.
If it was good in the past it's still good in the future. The Shroomery and Erowid are the Beethoven and Mozart of turn-of-the-millennium psychedelic websites. No reason why it should not be around in the year 3000 just like Laurel & Hardy movies will.

The real Angel of Death is that one comet we don't know yet that one day will take a dive and punch the earth at a billion gigatons. And fact is: we are the only ones who can prevent that from happening, thereby paying our debt to mother nature.

Perhaps Earth will become a Heritage Planet and returned to Nature ion the future, visited only by a few of the trillion extraterrestrial humans living across the nearby stars. Something like a national park, pampered and conserved as Humankind's Heritage.
It sure deserves it :heart:


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Asante]
    #4719418 - 09/27/05 01:05 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Knowledge of herding and gravity do wonders.

The reasoning behind the distribution of large mammals is particularly interesting.


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Live by the foma that make you brave, and kind, and healthy, and happy.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Ravus]
    #4719553 - 09/27/05 01:41 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
Nature will recover as always, and we'll be simply another interesting fact about evolution and our affect on the evolution of other species.




Its just as much probable that the effects that human beings have initiated by interacting with their environment in the manners that they have could successfully bring the system known as nature to an end. :thumbup:

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :satansmoking:
Peace. :mushroom2:


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:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Asante]
    #4719569 - 09/27/05 01:44 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Interesting post and subsequent points, concepts, and ideas. :thumbup:

Everyone here is familiar with Terrence Mc Kenna's ideas of human beings and mushrooms being involved in a symbiotic relationship, benefiting each other's evolution - well, what you just described is the long-term view of a potential symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. :wink:

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :satansmoking:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Asante]
    #4719577 - 09/27/05 01:47 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

We're not an extinction level event yet

We've been an extinction level event for 10,000 years now...

Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction_event

It is more and more accepted that humans are directly responsible for the extinction of a LARGE number of big land mammals, starting at the end of the last ice age. This was long before our current technological revolution and the added stress it is putting on the environment. Humans hunted tens, perhaps hundreds, of species into extinction way back when we were still living in caves, using nothing but stone spears and arrows.


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: trendal]
    #4719603 - 09/27/05 01:54 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Yea, It's important to note that the typical counter-argument to a human -caused Holocene extinction, climatic change, has been pretty decimated by more recent studies into climatic history in the context of the archaeological record.


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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: trendal]
    #4719613 - 09/27/05 01:57 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

In North America around 33 of 45 genera of large mammals went extinct, in South America 46 of 58, in Australia 15 of 16, in Europe 7 of 23, and in Subsaharan Africa only 2 of 44.




That's 103 distinct species of large mammals (weighing over 40 pounds) that went extinct shortly after Humans entered the area. Most of those can probably be directly attributed to humans.

Notice that in Africa only two of the 44 large mammals went extinct. There's a good theory for this, which makes a lot of sense: humans and other mammals in Africa had evolved with each other for millions of years. Thus the animals had a chance to adapt to increasing human numbers and hunting skills by learning fear of humans.

When humans spread out from Africa, the large mammals they encountered in other parts of the world had never seen a human before. They had no idea how dangerous we could be. Unfortunately for them, the humans they did encounter were the best big-game hunters that had ever existed! We had honed our skills for millenia in Africa, and now turned them lose on an unsuspecting and totally unprepared animal population. So bye-bye went the megafauna :frown:


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: orechron]
    #4719623 - 09/27/05 01:58 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

It could also be considered that this extinction is what is responsible for our ability to evolve into what we have become in this present age, not that our evolution itself is what is responsible for the extinction, eh? :grin:

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :satansmoking:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: orechron]
    #4719626 - 09/27/05 01:59 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

orechron said:
Yea, It's important to note that the typical counter-argument to a human -caused Holocene extinction, climatic change, has been pretty decimated by more recent studies into climatic history in the context of the archaeological record.




Good point! I'm sure a few of the megafauna extinctions could have been caused by climate change (they were just coming out of an ice age!) but climate change is a given, on Earth. It happens all the time.

I think the truly damning evidence is the timescale - with most of the extinctions occuring shortly after humans arrive in any particular habitat.


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: trendal]
    #4719663 - 09/27/05 02:08 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I can't remember if it was defiantly Australia, but I'm fairly sure it is, where the extinction of large mammals by humans follows the pattern of expected rates of advancement through the continent almost exactly. I'm not sure how convinced I am about this due to the precision dating this sort of conclusion requires but as you said, even without that precision it's pretty damning to any other arguments.


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Live by the foma that make you brave, and kind, and healthy, and happy.


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OfflineGomp
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Re: Humans = Angels of Death? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4719887 - 09/27/05 02:56 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

""Humans = Angels of Death?""

YES!!! :smile:


DEATH and BIRTH, IS what we call LIFE!!!!!!!!!



did I use enough exclamation marks? No? a well, do these...

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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