Destruction of the earth

Discussion in 'Revelation & Eschatology' started by Eoghan, May 11, 2019.

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  1. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    My final paper had the question, "Do you need to be a Biologist to be a good Ecologist?" My reply was about levitical laws governing land ownership, the Jubilee year, resting the land, Sabbath rest etc... To my own surprise I passed on what was basically an Old Testament essay.
     
  2. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    One of the ironies of conservation is that it is predicated on fighting nature.

    To preserve a peat bog you must uproot trees, to prevent it progressing to become the forrest that it would naturally become. You prevent 'succession' moving to the 'climax community'.
     
  3. Jo_Was

    Jo_Was Puritan Board Freshman

    Funny, I also talked about that topic but it was for an economics class (at a Christian college) in which we had to discuss an economic idea explored in the Bible. I can't imagine how the same paper would go at the university I am at now. Interesting!
     
  4. Jo_Was

    Jo_Was Puritan Board Freshman

    Once again, that's a simplification to one particular philosophical stream of conservation (I know what the word "conservation" means, but words aren't always so literal in practice). There are other ideas that are explored that are more in coinciding with nature; not necessarily preventing its progression, but being wary not to just assume that all the changes that happen *are* natural. I tend to be in the camp that tries to limit the rapid anthropocentric change (like clear cropping an entire forest) that isn't a natural, steady progression and can cause more damage than good for all parties (again to my insinuation of best agricultural practices vs what we default to which aren't always effective and we see some ill side effects to this in places like South America where new and old diseases have found a hold in the aftermath of the quick/clear cropping practice and are now affecting certain populations). I also think you have an idealistic view that everything stabilizes to a "climax community"-- not so. In fairness, there are some invasive species, like kudzu or nine-banded armadillos in the southeast, which for the most part really haven't affected the overall constituency of the local populations. But then there are other situations in which there is greater risk. I, for one, do not wish to have invasive pythons become a staple animal in the Southeast United States (which is slowly creeping out of Florida). It's not stabilizing anything-- it's competing against existing animals, decimating other populations (possibly endangering some of ours who aren't used to living alongside people-sized snakes), and this can have cascading effects on affecting the local flora, which can affect our soil, which can affect our farming practices. Talk to a farmer: they are some of the best advocates of conservation because the plants and animals that shouldn't exist in their area but suddenly invade affect their livelihoods and they are quick to call them out as the nuisances they are! (wild hogs, invasive plants, etc). If you ever have a chance to go to a wildlife meeting (The Wildlife Society in GA for instance), I recommend it. You'll find that many of the biggest conservationists are gun-toting, thick-accented hunters and fishermen who are out there spending time hands-on with what's happening.

    Also, there is an irony that people naturally conserve what is unnatural to conserve anyway: Beach houses, especially on the East Coast of the US should really not exist and how we often engineer islands and coastal areas to remain the way they are for our enjoyment often makes them more susceptible to storm damage and is just geologically unsound. Yet we do it. Because we like beaches. But many a geologist and engineer is frustrated by our practices of badly trying to control things like coast or the Mississippi which often result in worse flooding or worse damage when rains or natural storms come. Sure, the storms are natural, but our intervention often makes the aftermath worse--that to me is a direct socioeconomical impetus to use scientifically sound methods of conservation (and don't tell me the answer is to just "let the river do it's thing" and have generations of families move out!). In those situations, I think areas of conservation that explore safe, sustainable methods to controlling a stream or waterway can not only be helpful for the local ecology, but for the local human population that lives near the source of possible change and danger.

    I find that many people hesitant with conservation are okay with human intervention for abiotic factors (like soil, water) yet say that nature should just be left to do its thing when it comes to the biotic factors. That, to me, is bad ecology AND biology because it divorces elements that are not divorced and have direct impact on one another and on our lives.

    Also, I joke, but part of me is really serious: Pandas should not exist. They would literally go extinct if humans hadn't intervened. On species conservation, I do like to advocate for the "ugly" things that actually have more impact on our ecosystems and can be more indicative of other problems (amphibians for instance), and pandas...pandas are just....sigh. There are also debates in conservation biology about treating endangered/risk species more like a triage and I would be at least interested in seeing how that might work out.
     
  5. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    One argument I recall was when smallpox was eradicted in the wild. Cultures still existed in high security research labs.

    One argument was that we should destroy all cultures to eradicate it forever. Conservationists argued back that we had no right to deliberately be responsible for the extinction of a species.

    It made me realise the gulf that exists between real eco-warriors and common sense. I refuse to put smallpox on the endangered species list!
     
  6. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    There might be a benefit in keeping vials of smallpox in a lab somewhere to study other diseases. Botox came from Clostridium botulinum, after all. We shall have dominion over the whole earth, even turning its diseases into cosmetic enhancers for wrinkles!
     
  7. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Perg, I think it sheer madness to want to preserve the smallpox virus for commercial purposes. The only possible benefit might be to develop a better antidote to it.

    Here’s a nonfiction book on it: The Demon in the Freezer: A True Story, by Richard Preston. Preston also wrote an article on it for the New Yorker magazine, where he worked.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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