March 15, 2005 | Graham

More evidence of evolution?

Our environmental narratives tend to exclude man as being a sort of non-natural being. A termite nest is a thing of wonder, but a sky-scraper is a blight, that sort of thing.
Until recently man has been such an insignificant animal that most of creation could get by quite well without accomodating itself to him. Of course there have always been co-dependencies – dogs and cats and the seagulls that follow fishing trawlers being good examples. But as man’s population grows ever greater more animals not only seem to be becoming dependent, but even a little bit human.
This story from FarmOnline (requires registration) says that elephants in Thailand are bailing up (in the Australian bushranger sense of the word) trains carrying sugarcane, tapioca and fruit. One elephant stands in front of the train and the others then rush out of the jungle to help themselves.
So, a dependency, but one where they innovate strongly from human traditions and behaviours. Smacks of the robber baron, the bushranger and the marxist revolutionary. If dependency continues to grow, how long before welfare systems adjust to include animals, and liberation theologians and development economists expand their notions of wealth being oppression of the poor to include fauna, if not flora?

Posted by Graham at 10:02 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Environment

1 Comment

  1. If by using the term evolution you mean order emerging out of chaos then there is no evidence that this has ever or could ever occur – so the proposition that termites might provide more evidence of evolution is meaningless as it is based upon a non existent presumption.
    There is plenty of evidence of adaptation which never creates new information but merely adjust that which is extant.

    Comment by John Bannon — March 21, 2005 @ 1:39 pm

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