Sunday, July 6, 2008

The birds, the bees & evolution

The bees are disappearing. Einstein had plainly said, "If the bee were to disappear, mankind would have only four years of existence." Colony collapse: that's what it's being called.

Entomophily is pollination by insects. Personally, I would give bee-pollination a separate status, maybe Apiphily?

Anyway, bees seem to be chief pollinators for many of the plants in today's existence. These bees, once gone, will leave behind a hash of unpollinated flowers, giving a few 'bee-free' but numbered years to live.

Bees do not fly near cell-phones. The electromagnetic radiation (radio frequency) interferes with their navigation system. We, of course, are not motivated to quit the cell phone despite its implications in various brain tumors. So, convincing people to quit the phone over bees is going to be tough.

There isn't enough research, or there isn't enough publicizing of said research in this field. With people obsessing over flag-lapel pins and pastors, it is hard to convince them of imminent dangers. The victory of gossip over learning and intelligent debate is ubiquitous. There is something about gossip that makes it flow faster from mouth to ear.

It is a translation of the age-old 'work v. play' concept, except people have (notwithstanding their predilection for fun) reacted responsibly when the dangers of their ignorance were explained to them. So, what distinguishes the iPod generation from older ones? Is it the isolation we crave that makes us callous? Are we so hyper-entitled to personal space & private lives that we abhor social thought?

I have always believed in personal goal-setting and motivated meticulousness in pursuit of said goals. Even I shudder to think of the situations which demand that we shed, or at least, suspend dogged selfishness for global or societal benefit.

We cannot waste time debating evolution v. creationism, when we are faced with a threat (albeit distant) of extinction. Extinction is a part of natural selection. Species have, since time immemorial, ceased to exist at some point due to their inability to adapt to various conditions, thus paving the way for newer, improved versions.

We however, are uniquely equipped in this evolutionary chain. We have amazing capacities of observation, which coupled with our ability to reason, gives us the necessary tools to be the difference between extinction and perpetuation.

If we wake up in time, take preventive measures, and thus stave off possible extinction, we would have, in the truest sense (albeit micro-chronic) evolved. If we see a mortal danger as the likely result of our actions, and we suspend those actions, is it not evolution?

If we ignore these warnings, we will move faster and faster towards extinction, and be the victims, (instead of survivors) of natural selection.

It has probably never happened before, that a species on the brink of being endangered was afforded by nature itself, a chance of beating it. (Temporarily)

As I think further, there have been many plants and animals which have survived & existed for a much longer span than we; while I am not comparing their mental faculties to ours, it would not be implausible that, they too (on a much smaller scale) perceived extinction as a likely outcome of their features/behaviors and shed them.

3 comments:

buddy said...

well written...

Keshi said...

very well written Liberal.


**If we ignore these warnings, we will move faster and faster towards extinction, and be the victims, (instead of survivors) of natural selection.

Thats exactly what is happening, rather what we r making happen!

Btw check my Update :)

Keshi.

The Bee Tree said...

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