22 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 Nature Doesn't Need Our Help to Destroy the Earth

For me, the most paralyzing news was that Nature was no conservationist. It needed no help from us in taking the planet apart and putting it back together some different way, not necessarily improving it from the viewpoint of living things. It set fire to forests with lightning bolts. It paved vast tracts of arable land with lava, which could no more support life than big-city parking lots. It had in the past sent glaciers down from the North Pole to grind up major portions of Asia, Europe, a...
Folksonomies: nature environmentalism
Folksonomies: nature environmentalism
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Observation by Kurt Vonnegut that nature does a fine job of making the Earth uninhabitable regularly on its own.

28 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Deserts Follow Where Man Goes

Very old and wide-spread is the opinion that forests have an important impact on rainfall. ... If forests enhance the amount and frequency of precipitation simply by being there, deforestation as part of agricultural expansion everywhere, must necessarily result in less rainfall and more frequent droughts. This view is most poignantly expressed by the saying: Man walks the earth and desert follows his steps! ... It is not surprising that under such circumstances the issue of a link between fo...
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Eduard Br├╝ckner recognizes the importance of forests in maintaining a healthy climate in the late 1800s.

18 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Laws of Anthropology

Anthropology has reached that point of development where the careful investigation of facts shakes our firm belief in the far-reaching theories that have been built up. The complexity of each phenomenon dawns on our minds, and makes us desirous of proceeding more cautiously. Heretofore we have seen the features common to all human thought. Now we begin to see their differences. We recognize that these are no less important than their similarities, and the value of detailed studies becomes app...
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Anthropologists need a firm and accurate grasp of history before they can begin to induct laws from it.

25 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Time Fertile in Sciences is Scarce in Human History

For out of the five and twenty centuries over which the memory and learning of men extends, you can hardly pick out six that were fertile in sciences or favorable to their development. In times no less than in regions there are wastes and deserts. For only three revolutions and periods of learning can properly be reckoned: one among the Greeks, the second among the Romans, and the last among us, that is to say, the nations of Western Europe. And to each of these hardly two centuries can justl...
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For out of the five and twenty centuries over which the memory and learning of men extends, you can hardly pick out six that were fertile in sciences or favorable to their development.

20 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 DNA as an Archive of the Past

Each individual's genome, in any one generation, will be a sample from the species database. Different species will have different databases because of their different ancestral worlds. The database in the gene pool of camels will encode information about deserts and how to survive in them. The DNA in mole gene pools will contain instructions and hints for survival in dark, moist soil. The DNA in predator gene pools will increasingly contain information about prey animals, their evasive trick...
Folksonomies: history evolution dna
Folksonomies: history evolution dna
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A repository of ancestral survival techniques.