Re: Re: Julian Simon
Fri, 13 Feb 1998 21:03:56 EST

In a message dated 98-02-12 19:13:11 EST, "Rod" writes:

<< but I think "dynamic realism" would do the faithful better.>>

I resent this.

For a number of reasons. To begin with the word "faithful" implies some
kind of liberal slavish devotion to the party line. Or a relegious fervor. I
try to avoid both cases andattempt to view facts logically and make a
decesion so based.

Secondly. Why tie it to the death of Julian Simon? Some people are sad (I
among them) that he is gone. It is an innappropriate time to trot out your
relegious liberal dogma.

Thirdly. Such tripe shows that you have not read any of his works. Julian
Simon was noted for drawing conclusions from FACTS. Anything and Everything
he said he had document to the hilt. Unlike the liberals he DID let mere
facts get in the way of a "warm and fuzzy" dogma.

To reply to your rant:

<No one can honestly deny the environmental devestation we have wrecked on
the planet,

I can ...and do. as many on the list are aware...I travel extensively. In
excess of a hundred thousand miles a year. Not air miles either. "Up close
and personal...on the ground"....I see no evidence of the oft touted
"enviromental devastation".

Dixie Lee Rhea (former director of the Atomic Energy Commission) wrote two
books on this subject. The title of one is "Trashing the Planet" in which she
documents some of this silliness.

<the many species we have driven to extinction, >

species have a finite lifespan...perhaps you are blaming "us" ( I don't recall
driving a species to extinction personally...) for something that occurs

<global warming,>

a political issue....based upon computer models that, given all relevant data,
cannot even accurately predict the PAST. In other words they don't even have
20/20 hindsight. Physical data suggests that golobal cooling is more likely.


One species pollution is another species "natural resource"...once again I
commend to you the works of the man you degrade.

<and cancer.>

That's pretty much of a leap of faith on your part. IMHO cancer is as natural
as bad breath. There is evidence to suggest that it has always been
around...and that it becomes more probable with age. We live longer now so
the "degenerative " diseases are more noticed.

<You can't shrug that off as being "doom and gloom".>

I can...and do. Read Julian Simon's "Wired" article.

< It's reality like it or not.>

It is NOT !

<<And as I receall, even Simon didn't say destroying Nature was a good
thing. >>

At least you got that part right.

And along the same vein Paul Hughes commented.

<Although I agree with your overall outlook James, can anyone argue that
we have had a *gain* in biodiversity? Over the years I've looked pretty
hard for evidence in the literature of any new species coming into
existence in the past 100 years. As far as I know, there is none. There
is plenty of evidence of species lost on the other hand.>

The "coming into existence" of a new species is a gradual thing. Its
extinction is an abrupt one.

To expound. Suppose that an accelerated breeding process is undertaken to
develope a new breed of dog. The Doberman Pincher for example. Over the
years it becomes somewhat distinct from it's forebears. .... BUT in the
short time that we've been paying attention to such things the difference is
NOT such that a new species is differentiated. Perhaps in another ten or
twenty thousand years the Doberman Pincher (if the bloodline is kept "pure")
would become a distinct species as opposed to merely a distinct "breed" as

I suspect that the same concept applies to all species differentiation.
We've not had enough observational time to distinguish a "breed" from a
"species". So naturally we'd not notice a new arrival.

But I also suspect that there are many, many potential canidates waiting in
the wings...look at all the different varieties of various domestic animals.
(horses: Arabians, Clydesdales, shetlands.....cows: Holsteins, Brahma,
Hereford....Goats:Nubian, Angora.....Dogs: chihuahua, Great Dane....etc. etc.

On second thought...perhaps we ARE seeing new species. (Consider the use of
the word "species" as used in the "Endangered Species Act"..I.e. two
varieties of kangaroo mouse (or bird..or water spider) are considered
different species) Take the above mentioned examples. Consider a Yorkshire
Terrier and a St. Bernard. Or a Boston Terrier and a Mastiff. Now think
about a German Shepard and a Timber Wolf. The Shepard and the Wolf are
considered different species are they not? But they are observationally more
similar than the dogs. AND wolves and shepards can interbreed....whereas a
Yorkie and a Great Dane cannot.(True...they could be HELPED to
interbreed...testtube puppies?...but left to their own devices it can't
happen....I've seen it. At one time I owned a 200 lb Great Dane Female and a
11 lb Boston Terrier Male.....A VERY frusturated Boston Terrier)

Perhaps we're seeing new species and just not calling them that.


Disgusted in Az.