Re: Why preserving BioDiversity is Extropian (was re:

Paul Hughes (
Sun, 15 Feb 1998 22:45:42 PST wrote

>You're really grasping at straws at this point

The only one grasping at straws here is you. I have not once said in
the affirmative that biodiversity is necessary. Only that our knowledge
of its relation to us is still too incomplete to come to any firm
conclusions. You on the other hand, have made several conclusions
without much evidence to back it up. To wit:

>Several areas on
>earth (old world civilized floodplains) have had their natural
>ecosystems obliterated millenia ago, and apart from salinization
>in the Tigris-euphrates system, they all work fine.

Thats because of biodiversity! The more biodiversity, the more vectors
life has to fill available niches from any said catastrophe. If it
wasn't for the rich biodiversity that existed 65 million years ago, we
wouldn't even be having this discussion.

>of such hypotheticals, we must act on the knowledge we have,
>and that indicates that biodiversity is neither essential
>nor particularly hazardous to our continued well-being.

The biosphere is the most complex system known, so I ask you again sir -
how can you claim that this complex web of life is in large part
unnecessary to our survival? What evidence do you have? Because until
you examine every lifeform - including the thousands of species of
bacteria and micro-organisms that are a part of our environment and the
role they play within and without our our body, you cannot claim much
of anything. It could turn upon further investiagtion, that our current
ecosystem of which we are a part, might be so fragile that the
elimination of one species would unravel enough to take us out with it.
The bottom line is - I don't know. So how can you?

What I am asking for you to do, is to suspend judgement on that which
you are ignorant. Or are you profesising that you do have complete
knowledge of the entire biosphere down to its most minute processes?

Paul Hughes

Get Your Private, Free Email at