Re: Why preserving BioDiversity is Extropian (was re: Environmental Degradation)

den Otter (
Sun, 15 Feb 1998 16:23:36 +0100

Paul Hughes <> wrote:
> My point is this: the connections between most species we have studied
> are sublte yet profound (i.e. if one species goes, so do others.) I do
> not know of any connection between say a peruvian beatle and the human
> community. But my ignorance of this, is no reason to gamble on their
> not being one. As an extropian I want to expand myself *indefinitley*.
> So until I have a better undertanding of the complex web of
> interconnections that is this bioshpere, I am not going to rush out and
> kill some species that may turn out to be essential later for my long
> term survival.
With the arrival of full-blown nanotech, AI, uploading and the like the ecosystem
of earth will no longer be significant to our survival. In fact, worsening
conditions might actually have a positive effect by bringing the singularity nearer.
In emergency situations, there is often more progress than usual, just look at the
Ice Age(s), the two World Wars and the Cold War. Ok, it's a gamble, but a rational

> Besides, the destructiion of biodiversity is not a very extropian thing
> to do as it is a net decrease in overall complexity. Isn't extropianism
> about increasing complexity?
I don't know whether or not it is extropian, but from a "common sense"
point of view more complexity certainly isn't *always* good. IMO, the most
important things are to survive and thrive. To achieve this, sometimes one
has to increase complexity (to make certain plants more productive, for example),
and sometimes decrease it (like when wiping out a disease/other threat). More
complexity = good is just a pointless dogma. Your well-being is the ultimate
goal, everything else is just a tool. Really.