Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id JAA16310 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Sat, 28 Jul 2001 09:22:36 +0100 From: Philip Jonkers <P.A.E.Jonkers@phys.rug.nl> X-Authentication-Warning: rugth1.phys.rug.nl: www-data set sender to firstname.lastname@example.org using -f To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Logic (to Scott) Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 10:20:09 +0200 (CEST) References: <F133R9Odutox7nyeKzG00009183@hotmail.com> In-Reply-To: <F133R9Odutox7nyeKzG00009183@hotmail.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit User-Agent: IMP/PHP IMAP webmail program 2.2.5 X-Originating-IP: 126.96.36.199 Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >Can you give me the name of the species, of about the same
> >size of ours, who poses a serious threat in overthrowing
> >our dominance. When it comes to sheer numbers we might not
> >be the most successful, the most simple of all life forms,
> >such as certain species of bacteria, could fill that place.
> >But bacteria get eaten, humans do not, well, apart from the
> >occasional tiger or shark. At any rate, we're no
> >systematic lunch for any species.
Scott replied by:
> Well, we have a serious problem in Floria with mosquitos
> munching on our blood. There are also concerns about a couple
> viral diseases borne by mosquitos (arboviruses?). IIRC they are
> equine encephalitis and West Nile virus respectively with
> St. Louis encephalitis being a third. When I feel
> all proud about my dominance as a human all I need to do to
> get deflated back to reality is walk out side and serve as a
> walking buffet. Our intelligence may help us deal with these
> situations via mosquito control measures, but that does not
> negate the fact that mosquitos feed on humans
> and potentially carry microbes which could also have their
> way with us.. Go outside in Florida at night after as much
> rain as we had lately wearing shorts and no shirt and you
> might need a blood tranfusion ;-)
Granted, point taken, we're not sovereign... (we don't have
mosquito's and insufficient notable killer germs in Holland,
please forgive my ignorance) I better rephrase my statement
into a weaker form. Perhaps one has to define the meaning of
being on top of the food chain from an absolute sense to a
relative or average sense.
Humans may then very well be the species which is predated on
to the least degree on average and relative to other species.
At any rate, it is fair to say that the human species does
not have to fear being systematically predated
by other *large* species. This is actually what I meant when I
said that the human species ranks at the top of the food chain.
> >With the human species being top of the food chain means
> >there's no other species who eats us for dinner on a regular
> >basis, basically.
Scott replied by:
> Mosquitos dine on us. They don't "eat" us whole *per se*, but
> they do feed on us. Microbes could also take their toll on us
> in so many ways, from the inside out.
> BTW, is there a single food *chain* which describes
> ecological reality?
> What's a food *web* then?
Good suggestion: A 2D replacement of the food chain may be more
realistic indeed which accounts for the more complex predation
or feeding relations between species.
> >Call me fascist if you will, but yes, I believe we are
> >standing on top of biological evolution.
> I haven't seen anything fascist in what you say. Maybe there's
> a little anthropocentric chauvinism though. I really don't see
> how we are at a global
> peak, maybe just our own little local hill.
Okay, consider this then: I agree we're far from perfect but
perhaps in a relative sense we are the least imperfect of all the
species (of the bigger ones anyway). In the food web we hold
a fairly safe position I would argue.
> >Unless we totally
> >annihilate ourselves in some nuclear disaster or war I fail
> >to acknowledge any real danger of losing that position
> >to bacteria or other simple life forms. Inspite of scaring
> >scenarios of science-fiction like `Planet of the Apes'
> >I don't see apes do that too.
Scott replied by:
> You might be compelled to think in terms of te "Age of Man",
> but couldn't
> "Age of Arthropods" or "Age of Bacteria" also apply? See
> Gould's _Full House_ (p. 176, paperback edition, 1997,
> Three Rivers Press, New York)
Who knows, I don't exclude it but I consider it very unlikely.
Perhaps when we set out for the stars the remaining species
can fight it out. I notice your a bit of a fan of Gould,
perhaps when I have the time and occasion I'll dig into his
Anyway, I'm off for the weekend, try to keep off those tiny
little predators in Florida Scott!
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Jul 28 2001 - 09:26:46 BST