Message - Re: the extinction of the nuclear family of the 50's -the disappearance of the front porch - technology what is happening?

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Posted by  Kevin Matthews on September 23, 2002 at 09:40:48:

In Reply to:  Re: the extinction of the nuclear family of the 50's -the disappearance of the front porch - technology what is happening? posted by Paul Malo on September 21, 2002 at 05:30:31:

For the record...

From a scientific perspective, nature certainly does seem to provide for growth of organisms and evolution of species. When available resources and threats change for some reason, organisms that are put out of ecological balance generally need to move, adapt, or disappear. Conversely, organisms and species that grow out of balance with available resources also generally need to adapt or disappear.

But the prescription to 'evolve or die', although often presented as a natural imperative, does not seem to be clearly supported as such by science. Species seem to exist on our own planet which have not changed significantly for billions of years, for some archaea, or for perhaps 100 million years or more, as in the case of the ceolacanth.

Just for example:

In December 1938, the first living coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) to become known to science was accidentally caught near East London in South Africa. Coelacanths were thought to have been extinct for 70 million years — since the late Cretaceous — hence the sensational impact of this discovery of a 'living fossil'. But, in addition to this astonishing survival, the coelacanth revealed the anatomy of the soft tissues of 'crossopterygian' fishes, thought to have been forerunners of the four-legged vertebrates, or tetrapods.

— PHILIPPE JANVIER, Nature 401, 854 - 856 (1999)


So scientifically, it seem that if you happen to 'get it right', and your environment is not changed externally in a critical way, you may not need to evolve for a really long time.

Historical preservationists take note!

; - )

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