Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Year of Darwin: 8/20/2014 no harmony in nature

 Charles Darwin

"the whole economy of nature, with every fact on distribution, rarity, abundance, extinction, and variation, will be dimly seen or quite misunderstood. We behold the face of nature bright with gladness, we often see superabundance of food; we do not see or we forget, that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly live on insects or seeds, and are thus constantly destroying life; or we forget how largely these songsters, or their eggs, or their nestlings, are destroyed by birds and beasts of prey; we do not always bear in mind that, though food may by now be superabundant, it is not so at all seasons of each recurring year." Charles Darwin, Origin of Species 2nd edition

I am mildly annoyed when I tell people that I'm an ecologist and they then tell me how amazed they are by the harmony in nature. Bullshit. Like the teacher that complained when a Peregrine Falcon ate a goldfinch that we released after catching it. OK. I'm over it (not really).

The other part of this passage that I appreciate it is that provides a nice description of what ecology is. 

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