Monday, September 8, 2014

My Year of Darwin 9/8/2014: Harmony in warfare; for a time

 Charles Darwin

"Battle within battle must be continually recurring with varying success; and yet in the long run the forces are so nicely balanced, that the face of nature remains for long periods of time uniform, through assuredly the merest trifle would give the victory to one organic being; and as we do not see the cause, we invoke cataclysms to desolate the world, or invent lays on the duration of the forms of life!"  Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

Slept about two hours last night for no particular reason. Wasn't coffee - I know what you're thinking. Anxiety? Over what? So, anyway, I don't have my book of his letters with me at school but I do have Origins - so that's what I'm posting.

I'm also reading Robert Askins' Saving the World's Deciduous Forests and just finished the first chapter (I'm a very slow reader), which covered some of the history of deciduous forests in NA, Europe and Asia. What is clear is the dynamic nature of the vegetation after the Pleistocene. I think if Darwin knew of these changes and how rapid they were, he would ban the harmony from any of his writings. 

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