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May 07, 2010



Although many fervently affirm that homo sapiens is just another animal, few seem to be able to allow that then there is no difference between our actions and those of a beaver, or a bee, or a coral. Indeed, some of the most fervently environmental people draw the firmest line between our species (bad) and all other species (good).

To me, it comes down to a phrase: who mourns the trilobite? Do we denounce the Permian mass extinction and vow "Never again!" Of course not. It's accepted as part of natural history. But somehow it's a tragedy when we do it. We consider ourselves essentially different from a supervolcano or a giant asteroid. We are fey.

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About Us

  • Diane A. Kelly
    Diane Kelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studies the neural wiring and mechanical engineering of reproductive systems.
  • James L. Cambias
    Jim Cambias writes science fiction and designs games in the lonely wilderness of Western Massachusetts.