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Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 1) 185

Of course he's correct - that's practically a tautology and may indicate lack of sleep and/or concentration on his part :-)

I was actually going for the "this should be all but self evident to anybody" with that particular line. And the poster above you STILL managed to mis-characterize what I said.

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 1) 185

So, it would be universally bad for humanity if those died out?

Even virii are valuable, as we learn a lot from them. And yes, total eradication, while it makes for some short term happiness may ultimately lead to a long term problem. In the case of a harmful virus; I have no objection to active infections being purged, especially when the virus is disfiguring, painful, or lethal - I consistently put the welfare of humanity out front.

However we should probably keep some around in jars or whatever for study. Good to have samples of a "contained" virus to help us compare to new wild strain in the future; to help research new treatments.

Or did you mean that "Cute things going extinct is universally bad for humanity"?

Nope. That's just you projecting what you think my argument is.

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 1) 185

Except that it's not. In the vast majority of cases it's neutral.

No. The total loss of a species to study and learn from is a loss. That's not neutral. Its not like one species is dying to be replaced by another; right now were are experiencing decreasing bio-diversity.

You have some kind of Greenpeace-like attitude that humanity == bad, every other species == good. That's not how the Universe works.

My entire argument is centered on what is to the ultimate benefit of humanity. And another respondent even (rightfully) called my position "anthropocentric". I'm not sure what to make of your comment; except to say: "swing and a miss".

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 1) 185

That's a very anthropocentric way of looking at things.

I can't tell if your suggesting that's good or bad. I think its good.

It's really sad when even the people 'defending' the natural order feel the need to shape their argument in a way so that 'people' benefit.

That's not anthropocentric. That's personal / self-interested / ego-centric.

It's worst with Archaeologists, whose goal in life is to root up everything and use 'the most modern techniques possible' to tear apart the historical evidence, then deposit some of the 'good bits' in modern steel and glass buildings.

That's a strange way of looking at it. They are seeking to learn and recover that which is -lost-. I can't see how not finding that which is lost is somehow doing us any good.

Granted the longer we wait to find that which is lost the better our technology for preserving it is but that is offset by
- a how long do we wait? clearly if we wait forever we never benefit from finding it; and anything else is entirely arbitrary. Searching

- some of what is lost is often slowly and sometimes quickly deteriorating. waiting for the future to find it may not leave us anything to find.

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 1) 185

I don't think you'd be here typing that if the dinosaurs didn't go extinct

Probably not. Perhaps I should have clarified that things going extinct is universally bad for humanity.

And yes, obviously prior extinctions leading to the evolution of humanity were not bad for humanity.

On the other hand, humanity going extinct would be exceedingly bad for humanity.

Other species co-existent with humanity now going extinct, in the sense that it represents a reduction in biodiversity to draw on and study is also bad for humanity.

Extinction is not bad, nor is it good, it simply is. It is evolution.

Right, it is not good or bad relative to the universe; its not "objectively" bad. Its not immoral. But it is still unversally bad from the subjective perspective of the species going extinct, or the species relying on it.

That, in this case, would be us. Granted we aren't dependent on the galapagos iguana the way we are dependent on chickens or corn, but we are dependent on the existing bio-diversity of earth to advance a wide variety of sciences, and the loss of that diversity is a loss to humanity. Particularly the Galapagos. Both due to its scientific value as a long isolated ecosystem; and culturally for its historic significance.

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 1) 185

To move them is to promote the use of fossil fuel.

Is that a "for real" reason not to preserve a species, or are you just trolling? In a world where we use oil to make plastic McDonald's happy meal toys in china, and then more oil to ship to the united states, then more oil shipping them to a landfill after kids played with them for exactly 5 minutes once, the argument against using fossile fuels cost of preserving Galapagos species falls pretty flat.

What will moving them do to the food chain of the area that the iguanas now inhabit ?

Not moving them, and having them go extinct would have the same effect.

Is it better to move all of them or to split the colony ?

Have we identified anything else that is being threatened by the volcano ?
When did the next to last colony of pink iguana disappear ?
How is it determined if/when the iguana need to be moved ?
Do we understand enough about them to move them ?
How much support are we going to provide them if moved ?

I am not a biologist. Never mind a specialist in the Galapagos. Ask them.
But if a volcano is looking likely to wipe them out, and moving a number to a zoo to try and preserve them seems well worth it to me.

in the end, you can not have it both ways.

Can not have WHAT both ways?

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 1) 185

1. Every species has value.
2. Every species does not have infinite value.

I'd argue the Galapagos species are priceless. But I would also agree, that even priceless doesn't mean they have infinite value. There must be a reasonable limit on what we'd spend to save them ... but surely we agree its well above 0.

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 1) 185

Of course it seems sad

"seems sad"? Did you even read what I wrote? I gave two separate and specific contexts where extinction is a clear loss to humanity: scientific loss in all cases, and cultural loss in more limited cases. Both go well beyond "seems sad".

, especially as it's often because of unnecessary predation by humans (e.g. elephants, rhinos),

Along with climate changes, desertification, habitat destruction, food chain collapse,...

. However, in general extinction is totally natural

Nobody is arguing that point. A meter striking a major city would be totally natural too. "Natural" is hardly a reason to simply let it happen if we see it coming.

and as in this (rare) case when it's not our fault at all, then let it be

It's still a scientific loss. And its a valuable species; all the Galapagos are particularly valuable to science due to their extended isolation and resultant independent evolution.

The question I'm asking is not whether its natural or not, its whether its better or not in the long run for us not to have access to this species to study?

Its hard to make the argument that we gain any advantage from it being extinct.

I suspect that those Iguanas will be perfectly fine if we just leave it alone for a change

We have actual scientists who have an actual scientific basis for being concerned about this species status... but you, without any grounds, studies, or special knowledge of the situation, suspect it will be just fine. So ... lets go with that instead. /facepalm

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 3, Insightful) 185

...if humans save these pink iguanas, we are interfering with nature.

Yes. And?

Can't have it both ways, by saying our actions that make stuff go extinct is bad, and actions by nature that makes stuff go extinct is bad, too.

Can't have what both ways? The premise is that things going extinct is universally bad. Yes, even when its entirely due to natural causes its still in our bests interests to preserve it. Biodiversity is objectively valuable; because we can learn from it.

Letting a species go extinct is like shredding the last copy of a book. The more interesting and unique the species the greater the loss to science.

Finally, and perhaps tangentially, its also rational to put higher value on the larger / famous species -- the extinction of some obscure spider or toad is perhaps just as much a loss as the extinction of tigers scientifically. But tigers are culturally significant in addition to being scientifically significant. So the extra awareness and priority to them is warranted.

Comment: Re:Transparency (Score 1) 102

So it is important to replace the voting process with the digital age because that will allow faster and more informed decisions.

1) How will replacing the voting system result in faster or more informed decisions by the voters? That's like suggesting making high tech toilets will get people to make better choices about what they eat.

2) What on earth do we need -faster- decisions for? Because having to wait a few hours a few times a decade is the major problem with our system of government?

I for one would replace it with something more 2.0, the sooner the better.

Better how? Fewer people would know how it works. Therefore Few people should trust it. Doesn't sound "better" to me. Election systems need to be simple enough that everyone can understand them, everyone can see that hasn't been tampered with.

A show of hands is simple but not anoymous.

Physical ballots placed into a physical box. Then removed and counted in full view of everyone is also simple, and you gain anonymity. And a child can understand it and validate it. There is zero reason for an election to ever be more complicated than this.

Comment: Re:Transparency (Score 1) 102

Because of gerrymandering, the polling station that was selected for me in my district is about 8 miles across a city in a location without a bus stop and the closest public transportation about 3 miles away.

1) Perhaps you could find some sort of way to carpool or even split a cab... what with the entire district having a reason to go there that same day. Not to mention political parties and volunteer groups all over the place running busses etc.

If only there were some sort of alternative like the ability to mail in a ballot... oh... wait. There is.

2) I agree with you gerrymandering ought to be criminal.

Money doesn't talk, it swears. -- Bob Dylan