Add to Technorati Favorites

Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

When clicking on an Alter Egos in the sidebar, please look above this title for video content.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Bearing the Mark of Anthropogenic Selection

Edmund Russell, associate professor of technology, culture, and communication and history at the University of Virginia, drops in for tea.

"It's got to be green," he tells me.

"None greener."

"Anyway," he goes on in between sips, "I like what you have been saying about evolutionary historians. You see Dead Beat humans have been shaping the evolution of so many other species, for so long, in so many ways, and for so many reasons that this process often has hidden in plain sight. In one morning, even before making it out the door, we might wake in bed sheets made of cotton, dress in clothes made of wool, put on shoes made of leather, eat a breakfast made of wheat, butter, oranges, and eggs, read a newspaper made of wood pulp and soy ink, pat a dog, and admire flowers on the table. Every one of these materials and creatures bears the mark of anthropogenic selection, from cotton bred for large bolls to flowers selected for their showy display. Every one of them has a history. Every one of these histories has resulted from social and biological forces. And every one of these histories tells us about ourselves as well as other species."

"Thanks for that, Ed. Insightful. The stuff my readers need to know."

"Glad to be of help. By the way, nice tea."

No comments: