My granddaughter is intensely concerned with the growing loss of species, and rightly so, and I share her fears, though I feel largely powerless to do anything.
She has the faith of youth, a belief that she and her peers can, with work, effect a lasting change, climb up the slippery slope which we have cast them down, and save other species from a fate nature never could have intended.
But she cannot fathom the losses that I have seen, things I knew rendered extinct by her generation, and that of her parents, the cassette player, the typewriter, carbon paper, and stationery and a writing desk, to name only a few, but at least the haven’t outdated my Blackberry.
We are, he is convinced, devolving into verbal neanderthals, losing are ability to recognize the linguistic tools that once set us apart from other species, or at least so we assured ourselves. She knows that what truly sets us apart from other species is the arcane skill we have at being able to convince ourselves that delusion, firmly held, is fact. Still, she cannot disagree with him, simplicity is a too close cousin to inanity, and nuance is the first relative to be cast out. And so with ever fewer words, we seem to have ever more to say, and speaking endlessly, say ever less.
It is all to often debated what sets humans apart the other species, and that will not be agreed any time soon (which a cynic would note is one such thing itself).
Freud would claim it is only our ego, our sense of self, which may explain why people are so capable of being self- ish, and I suspect he was certain he was wholly correct but I would give him only partial credit.
It is far simpler than that: record your voice, record a Sandhill crane and play them back and I assure you that you will say you sound nothing like what the recorder heard while the crane will nervously look all around for his unseen kin.
He says, “it’s like learning to walk again after you’ve had a stroke, you know you can but nothing seems to work quite right when you try.”
She says, “you just upgrading from one model iPhone to the newer model, so don’t overplay it, it isn’t a matter of life itself you know. And if you didn’t need the newest and latest you wouldn’t have this problem would you?”
He says, “You’re right to that extent, but think if I didn’t need the newest and latest I’d hardly be a male of my species, so be thankful i’m having these problems. Anyway, i think i have it now, finally.”
She says, “why didn’t you answer when I called? You said you had the phone figure out, so turn around and go get the milk and butter, Sorry about the rain, it was sunny when I called as you are leaving the office for here.”
So when Noah finally docks the ark on Mt. Ararat, or wherever, how does he decide which animals get off first? And for that matter, the earth having been flooded for weeks, just what are they supposed to eat on new land? For the vegetarians it must have been very slim pickings, and who wants a badly waterlogged salad anyway? And with two of each only, what did the carnivores actually eat? If you stop and think about this long enough you are left to wonder just how many species were sacrificed to God’s little tamper tantrum, and let’s not mention how three sons and mom and dad, the sole survivors managed to repopulate the world.