Balance of Nature: Ecology’s enduring myth debunked

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Strolling across his animated kingdom—Pride Rock in the distance—Mufasa explains to his young son Simba: “Everything you see exists together, in a delicate balance.”

The line is a hallmark of the Disney movie the Lion King, which debuted in 1994. A visually rich update of the classic, also by Disney …. hit theaters this July. In the quarter-century gap, the film saw a few significant changes …. But other aspects of the movie remained unchanged, including Mufasa’s original lesson about nature being in balance.

John Kricher just rewatched the scene from 1994. While the Wheaton College professor and author of The Balance of Nature: Ecology’s Enduring Myth is a fan of James Earl Jones’ deep baritone delivery, he says “it’s not sound science.”

Related article:  Could gene editing overcome 'squeamishness' about GMOs and crop biotechnology?

Scientists have long abandoned the idea of there being a “balance of nature,” in favor of more dynamic ecological frameworks. But, having been ingrained in popular culture over millennia, it’s proven much harder for the public to shake. The metaphor is alive and well today, appearing everywhere from newspapers, Legos, and a health food brand name to social media, and, of course, the Lion King reboot.

Read full, original article: The ‘balance of nature’ is an enduring concept. But it’s wrong.

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