‘Extinguishing of other species is one of our defining traits’: How humans are destroying the world’s animals, insects and plants

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

If extinctions are events, they are so only in geological time, and geological time is rather vast. The late Devonian extinction event, for example, was really a series of extinction pulses, spread out over 20-25 million years. Anatomically modern humans have been here for 200,000 years, tops. It would be a bit of an ask to expect us to have orchestrated something like that in the time available to us.

In terms of the percentage of species rendered extinct, we are nowhere near the levels of the five great extinctions. But the rate of extinctions we are currently witnessing may be far worse than at least some of these.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

If there is a mass extinction event occurring today, we are not entering into it. We are already in it and have been for quite some time.

Related article:  Second psychopharmacology revolution: New drugs could change the way we treat depression

What we see today are simply segments of the same phenomenon. This is a pulsing wave of extinctions brought about, to a considerable extent, by humans: a wave whose nascent beginnings can be traced back 130,000 years. The late Quaternary extinction ‘event’ of 9,000 to 13,000 years ago: that was on us. The wave has become much bigger in recent years. But humans are walking, talking extinction events. The habitual extinguishing of other species is one of our defining traits.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Reuters analysed over 185,000 genome samples from the Global Initiative on Sharing All influenza Data (GISAID), the largest database of ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend