Posts Tagged ‘Immigrants’

Truths May, and Will, Vary

April 25, 2017

“Arum Lily”, Zantedeschia Aethiopica is a species of flowering plant in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland. Here it is, south of San Francisco:

Arum Lily. In California, authorities hate French Broom, a very pretty and soft plant, which often displace the horrendous native, Poison Oak. Poison Oak can kill. However, Californian authorities believed it was moral to use poison to eradicate the French Broom and a species related to artichokes, with enormous ecological damage. Just because of the erroneous belief that immigrants have to be eradicated, even if they looked innocuous.

This is a perennial plant from South Africa, an immigrant to California (and much of the rest of the temperate world). A vegetal Elon Musk which has taken root, literally (Musk is from South Africa).

Some hate immigrants. It was long an obvious ecological truth that immigrant species were necessarily evil. However, the most recent scientific studies show that immigrant life forms are not necessarily bad. Immigrants can help the ecology by replacing disappeared taxa. An example is Tasmanian Blue Gums giving shelter to Californian Monarch butterfly (endangered).

Just as with artichokes and French Broom, Californian authorities embarked on an eradication campaign of giant Blue Gum Eucalyptus, without planting other trees to replace them. Result? Poison Oak, which grows extremely fast in any place disrupted by human activity, exploded, and a drought occurred (one could argue). Another result is that the Californian Monarch, which had learned to reside in the immigrant Blue Gums, is now nearly eradicated… Some will point the finger at Neonicotinoids, no doubt responsible, as was a de facto eradication campaign of native “Milkweed”. Neonicotinoids, a new type of insecticides, eradicated bees worldwide (and were outlawed in France in 1999…)

Wherever Europeans went, they brought European fauna and flora with them, displacing and replacing local species (even indigenous bees). This curious superiority of all things European is no accident: immigration to Europe has long been massive, it has been extremely diversified, for millions of years. As Nietzsche, said, Europe could say:’What does not kill me, makes me stronger!’ Europe is actually a cocktail of immigrants (even the Celts are immigrants, even much European agriculture, let alone Cro Magnon Man descended from immigrants, and… so did Neanderthals…)

In matters scientific, truths are often rendered quite different, under closer inspection. Although the scientific method didn’t change since there are humans, and they made tools, scientific truths continually evolve significantly. The concept of time itself has endured enormous changes in the last 140 years, and there are two of them, quite different and opposed, as we try to think today. The principle dogmas of biology have been shown to be just this, obsolete dogmas (cephalopods modify their genetics in real-time, and there is evidence that’s connected to their intelligence: the more intelligent a cephalopod, the more it can modify it’s RNA).

Truth in some textbooks, lies beyond them. Science is not a cult with dogma, aside from the obligation of thinking anew.

Patrice Ayme’