Monday, December 05, 2005


(disclaimer: I am so, so not a scientist.)

But I am historically minded. I have always been interested in looking at how things are and how they got to be that way. You can look at almost everything in the world this way.

How did we get here?

The southern forests are choked with kudzu, creeper, and-- most notably at my mother's farm- multi flora.

How did we get here?

The chesnut trees died. My learned sweetie tells me that the toxins in their leaves choked undergrowth. Plus throw in our habit of importing foreign plants that become invasive (multi flora and kudzu are courtesy of Japan) and there you go, forests that you can barely hack your way through.

Add things like the demise of the Carolina parakeets, flocks of small brightly colored birds who in their heyday ate tons and tons of things like cockleburs, the small green pods that stick to your pants.

Coyotes are moving father east than they've been before.

The Appalachians used to have a similar-sized predator known as the grey wolf, also now defunct courtesy of us.

A filling-in of the natural chain? Evolution in the making?

Why not?

But it doesn't stop with science.

This weekend I was in a car with some very fun, very far-left liberal friends of mine. The kind of people who won't buy things made in China, eat meat with antibiotics, and who help the homeless, the jailed, and the poor. I like them very much, though I'm a bit more square.

But they lit up a pipe in the car with the windows closed and me, a known non-pot-smoker, inside.

How did we get here?

Then the grocery store, my favorite source for ponderings. When you look at the lunch-meat aisle, think back to our Neanderthal ancestors, Adam and Eve, and the question still applies.

How did we get here?

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