Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dart Time at the Zoo

"Oh man, not again"

I've been there. You feel a sharp pain in your shoulder, you see some colored lights, then you wake up with fresh dental work and the vague feeling that people have been poking you where they oughtn't have.

But the story the dart-picture came from is about how, despite being trained by well-meaning humans, the first panda bred in captivity and released into the wild lasted less than a year before being killed by real wild pandas. Maybe it wasn't "despite being trained" so much as "due to being trained" by the well-meaning humans.

The lesson they should be taking from this is that nature is more complex and subtle than can be appreciated by scientists sitting in a lab. "Sure, Panda interactions are complex but the rest of the natural world is simple. Global climate change? Piece of cake."