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Old 11-07-2009, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default Harvard professor discusses need for parasites

Harvard professor discusses need for parasites
By: Nicole Gilbert
Published On: Monday, November 2, 2009

Harvard professor discusses need for parasites | The State Press - An independent daily serving Arizona State University
excerpts from above:
Parasites are just as important to biodiversity as animals that are predators or competitors, a Harvard lecturer told ASU students and faculty Friday.
Parasites are important in ecology because they contribute to conservational concerns. Ecosystem diversity is almost as dependent on parasites as it is on anything else, he said.
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:01 AM   #2
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Default In praise of parasites

Parasites are an ecological necessity just like fungi. They fill niches nicely. Fungi rot dead trees converting them to humus. Fungi are major players in the decomposition process just as parasites are major players in ecosystem balance between predator and prey.

I can not resist posting this.

The Most Popular Lifestyle on Earth
Forget lions, tigers, and sharks. The billions of tiny parasites that make a living castrating and brainwashing their hosts may be the new kings of the food web-
Conservation Magazine Blog Archive The Most Popular Lifestyle on Earth
"In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; we will understand only what we have been taught."
-Baba Dioum, Senegalese ecologist
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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dragonfly01 Common Sense

Hanh mitakuyapi. Parasites & disease organisms - the Unktechhi in my language (little monsters that live in warm, dark, damp places & make you reeeally sick) - are vital to a healthy biosphere, no matter how miserable they make their hosts. They're just doing their job..
We need a lot less 'death control' & a lot more 'birth control' than we have had of recent decades, & parasites & disease organisms are part of that second group - kind of by a backward means, but they are. They keep the number of any given species down to levels that enable all parts of the biosphere to thrive, not merely survive. Survival of the fit..
Elimination of the smallpox bacterium & the (shudder!) Ebola & HIV virus(es) sounds great on paper, but actually, it isn't because it isn't a good idea to extinct any species. Everything is a piece of the Creator & therefore has a Reason to exist. As someone on this site notes (a quotation from some sage) it is the population that is to be preserved, not the individual.
Rabbit populations rise to a certain level; coyote & fox populations follow hot behind. Then the rabbits die off to manageable levels, & so do coyote & fox populations (if they don't die of mange or distemper should the rabbit die-off not happen fast enough for the local biosphere's needs). Disease organisms make this happen. Thus the rabbits don't over-eat their food sources & eventually starve.
Humans are inveterate meddlers; the majority culture of the West being worse this way than any other culture I know of. We need a lot more common sense & a lot less 'extinct anything that doesn't fit the m.c.'s narrow little view' of what's valuable.
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