10 December 2009

Wildness and wet

As Aldo Leopold once said, when something vanishes, “We grieve only for what we know. The erasure of Silphium from western Dane County is no cause for grief if one knows it only as a name in a botany book.” Yes: if we don’t know something, we don’t care if it goes.
-- Olivia Judson. And, as Scott Atran and Douglas Medin have shown, cognitive impoverishment regarding nature is extreme in western societies:
in the domain of nature, psychology's ‘standard populations' are in fact cognitively impoverished, with next to no starting knowledge, and only the most bland reasoning strategies at their disposal.

Ping-Pong tree sponge

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