Sunday, September 05, 2010

We changed the world

Wired writes about extinction dynamics.

So what does that mean?
There are two possibilities scientists argue about.
After a massive extinction event (meteorite impact, humans) evolution will go on just like before: Whatever kind of critter was doing well at the time, will keep doing well after the big change and hog new niches. In this view extinction events are merely a hiccup. Things are shaken up for a while and then go back to business as usual.

Or the ecosystem will be so massively changed, that the rules themselves (the rates of species diversification) change. Killing off species suddenly isn't only a short term disturbance, and changes the big course of evolution forever.
Seems like this second scenario is turning out to be the more plausible one.
Which means that humanity is currently changing the longterm future of life on earth.
Have we already paved the way for our future insect overlords? Scientists still withhold comment.

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