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The Creation – An Appeal to Save Life on Earth
Edward O. Wilson
New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006
175 pp., $21.95, hardcover
ISBN 10: 0-393-06217-1

“Dear Pastor [letter (epistle?) to an imaginary Baptist preacher], “ writes Wilson to open his book. “We have not met, yet I feel I know you well enough to call you friend. First of all, we grew up in the same faith. As a boy I too answered the altar call; I went under the water. Although I no longer belong to that faith, I am confident that if we met and spoke privately of our deepest beliefs, it would be in a spirit of mutual respect and good will. I know we share many precepts of moral behavior. Perhaps it also matters that we are both Americans and, insofar as it might still affect civility and god manners, we are both Southerners.”

Therein, Wilson, one of many scientists, pleads his group’s case, to religious organizations for a mutual all-out effort to save the fauna and flora, or biodiversity, that is being lost on Earth. This catastrophy is resulting in the extinction of animals, such as the elephant bird of Madagascar, New Zealand’s ostrich-like moas, and most of the larger mammals in North America. Also being rapidly lost are important habitats such as rain forests, polar ice caps, glaciers, and the seas.

Animals, fish, birds, grasses, and trees are disappearing, never to return, due to the excessive human population, over-hunting, fishing, grazing, and the general environmental crisis, such as the excessive greenhouse gases causing global warming. And we’re all responsible for the problem.

Not only does Wilson bemoan the loss of these living things but also the loss of their potential benefit to serve man and womanhood as sources of medicine and other beneficial matter. But the saddest fact of all is that we know about and have identified only a small percentage of the biodiversity (botany, zoology, and all other living matter) out there. Most of it will soon be gone and never known about by humankind.

For anyone who’s read elsewhere even a little bit about such losses to the planet, there are a few new, scary, and depressing statistics and facts within. However, the plea that religious people, evangelicals and fundamentalist in particular, need to know, is that what they aren’t yet helping to “prevent the destruction of,” is nothing less than their beloved God’s own Creation spelled out in the bible. And, once the religious people do realize and accept this fact, they will eagerly join with scientists to fight off the losses and extinctions.

The author is quite poignant. He makes his informed case in a humble and reasonable manner. Such cooperation could help substantially in the effort to save the earth and all its living creature and plant life.

Edward O. Wilson, a Harvard University Biology Professor, has researched and taught natural biology, especially his concentration area (ants), for nearly a half-century. He has written almost two dozen books on those subjects and on the importance of preserving this planet by saving its biodiversity.

Jim Sullivan

Jim Sullivan is a full-time writer who
has been published in Skeptical Inquirer,
Midwest Book Review, Satire, and others.

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"We’re here to talk about what we can do to save the world from nuclear proliferation. Our world, we’ve come to find out, is very small. It’s not as big as we once thought. It is an almost impossible task to save the world from nuclear proliferation, but in my way of life, the Diné way of life, we believe that there are no impossibilities. Although it seems like there are only a handful of us here trying to make a stand against nuclear proliferation, the task is not impossible. It all starts when we come together from all corners of the world, like we are doing here this week. We can start by coming to the realization that we are all on the same side. We are all members of the five-fingered intelligent earth dwellers called homosapiens, human beings. It doesn’t matter the color, the creed. We’re all earth dwellers here, in this world."
—The Honorable Joe Shirley, Jr.
President of the Navajo Nation
Address to the Indigenous World Uranium Summit, November 30, 2006

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