In case you thought ARA wackaloonery could not possible get any more bizarre...

Aug 28 2009 Published by under Biology, ROTFLMAO

First off, if you are not at least an occasional reader of Tetrapod Zoology, I don't know how you could possibly live with yourself. Fossils and charismatic species galore.
Although I thought I'd heard it all, this recent entry introduces a whole 'nother brand of nuts.

...philosopher David Pearce is honestly proposing that we should feel ethically compelled to eradicate all suffering and cruelty from the natural world in order to create a sort of global vegan paradise where predators don't exist. Pearce terms this the Abolitionist Project (for more on Pearce and his ideas see this wikipedia article). His plans are, as discussed in depth on his website, theoretically plausible and involve such things as the use of brain implants, behaviour-modifying drugs, and genetic manipulation. Eventually, the lion will, literally, lie down with the lamb, hyaenas will not feel compelled to eat baby elephants alive, and - I presume - ladybirds will not eat aphids, and so on

>blink<

16 responses so far

  • 01jack says:

    OT: This whole site has been invaded by a runaway italics tag.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    yep. trying to locate it....

  • JohnV says:

    when i noticed the whole site had become italicized all i could think of was "dude you motherfucking italicized out the whole internet" in honor of the cpp comment a while back after someone misplaced a strike-out tag and crossed out the entire internet.
    then my coworkers looked at me, curious as to why i'd be sitting at my desk laughing so much.

  • Kate from Iowa says:

    But...wasn't all the science leading to those techniques that will (supposedly) allow us to make lions, tigers and bears herbivorous stuff that was...you know...discoverd and made workable by animal research? We can't use that! It was built on the suffering of animals, we want to alleviate that suffering! That's why even the little baby crocodiles need to be vegan!
    We'll worry about rampant overpopulation, resource competition, starvation and disease later. Hey...at least all the critters are vegan, and (I assume) you people are too! Yay, vegan is great! Now someone tell me why my teeth keep breaking and my hair is falling out...

  • kevin says:

    The stray italic tag is right at the top, where it says "Repost: Father, Scientist...Mentor".
    Got the whole damn sb site.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    yeah, what idiot did that, anyway??

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    Actually, the problem of intraspecies animal cruelty is well on its way to solution. In another century or so, the only living things on Earth will be humans and marine plants which humans harvest for food and feedstock.

  • JohnV says:

    ... and that's when the kelp will have it's revenge!!

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    ... and that's when the kelp will have it's revenge!!

    Man, that stuff is vicious. How many drowning victims gave their lives to warn us with their last breaths:
    "Kelp! Kelp!"

  • Pierce R. Butler says:

    And I thought it was just hyperbole when an online acquaintance warned that the country was becoming a kelptocracy!

  • JohnV says:

    planks a ton guys for getting my weekend off to a laugh

  • LostMarbles says:

    Maybe we should perfect our ability to lie down with one another before we start trying to get lions and lambs to make nice.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    Maybe we should perfect our ability to lie down with one another before we start trying to get lions and lambs to make nice.

    We now return you to your usual fundie-mocking.

  • Eric Johnson says:

    > Maybe we should perfect our ability to lie down with one another before we start trying to get lions and lambs to make nice.
    We certainly should. I suspect Pearce would agree, though I've read only some of his writings and that was mostly ten years ago.
    I think people at TetZoo are missing the context of Pearce's transhumanist futurism. Pearce writes about what he feels should be done by a hyper-technological civilization one, two, five centuries hence. His vision is almost totally unconnected to the politics or mainstream worldviews of 2009 or 2010, and it's not supposed to be something that "sounds sensible" or imminent in context of today's social and material-technological conditions; rather it takes radical technologic advancements as a postulate.
    He doesn't give a strong "bleeding heart" vibe, and I would be surprised if he were radically opposed to using animals in science.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    I think people at TetZoo are missing the context of Pearce's transhumanist futurism. Pearce writes about what he feels should be done by a hyper-technological civilization one, two, five centuries hence.

    None of which alters the fact that his "vision" is of the human race smothering (at best) the natural world. My objections to domesticating every living thing on Earth are moral, not technological.
    A domesticated wolf is a dog, not a wolf. The world is a poorer place without wolves.

  • Eric Johnson says:

    His vision is definitely to smother the natural world, if that's the word, and I think he would own as much; he considers the natural world to probably be rather horrifying.
    "Probably," because I don't think he would claim that we can know with any real certainty, right now, the experience of a wolf's prey animal and find out whether it sometimes amounts to torture. Trying to judge how conscious an elk is, is intractable. Perhaps we will learn more about that in the future. Maybe not. I tend to be pessimistic about the attempt to deeply understand consciousness scientifically (despite being enthusiastic about the attempt to do so). But it's not inconceivable to me that one day we might somehow find out more about these sort of presumably nasty experiences, and be urgently moved by them. As of now, I personally am not. We can at least say that such experiences on the part of animals are temporary, if sometimes protracted.
    I agree that human experience is poorer without wolves (which I will venture to suspect is probably what you mean). I certainly love seeing kill scenes in documentaries about predators (though by no means, incidentally, would I want to watch a video of nothing but chases and kills for hours on end). Almost every birder loves seeing a hawk make a kill in real life. But I think this is largely a function of man's hardwired excitement over violence (in which connection see, eg, Wrangham's "Demonic males"). In a transhuman future, we might elect to write this out of our nature. I don't assert that such a future is necessarily possible. Unless human brain development becomes highly amenable to computer modeling, which I don't think will necessarily happen, we may never know how to write our excitement over conflict and violence out of our genomes without also making other unanticipatable changes.

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