Adapt or Face Extinction

Animals adapt to the environment or face extinction, while some humans seem too stuck in their own old ways.


| June/July 2001



186-104-1b

Canadian geese have some highly evolved communication and migration patterns.


Illustration courtesy Steve Pica

"Did Seattle win last night?" my friend Ernst, the animal psychologist, asked during brunch at my place.

"How should I know?" I snapped back. "The morning paper isn't here yet. I hate when that happens. Messes up my whole Sunday routine."

"You should not be so set in your ways," my friend counseled. "You have to adapt to the environment. Like animals adapt. They have to or face extinction."

"You think I should get with it — read the news on handheld computers rather than flattened trees."

"It's all a matter of information-format conditioning," Ernst began, easing back into the lounge chair. I hate it when he waxes professorial. "Take the early Greeks..." he began."No thanks," I retorted. "...they were very upset when the written word was discovered. What was going to happen to all those epic story-poems told by heart? And when books first came out, the Romans must have missed unwinding with a good scroll."

"Hey look, I didn't ask for a lecture. I only want my morning paper in the morning, not the afternoon. Okay?"





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