Species Seekers

I’ve just read Richard Conniff’s book, The Species Seekers.  Excellent history of “the age of discovery.”  Wild and whacky and tragic and triumphant.  A  tale of tales and tails.

At the conclusion this outline came to mind:

Around 1750 about 4000 species were known

Around 1900 about 400,000 species where known

Now, we are near to 2 million known species

(biologist E.O. Wilson thinks maybe 10 million and some others say 100 million!)

Conniff calls us to understand our time as a New Age of Discovery, that the next generation may grow up to know “the incomparable delight of discovering new species.”

I immediately recognized that this is what happened to my faith, my belief in a super-natural divinity.  For me, faith dissolved as “an incomparable delight” evolved.  As I wrote in Life After Faith, the wonder and awe of Nature is fully sufficient.


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