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.