Edward O Wilson Analysis

1766 Words8 Pages
“The Creation is disappearing so quickly.” These are words spoken by Edward O. Wilson in an interview on NPR’s Talk of the Nation radio show, and they are very much true. Current human activities are removing ecosystems and extinguishing species, if we continue to the end of the century, projections show that we could have lost or be right on the edge of losing about half the known species of plants and animals by then. Yet with these facts present, why is no one taking action? The world is dying and it is for the most part all due to human action. We spend top dollar for views of the ocean and overlooking green park space in our crowded cities, but we still distance ourselves from nature as a whole. Luckily, there are those in the world that…show more content…
His essay collection, Letters to a Young Scientist, begins with a section titled “The Path to Follow”. In this section Wilson seeks to guide the reader, presumably a young scientist, to find the field of science right for them. The first essay, “First Passion, Then Training,” briefly describes Wilson’s youth and then up to his days as a Harvard professor. Wilson grew up in the south and at a young age he fell in love with nature. He describes being a fourteen-year-old boy living in Mobile, Alabama, “I explored nearby swamps and forests, collecting ants and butterflies. At home I attended my menagerie of snakes and black widow spiders” (“First Passion, Then Training” 21). The knowledge he had from this landed him a job as a nature counselor at the local Boy Scout camp, Camp Pushmataha. There he had his first taste of life as a biologist. To gain the respect of his fellow campers, he was quite young to be a counselor, he decided to make a summer-long hunt for something he knew well, snakes. That summer he and the other campers wrangled snakes. Wilson also got his first taste of the dangers of field work, being bitten by a venomous snake. However, this did not thwart his love for biology. He had learned that summer what he wanted to be in life, “[He] was going to be a scientist – and a professor” (“First Passion, Then Training” 24). He would indeed to…show more content…
Wilson believes that a such a change can allow for science to make better strides in reviving ecosystems and even endangered and extinct species. In his essay, “The Bird of Paradise: The Hunter and The Poet,” Wilson says, “There will come a time when a bird of paradise is reconstituted through a synthesis of all the hard-won analytic information” (“The Bird of Paradise: The Hunter and The Poet” 93). This would only be possible if a strong conservation ethic were present because it means that it also morally accepted to synthesize and clone life in an effort to reclaim what humanity has wrongfully destroyed. That same conservation ethic would also benefit both scientists and artists. Wilson believes that, “the role of science, much like art, is to blend proximate imagery with more distant meaning, the parts we already understand with those given as new into larger patterns that are coherent enough to be acceptable as truth” (“The Bird of Paradise: The Hunter and The Poet” 91). As a scientist and as a writer, Wilson has seen the beauty that can come from nature. He has witnessed first-hand the beauty of the Emperor of Germany bird of paradise. He appreciates the traits of the bird as a scientist, such as its crow shaped head which he knew was due to the two birds have a close common lineage, and as a writer when he describes that birds of paradise being explained in a strictly analytical way
Open Document