Over the years of working in the science of ecology, I have learned some basic rules. I find that many people are unaware of them, yet have firm convictions about what we should do about the environment. So I would like to share these rules with you. They are easy to understand, helpful, and even fun. I will post one of these at a time, adding to them frequently. These are going to be in a new book I am working on. And I will note the appearance of new rules on Twitter @DanielBotkin.
Here is the first.
- Evolution is a game in which the only rule is to stay in the game.
- Being rare is different from going extinct, as the whooping crane said to the passenger pigeon.
- The evolutionary goal is simply to stay around, not necessarily in great numbers.
- You can win at Darwin's game of evolution by having more offspring than your neighbor, but that doesn't mean you both have to have lots and lots and lots of offspring.
- Being rare has some advantages: Predators have a harder time finding you, and it isn't worth as much of their effort to seek you out.