Tuesday, March 03, 2009

On the Edge of it

Breaking news on 2nd March 2009

About 150 whales beach themselves on the beaches on Australia.

Though the news may not be significant for most, this is not the only incident that happened this calendar year.

Another happened also in Tasmania
Of the 50 sperm whales that beached, only 1 survived.

And in late 2008, another 53 pilot whales died after beaching again in Tasmania.

While the similar location raises some doubt as the Oceania region accounts for more than 80% of whale beaching incidents, another more serious question comes into mind.

Most of the whale beaching reported by the media only serves to inform and not much scientific reasoning can be derived from these incidents.

Maybe someone from the same region has already given some light of such happenings as early as 1859. Charles Darwin published his theory "On the Origin of Species" which explains the process of evolution by natural selection. In short, his theory is based on the belief that in the natural world, the strongest will survive. Derivatives of his theory also mentioned that to evolve is also to adapt and that the species that is able to adapt will so continue to exist in the natural world.

Backtrack to the beaching whales to dissect their suicidal behaviour.
Whales are fairly docile creatures that do not have aggressive nature.They are also constantly migrating from colder to warmer waters for breeding and feeding purposes. Studies have shown that their sense of direction for guiding them back to where they were born may be due to the fact that they are able to navigate by the Earth's magnetic field.

As much as some will argue the fact that it is because of the number of ships which transmit radio frequency signals to and fro and the increased number of submarines which have sonar systems that disrupt the whales' sense of direction, it should also be noted that the earliest whale beaching incident recorded was as early as 1598. It was a painting by the way.

It then cannot be said that it is due to modern communications equipment which caused the whales to lose their sense of direction and beach themselves.

So from 1598 to the current day, the only fact known is that the number of whales beached increased at an exponential rate. What can also be said is that us,humans, are also polluting the environment at an almost similar exponential rate.

Looking from an evolution point of view, could it be possible that these whales are trying to adapt? And if they are unable to adapt to the polluted habitat, are they trying to change their habitat by migrating to another different one?

Perhaps, it is a desperate physical attempt at trying to evolve to be able to leave their natural underwater habitat and move on to a less polluted on-land habitat so as to ensure their species' continual existence.

There has been some recent findings on prehistoric whale fossils which showed that some prehistoric whale species gave birth to their young on land.

Most if not all would have read at some point in their lives that most land animals, including the human species evolved from underwater creatures leaving their habitat to live on land for their continual existence.

Are we closer to the edge of evolution as we speak?
If so, will we in the distant future be still the smarter species?
Or will we be the species of lesser intellect and preyed upon by other species?

Today is 4th March 2009
Time now is 00:35 hrs

"Today the human species is the only one with the self-knowledge and the capacity to protect its own future."

Al Gore

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