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British Conservationist: Let Pandas Die


Chris Packham, a British conservationist, photographer, and TV presenter, has angered the World Wildlife Fund for remarks that the world should give up on the Panda species and let them die out because they're stuck in an "evolutionary cul-de-sac".

Said Packham: "Pandas are my frequent whipping boy. Here is a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac. It's not a strong species. Unfortunately, it's big and cute and a symbol of the World Wide Fund for Nature and we pour millions of pounds into panda conservation. I reckon we should pull the plug. Let them go, with a degree of dignity."

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  1. As human beings we have the ability to save other species from extinction, unlike any other organism in the history of this Earth. Allowing the Panda population to go extinct, because it's of no benefit to us materially would be the epitome of selfishness. Because we no longer benefit from it's existence (which could probably be argued against) does not mean we should allow for it's extinction. I'm not claiming there's a moral imperative to protect other species, but there is something called compassion. Unless the continuation of an organism is hurting said organism or is a detriment to humans, I don't think we have the authority to decide whether it should live or die.

    If an alien species of superior intellect and might decided that because human beings serve no useful purpose, in their eyes, does that give them a right to destroy us? How would those who look down on the Panda think about such a scenario? We would certainly have no moral high ground. Human beings have routinely killed off other species because of stupidity and greed.

    The fact is human beings are no longer natural, in the strictest sense. We've figured out the rules to nature (partly) and as such should use this knowledge to the betterment of ALL kind, not just human kind. But, in the end, I'm just a dirty socialist.

    Posted by: Leonard Jones | Sep 24, 2009 3:36:22 PM

  2. The one species that should be extinct is HUMANS.

    Sad to say,Humans dont give a rats ass about life nor the planet that inhabits life.Thats why there is global warming thats why we have ignorant creatures like "Rovex" bullshittin and dickin' around about how we shouldnt care about keeping species alive.Man was put here to preserve and planet earth since we are NOT doing what we are suppose to do,maybe humans should be severely punished.Mother Nature will get extremely pissed off soon enough.Either she's gonna let loose the massive supervolcano under yellowstone,the sun will get pissed and throw a massive geomagnetic storm at us,a supernova millions of miles from earth sending the harmfun rays over this way and deplete our ozone/atmosphere allowing the sun's radiation to zap us to death,or some other massive natural catastrophic event will take place and shoot every human str8 to Hell.The sad thing about that is that every species thats here with us today will go with us when that event happens.

    Humans dont treat earth nor life on earth with respect (we dont even treat each other with respect) so its only a matter of time before mother earth gives us that rightfully deserved ass-whoopin'

    Posted by: Rocky | Sep 24, 2009 3:41:27 PM

  3. people on this site arguing pandas should die out are don't seem to realize that gays and lesbians are at an evelutionary cul de sac. Without laws facilitating it, millions of children born to gays and lesbians wouldn't ever have been born, for one thing. And, let me tell you, once they've isolated the "gay gene" once and for all, we'll be begging the world to make it illegal to test unborn children for it, like they do down syndrom....Talk about being on the cusp of an evolutionary extinction, look around.

    Posted by: stolidog | Sep 24, 2009 3:59:06 PM

  4. I think pandas are cute, but I have to agree with Rovex. At least mostly. Evolution IS a goal oriented process...the goal is to survive environmental changes. Survival of the fittest. The fact that there are 1 billion people in China is natural progression. They weren't all cloned. I do believe there were severe restrictions on the Chinese population involving reproduction to try and stop the over-population. Yes it really sucks that humans fucked over the rest of the world because as a whole we are nasty, selfish, littering, greedy ass-holes. Where do you want the pandas to go? They don't reproduce in zoos. The money spent on trying to save a species that can't save its self could go to feeding people and providing medication for people in 3rd world countries. Those people are dying horrible deaths, however pandas are just not having any more babies. Or the money could go towards saving the rest of the planet. Stopping the damage we have done and moving on. We tried to save them by putting them in zoos. The fact that they pigeon-holed themselves (evolutionary wise, not saying they made the decision, their genetics did it for them) into only eating one type of food or reproducing only in very specific environments shows that genetically they are not fit for survival in the world today. We are pushing them out like we will do with every single other living creature, except roaches and fleas. That is a natural progression. We could change, a large group of people are trying to change, but it's most likely too late for many species, not just the pandas.

    Posted by: Elisha | Sep 24, 2009 4:12:38 PM

  5. Elisha, this isn't about opinions. Evolution IS NOT goal-oriented.

    Posted by: ahem | Sep 24, 2009 7:40:34 PM

  6. We can't let the pandas go extinct! What would I do without my Kentucky Fried Panda?! They're finger ling-ling good!

    Homer Simpson paraphrase. Just lightening things up ;-)

    Posted by: Jano | Sep 24, 2009 8:37:21 PM

  7. You could argue that evolution does have a "goal". A goal that routinely changes. A constant strive to adapt to one's environment in order to continue to reproduce. The "fittest" organism in one environment doesn't necessarily mean that if transported to another environment that it'll be the "fittest" organism or even be able to survive.

    I wouldn't put much stock in the theory that the goal of evolution is to survive environmental changes. Evolution is extremely incremental, and environmental changes usually occur much quicker than any evolutionary response to said changes, though there are exceptions.

    Plus, Pandas don't have to eat bamboo. They're carnivorous animals who have chosen to base they're diet around a plant. The plant might not provide them with adequate nutrition, in our eyes, but they've adapted to that fact. The reason Pandas are endangered is because HUMANS have encroached on their natural habitat. A billion people in China is not natural progression.

    P.S. People like Rocky are just as bad as people like Rovex. Not everyone is a panda bashing asshole.

    Posted by: Leonard Jones | Sep 24, 2009 9:54:03 PM

  8. Let's be honest, we only care about Pandas because they are hella cute. We send millions of dollars overseas to "protect" them. China takes that money and leases them back to us AND owns the babies though we pay for their care and feeding.

    Oh that we cared about poor kids in rural Virgina or Louisiana half as much.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Sep 25, 2009 3:06:39 AM

  9. Evolutions goal, or maore accurately, point, is to make the species more suitable to its environment. Thats what it is. It has no endgame because things always change. While i dont know what is going to happen in a few thousand or million years there will be, to a high degree of certainty, an event that will kill off a large number of species. Highly specialised species like the Panda will die out. Actually pandas cant eat meat any more, they do not have the ability to digest it any more. Gay people are not an evolutionary dead end, we are a natural product of procreation. If we all died tomorrow more gay people would be born to replace us, thats not the case with the Panda.

    Honestly, people who think humans are different to other animals are stupid. We are out for ourselves, so is every other species. We are as natural as any other. Emotive greeny eco bullshit doesnt change that fact. All our technology is a natural product of our evolutionary advantage, our intelligence. Want to save the Panda? Fine do it, but dont think your doing 'mother earth' a favour, you really arent.

    Posted by: Rovex | Sep 25, 2009 3:18:51 AM

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