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Re: Hybrids... continued...

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ The Corn Snake Forum ]

Posted by Serpwidgets on May 07, 2003 at 01:47:12:

First of all, on the matter of discrete vs. discreet: The spelling is accepted, but not for the use you put it to. So on one hand I congratulate you for being aware of a word that I occasionally misused, on the other, well...maybe you should read the definitions too. That's what people who are interested in learning do.

Point made. Learn something new every day. The day I don't I might as well be dead anyway. However, it's not relevant to the "debate."

The reason that it sounded like I was trying to sound intellectual is because I was in the midst of a personal epiphany. I have a propensity to engage in prolix, that is, polysyllabic garrulity. If big words are threatening to you, then let me assure you that if this forum were less strictly regulated I would have a few 4-letter words that communicated this same sentiment:

Gol-darnit Mr. Snakepimp: you use yer tongue pertier'n a $20 whore!

To be honest, I find it amusing because it's just bad writing... really bad, way over the top. It's like Archie Bunker saying, "yeah, I'm all for that women's lubrication movement." It's like Mr T's usage of "jewelry." I am not threatened by bad writing, any more than someone interested in fashion would be "threatened" by Mr T's choice of jewelry.

One of the important points of writing is "know your audience." One of the finer points of that rule is, "don't use words that are beyond your audience's vocabulary." Why? Because the point of writing is to convey a thought or idea or message. When you use 50-cent words, and someone reading it runs into one of those words, they do one of the following:

1- stop reading, and assume you are a pompous jerk. Your point is not conveyed: bad writing.

B- ignore the word. Your point is not conveyed: bad writing.

3- make up their own definition of the word that they think it might mean. Your point is not conveyed: bad writing.

D- Look it up. Very few of us do this. And even then it's usually the case that we know something about writing, and that you aren't writing to your audience. It also breaks up the whole flow of the message, especially the laughter. Bad writing.

This isn't alt.rec.flame, nor is it "the vocabulary quiz forum." This is a cornsnake forum, and your audience consists of everything from doctors to 12 year-olds who don't even know how to use punctuation. Be an effective writer: know your audience.

Until then, it's very "fish out of water," and over the top, and has the same comedy value as watching Austin Powers think he is being all sexy. It's funny to me, and others, whether or not that makes you mad.

You are a small-minded devil's advocate with nothing better to do than bash other people's opinions, even when it is clearly stated that they are only that; opinions.

I'm not a devil's advocate. I'm arguing my own "side." I'm sorry if you don't get that, but I don't have to have a personal vested interest in something to understand it or have an opinion about it. Men have opinions about abortion... they must all just be "devil's advocates" and so their opinions, positions, or arguments apparently don't count. (That is your implication.)

Whether or not I'm small-minded really isn't relevant to the debate, now is it? However, it would explain why I'm so easily amused.

And I seem to recall that you were the one bashing people's tastes, and ruthlessly so. I was asking you to show an actual basis for having opinions and ideas so filled with bile. The only thing I've "bashed" is your totally out of place writing style.

I do however enjoy your willingness to debate, even if your opinions are not really built upon what I have posted.

That is the whole crux of the debate, innit? My opinions on the issue of hybridization are based on a different set of values and ideas. Or are they?

In all seriousness, I do find this entertaining. I am interested to know what kind of stuff you breed that causes you to rise so strongly to the defense of hybridization.

It's not that simple, as I've tried to explain. If you cannot get beyond that, I guess you must think that every person who is "pro-choice" must take that stance because they have had, or want to have, abortions.

What arguments other than: "I agree, they are different. So what?" do you have in support of your position?

You are trying to say that other people should not be doing what they are doing. Until you can show an actual argument as to why they should not, the burden of proof is upon you.

My "tastes" and "opinions" in this case specifically, are based on evolution, and conservation.

Then you have missed a major point of evolution in your reasoning. Evolution is based on "Natural Selection." As you know, part of this process involves random changes which happen. Then selection pressures take effect, which determine which genes and combinations of genes are propagated. This is a non-stop process, and is an integral part of all life on this planet. The end result is that things change over time. In any scenario (the wild or captivity) this happens.

It is a constant, because random mutations occur in both situations, and not every animal can breed to every other animal. As a result, selection of some kind can and will take place. Therefore, unless it becomes possible to stop ALL genetic mutations and exactly duplicate entire existing populations, things will change over time. And it could be stated that they will "adapt to their environment," whatever environment that might be.

The thing is, there's a difference in "environment" between the wild and captivity. The selection pressures are very, very different. In many ways, they are opposites or almost opposites. In the wild, a few of the selection pressures are:

In captivity, some of the differences are:

Also, animals in captivity are more likely to propagate their genes based on some or all of the following traits, which have no bearing in the wild:

I'm sure there are more. But even with this tiny little list, the bottom line is this: the captive snake population is subjected to what could be called "human selection," regardless of whether or not humans are aware of it. And it doesn't matter whether or not humans breeding these animals make a conscious effort to change (or "preserve") the genetic composition of the populace. They will, over time, deviate from both the original population(s) whence they came, and the wild population(s) which they both share as ancestors.

Or, as the Borg would say, "Conservation is irrelevant."

Captive breeding as a hobby is not about "conservation." The fact is that captive breeding by hobbyists is not going to preserve or conserve wild populations, any more than the breeding of domestic dogs is going to preserve, conserve, or affect the wild populations of wolves. Look at other animals that have been bred as pets, and you will see how much change can take place. Color and pattern changes on corns are NOTHING compared to the differences between domestic dogs, goldfish, cats, etc, and their wild counterparts.

People are going to end up propagating stuff like bug-eyes, big dome-shaped skulls, elongated and shortened heads, thicker and thinner bodies, larger or smaller scales. It doesn't matter whether or not I think some, all, or none of these things are good, bad, or ugly. The captive population is going to change, and those changes are going to reflect the "selection pressures" which breeders place on their animals. There is no debating that fact, and anyone who breeds captive animals will be a participant in that "crime," as you like to portray it.

And I'm sure there will also be at least a handful of people who appreciate the "natural beauty" of the "Okeetee" look and other "wild" phenotypes, enough so that they will perpetuate the external appearance. But, make no mistake, they will still not be able to "preserve" the rest of the genetic makeup of the wild population.

And who's to say that selection pressures will not change the wild population? It would be ridiculous to assume they wouldn't continue to change over time. Even if you could preserve the population, is it reasonable, from an "evolutionary standpoint" to assume that this is the way it should be for all time? Looking at the nature of evolution, where the only constant is change, I don't see how it's reasonable to intuit that "stopping change is good."

The point is: look past your selfish desires to see the bigger picture.

Your desires are no less selfish. It must take a small mind to see the big picture because that's what I've been pointing out to you. If you breed anything, you will change it. Period. I don't see how you could believe you are not guilty of the same "rape of mother nature" as you put it.

The only difference is the pace at which it happens. Hybridizing will only allow changes to take place more quickly. Is that intrinsically good or bad? I don't think anyone is qualified to answer that with any authority.

It will also potentially allow "new species" to be created, similar to the way modern dogs are "different" from their wolf ancestors, except possibly in a more drastic way. In effect, it will also diversify the gene pool from which we can choose the traits we desire, and combine them, maybe in ways that wouldn't otherwise be possible. Is that good? Is it bad? Is it just what is? Who are any of us to make such a value judgement?

As far as basing your opinion on "evolution," I think this is yet another form of "let's emulate nature, because nature is good." I totally disagree with this notion. Nature is without desire, taste, foresight, compassion, and a whole lot of other "human" attributes which I intuit to be good. We have the capacity for all of those things, and as a result we also have the capacity for a sense of morality.

We have the ability to forsee and understand at least some of the consequences of our actions. I agree in concept with a statement you made in another post that this (and I add "combined with the fact that we have desires, and experience pleasure and suffering, and are capable of empathy") gives us an inherent "responsibility" to behave in a way which is consistent with our sense of morality.

"Mother nature" however, does not. Mother nature ruthlessly pits innocent animals against each other in a life or death struggle, and has absolutely ZERO concern for any individual or group, or how it might suffer. Mother Nature, as an "entity," is completely amoral. I see absolutely no justification for saying that it is a good thing to emulate something which is without all of the attributes that allow us to even conceptualize a difference between "good/bad" or "right/wrong." That is totally messed up, dude!


"Yeah... totally."

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