Daily Archives: June 9, 2011

Art and Human Evolution at the Black Dog Cafe

Please join Abbi Allan and me at the black Dog Cafe next Tuesday.

Art and Human Evolution – June 14, 2011

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Are humans the only creatures who create art? At what point in human evolution did artistic creations become separate from tools, become art for arts’ sake? What in us is so driven to create?

Dr. Greg Laden is a biological anthropologist who has done research in human evolution as well as eco-tourism in South Africa. In his own words: “I think of myself as a biologist who focuses on humans (past and present) and who uses archaeology as one of the tools of the trade.” .

Abbi Allan is a visual artist and sculptor whose work is “an expression of the fragility of living things inspired by the world’s biological forms.” She received her MFA in sculpture from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has exhibited in galleries across the U.S. Read more about her at abbiallan.com and view her work online.

So, what’s this about killing a wolf at the Minnesota Zoo?

The Minnesota Zoo has been involved in a Mexican Gray Wolf breeding and reintroduction program for some time now. Last I checked, it was not going well …. they were not having mush success in getting the wolves to produce offspring. I think they had some puppies in 2003, but I’m not sure of their status. The problem with at least some of their wolves is that they were born and raised in captivity. The “cultural” side of the reproductive process had been pruned from their lineage, so they kinda-sorta did things vaguely related to wolf-sex but that wasn’t enough.

Anyway, yesterday one of the wolves nosed its way through the fence of its enclosure, jumped over another fence and started prancing around among the visitors, so the zookeepers shot it to death. They say that tranquilizers were not an option. Apparently there were no other options either.

I’m not blaming the zoo for anything here, and in fact I’m not making any specific statements about anything …. just asking the question: Has the zoo’s role in reintroduction and survival of this small population of wolves been on balance positive, neutral, or negative? That question can’t easily be asked in terms of education. I’d be willing to bet that at the level of public education the zoo has had a very positive impact. I’m asking, specifically, about simple numbers. How many wolves have been in the zoo, how many have been released, that sort of thing.

A secondary question might be this: Shouldn’t there be a better strategy for dealing with an escaped wolf?
Continue reading So, what’s this about killing a wolf at the Minnesota Zoo?

Please try not to think about Global Warming

There is no chance that there is any connection between the release of fossil carbon into the atmosphere, no chance, for instance that severe weather is increased because of global warming. Don’t give it a second thought. The following video proves that you have nothing to worry about:
Continue reading Please try not to think about Global Warming