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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 766)...

    With nature having its way to create balance, why has Guam become imbalanced with now an overpopulation of snakes?

    ...and the response:

    As Joseph Wood Krutch says of the balance of nature, "it is always self -- regulated." I would add to that ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS!

    But reaching that balance DOESN'T mean PUTTING EVERYTHING BACK THE WAY IT WAS. If nature constantly put everything back the way it was, NOTHING WOULD EVER CHANGE. The earth today would be exactly the way it was 3.6 billion years ago, with nothing living here but simple cells (prokaryotes) bobbing in the ocean.

    So, it would appear that Guam now has two million brown snakes that you don't want. That doesn't mean that nature is out of balance. It just means it has reached a new balance you don't like. You want nature to PUT EVERYTHING BACK THE WAY IT WAS -- but that's just not what nature does. If the ecological resources of Guam couldn't support two million brown snakes, they wouldn't be there.

    The European settlers of Australia thought it would be nice to have some rabbits, so they brought some along and turned them loose. Rabbits spread like wildfire till the continent was overrun with billions of them. Was nature out of balance? No, it had just reached a new balance that the Australians didn't like. Did they wish EVERYTHING COULD BE PUT BACK THE WAY IT WAS? Sure -- but did it happen? No.


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