The Future Of Life By: Edward O. Wilson

2844 words - 11 pages

This chapter to me was all about organisms that can survive in extreme conditions. How every square inch of earth is inhabited with creatures of one kind or another. I learnt the fundamental principle of biological geography, that wherever there is liquid water (h2o), organic molecules, and an energy source, there is life. I found out about the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, who soils are the coldest, driest, and most nutritionally deficient in the world. How some specialized species of bacteria and archaeans live in the walls of volcanic hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, where they can multiply in water close to or above the boiling point. He also describes an organism called, hyperthermophiles, that love extreme heat, and Deinococcus radiodurans, a microorganism which can withstand levels of radiation capable of killing humans and other organisms.
The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica seems from its description sterile and desolate. When I read the quote from Robert F. Scott in 1903, the first to explore the region, “ We have seen no living thing, not even a moss or lichen; all that we did find, far inland among the moraine heaps, was the skeleton of a Weddell seal, and how that came there is beyond guessing.” The skeleton of the Weddell seal made me thing that maybe it was once a ocean and dried up over the years. But then again it is Antarctica, maybe it was trapped in a glacier, when it melt and retreated, it left the skeleton behind. It was shocking to find out that only twenty species of photosynthetic bacteria, which is making a long story short, mostly single-celled algae and weird, nasty sounding microscopic invertebrate animals that feed on these primary producers. These organisms of this region are what scientists call extremophiles, species that can live at the edge of biological tolerance. Which made me think of this discovery channel, well, I think its discovery channel, anyway it’s a show called life after people; the show is basically what the title says. But I thought of that show because Wilson talked about how, if life ended now on earth; the organisms that would be left would be the ones like in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. And, under the right conditions, and billions of years could evolve into creatures that roam the plant now, maybe even humans. Than if they are curious creatures like we and they excavate and find are bones and ruins of our cities, if they are still there, then I wonder what they will think of us. They won’t know about God, Jesus, or anything of the human history. Not our wars, famines, our happiness, our sorrows; and sadly history could very likely repeat itself.
Now when I hear the volcano or anything with volcano in it I atomically think hot, beyond hot, so hot it will burn you up instantly. So when E. Wilson mention that specialized species of bacteria and archaeans live in the wall of volcanic hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. I thought well maybe since it’s at the bottom of the ocean,...

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