The tip of Boo’s tail was broken when she was a kitten, sometime before we got her. Sean was petting her last night and mentioned how much he liked the hook at the end of her tail because it reminded him of a scorpion’s stinger, and then added something typically Sean-like, like, “Too bad she’ll never be able to sting anybody with it.”
“Ah, but if evolution favors cats with stinging tails,” I pointed out, “then in a million years her direct descendants will be the killer scorpion-cats you would like her to be, and how cool is that?”
Sean thought it would be very cool for the cats, but not so much for humans.
“If there are any,” I put in, “which I doubt.”
Sean was more than a little shocked that I thought the human race would not survive a million years. He thought that humans would venture out into space and colonize other planets, driven by a biological imperative to spread our race far and wide to ensure survivability.
Holey moley. This is the same Sean who has spoken out repeatedly against the imperialist, colonial practices of European governments that have overrun the world in the name of securing more room to live. I could hardly believe my ears.
So I asked him, Assuming we could find a planet enough like ours that we could be reasonably assured of settling a meaningful population of humans, did he think we could colonize another planet without affecting the native life?
But more to the point, if we had the technology to build a space ship big enough and fast enough to transport a million people across the galaxy, that same technology would surely be awesome enough to ensure the viability of our own planet, the one we’ve evolved to live on, for a million years.
And yet, even though the technology we’ve got right now is telling us that we’ve got to clean up our act in order to leave a planet that the next generation will be able to live on, we’re not doing that.
Yeah. In our house, a crooked cat’s tail routinely ends up in discussions like this one. You should’ve heard the one about gender roles.