Unpleasant Topics

This blog, inspired by the writings of Hal Borland, Edwin Way Teale and others (as listed in Recommended Books), tends to focus on the natural landscape of our planet, the natural history of our Universe and the seasonal events of nature's year. But, as a naturalist, I accept the fact that humans are part of nature; while collectively powerful, we are no more or less important than any other species. Nevertheless, our intelligence has spawned industry and technology that, if not properly managed, will threaten the welfare of all species, including ourselves.

In truth, we cannot fully understand nature unless we make an effort to understand human nature, including the physical, emotional and mental traits that govern our lives. In doing so, it is imperative that we acknowledge the dark side of our nature, accept our limitations, understand our impact on other species and learn to improve our lives without compromising the health of natural ecosystems.

This effort to understand ourselves requires that we study the roots of human culture, the origin of our beliefs and the varied manifestations of our shared genome. This commitment also necessitates the willingness to face unpleasant topics, including abortion, infidelity, child abuse, mysticism, zealotry and death, among others. Events of the past week have directed this blog away from the fabulous diversity of our natural world and toward some of the disturbing traits that define our species. Yet, while we stop to dwell on the problems of humanity, the plates continue to shift, the seasons march along and our wild neighbors carry on their struggle to survive.