TNRTB Archive – Retained for reference information
A new study reveals the critical importance of insects in the wild for supporting advanced civilizations. Researchers from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation estimated the minimum worth of wild insects to the US economy at $57 billion. These workers considered only four activities in their assessment: disposal of dung; control of crop pests; pollination; and nutrition for wildlife. They did not factor into their study the activity and worth of domesticated insects, like honeybees. When asked what his study of nature told him about God, the legendary biologist J. B. S. Haldane quipped, “The Creator must have an inordinate fondness for beetles. He made so many of them.” For Haldane, the existence of large numbers of seemingly unnecessary beetle species was prima facie evidence for evolution. But recent work indicates that the bewildering diversity of insects may well have a divine purpose.
- Michael Hopkin, “What’s the Point of Insects?” firstname.lastname@example.org, March 31, 2006.
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