Welcome to the BioPhiles Blog!
I find the natural world incredible. The endless variety and complexity that exists outside the four walls of my office never ceases to capture my imagination and surprise me. The famous ecologist E.O. Wilson calls it biophilia, this desire to be connected to the rest of life, and he writes that:
Humanity needs a vision of an expanding and unending future. This spiritual craving cannot be satisfied by the colonisation of space. The other planets are inhospitable and immensely expensive to reach. The nearest stars are so far away that voyagers would need thousands of years just to report back. The true frontier for humanity is life on earth, its exploration and the transport of knowledge about it into science, art and practical affairs. Again, the qualities of life that validate the proposition are: 90% or more of species of plants, animals and micro organisms, lack even so much as a scientific name; each of the species is immensely old by human standards and has been wonderfully moulded to its environment. Life around us exceeds in complexity and beauty anything else humanity is ever likely to encounter.
When I was a child I didn’t dream of being an astronaut, touching the stars or seeing the world from outerspace. I dreamt of jungles, deserts and tundra, of animals and plants I’d only read about in books. Even as I’ve visited these places – seen polar bears padding across the ice, snakes hanging in the trees in the jungle, and wasps digging burrows in the desert – the allure hasn’t faded, only deepened. The BioPhiles is a place for me to indulge my biophilia and write about my fascination with all the things around me. The topics may stray, the views are my own, but I hope you enjoy nonetheless!