Edward O. Wilson
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Biophilia is Edward O. Wilson's most personal book, an evocation of his own response to nature and an eloquent statement of the conservation ethic. Wilson argues that our natural affinity for life–biophilia–is the very essence of our humanity and binds us to all other living things.
The Poetic Species JI 67 ate and nobody else has ever come to such an understanding, he can claim that his thinking was really creative. We have returned to the common, human origin of science and art. The innovator searches for comparisons that no one else has made. He scrambles to tighten his extension by argument, example, and experiment. Important science is not just any similarity glimpsed for the first time. It offers analogies that map the gateways to unexplored terrain. The comparisons
and flowers ready to celebrate the baptism of my new art, the birds and the flowers already enjewelling the tender foliage of the new-born tree of my hopes. AND We are in the fullest sense a biological species and will find little ultimate meaning apart from the remainder of life. The fiery circle of disciplines will be closed if science looks at the inward journey of the artist's mind, making art and culture objects of study in the biological mode, and if the artist and critic are informed of
atmospheric conditions. And once they have managed to rise above the level of bare subsistence, they invest large amounts of time to improve the appearance oftheir immediate surroundings. Their aim is to make the habitat more "livable" according to what are usually called aesthetic criteria. With aesthetics we return to the central issue of biophilia. It is interesting to inquire about the prevalent direction of this vector in cultural evolution, in other words the The Right Place I 109 ideal
morality, that we think into the distant future. The precise manner in which we take this measure, how we put it into words, is crucially important. For if the whole process of our life is directed toward preserving our species and personal genes, preparing for future generations is an expression ofthe highest morality of which human beings are capable. It follows that the destruction of the natural world in which the brain was assembled over millions of years is a risky step. And the worst
possesses an overall nutritional value equal to that ofsoybean. It is among the most rapidly growing of all plants, reaching a height of fifteen feet within a few weeks. The entire plant can be eaten, tubers, seeds, leaves, flowers, stems, and all, both raw and ground into flour. A coffeelike beverage can be made from the liquefied extract. The species has already been used to improve the diet in fifty tropical counrries, and a special institute has been set up in Sri Lanka to study and promote