Support Aeon Donate now A strange thing is happening in modern philosophy: What makes this strange is that, not only does the new attitude run counter to much of the history of philosophy, but — despite loud claims to the contrary — it also goes against the findings of modern science. This has serious consequences, ranging from the way in which we see ourselves and our place in the cosmos to what sort of philosophy of life we might adopt.
In it he discussed the most pressing problem of natural theology: Buckland considered the depredation of "carnivorous races" as the primary challenge to an idealized world where the lion might dwell with the lamb.
He resolved the issue to his satisfaction by arguing that carnivores actually increase "the aggregate of animal enjoyment" and "diminish that of pain. God knew what he was doing when he made lions. Buckland concluded in hardly concealed rapture: The appointment of death by the agency of carnivora as the ordinary termination of animal existence, appears therefore in its main results to be a dispensation of benevolence; it deducts much from the aggregate amount of the pain of universal death; it abridges, and almost annihilates, throughout the brute creation, the misery of disease, and accidental injuries, and lingering decay; and impose such salutary restraint upon excessive increase of numbers, that the supply of food maintains perpetually a due ratio to the demand.
The result is, that the surface of the land and depths of the waters are ever crowded with myriads of animated beings, the pleasures of whose Nature love essay are coextensive with its duration; and which throughout the little day of existence that is allotted to them, fulfill with joy the functions for which they were created.
Yet this argument could not abolish the problem of evil entirely, for nature includes many phenomena far more horrible in our eyes than simple predation.
In no other Nature love essay can I explain why Alien, an uninspired, grade-C, formula horror film, should have won such a following.
That single scene of Mr.
Alien popping forth as a baby parasite from the body of a human host, was both sickening and stunning. Our nineteenth-century forebears maintained similar feelings. The classic case, treated at length by all great naturalists, invoked the so-called ichneumon fly.
Buckland had sidestepped the major issue. The "ichneumon fly," which provoked such concern among natural theologians, was actually a composite creature representing the habits of an enormous tribe. In addition, many non-ichneumonoid wasps of similar habits were often cited for the same grisly details.
The ichneumon, like most wasps, generally live freely as adults but pass their larva life as parasites feeding on the bodies of other animals, almost invariably members of their own phylum, the Arthropoda. The most common victims are caterpillars butterfly and moth larvaebut some ichneumons prefer aphids and other attack spiders.
Most host are parasitized as larvae, but some adults are attacked, and many tiny ichneumons inject their brood directly into the eggs of their host.
The free-flying females locate an appropriate host and then convert it into a food factory for their own young. Parasitologists speak of ectoparasitism when the uninvited guest lives on the surface of its host, and endoparasitism when the parasite dwells within.
Among endoparasitic ichneumons, adult females pierce the host with their ovipositor and deposit eggs within.
The ovipositor, a thin tube extending backward from the wasp's rear end, may be many times as long as the body itself.
Usually, the host is not otherwise inconvenienced for the moment, at least until the eggs hatch and the ichneumon larvae begin their grim work of interior excavation. Among ectoparasites, however, many females lay their eggs directly upon the host's body.
Since an active host would easily dislodge the egg, the ichneumon mother often simultaneously injects a toxin that paralyzes the caterpillar or other victim.
The paralyzes may be permanent, and the caterpillar lies, alive but immobile, with the agent of its future destruction secure on its belly. The egg hatches, the helpless caterpillar twitches, the wasp larvae pierces and begins its grisly feast.
As the king's executioner drew out and burned his client's entrails, so does the ichneumon larvae eat fat bodies and digestive organs first, keeping the caterpillar alive by preserving intact the essential heart and central nervous system. Finally, the larvae completes its work and kills its victim, leaving behind the caterpillar's empty shell.
Is it any wonder that ichneumons, not snakes or lions, stood as the paramount challenge to God's benevolence during the heyday of natural theology?
As I read through the nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature on ichneumons, nothing amused me more than the tension between an intellectual knowledge that wasps should not be described in human terms and a literary or emotional inability to avoid the familiar categories of epic and narrative, pain and destruction, victim and vanquisher.[tags: Robert Frost Nature Poetry Essays] Research Papers words ( pages) Robert Frost expresses his love for nature in this poem all throughout.
Through the length of the poem he talks about grass and mowing the lawn and listening to the breeze. Free Essay: In Walden, Henry David Thoreau explains how a relationship with nature reveals aspects of the true self that remain hidden by the distractions of.
I am a lifelong insomniac. I used to freak my own parents out when I was a small child by creeping quietly into their room and opening up their eyelids with my fingers in an effort—so the story goes—to see what they were dreaming.
Come with me and discover some poems and other things related to the beauty of Nature. Jan 11, · Credit Brian Rea. More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory.
Last summer, I applied his . The essay is the most important part of a college appllication, see sample essays perfect for applying to schools in the US.