The Death of Natural Selection
Linton Weeksâ€™s thought-provoking post on the right of plants to evolve reports on the work of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit that helps communities develop laws that recognize ecosystems as rights-bearing entities. The CELDFâ€™s work is not unprecedented; in 2008 Ecuador granted nature the constitutional right to the maintenance and regeneration of its evolutionary processes. The associate director of CELDF explained: â€œfish and other species in a river may be recognized as having the right to exist and evolve.â€
These are not the only efforts to protect speciesâ€™ abilities to evolve. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, for example, defines wilderness areas as â€œprotecting large mainly untouched areas where ecosystem processes, including evolution, can continue unhindered by human[s], including development or mass tourism.â€ Other environmental organizations are similarly concerned about speciesâ€™ evolutionary opportunities. That environmentalists are pursuing legal protection of natureâ€™s right to evolve suggests that natureâ€™s ability to evolve could be threatened or withheld. Can humans really stop evolution?