Wisdom of the Female Elk

Some thoughts on evolution …

Articles we’re discussing in this bloxt:

Female elk become gun shy as they age, U of A research shows
Sperm counts among western men have halved in last 40 years – study
Cooch
I just did CBC’s   “Demographic dance floor”  to find out where my family fits in the latest census data. Someone with our sense of humour designed this. Check it out.

Cooch
Besides the distractingly cute dancing “you” figure, they have links to songs you might want to play on YouTube, based on your stats. So this is me, and the song selection is Amy Winehouse, Tears Dry on their Own.

 


Bast
My song is Dancing by Myself by Billy Idol of courses. A good 80’s tune. Works on so many levels.
Cooch
Next to the gender ratio section – citing that women 85+ outnumber men almost two to one (five to one by age 100), you can listen to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive.
Cooch
Which made me think of that study about how female elk outlive male elk because they learn and adapt their behaviours to avoid hunters … Female elk learn from mistakes of others 
Bast
So do you think the rise in living alone will cause evolutionary changes? I wonder if the world (Gaia) doesn’t know there are too many of us and so we’re evolving not to procreate as much.
Cooch
Well, I do think life has a system for monitoring itself. It could very well be looking for ways to slow the growth of the human species.

What I would see as an evolutionary leap is if humans were able to discern for themselves the need to slow growth … an evolutionary leap in self-awareness.

Bast
But we already have that, don’t we? Birth control is a thing.
Bast
And Malthus had his theory too.
Cooch
Excuse me while I brush up on my Malthusian principles …

There have always been people ahead of any leap forward in humanity – those that truly see life in its broadest sense and where it’s going. Providing safe and effective birth control may have been in part spurred by a concern about humanity spreading too quickly – but I feel like mostly it’s used for personal convenience.

Bast
But personal convenience individually leads to population control globally, no?
Cooch
Definitely. I’m just talking about the motivation being personal rather than collective. So maybe collectively we are lurching our way forward on an inevitable path?
Bast
I think that’s how evolution works, no? It’s not a collective decision to evolve – more of a number of individual decisions. Or individual changes at various times across a spectrum.
Cooch
True … with that whole natural selection thing thrown in for good measure. So back to your original question, maybe we are evolving to realize that procreation is no longer the optimal way to secure the continued existence of the species – in fact, it is the opposite.
Cooch
Good grief, though, it’s like the prequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.
Bast
Well, yes. But there is a corresponding decline in male sperm count too. There was a report about that recently too. And women in the Western world are experiencing a harder time getting pregnant. I’ve heard it’s because of the estrogen being disseminated through our water system, because of all the birth control pills we’re peeing out!
Cooch
Dissemination leading to de-semination – there’s a headline for you.
Bast
We’re entering the anti-creation phase of our existence.
Cooch
Do you think that means we’ll be more open to collaboration with other forms of life? Including AI? 
Bast
Besides sharing our lives with cats … and dogs … and horses … and llamas, etc?
Bast
Not sure about AI. Elon Musk isn’t keen on it. The guy makes some sense.
Cooch
Don’t forget wolfdogs. I guess I’m still hoping humans will someday (soon) realize that life is a collective endeavour. And it has to continually evolve.
Bast
Just the Western world that doesn’t. The East is far more communal, although our individualism is seeping into their cultures too.
Cooch
Interesting … as the world’s cultures begin to integrate, a number of ways forward are emerging … and the future of life depends on which one we take. Those female elk may be teaching us a lot more than we think they are.
Bast
I still love the fact that they’ve figured us humans out before the boy elk have.

Maybe the female of any species is just better at spotting danger. Clinton did warn us about Trump, after all.

Cooch
Touché. Gaia looks out for life; females look out for lives.

2 thoughts on “Wisdom of the Female Elk

  1. So are you implying that man (as in the males of the species) prescribe to overpopulation when food is abundant and will therefore become an evolutionary dead end (like Malthusian T-Rexes), while women (as in the females of the species) are on the evolutionary escalator and are much closer achieving next plane of existence ( aka Bastet)

    1. Cooch here. Thanks for chirping in. I think it’s fair to say that we could all learn from the female elk, who have evolved to live longer and more safely because they observe and learn from the more risky behaviour of their male counterparts. So not so much about the males of any species dying out – more like the evidence showing (at least for elk) that females may be hardwired in part with a perspective on life in its broadest sense, which after all, you could call evolution. Thoughts?

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