Your work is cut out if you claim a benign god made all living things, and ordained since the dawn of creation their behaviour. Nature is what nature is, species trying to survive and reproduce, at a cost to themselves and others. Our consciousness allows us to find beauty and horror in what happens throughout the animal kingdom. On this planet 99% of what we are aware once roamed this earth live no more.
As Christopher Hitchens observed, “some design”.
Clive James’ review of Sir David Attenborough’s latest wildlife programme:
When you consider that David Attenborough personifies an entire broadcasting epoch, it was only fitting that he should be given a whole three-part series in which to say goodbye. Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild (BBC Two), a retrospective survey of his greatest work, held innumerable delights.
Many of them were of a sexual nature. Female viewers probably most appreciated the maestro’s early appearances in a slimline safari suit, but for at least one male viewer the great sexual moment was a mating display by a male bird of paradise.
The female bird of paradise has none of the male’s sensational plumage. He is the one who wears the fine long feathers and does the dance that wins her heart. Attenborough waited for decades until his cameras were good enough to catch the action. Then he commented breathlessly while a male went through his complete routine.
“Can it really be worth all this,” the great man whispered from a nearby place of concealment, “just to mate with a female?” The male bird went on posing and posturing. But guess what? The female didn’t want to know. She just sniffed and moved on, presumably looking for a bloke who really had what it took – perhaps a tail 10 feet long that could tie itself into a written message, such as, for example, “All this could be yours.”
Watching that poor loser of a male bird trying to assimilate the cruel fact that he had knocked himself out for nothing, I pondered all over again the great truth about sex as it applies to human beings: that sooner or later it will make a fool out of anybody.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog