People tell me they couldn't move to Florida because they can't stand our bugs. Me, I'll take our giant cockroaches any day over ticks.

I grew up in Upstate New York. I spent much of my free time in the woods near our house, and hiked with my father all over the Adirondack Mountains. Never in my life did I see a tick of any sort until a visit to Connecticut after I graduated from college. Now, apparently, ticks are everywhere in the Northeast (and more). The worst a roach ever did to me was to scuttle into my bra when I was prone on the floor searching under the kitchen cupboards. The worst a tick has done to me was to give my little grandson Lyme disease, a far more serious, and much less amusing, situation.

Ticks freak me out. I don't know where this infestation came from, and I'm not happy about it.

But just when I started thinking that "extinction is forever" would be a great idea for all tick species, I read this: Oxford University researchers say ticks are a "gold mine" for new drugs.

It's possible that the extinction of any species, even the most apparently useless, annoying, or even dangerous, deprives us of some great, as yet undiscovered, benefit.

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Edit
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Thank you for standing up for insecta. Yes, many of them do serve as vectors, and we must protect ourselves, but they also belong to "All Creatures of Our God and King". On the other hand, I find the utilitarian mindset disturbing. By that, I mean the thought that every other species on the planet was put here for our benefit, for our use, because that is the way that leads to extinction.

Posted by Diane Villafane on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 6:29 am

I see no problem with believing that God has arranged for us to benefit, in some way or another, whether we see it or not, from the world in which he has placed us. That doesn't mean all creatures are all good: nature, too, was changed by the Fall. But there is good for us in them.

That does NOT mean we are to abuse, overuse, or misuse them. Recognizing the utility in something is not the problem; the danger comes when we prize only the utility, and eschew our responsibility. It reminds me of something C. S. Lewis said (in The Screwtape Letters, so recognize that "the Enemy" here is God): "Even in the nursery a child can be taught to mean by "my Teddy-bear" not the old imagined recipient of affection to whom it stands in a special relation (for that is what the Enemy will teach them to mean if we are not careful) but "the bear I can pull to pieces if I like.

Posted by SursumCorda on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 6:48 am

What is the link you included? I started to go to it, then realized it points to a Word doc, and I don't like to open those without more information.

Posted by SursumCorda on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 6:49 am

The word doc is a story I wrote about ants. The link is to where I upload things that I want to share. :D

My theology is quite different from that of C.S. Lewis.

Posted by Diane Villafane on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 6:56 am

I realize I'm being obnoxious, but technically I'm standing up for Arachnida here. Insecta may its chance when I read about a surprising benefit coming from mosquitoes.

Speaking of mosquitoes, there's another example of how something bad can also be unexpectedly good. Sickle-cell disease, which takes the life of many, including my friend's brother, also offers some protection against malaria, another widespread killer of Africans. And, according to this article, may lead to more effective treatment. With carbon monoxide, of all things, which in large doses recently killed several people in Orlando, post-Irma.

Posted by SursumCorda on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 7:08 am

Lewis is one of my heroes, and George MacDonald even more so, who was his spiritual mentor. But we already know we disagree on much. Fortunately, we usually agree on which notes to sing. :)

Posted by SursumCorda on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 7:14 am

If giant cockroaches can become "Palmetto Bugs," maybe we just need a little better marketing up here in the north for our ticks? :) Good info here:

Posted by Eric on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 1:12 pm
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