There is evidence that we are headed into what would be the planet's sixth mass extinction. It's hard to know for sure if you're in one because a mass extinction is an event where over 75 percent of the species on the planet die out over a - usually about a million-year period. The fastest it might happen is in hundreds of thousands of years.
Now, I pray you, cast yourself into a different world, a different trail of thought; step into a place where dragons live and breathe, where they are as real in touch and voice as you or I. Where they face the same extinction every day that they have suffered in our world: the extinction of myth... yet where they battle every moment to fend off such a fate for another day...
In the way our Fathers originally left the slavery question, the institution was in the course of ultimate extinction, and the public mind rested in the belief that it was in the course of ultimate extinction . . . . All I have asked or desired anywhere, is that it should be placed back again upon the basis that the Fathers of our government originally placed it upon.
One animal or plant species may become extinct every hour. All species are doomed to extinction, but man through worldwide development/killing animals for food/profit/using toxic chemicals such as pesticides/industrial wastes, will accelerate the extinction of plants/animals and the result will be a more hostile environment for man.
Erik P. Eckholm
Wild fish are under threat of extinction because they're hunted to feed us. Yet land animals that we farm are under no threat of extinction. Shifting from hunting fish to farming fish - where the farmers have the incentive to keep their stocks healthy - could do a tremendous amount of good for wild fish.
Many of us, utterly overcome by Tamas, the dark and heavy demon of inertia, are saying nowadays that it is impossible, that India is decayed, bloodless and lifeless, too weak ever to recover; that our race is doomed to extinction. It is a foolish and idle saying. No man or nation need be weak unless he chooses, no man or nation need perish unless he deliberately chooses extinction.
It is a rule in paleontology that ornamentation and complication precede extinction. And our mutation, of which the assembly line, the collective farm, the mechanized army, and the mass production of food are evidences or even symptoms, might well correspond to the thickening armor of the great reptiles-a tendency that can end only in extinction. If this should happen to be true, nothing stemming from thought can interfere with it or bend it. Conscious thought seems to have little effect on the action or direction of our species.
Sometimes in the ignorance I feel the meaning Invincible invisible wisdom, And I commune with intuitive instinct With the force that made life be And since it made life be It is greater than life And since it let extinction be It is greater than extinction. I commune with feelings more than prayer
It is so hard for an evolutionary biologist to write about extinction caused by human stupidity. [...] Let me then float an unconventional plea, the inverse of the usual argument. [...] The extinction of Partula is unfair to Partula . That is the conventional argument, and I do not challenge its primacy. But we need a humanistic ecology as well, both for the practical reason that people will always touch people more than snails do or can, and for the moral reason that humans are legitimately the measure of all ethical questions for these are our issues, not nature's.
Stephen Jay Gould
Without death there is little innovation. Extinction - death of a species - is part and parcel of evolutionary change. In the absence of this kind of extinction new developments would not prosper. In our own history, periods when ideas have been perpetuated by dogma, preventing the replacement of old by new ideas, have also been times of stultifying stagnation. The Dark Ages in western society were the most static, least innovative of times. So the fact that trilobites were replaced by batches of successive species through their long history was a testimony to their evolutionary vigour.