The first sounds used for the purpose of communication were probably made by insects. Most species of bees do not live in colonies. These bees live solitary lives, occupying tiny holes dug into the dirt or a tree. While scanning the poultry at your local market, you might ask the question, which came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg has existed on Earth for at least several hundred million years, while the Hen has been here only fifty million years. On the other hand, proteins may have evolved prior to DNA molecules. If you think of the nucleus as the embryo or egg, and proteins as its protecting membrane, or material body, then one may conclude that the chicken did, in fact, come before the egg. A female pigeon cannot lay eggs if she is alone. In order for her ovaries to function, she must be able to see another pigeon. If no other pigeon is nearby, viewing her reflection in a mirror is enough to cause the desired result. All animals, including humans, are at different times, extremely fragile and truly indomitable. There are approximately 10 to the 18 (one followed by 18 zeroes) number of insects on planet Earth. The functional purpose of life is the survival of DNA. Animals have allowed themselves to become domesticated as a means of survival, rather than as a benefit to humans. The same is true for large fruit, such as apples, oranges, or grapefruit, where animals large enough to eat them and disperse their seeds have become extinct. When you see a dog on a leash, consider author Michael Pollan’s reminder that there are millions of dogs in the world today, while only thousands of wolves. The next time you water a plant or feed an animal, consider that one-hundred and fifty years ago a species died-out every 5 years. Today a species disappears every 9 minutes. Every animal mirrors the shape of its environment. All species that are alive today are the most successful in history. They are at the top of the evolutionary ladder.
A Collection of Writings on Nature, Science, and Art by John Holland