Meta Description: The primary thought conveyed here is both cynical and humorous—cynical because theory does not always advance through a release from constraints; funny because it so frequently does, and we often find humor in a warped view of the truth. In biology, single theories are rarely universal. But theories can be beautiful, and no one wants to destroy beauty, especially when they are our own creation.
Beautiful theories, well defended, can influence lines of thought for generations. Too bad, because despite such resistance, a fuller version of the truth always, eventually, emerges; Salieri could hold back Mozart for only so long. And while the Planck/Samuelson quotes focus on less than admirable human behavior, the purpose here is to twist the thought to focus on amphibian declines, disease, epidemics, and stemming the effects of human impacts, while we still can.
Amphibian declines are iconically signaling the Anthropocene, the geologic period identified by human domination of the environment. While most amphibian declines likely are caused by habitat loss (including fragmentation, shredding, and successional processes), there can be no doubt that amphibian populations have been lost or compromised by exposure to pesticides, metals, other xenobiotic chemicals, and UV-B radiation; not to mention acidification of wetlands and introduced invasive species.
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