Philosophical corner - an island

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Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sat 14 Sep 2013 02:15
As we sail around the ocean we encounter islands. Small islands are fascinating in the sense that we can easily grasp them. I guess staying on a small island for a long time could be ... limiting.
When Ellinor met the secretary of health she was asked wether she could work on a smaller island 150 nM north of Rarotonga.
Last night we were talking about wether we could move to a smaller island or not. We decided not.
But was is an island? As I'm reading one of Richard Dawkins books about evolution I realize that an island is a place where we can survive surrounded by an hostile environment. A fish will probably experience a lake as an island. Well islands is what made evolution of different creatures possible. And an island does not need to be earth surrounded by water. Let´s say you have an animal or a plant that can only live above 3000 meters, it will find itself on an island, with an archipelago of other mountain tops.
So when we travel across an ocean, we do this leaps that take us from one livable place to another.
In between we have to survive on our own.
How do islands contribute to evolution? Well, for instance, if you have a lizard that lives on an island, as long as they breed they will most probably end up being the same. There can be some mutations but they will most probably remain in the same gene pool.
Suddenly there is a storm and a tree with some of the animals float away to a new island. The island can be a different environment. Let´s say there is no predators, or there is lack of the food they had on the other island. The fittest will survive and as the centuries pass the will be more and more different than their ancestors. Maybe big vegetarians with small wings...
One day they will actually not even breed any longer. Look at Australia, all animals are descendent from one specie that had a "pocket" on the tummy.

Humans did spread across the earth, and evolved different cultures, languages and ways of surviving.
Traveling can be a way of experiencing those different cultures. The most thrilling part of this is to realize how small the difference is.
Even on this ocean that has more water than earth and the islands are scattered far away from each other, there is smaller differences than we could anticipate.
In a way you could say, that with global communication and exchange the entire earth is becoming an island.