The Consequences of the Dissolution of Wallaces's Realms
I have a problem with my talk. So far each speaker has been given approximately one minute for every ten million years they're talking about. I'm going to be speaking about the last couple hundred years, milliseconds in terms of the realm that they've been able to grasp and manage and explain to us. So it's a very different time frame. The issues I'm going to be talking about are issues that are important and can readily be explained to students. I will present the material that you need in order to talk about these issues and demonstrate that examples of them are in your back yard or in your schoolyard, everywhere you travel. So there's no lack of material and there's no lack of issues to discuss related to these materials because society hasn't really made up its mind yet on what the nature of the problem is and what they should do about it. I will explore some of the dimensions of these problems.
This is the world that you know, and that Theophrastus knew, that Linnaeus worked on as did Darwin. At the end point of the discussions, the world we have here today. The former Pangea now is spread out and we have separation of the continents. Those lines you see dividing the world we know separate different biogeographic provinces in recent times. I say recent times in contrast to the talks that we have heard. Evolutionary divergence has gone on in those separated regions. The interchange of genetic material across those lines has been relatively small. That's the way it was. But the point I'm going to make is that in the last couple of hundred years weve taken scissors, essentially, and cut those lines with enormous consequences. I'd like to describe now what the change has been and what the consequences are and how we should view it; perhaps what we can do about it.