Erik Nyquist

Gig Harbor, WA, United States

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Comments & conversations

177714
Erik Nyquist
Posted over 2 years ago
Is the total eradication of mosquitoes a true solution?
In light of this vein of thinking, it is quite understandable if mosquitoes sought to remove humans from Africa. That is, in the hypothetical instance in which they were intelligent. But the negative consequences of eradication are more far reaching than most people understand. The complexities of ecosystems can be difficult to understand, and removing a significant part of one can have dramatic consequences that go well beyond just one species. You might find that the elimination of mosquitoes also harms all creatures that feed on them and their larvae: Fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. How many people in Africa need Fish for their food? How about birds? What if mosquitoes play some essential role in nature, as bees do? We might not understand it until it is too late and thy are already gone. A better system is to deal with the specific problem: the diseases carried by mosquitoes and similar biting iinsects. In the United States (a country whose mosquito population in some parts would horrify even people from the Tropics....they can come in clouds sometimes), mosquitoes are controlled in heavily populated areas with pesticides, but live out their lives uninterrupted where there are few humans. For prevention of diseases born by mosquitoes like malaria and certain kinds of flu, an extensive program of vaccination also is in place. Tonic (quinine) is also still used as a prophylactic even today as well. It is possible to strike a balance with nature, you see. Try to fight it and it will fight you back; work with it and it will find room for you.
177714
Erik Nyquist
Posted over 2 years ago
How much of a right do students have to questioning and independent thinking?
I'm not certain this is even a question! Education is above all else about questioning and independent thinking. Yes, you may fill a child's head with facts, you can force them to memorize poetry and multiplication tables. But do they understand the poem? Do they understand the concept of multiplication? As many find out, the real learning in life often does wait until we are in a situation where we begin to explore new knowledge for ourselves. This is only possible if we have been taught how to properly learn. The true job of any real educator is to teach students to think; not to give them facts but to teach them how to learn, how to reason, and how to understand. Then again, perhaps these things cannot really be taught, perhaps they require that the individual have them as innate abilities. I do not know.