Kudzu is a great example of a real invasive specie, It’s an Asian plant that overtakes many areas in the American South.
I think I may have created a monster…
A few weeks ago, I introduced my sister to Slimebeast’s short story “Invasive Species,” and she hasn’t stopped bugging me about it since. You may have already noticed that I’ve done a narration of the story as she requested, and now she wants me to give it a more in-depth treatment. I only oblige her because I’ve been struggling to find a good subject for this week, so we’ll all just have to bear with her for now.
It’s understandable why she would be so interested. In college she majored in biology, so the basis for the mutants resonates with her scientific knowledge – especially evolution. As humans with longer lifespans and generations, we don’t get to witness developments in our species in the same way as bacteria or bugs, which breed quickly and have shorter generations. Scientists often observe small bacteria adapt and become antibiotic-resistant or bugs develop immunity to pesticides. In “Invasive Species” the audience gets to see the results of human adaptation at warp speed.
Many people think that evolution is a process that makes organisms more and more advanced. This simply isn’t true, as the vast majority of mutations are harmful to an organism. It’s only tiny percentage of mutations that offer some kind of advantage. Natural selection chooses an organism’s qualities in terms of adaptability, survivability, and the ability to pass on genes to the next generation. This might mean that a species may have to become less complex in order to adapt and survive. One need only look at the dinosaurs; they’re the genetic ancestors of birds. Evolution doesn’t often choose intelligence as an adaptive trait either – it’s just a fluke in human development. In reality evolution is a real bitch.
What really leaves us both wondering about this story is why would scientists develop such a potent serum in the first place. It might be in response to an infertility epidemic but the true reasons are never made clear. I was at a loss in regards to an explanation. With some thought, my sister was able to come up with a theory: an alternative to expensive IVF treatments, as many people in first-world countries suffer from low fertility because of chemicals that can cause such issues.
The real question this tale leaves us with is simple: are humans really an invasive species? Were on every continent, encroach on nearly all environments, there’s over seven billion of us, and we consume more resources than any other kind of animal. Scientifically speaking, all signs point to yes.