Maybe we could learn to adapt like robins

Published 12:35 am Sunday, November 11, 2007

This week, I witnessed the return of the Robins. They came in the thousands, possibly even in the hundreds of thousands. I watched them arrive in intermittent streams, and I stood watching them in awe. They were riding the leading edge of a cold front that was approaching us from the north and probably had come from miles away.

As a child, I would imagine that I had an awesome aircraft that could fly, hover and carry me into this surreal world of flight as effortlessly as the birds. No landing strips, no radar, just simply flying by my senses for the pure exhilaration of the experience. What a craft that would be.

It was once believed that the dinosaurs died out about 65 million years ago. But, with the politics between China and the Western World becoming more amenable, scientists have been afforded the experience of studying fossils in the Gobi Desert. There, they have found transitional forms of dinosaurs that had replaced their reptilian skins with skins bearing feathers. It is now apparent that birds are the living descendents of dinosaurs and that the dinosaurs did not die, but simply adapted and changed.

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What a struggle it must have been to survive for those millions of years. Adaptation was the only process for survival. To resist change would impose certain doom. Therein may be a lesson for humans — we must adapt and we must change in order to survive. Neanderthal man lived concurrently with modern man, but because he refused to adapt, he simply became history. Heavy stuff to consider the next time you insist on having only your way.

If the human race will adapt and change to accommodate its challenges, possibly we too will have offspring living 65 million years from now. They would, however, be transported in craft that no present day child could ponder upon, even in his wildest musings.

Ed Field