Talk:Albatross

From New World Encyclopedia
Unification Aspects:

The biology and ecology of albatrosses provide Unification insights in terms of monogamy and conservation.

Albatrosses are famous for their breeding dances. A young bird will start by dancing with many partners, but after a number of years the number of birds an individual will interact with drops, until one partner is chosen and a pair is formed. They then continue to perfect an individual language that will eventually be unique to that one pair. Through this process they establish a pair bond that will last for life. Albatrosses are thought to undertake these elaborate and painstaking rituals to ensure that the correct partner has been chosen and to perfect recognition of their partner, as egg laying and chick rearing is a huge investment. The "divorce" of a pair is a rare occurrence.

Frequently, judgments on human behaviors are arrived at by extrapolation from the natural world. For example, there is effort to utilize social Darwinism and extrapolate from behaviors in the animal world to try and explain human sexual reproduction, often concluding that either men are naturally promiscuous; women are naturally promiscuous, or humans are not a monogamous species (see Talk:Sexual reproduction. However, it is not justified to extrapolate from the natural world to human behaviors. For one, humans are unique. Even their reproductive systems are set up different than most mammals, displaying signs of availabilty and secondary sexual characteristics not only "when in heat," when the female can get pregnant, but at all times. In addition, it is problematic to extrapolate from the mating habits of jungle fowl, bees, fish, and so forth to human habits, given that people are endowed with a spiritual as well as physical nature (see human and human body).

While the comparison is unjustified, the remarkable system of monogamy in the albatross and their pairing for life provides a counterbalance to the current social Darwinistic views of some that monogamy, pairing for life, and fidelity in humans is an unnatural state, based on the fact that social monogamy is rare in primates and much of creation, and sexual monogamy is even more rare.

Another aspect regarding albatrosses reveals aspects of Unification Thought, that of conservation and the proper human attitude toward nature. In spite of often being accorded legendary status, albatrosses have not escaped either indirect or direct pressure from humans. Overhunting for sport or food, introduced species (such as rats and feral cats), pollution (such as plastics), long-life fishing lines, and loss of habitat have resulted in a situation were 19 of the 21 species of albatross are endangered and two species are critically endangered.

Many religions consider human beings to have a role of being stewards of creation, who are to cherish nature. As stated by Rev. Sun Myung Moon (June 13, 2006, Cheongpyeong, Republic of Korea):

"God created all the earth's creatures as our natural environment; they are absolutely needed for human prosperity. Human beings and nature are meant to share a realm of mutual resonance, with humans as the subject partners of love and nature as the object partner thriving under human management and beautified by human creativity. We can no longer tolerate actions that destroy nature and pollute the environment…. Protect and love nature…. To love nature is to love God and humanity. When human life resonates with nature, human character can blossom in perfection."

However, the history of human interactions with nature have often been ones of exploitation for short-term gain, or with little regard for the impact on the animals exploited. Fortunately, the human conscience and heart are guiding people to take care of the albatross. Scientists and conservationists (such as BirdLife International) are working with governments and fishermen to find solutions to the threats albatrosses face. New techniques are being developed to allow fishing while minimizing the impact on albatrosses, and another important step is the 2001 treaty the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, which came into force in 2004. Conservationists have also worked on the field of island restoration, removing introduced species that threaten native wildlife, which protects albatrosses from introduced predators.

Unification Aspects is designed to relate the subject of this article to Unification Thought and to aid
teachers and researchers who wish to further pursue these topics from a unification perspective.