Why there are no more geese in Prospect Park, NYC.

Unintended Consequence #824,357 of humans “filtering” nature (aka, how evolution happens), from KingEdRa, a commenter at MetaFilter:

First there’s a few geeses and everyone’s all “Awww, how cute!” Many children, old people and young lovers on old-timey dates have magical moments interacting with nature by feeding them. Soon, the word gets out to other geeses, and those geeses tell even MORE geeses, “Hey man, free food!” Soon, you have a couple hundred geese milling about Prosopect Park, pooping all over everything and acting like TOTAL jerks to other birds, people and small, useless dogs. Next thing you know, the geeses are flying around over the skies in NYC, not migrating and shit because of all the AWESOME free food and BANG! a plane flies right into a whole flock of geeses and next thing you know, you’re making emergency landings on the Hudson River and Sully Sullenburger is all over my TV, writing books and shit. Now they’re dead, and everyone’s all “BOO! Parks Dept. BOO!”

In short, nothing good ever comes of feeding geese.

Earlier in the same thread, another commenter, effugas, writes:

In a hundred year’s time, I am convinced all life on Earth will be:

1) Too cute to kill
2) Too delicious to allow to go extinct
3) Too numerous to be threatened with extinction

These are the things we evolutionarily select for.

With the important qualification that “we” is not a uniform bunch. What’s cute but not delicious to someone in one economy may be the opposite to someone elsewhere. So the selections – and survivors – may seem that much more capricious or “autochthonous”.

If life on Earth has a purpose, we are certainly carrying it out. History is a sculpture of matter and energy wrought in the fourth dimension.

recently: more geese.