Has humanity reached the end of evolution?

Matthias Glaubrecht: "The End of Evolution"The consequences of species extinction

Before Matthias Glaubrecht turns to the main topic of his book, the destruction of nature and its biological diversity, he goes far and begins with the emergence and development of Homo Sapiens. He does not draw his path as a hero's journey, as usual, but as a tragic doom scenario. Man's ingenuity and pioneering spirit made him so successful. But now the same properties are responsible for the fact that humans destroy nature and thus the basis of all life.

Main reason for the disaster: overpopulation

Coming from Africa, humanity continued to expand. Glaubrecht names the unique reproductive success of humans and the resulting overpopulation as the main reason for the ecological catastrophe. More and more people are living tightly together in ever larger cities. Other species are displaced or destroyed by the success of humans. Glaubrecht states: The apocalypse can only be prevented if population growth is stopped. He writes that the end of resources was repeatedly invoked by experts, but then it did not materialize. However, that does not mean that the growth and consumption of raw materials can go on and on. His message: Nature's table is finite. That point has now been reached. Therefore it is high time to change direction. Even if demographers are now predicting slower population growth, nature will be destroyed when the number of people on earth really falls by the end of our century.

The small organisms die out unnoticed

Only after 350 pages does Matthias Glaubrecht begin with his main topic: The extinction of species. Mammals, birds, fish, insects, plants and all the indispensable small creatures. The small ones die out unnoticed, and the large ones are only preserved as tiny residual populations thanks to extensive protective measures. The lack of diversity inevitably leads to the end of evolution. Matthias Glaubrecht repeats this term over and over again. This choice of words is misleading, because evolution as a biological process also takes place in small, scattered groups. In theory, it doesn't even need living beings, because viruses or molecules that reproduce also obey the laws of evolution. Matthias Glaubrecht, however, means something different. What is becoming more and more restricted are the possibilities of evolution. With every lost individual, genetic material and thus biological diversity is lost. That works until the number of survivors is no longer sufficient to cope with the challenges of a human-shaped environment.

A pessimistic view of the world

Matthias Glaubrecht presents a pessimistic view of the world in this huge work. He wants to shake up, but the frustration of a caller in the desert is omnipresent in his book. With him, well-meaning conservationists are always at a loss in the fight against economic interests. The many examples and figures with which Matthias Glaubrecht supports his arguments prove the drama of the situation, but make the book difficult to digest. The constant repetition of the arguments is reminiscent of a teacher who repeatedly instills the same formulas in his dumb students. That is understandable in view of the dramatic situation. But with fewer examples and without the constant repetition, this book would only have been half as long and would have convinced more people.

Matthias Glaubrecht: The end of evolution
Man and the destruction of species
Verlag C. Bertelsmann, 1072 pages, 38.00 euros