Anthropologist pleads for fewer humans, more saved species

ANTHROPOLOGIST PLEADS FOR FEWER HUMANS, MORE SAVED SPECIES COLUMBUS, Ohio Ask Jeffrey McKee whether the planet would be a better place without humans and he'll qualify his answer: "It certainly would be better with fewer humans." That may seem a strange response for an anthropologist who has spent his career studying both the bones of our million-year-old human ancestors in Africa and the ecological drain modern humans place on their world. McKee, an associate professor of both anthropology and of evolution, ecology and organismal biology at Ohio State University, argues his point in his latest book, Sparing Nature: The Conflict Between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity, (Rutgers University Press, 2003). "As an anthropologist, I'm obviously fascinated by humans," he proclaims, "but at the same time, humans have been around for a very long time and we have to take some responsibility as a species for what we do to the planet. "This includes curbing our reproductive habits," he says. This thin tightrope McKee walks between ecology and anthropology gives him what he believes is a rare insight into the impact humans have on all other life on the planet. And if something doesn't change, he warns, we'll lose many more species and dramatically impact our daily lives. "Humans have been in competition

Contact: Jeffrey McKee
Ohio State University

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