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Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations

As in so many other ways, however, stepping in to control a specific aspect of a complex situation has yielded enormous unintended consequences. Although culling experts once believed that they could take out precisely the desired number of elephant families while leaving the rest of the population alone, more recent data show that survivors are definitely affected, even if they were far away at the time of the cull. Elephants have relationships within their herds that extend well beyond the small group of immediate family they travel and spend each day with, and their long-distance communication capabilities make them aware of events happening miles away. As Bradshaw and others have documented, disturbed behavior has often been observed among these survivors, and autopsies of those who die later for other reasons show signs of sustained high stress consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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They were inseparable until Jenny died a few years later.

When the events of that day were ultimately televised and an investigation launched, if anything the details descended further into obscurity. In the ABC program, the off-camera shooter is unidentified — and for that matter, so is the victim. Mysteriously, no actual body was ever found, or anyone reported missing within a large radius. A former U.S. ambassador to Zambia (who was not in office at the time of these events) suggested that ABC staged the whole shooting with actors and no one was actually harmed. Mark’s version of the story also centered on the network’s eagerness to get dramatic footage, insinuating that one of the local scouts was bullied or excited by the camera crew into firing at someone recklessly.

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She was here because she no longer had anyone to talk to in the forest. She was standing here on the edge of the ocean because it was the next, nearest, and most powerful source of infrasound. The underrumble of the surf would have been well within her range, a soothing balm for an animal used to being surrounded, submerged, by low and comforting frequencies, by the lifesounds of a herd, and now this was the next-best thing!

To the elephant, our scrap of consciousnessMay seem as inconsequential as a space-invader blip.


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Huntington’s full article can be found here. Since Huntington’s article was published in 1993 many political scientists and/or academic have written in response to Huntington’s thesis – either agreeing or disagreeing with the Harvard professor’s ideas.

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Denying the obvious is a bad way to go about promoting causes, even (or especially) very good ones. And the emphasis on human exceptionalism — as Smith asks, “What other species builds civilizations, records history, creates art, makes music, thinks abstractly, communicates in language, envisions and fabricates machinery, improves life through science and engineering, or explores the deeper truths found in philosophy and religion?” — in a vein that “a misconceived, panic-stricken desire to preserve human dignity by distancing man from the animals,” somewhat misses the point.

is managing editor of The New Atlantis. She can be reached at .

Only the Bible provides an adequate explanation. Originally,after the great Flood, "the whole earth was of one languageand one speech" (Gen. 11:1). Because of man's united rebellionagainst God, however, refusing to scatter throughout the worldas He had commanded, and concentrating instead in the vicinityof the original Babylon, "the LORD did there confound thelanguage of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatterthem abroad upon the face of all the earth" (Gen. 11:9).

The Clash of Civilizations? | Foreign Affairs

The rebellion at Babel was not some impossible undertaking,such as attempting to reach heaven with a man-made tower, as onemight infer from the King James translation of Genesis 11:4. Thewords "may reach" are not in the original; the correctsense of the passage apparently connotes the erection of a greattemple-tower dedicated to the worship of the "host of heaven,"uniting all mankind in worshiping and serving the creature ratherthan the Creator (Rom. 1:25). The most effective way of haltingthis blasphemy and of enforcing God's command to fill the earthwas that of confounding their languages.