Frankenstein's Monster Saved Mankind From Extinction

Posted: Oct 31 2016, 5:49am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Frankenstein's Monster Saved Mankind From Extinction
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  • How Frankenstein's Monster saved humankind from probable extinction

It seems that the biological principle of competitive exclusion was mentioned in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Everybody knows about Frankenstein. A monster brought to life by the forces of electricity and dead body parts joined together, Frankenstein has thrilled audiences and cultural consumers since the novel was written in 1818 by Mary Shelley.

The bizarre creature is a misfit and shown making blunder after blunder on earth. The product of a scientist hell-bent on creating life from scratch, a time comes when the grotesque monster asks Victor, his creator, to make a female partner for him since he feels the pangs of loneliness. The two monsters, one male and the other female, would go to live in the jungles of South America.

The novel shows that there lie issues in the creation of life since moral and existential roadblocks exist along the way. Life finds a way and to try to confine life is tantamount to the greatest injustice.

Mary Shelley’s gothic novel shows that Victor backs away from creating a partner for Frankenstein since it would lead to the creature reproducing more of its kind.

This would supposedly lead to human beings being crowded out from the earth. This principle actually exists in real life and is a fundamental part of biological science. It is called competitive exclusion.

Yet the novel reaches this principle before biology itself. It was only in 1930 that the principle of competitive exclusion was explored by biology. Now in a latest study, published in BioScience, scientists have tried to measure how exactly a monster rogue species may lead to human beings becoming extinct from this earth.

The science of ecology came in handy here and various computational heuristics were used in the process. Human population trends in 1816 were calculated. The competitive advantages of various creatures fluctuated in accordance with the circumstances surrounding them.

The absolutely worst case scenario for human beings would be a species that overtook all of South America. That would be because it was a region that was sparsely populated by humans.

The thick and luxuriant growth of jungles in the region was something which aided various invasive species too. A population of merely two, one male and another female, could drive out humans from the face of South America within 4000 years.

The horror and sense of impending doom shown in the novel Frankenstein also portrays similar thinking although it is pure fiction and a part of literature instead of real life.

The genius of Mary Shelley, who wrote the novel, lies in how she presented the arcane data available in her days in such a manner that it highlighted competitive exclusion which was a principle that was yet to be discovered by biology.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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