Monday, December 25, 2006

A Yule Gift to the Lungfish

Meeting seeks breathing space for native lungfish

What gift could be better than salvation from extinction! This is some very good news for the Lungfish. Seems that online petition is having an impact:

QUEENSLAND Deputy Premier Anna Bligh has agreed to meet lungfish champion Jean Joss, a move that may save the scientifically precious animal from extinction...a proposed dam on Queenland's Mary River will destroy habitat critical to Neoceratodus forsteri, the last living link to the first animals to walk on land about 350 million years ago...To date, 6718 scientists have...signed an online petition...While five other species of lungfish exist in Africa and South America, signatories claim that Australia's species is the oldest, providing a unique opportunity to study the genetic and physiological adaptations that made life on land possible. Professor Joss said lungfish genes may also lead to greater understanding of human physiology. "A lot of the genetic material I ship to overseas laboratories is for study of lung diseases," she said.

I have a feeling some Wiccans and NeoPagans are helping in this fight. It seems that Wicca and Pagan/NeoPagan spirituality is undergoing a meteoric rise in Australia. 'Holy marketeers want your soul' is an article about the book, Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the 21st Century. From the article, Author Gary Bouma writes:

Diversity, he says, is the watchword for 21st-century Australia. "I have been studying Australian religion for a long time...What's been very clear in the first part of this century is not only the religious diversity but the impact of that for Australia, which has been to produce an increase in religious interest...What's not growing is dry, rational Christianity...mysticism is returning to the religious marketplace, a real sense of experiencing the presence of God or the beyond: that's what spiritualities give people, and usually in a fairly unmediated way."

Also from the article:

There was impressive proportional growth in adherence to religions such as Buddhism (up 79 per cent), Islam (up 40 per cent), Hinduism (up 42 per cent), and "nature religions" including paganism and Wicca (witchcraft, up 130 per cent), but these increases were off low bases and in some cases partly attributable to immigration or birthrates...According to Bouma, people are rejecting highly structured ways of conducting their spiritual lives. "The question of the soul is there: they are tired of materialism and an unexplained universe, they are searching for something that makes sense in the 21st-century environment.

And what makes more sense than Wicca and other Earth based religions? It's great to give back to the Earth some of the energy she has given us! 'Good on you', my Aussie friends!

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