Genetic Modification and Genetic Diversity
We are never sure of end results when we tamper with natural selection. Natural selection in itself can back a species into extinction by only allowing those things that project a path the wrong way, so isn’t the perfect choice in all cases. Some natural developments are bad, so we mustn’t fall into the trap that everything natural is good. But it tends to be slow with few jumps, so you can possibly step in when things are going wrong.
But, the more diverse a species or a biosystem is, the larger the chance that it can survive novel stresses. Intelligence is commonly thought as the mental ability to adapt to new or novel situations, but you can only work with what you are given or can invent, and narrowing the level in species diversity naturally or by choice gives you fewer options to choose from.
There is a tendency in farming to choose the best crop in terms of output, some being modified in a way that makes the crop completely consistent and highly productive. But many people want a certain specification, especially places like supermarkets, so there is a trend for single species crops with high financial returns in place of a diverse and varied system. In a place where it is cooler, crops may be altered or chosen to combat this coolness and designed for best output under those conditions. But what happens if the climate in those areas changing in the opposite way, suddenly becoming hot? The crops all suddenly fail en-masse.
The other problem is ‘hardening’ those crops against pests. Evolution is a game of competition, where creatures are constantly changing to combat new situations and adapting so that those creature that ‘fit’ better their new environment thrive. So you have crops that are ‘hardened’ against pests and disease, which will now ‘harden’ and be better able to thrive in a new environment where their newly acquired skills will return their level. Hopefully a balance will be re-established and not a dominance.
So, we come onto the big financial rewards for giving over a high yeild crop totally to large areas. A thing that is happening now all over the world where whole countries are becoming single crop dependent. The ultimate in specialisation and reduction in diversity. The new social systems adapts to this situation and massively prospers with outside societies depending on this level of production and building whole systems based on it. Enter a new unknown or novel pest or disease that decimates the crop. Local systems fail and includes those systems outside that are interrelated and interdependent on them. See Systemic Collapse