AN ACCOUNT OF LIFE ON GENESIS
Editor’s Note: Megan Kearin, 52, director of the Darwin Institute for Evolutionary Studies, gives an account of life on Genesis. Born of immigrant parents, Megan spent her early childhood in Malthus, then moved with her family to Orb in that development’s first year. She returned to Malthus to attend the University of Genesis, earning BS, MS and Scd degrees in biology. Her early career as a field biologist for the Genesis Planning Commission took her over much of the planet, cataloging native life forms. Shelater assisted in the planning of the first hardwood forest at Port Aurora. During her field years, she formulated theories and collected data to substantiate her most important work.
At 32, she was assigned to the Advanced Studies Group, and during the next seven years prepared her now famous report, “A Forecasting Model of Darwinian Theory,” which developed the first theory for predicting the origin of species. The importance of this work became evident throughout the Galactic Association, and two years after its publication, the Genesis Central Committee established the Darwin Institute to study evolution and to predict the interaction of life forms brought from Earth. Megan, first named an Associate of the Institute, became its Director five years later. She has played an important role in determining which species will be introduced on the planet, decisions which have profoundly shaped the future of Genesis.
When you grow up on Genesis, you grow up with an awareness that your world is different- special. In my childhood, most of the people I knew engaged in the toil of our planet, creating life from non-life. Even though I was born amidst neatly manicured grass and trees, farms and pastures, I knew my home occupied little more than a green island in a rocky sea. Yet I’ll never forget my wonder at first seeing that “sea” myself. It happened on a lazy Sunday in my seventh year when nobody in the family seemed to have much to do – a rare occurrence at our home! I recall talking to my father about his work when he asked me if I’d like to see something of it. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity.
We took the family aircar and headed away from the town center. We rode no more than 15 minutes before I noticed that the houses and occasional trees had stopped and that we were cruising over a flat, seemingly endless plain of grass. Within a few minutes I saw the grass end at a great grey expanse of rock bordered by a “beach” of light grey sand. Father slowed the car as we passed over a cluster of low, mobile shelters and headed parallel to the beach. We soon came upon a cluster of huge, weird-shaped machines working, even though it was Sunday. Most of them had great wide mouths pressed low to the ground. Some carried huge hoppers filled with millions of tiny varicolored pellets. As they moved over the beach they devoured the sand, did something with it inside of them, and dropped it out behind.
Father turned left, and we headed away from the first machines toward a still stranger device that looked like a giant centipede. The machine crawled slowly over a plain of rock strewn with small boulders and coarse gravel. Each of the machine’s segments worked on the rock until they had ground it finer than beach sand. Beyond the “centipede” not a single blade of grass or other living thing interrupted the monotonous expanse that vanished in a distant wall of dark, lifeless mountains.
Finally Father climbed slowly upward until we hovered thousands of meters in the air, higher than I had ever been before. As I gazed down upon the stone planet curving beneath me, I didn’t speak with my father but shared his pride and confidence. I felt proud of his work, excited about what I could someday contribute and happy to be a part of this greatest scientific experiment.
Yet the experiment of Genesis affected my childhood very little. The first decade of my life remained calm and uneventful. I participated actively in community sports, mostly water soccer, optel, and geomets, and I had quite a few friends. My parents emigrated to Genesis when just barely out of their teens. Neither of them possessed much formal education, but they believed that Humankind could better itself through science and technology, and that if Humanity’s greatest scientists and technologists set about to create a better world than Earth then they would succeed. My parents desired, with an almost religious fervor, to help in some small way with the creation of their brave new world, and they wanted their children to grow up with its benefits.
The development at Orb commenced in my 11th year, and the Bureau of Human Resources requested my parents to work on it. The thought of moving alarmed my four brothers and sister, but I looked forward to it with excitement! I imagined all sorts of new adventures for us and was sure the change would be good for the family.
I was right. Orb bustled like a gold rush town. A cluster of buildings roughly a kilometer across sprawled over a flat plain of rock near the seashore. In every direction, work crews toiled at turning the barren rock into soil. Everyone in the community, even children, played a part in the building. Each day during school students got two hours off at lunchtime to make sandwiches for the work crews and take them to the fields. Instead of playing at sports and games, we spent our weekends planting shrubs and trees, or caring for the animals, like birds and worms and bees, that would soon be introduced into the environment.
The work was fun, earned us some money and provided an opportunity to make friends. The greatest satisfaction, though, came from feeling like a part of the new community, and taking personal pride in the progress that we could see advancing each passing day!
In two years I watched Orb grow from a temporary camp to a city. Working at speeds previously unattained, the soil-preparation crews prepared nearly 300 square kilometers of soil for planting. A permanent city center grew from the original town site where the solid rock made an excellent foundation for large structures. Extensive mariculture operations got underway in the nearby ocean, and an electronics plant and an opticable manufacturing facility commenced operations.
Though the early days at Orb appeared confused and disorganized, the area development plan guided every action from the moment the first rock crusher bit into the ground. By the time I moved away, seven years later, the map of Orb (figure 3.12 below) clearly illustrated how precisely the plan had been followed. My parents still live in the development, and I go to visit them now and then. The area has expanded to several times its original size, but it has maintained the geometrical pattern of its creators.
Figure 3.12 – Orb – Developed Area #3, exoplanet Genesis
When we arrived at Orb, Father bought us a portable modular dwelling, which we moved six times during the first two years. He promised that one day we would have a large and permanent home. After two years of waiting we finally got our dream house and two hectares on gently rolling hills. Only prep grass grew on the land when we set the permanent foundation, but we lost no time before plowing that under and setting to work planting trees, shrubs, and a vegetable garden.
At 17, I was ready for college and enrolled in the University of Genesis at Malthus. All students on Genesis whose grades and aptitude tests place them in the upper 30 percent are eligible for admission to the University, although only about 20 percent are graduated from it. The tuition is paid by the government, but except in unusual cases, students or their families must provide for all other expenses.
The University sits on its own 180 hectare park and functions in many ways as a world in itself. My family had experienced little contact with it_ during my childhood. Now, as a student, I had little contact with the life o f “normal” Malthus. Like everything on Genesis, this isolation exists by design.
As the principal institution for producing the young scientists and technologists who will control the future development of Genesis, the University plays a key role in the continued survival and prosperity of the planet. The founders desired to establish a self-contained community of scholars, whose presence would stimulate each other to greater levels of creativity than each would achieve in isolation.
My major in biology sprang naturally from my love of plants and animals cultivated by childhood chores at Orb. My interests ran not so much toward physiology or biochemistry as toward macrobiology and ecology. I studied botany, zoology, and the schemes of classification that trace their roots to Aristotle. The interrelationships between living organisms fascinated me most, for these relationships governed the fundamental plan for Genesis’s development. As I pursued my studies of these traditional fields, I realized that I needed an understanding of genetics and biochemistry to understand the mechanism that created the multitude of life forms. These disciplines dictated that I learn higher mathematics and computer science. My years at the University developed ideas and convictions that I hold to this day. Every class I took, every discussion with a professor or fellow student played a part in my intellectual development.
Yet two men stand out in my mind as having an overwhelming influence upon me. I met the first of these, Dr. Herman Zweig, in my fresh year. As a professor of philosophy, Dr. Zweig has analyzed and clearly explained the philosophical underpinnings of our way of life on Genesis. He has shown why a planned society, in a planned and controlled environment, can maximize Human happiness and eliminate suffering, affliction, and inequality. On Earth, planned societies historically have failed. Zweig showed me, and scholars everywhere, how, in the absence of control over nature, all planned societies must fail. But if Humans possess total control over their environment, then planning can create a society whose citizens will live happier and more satisfying lives than is possible on worlds with natural environments.
The first time I heard Zweig speak I felt as if someone had taken a blindfold off my eyes! Suddenly I knew why I always had been so proud of what people were doing on Genesis7-and “l saw that the importance of our task transcended the limits of one planet. The success of the Genesis experiment will lead Humankind throughout the galaxy to a new millennium of advancement and will change the criteria by which Humans choose habitable planets.
The other outstanding teacher of my University years was Dr. Li Cheng. This widely esteemed professor of biology was the most influential advisor to the Genesis Planning Commission, the agency responsible for implementing the Master Plan. We first met when I took his famous course, “Introduction to Ecosystem Modeling,” and later I was honored to have him supervise my doctoral thesis. Dr. Cheng gave me a deep appreciation for the difficulty of the task we faced on Genesis. The great complexity of biological interactions makes it impossible to predict with certainty the effect any one environmental action will have, yet one serious mistake could so disrupt the planet’s fragile ecology that Genesis might have to be abandoned. Dr. Cheng, more than any other person, solidified my resolve to contribute to Genesis by increasing our understanding of the interactions between species.
Because he constantly solved real problems for the Planning Commission, Cheng often assigned these problems to his students as exercises. It thrilled us to be working on actual studies that might conceivably affect the future form of our world. In my first course, we modeled the possible effects of introducing a second species of pine tree into the Pt. lea development. Such work became so heady that I stayed at the University eight years, earning my doctoral degree for a thesis which examined the possible effects of seeding the Genesean ocean with a particular subclass of crustaceans. This and the work of three other students later formed the basis of a large-scale marine experiment in the Gulf of Virginis.
After eight years of relatively easy, though intellectually stimulating, living I craved some variety and excitement. I found both in my first job as field biologist with the Genesis Planning Commission. The Commission needs detailed knowledge of Genesis’ biology and geography in order to assess potential development sites and to control the introduction of new life on the planet. Raw data collected by the Commission’s field scientists forms part of the data base of the planet’s central computer. This is used by all governmental, scientific, and industrial organizations and is finally transmitted to GAIL.
I was assigned to the RV Genesis Explorer, one of the Planning Commission’s three research vessels. An odd sort of hybrid, it normally travelled in the air supported by antigravs, but it could also float upon the water propelled by hydraulic drives. The vessel’s ship-shaped hull with tapered bow and stern measured 130 meters long. Its maximum air speed of 110 kilometers per hour, a crawl by modern standards, sufficed for its mission, and allowed us to outrun storms with ease. Scientific equipment on board included full-spectrum sensor arrays for gathering meteorological, oceanographic, and geophysical data; core drills; biological samplers and analyzers; two submarines; free-diving equipment for 20 divers; a powerful onboard computer for real-time data analysis, and two smaller, high speed air-trucks equipped with data gathering apparatus.
I was one of six staff biologists in a crew of 70. Our work involved solely marine life, since that’s all there is in the undeveloped regions, but we were also charged with gathering sufficient information about land areas to evaluate their suitability for Earth species. Typical cruises lasted six months, followed by a return to Malthus for a month of vacation. Life aboard ship was relaxed and informal with superb food, and opportunities to learn something occurred every day.
Though tragedy marred it, I remember our first expedition to eastern Barrenland most vividly. The first two months of the trip we cruised slowly on the sea, studying mid-ocean life. Periodically we stopped for a day to collect live specimens. During this cruise, I learned to dive with a gill, and for the first time encountered face to face the myriad sea creatures I had studied for eight years.
The sea life of Genesis, so small and simple by Earth’s standards, amazed me with its beauty and diversity. During the first voyage I personally catalogued more than 150 species of previously unclassified shellfish. The greatest diversity occurs among the microorganisms, which are nearly as numerous as on Earth. The biochemistry of marine life on Earth and Genesis is similar enough so that Earthly species of fish and marine mammals could be introduced into the sea. This has been done only in limited cases with the fish contained by double sonic barriers, for scientists worry that these alien species might so drastically upset the food chain of the oceans that the planet’s oxygen supply could be threatened.
Upon arriving on the coast of Barrenland, the work pattern changed. The life forms at the water’s edge hold greatest interest for biologists, for these are the species from which future land life on Genesis might have emerged. Their possible similarity to our own distant ancestors who crawled from Earth’s primordial seas makes them the subject of much study, even though such investigations have little practical consequence.
We made our landfall on the eastern coast of Barrenland at about 43 north latitude. The dawn’s first rays illuminated stark, rocky cliffs plunging hundreds of meters to the sea. After stopping to take life samples from the base of the cliffs, we followed the geologists to the tops to survey the land. We found a broad stone plain that had appeared on the satellite maps of the area, and spent the better part of the day there looking vainly for signs of native life.
As we proceeded northward along the coast, we repeated our alternate examinations of sea and land. Our destination was a place that satellites had identified as a possible development site. The data we gathered there and on subsequent trips to different areas is used to evaluate sites that won’t be developed in any living person’s lifetime, so long-range is the Planning Commissions effort.
Development sites must have several important characteristics: adequate rainfall, mild temperatures year around, a coastal plain bordering on a bay or ocean with gently sloped beaches, an absence of active volcanoes, and an absence of flash flood zones. Though such areas are not too common, the Commission insists all these characteristics be found before the large investment in development is made.
As we approached our destination, the high cliffs bordering the ocean dropped slowly until we cruised past a broad plain ringed by a ridge of mountains barely visible in the distance. The spot where we landed became our base for 60 days while we studied the area in detail. The small levicars made expeditions hundreds of kilometers inland looking for evidence of flash floods. Because Genesis has no land vegetation and therefore no soil, much of its surface is not porous. Most of the rain that falls turns immediately to runoff which heads towards the seas in destructive torrents that would obliterate any Human structure in their path. It rained several times during the observation period, and the entire crew turned to mapping the runoff paths, both during the storm and for a whole day afterwards. We observed the lay of the land in great detail and drew up several provisional development plans.
After completing our study of the development site, the Genesis Explorer turned eastward to cross the continent of Barrenland. The biologists had little to do on this part of the trip, except to monitor the life sensors and to learn as much about geology as the geologists would teach us. The color of the landscape changed little as we glided over it.
We passed over mountains, high plateaus, and valleys, but no snow and few rivers could be seen at these latitudes. As we approached the western coast we glimpsed a large river coursing between the rock walls of a narrow canyon. This as yet unnamed main artery of the continent is one of the few rivers that maintains some flow year around. Our fateful return trip to Malthus began uneventfully.
We had skirted the southwest coast of Barrenland and crossed most of the North Genesean Ocean when an urgent distress call from Port Fish interrupted our cruise. West of Port Fish lies the largest of several experimental marine reserves, areas of ocean where scientists have introduced varieties of commercially useful fish, along with a mix of other life forms on which the fish feed. The Port Fish experiment had not worked well to date. An imbalance between higher and lower order consumers had greatly reduced the photoplankton activity within the reserve. A double sonic barrier, impervious to all marine life, surrounds the area and prevents this imbalance from spreading to the rest of the oceans, but the unthinkable, happened. A power interruption, compounded by incorrect settings on the back-up power control, had deenergized the barrier for about half an hour. During that period, several schools of fish escaped from the reserve and had to be recaptured or destroyed. The escape of so much as one fertilized female fish into the open ocean might ultimately spell disaster for the entire planet.
The research vessel assigned to the reserve had more trouble than it could handle so the Genesis Explorer streaked toward the barrier to help. For a short time pandemonium reigned aboard our ship, but the captain wisely placed Chief Biologist Sandra Lee in charge of the operation. Sandra ordered the technicians to get the submersibles ready and to reprogram the life scanners to detect Earth-like species exclusively. Then she called us to the briefing room.
“You all know what it might mean to Genesis if these Earth-forms escape to the open sea,” she began gravely. “When we get to the barrier, those fish will have two hours head start on us, and rounding them up won’t be possible anymore. The best we can do is destroy them, and it’ll be no easy trick to do that.”
She went on to explain about the details of the escape and outlined our plan of attack. We would use the sonic disrupter fields on the ship and the submersibles to kill the schools of fish. These devices, normally operated at low power to stun specimens before taking them, would be readjusted to lethal intensity. She dispatched herself, along with pilot Jack Gavin, in submersible number one and ordered Alfred Abegg, senior staff biologist, to command the number two sub.
She assigned the other more experienced biologists to plot probable trajectories of the schools on the ship’s computer and relay this data to the ship’s helm and the subs. I was to watch the scanner in the undersea operations room and to aim the ship’s disrupter fields. Her last grim remarks at the briefing weighed heavily upon us.
“This is going to be a very long night, and we’re all going to have to push ourselves to the limit. Remember, one way or another, our lives are on the line. We cannot let up until we’ve gotten them all!” When we arrived at the scene of the accident,
Sandra was already aboard the sub, and she shot out of the launch tube as soon as we spotted the first school of fish. In the dim light of the undersea room, I watched the large, green display which showed the positions of the subs and the fish in bright yellow outlines. At first things went pretty well. Most of the schools hadn’t strayed too far or descended below 500 meters. It seemed easy to track them across the board, focus the disrupter field and annihilate them with the press of a button.
Yet as the hours wore on, the schools grew smaller and more remote. We did a lot of chasing around to find them all, and sometimes shadows and cold currents deceived the sensors, sending us on wild chases that wasted precious time.
By early morning, I felt cross-eyed with fatigue. Our final sweeps of the area indicated-few Earthly readings, and we quickly took care of those. One of the last appeared to be a sizable school of anchovies that, frightened by the noise above, had descended below the 1500 meter mark, the crush depth of the submersibles.
Sandra’s voice sounded tired as she spoke over the comchannel. “We’re going after that last bunch of sardines, Meg, how deep are they?” ” 1700 meters, Sandy,” I replied. “You’d better wait ’til they come up. Crush depth is 1500, and you won’t get a good focus on your beam from that far above.”
“Negative, kiddo ,” she answered. “That school’s pretty flinchy and looks like it might break up. If that happens, they’re all so small we’ll never chase ’em down. I think we can push a little deeper than crush depth. These educated beer kegs are good for more than the engineers say anyhow!”
There’s no arguing with Sandra, but tension knotted my stomach as I watched the little yellow cylinder move down the display, past the red line that marks extreme danger. The sub moved slowly and cautiously into position. Sandra took a few extra moments focusing the sound beam to make sure she didn’t miss part of the school and scatter them. She fired, and the cloud on my display that symbolized the tiny fish faded.
“Kill confirmed, Meg,” she reported matter-offactly. “We’re on our way up!” Seconds later a crunching pop punctuated her last remark, and the sub began to sink.
“Sandra! Are you all right? What’s happening?” I screamed hysterically into the microphone, but the comchannel alarm winked back at me, indicating no receiver had picked up my voice. At once I knew what had happened; the sub had imploded.
Word of the tragedy spread quickly, and a deathly silence fell over the ship, broken only by the muffled sobbing of one lonely, young girl. Sandra’s death stunned and horrified me. During our first voyage, we had grown much closer than supervisor and subordinate. I loved her as a friend as well. For several weeks after my return to Malthus, I considered quitting my job. I didn’t know how I could live with the ship, the crew, and the sea again. With time, my grief and hurt began to subside, and I started to think clearly again. The experiment of Genesis was not just an intellectual exercise for Sandra, but a commitment as important as life itself. My failure to continue my important field work would not be a tribute but an insult to the ideal for which my friend gave her life.
I made eleven more voyages on the Genesis Explorer. The uniqueness of each trip lay not so much
in its outstanding adventures as in its fine details: the new life forms I discovered, the interesting rock formations along uncharted shores, the tropical sunsets bursting with rainbows. On nights as black as only nights at sea can be, I loved to lie on the deck watching the moon belt revolve overhead.
As wondrous as Saturn’s magic rings, the moon belt of Genesis appears as a ribbon of bright lights moving against the backdrop of stars. The belt changes constantly, due to the different speeds at which the moons orbit. Clusters and thin spots pass overhead in dazzling display that astronomers say will not repeat itself in 20 million years!
On a later expedition to southern Maiden Spring I saw the magnificent aurorae of Genesis. One thousand times brighter than Earth’s, it blankets all but the brightest stars. Though the aurorae exist thousands of miles out in space, it seems to touch the ground, coloring objects there with a fairy blanket of light.
Even though I enjoyed my field years immensely and believe they did much to sharpen my powers of observation, after six years I yearned to settle down and build something permanent. When I applied for transfer, the Planning Commission assigned me to the Port Aurora region. The creation of Port Aurora had begun ten years earlier, but now the Commission wanted to develop a hardwood forest to the south, the first such project attempted on Genesis. The forest was to be planted with deciduous trees, like oak, maple, elm, and beech- typical of the middle latitudes of Earth’s northern hemisphere.
Success of the experimental project would yield three principal benefits: Since forests retain more groundwater than grasslands, the ability to cultivate them would provide Genesis with a more effective means of flood control. The forest would also serve as a popular recreational area, far more picturesque than the coniferous forests planted to date. Lastly, hardwood from the forest would have valuable decorative uses.
The area to be forested lay in the foothills of a chain of low mountains southeast of the existing developed region. The hilly terrain presented a few technical problems, but the project’s principal difficulties were biological. Although Humanity has cut down many forests on a grand scale, it hadn’t created any new ones. Reforestation techniques dating back to the 19th century had been perfected for smaller-scale projects in established forest areas, but an endeavor of this magnitude, on barren land, lacked historical precedent.
I lived on the edge of the Port Aurora development in a small prefab house which I owned cooperatively with four other project scientists. We had arrived at the forest site before any other workers to study the terrain, analyze drainage patterns, and develop a day-by-day schedule for soil preparation and planting.
After six months, soil preparation crews and equipment began to work. Giant combination soil preparation machines, larger than any previously built, performed the task. (See figure 3.13 below.) In one operation, these mechanical monsters broke rock into coarse chunks using laser drills, then ground it fine with ultrasonic grinders and mixed it with nutrients and mulch from giant hoppers they dragged behind them. In past projects, the pulverization depth reached about a meter below the surface, but the depth to which these large trees’ roots would grow dictated that rock be broken up three meters deep and pulverized to a depth of 1.5 meters.
Figure 3.13 – Mark 8 Primary Soil Preparation Combine – Designed and built by Genesis Machine Works 2355 ADTC
Earth’s natural soil is very fine-grained, but organic mulch within it inhibits its natural tendency to compact and congeal into a solid mass. On Genesis, soil technicians must add a synthetic mulch prepared from seaweed. Since the mass of the synthetic humus cannot equal the mass o f natural humus, special chemical treatments must augment it. The addition of fixed nitrogen and other necessary plant minerals follows the mulch, and the soil is chemically balanced. As a final step, technicians seed the new soil with a hardy grass, specially bred from Earth grasses, called “prep grass.” After two years the prep grass is plowed under to provide further mulch and natural nutrients to the soil. The addition of bacteria and worms of appropriate species complete the formation of synthetic soil.
While the prep grass grew we began sprouting seedling trees in the mature soil of the developed area not far from my home. Since no natural barriers existed to blunt the ferocious gales that blew off the south Genesean Ocean, protecting the young trees from wind damage became our most pressing problem. Solid shelter of any kind would have been prohibitively expensive, but fortunately a wind-breaking field had been developed a few years earlier. The field employed a special configuration of the g-field to slow inrushing air to a standstill in the space of two decimeters. Unfortunately, the field would kill anyone who accidentally walked through it, so its perimeter had to be guarded by sensors, coupled to visual, sound, and telepathic alarms to warn stray children or absent-minded scientists who might not heed posted warnings.
After two years huge transplanting machines began to move the seedlings from the nursery beds to the forest site. The machines passed over the seedling beds, picking up the young trees together with their roots and a clump of soil, then travelled out to the newly plowed forest and deposited the seedlings in holes dug by the machine itself. Each machine carried about 1000 seedlings and planted at the rate of two per minute.
The machines planted the trees in a predesigned pattern that allowed for optimum tree growth and insured that mature trees would someday provide natural shelter for future seedlings, thus avoiding the need to raise the young trees in a sheltered nursery. A major conflict arose among the forest planning staff over the pattern in which the trees would be planted. Some wanted to plant the trees in regular rows resembling a European garden, while others wanted an irregular, pseudo-random pattern that would resemble a natural forest. The regular pattern made the trees easier to care for and would have cost less, but fortunately the “naturalists” won out. The forest, now quite mature, is one of my favorite vacation spots on Genesis. It gives me great satisfaction to walk among the towering trees and feel that I helped place them there. Despite the fact I aligned with the ordered pattern camp, I am glad that the trees now grow in a naturalistic pattern, for I have come to appreciate the marvelous “order” in nature’s randomness.
During my years as field biologist, the theory of the origin of species, first advanced by Darwin four centuries ago, continued to fascinate me. I kept notes of my observations and hypotheses on the subject and hoped someday to evaluate them rigorously. That chance came with my transfer to the Advanced Studies Group of the Genesis Scientific Research Institute (GSRO) in Malthus. The ASG became interested in a summary I had written proposing an hypothesis for the mechanism of species creation and offered me a position as a research associate. For the next seven years I poured through computer files containing field data and tried to substantiate my theory. The result appeared in a 100-frame report that shaped the rest of my life.
Though biologists throughout GAILE heralded my first work as a “breakthrough,” it formed only a rude beginning for the research I have continued to this day. In response to it, the GSRO created the Darwin Institute for Evolutionary Studies and made me a permanent associate. I did not become its director until five years later, that position going to a more experienced administrator, Dr. Paul Chin. In retrospect, I am glad I did not become the first director, for I was quite unschooled in the ways of the GSRO bureaucracy. Paul’s stewardship taught me a great deal about it, and his politic handling of the early years earned the Institute the funds so critical to a new organization.
The Darwin Institute provides important input to the Planning Commission’s decision making. Many of our projections look forward thousands of years, although in cases where the introduction of a new Earth species might devastate a native species, the effects can be much more immediate. The Earth species brought to Genesis have embarked on their own evolutionary paths and will become quite different within 50,000 years or so. My life today combines the best of all the lifestyles I have known on Genesis. I still direct the Darwin Institute and shall probably hold the Director’s position for several more years. My work al|ows me to travel all over the planet and to watch my world grow and progress. My large modern home sits on a hectare of land near Malthus City, now three times the size it was when I was born. | have become more active in local government, for I believe we must begin to develop governmental policies to cope with our increasing industrialization. As we emerge from a biological experiment to become a self-sufficient, industrialized world we must continue to deal with the fact that our natural environment is still young and fragile.