When our ancestors left their homes and boldly set off across vast oceans and unknown continents to conquer new lands, they took with them (both intentionally and accidentally) myriad life forms that suddenly found themselves in new, unfamiliar surroundings. Most of these life forms were unable to compete with the established flora and fauna in their new homes, and quickly died out. Sometimes however, an "invasive species" was stronger and better suited to the new environment than any of the previous occupants.  Lacking established predators, and better able to exploit the vagaries of their new environment, the invasive species would quickly overwhelm the new area’s ecological balance with disastrous consequences. 

What will happen when humankind travels to the stars?  Won't we bring other creatures with us, causing the same troubles on new worlds? But in the future, when we travel throughout the galaxy, it won't be lakes, rivers, or even continents that are at risk; it will be entire worlds.

by J R Casey Bralla
Copyright © 2010 by J R Casey Bralla
All Rights Reserved


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