Chapter Reflection Questions & Explorations

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Reflection Questions

  1. What things caught your attention the most when we discussed the two evolutionary processes responsible for biodiversity on Earth? Did it give you feelings of admiration and gratitude knowing you were part of this fascinating and complex evolutionary process? Does the way these two processes affect the appearance of new species and the time it takes for their evolution, give you more reason and motivation to seek personal and community ways that promote their care and restoration?

  2. Does knowledge of the five mass species extinction events in the evolution timeline help you better understand the theoretical, ethical, and spiritual challenges? Does this knowledge help you find ways of caring for the current species extinction processes caused by the processes of industrialization, urbanization, forest clearing and global warming?

  3. How would you respond to a person who does not share your concern for the care of species, saying that many species have become extinct through history because of the five mass extinction events?.

  4. What are the main biomes found in your country? Can you describe the characteristics of one these that you have visited or would like to visit in your country?

  5. Among the four categories of ecosystem services, which do you consider most important for your city and region? Could the identification of their importance lead to the promotion of economic incentive policies for people living in rural communities that contribute to their care and restoration? Could your school influence this proposal?

  6. Among the moral principles and ethical issues discussed, what are the most powerful elements that you find to help other people become aware of the importance of caring for biodiversity and hopefully end up joining the actions of its care and restoration?

  7. What do you think of the statement that some people make when they say that the whole universe, our world, nature, with its enormous wealth and diversity are also the temple of God? Could this statement help you find new ways to integrate the gift of creation into your spiritual process and religious practices?

Explorations

  1. Research some of the keystone species in the ecosystems in your region. On a large piece of paper, create a food web that relies on one of these keystone species trying to include at least ten additional species in your web. What happens to this food web when the keystone species is removed or goes extinct?

  2. In small groups, choose an invasive species that has affected a nearby ecosystem. Develop a presentation for your peers on how this species became established in a new location, how it impacts the native flora and fauna, and what approaches are being used to confront the invasive species.

  3. Select two marine eco-regions or two freshwater ecosystems, and explore the biodiversity found in each habitat. Create a poster comparing and contrasting species in each ecosystem, the abiotic conditions (temperature, nutrient and oxygen levels, water depth and flow rate) and precipitation patterns, and the particular ecosystem services provided by each habitat.

  4. For centuries, Indigenous People throughout the world have been working to maintain balance and harmony with the biodiversity that surrounds them. Research one of these Indigenous cultures and how their spirituality relates to biodiversity in their regions, and then have a dialogue with your peers about the challenges and successes that these Indigenous Peoples have had in conserving biodiversity.