Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why Wooden Boats

Really enjoyed this article on wooden boats as a reflection of nature's beauty. Excerpt:::

The esteemed biologist Edward O. Wilson invented a word that explains our attraction to the forms of nature: biophilia, which he defined as "the innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes." Even as babies, we humans tend to be drawn toward living creatures (or their representations) more than to inanimate objects. We're more likely to develop a relationship with a stuffed bear than a ball. This tendency is embedded deep in the human-instinct circuitry as a matter of survival and reproduction.

So the wooden-boat revival was no anomaly. We willingly pour the considerable labor and love into building, maintaining and restoring wooden boats because they lead us to participating in something greater than ourselves. I have nothing against fiberglass, but a boat made of synthetic material simply reflects human culture back at us. It is purely a product of technology. A wooden boat is a partnership. It's not literally a living thing, not quite, but it evinces respect for the life that exists outside the clubby circle of human intelligence.

I love it when people explain things I feel and don't explain well. Thank you, Lawrence W. Check.

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider.


  1. Does that make me a biophiliac?

  2. I hope so! The more biophiliacs the better.