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There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more. ---Lord Byron
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    Mankind's Worst Enemy is Itself
    I began writing this as a comment to Chris Arkenberg's recent post, but felt compelled to expand into something that I had been meaning to write about.

    I have been asking myself the question, "How should man live?" and not until recently have I come to look specifically at the connectedness between humans and all other life. Much of the world looks at other forms of life as inferior to humans, and though we are intelligent and sentient beings becoming ever-more complex, all life evolved from a single source (as far as we know). Since the begging, everything has followed a set of Laws. Such as the Laws of Physics that keep the solar system in order and the atoms of our bodies' aligned correctly. And since all life is a consequence of the actions done in accordance with these Laws, all life itself must be controlled, or ordered, by some sort of Law, i.e. the Fibonacci sequence. Just like the Laws of Aerodynamics were not apparent to humans until we started to fly, perhaps there is a Law of Life that is not yet apparent to us.

    Today, all around us, we are seeing the consequences of mankind trying to exempt itself from this Law. We cut down forests for timber and replace them with more agricultural fields or grasslands for cattle. We pollute the water and air, damaging the Earth at all biological levels. About 80% of species loss is due to human factors, mostly from human-induced habitat loss and the exploitation of natural resources. When a lion needs food he finds a zebra to hunt. Though the lion follows the herd, he neither wants nor needs more than one zebra. Man, though part of the same biological system of population dynamics and overall balance that every other form of life is ordered by, we pretend that it doesn't apply to us and want the whole herd for ourselves.

    Why is it that man seems to be the only species that does not have a controlled population? (Most other instances are because of human involvement.) We clear out natural environments to make more food, and our population continually increases. The problem is obvious to us, yet our solution is to grow more food at the cost of exploiting our environment even more. There is a psychological barrier that is preventing us from achieving this balance. Fear of death, perhaps?

    We are gifted with the power of the mind, and just as we were able to learn how to fly only when in accordance with the Laws of Aerodynamics, we have to learn to evolve in accordance with the Law of Life. Only then will we be able to direct evolution correctly. We look towards the future and expect technology to save us. But since technology is dependent on resources, we put ourselves in a race. What will come first: humans putting themselves on the endangered list or humans finding game-changing technology that will reverse the destruction that we have wreaked?

    It is a massive gamble. Life is not completely random, and therefore shouldn't be left up to chance. As Chris said, "If we can’t evolve willfully, then the system will evolve for us." Don't forget...the system will evolve with or without us.

    Wed, Nov 18, 2009  Permanent link

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