Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Man is a Part of Nature

We tend to separate man-made from natural products, thereby distinguishing between man and nature as if they were indeed separable. Man and nature are not separable. Man is as much part of nature as is anything else in the known universe, and does not stand apart from it.

Humans are composed of the same atoms and molecules that make up our environment, as are all products made by a human hand. Plastics, aluminum cans, insecticides, atomic waste, dioxin – all the things we have tended to consider as ‘man-made’ and bad for nature and the environment – are, in fact, all ‘natural products’ in that they are made by man, who himself is a part of nature. They, too, are composed of the same atoms and molecules as is everything else in the known universe.

The fact that certain elements produced by nature (whether by the hands of humans or otherwise) are potentially inimical to man’s future, do not make them universally detrimental – they are potentially detrimental only to man and the environment that he proposes as best for himself. It is, in fact, a selfish view - unrelated to the existence of our planet, but only to our own existence.

The planet, in fact, does not exist solely for the human species (except in a spiritual sense). No planet is dedicated merely to the existence of certain species – it never has been and never will be. It’s ultimate purpose, if any, remains utterly mysterious!


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