Humans are so different from all other animals it creates a dilemma for environmentalists. They accept Darwin and claims that humans are animals, but when human advances in evolution are considered it doesn’t apply. Somehow artistic, social and economic achievements, don’t count for anything and are not part of ongoing evolution. In simple terms, they conclude that we are so different we should not be here. They eliminated the God option, so the only explanation is we are an anomaly.
I’ve explored this topic before but re-examination is necessary as daily news stories present us with natural events, directly or indirectly implying they are unnatural. It’s amplified by the eco-bullies as the public turn away from scares and politicians withdraw funding claiming economic restrictions. Those who use the environment, especially climate, to achieve a political agenda are trying to raise the scare factor. Every day a natural event occurs that is exploited by environmentalists and those promoting human causes of change as unnatural. Most of the media participate because they need sensationalism.
Distinction between natural and unnatural is primarily a product of 20th century environmentalism resurrected from the fundamental 18th Century debate between Rousseau and Voltaire. In a letter to Rousseau after reading his book, The Social Contract, Voltaire wrote,
“I have received your new book against the human race, and thank you for it. Never was such a cleverness used in the design of making us all stupid. One longs, in reading your book, to walk on all fours. But as I have lost that habit for more than sixty years, I feel unhappily the impossibility of resuming it.”
Everything is natural! Some try to blur the issue with euphemisms like “man-made”, without realizing that humans are natural and what they produce is natural. But that’s the issue, they don’t believe humans are natural. Consider the confused thinking and parallels with Rousseau in this statement by research biologist David Graber.
“Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line – at about a billion years ago – we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth. It is cosmically unlikely that the developed world will choose to end its orgy of fossil energy consumption, and the Third World its suicidal consumption of landscape. Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”
How many people understand what illogical and inaccurate rubbish Graber presents? How many can separate emtional nonsense from facts. There were no multi-celled creatures on Earth a billion years ago. Current academic teaching says humans only diverged from other apes less than 5 million years ago.
People think we know most of what there is to know. Little is further from the truth. What we know is today’s limited truth. It wasn’t yesterday’s and it won’t be tomorrow’s and it changes more rapidly than many understand. It is also different between cultures, yet we think everyone sees and knows the world as we do.
You can see the philosophic contradictions and fuzzy thinking in Graber’s comments. Environmentalists claim that what humans do is unnatural, but that means they are unnatural. This creates the dilemma that if we are not natural then some greater being must have put us here. Graber offers the anomaly solution. He claims we started out natural but then got lost one billion years ago. Why humans? What about the other creatures? What caused us to get lost?
I’m not lost. I know which planet I am on. I am glad and proud to be human and know I have as much right to be on the planet and behaving the way I do as any environmentalists or any other animal.