Saturday, August 19, 2006

Freaks of Nature

That is what people are.

Thinking about the recent news about genes in human brains.... "In just a few million years, one area of the human genome seems to have evolved about 70 times faster than the rest of our genetic code. It appears to have a role in a rapid tripling of the size of the brain's crucial cerebral cortex..."

While there are those who like to reconcile evolution with God (and I think that there is no reason why a person could not do that), I rather like the idea that people changed randomly - just like all of the other freaks of nature. And the changes that worked best were the ones that survived. It is amazing how incredibly complex and diverse are people and life in general. Nature is awesome.

Maybe part of the thing is that people know that they get more done if they have intentions and goals and a plan - so having a God plan and direct things makes sense. To let things randomly take their course does not always prove to be the most productive. I think that going with the flow can be the most interesting.

But if people were not designed - then people are not "special" - and that point of view does go against the idea that people have a divine right to dominate nature. The argument goes....

"But He also made nature for man’s pleasure and profit. At the end of the six days of creation, He said to Adam and Eve, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth’...God has put us at the centre of the universe, not we ourselves."

I think that it is more like if you look at how nature works - the strongest and best adapted wins. For some people that means industrial fishing because people can or strip mining mountains because people can - and because it is so profitable. Taking as much as someone can get - because they see no reason not to. If one were to notice - while animals will put up food for the winter - this ends up contributing to how nature works - not hamstringing it. While some species do end up being the losers - now it is becoming that most species are becoming the losers (except jellyfish, of course, and a few other things).

People in general are so egotistical that we don't worry about taking more than we need. The thing about being the best adapted - is that those of us who want humankind to live in a way that is adapted to the world (for the species to continue to survive) - means that everybody needs to get on board with the idea of protecting nature - not overkill.

For those who do not care if the species survives (the rapture and all) - then it doesn't matter what they do (as far as they are concerned) - but for the rest of us - it matters quite a bit.

To me life and nature are all that more miraculous - that everything evolved the way it did. I revel in diversity.

I was visiting the Aquarium in Newport the other day - and it was wonderful to see even the relatively small amount of diversity that they had housed in their building. (Though I was sad to think that for most of those animals it is like a prison).

As freaks of nature - we are just one of the freaky species. Not one with special privileges. That is one of the things you give up when you don't go along with the whole Genesis bit. We get to share this planet along with all of the other freaks.

It is all a war of sorts - who wins . And it concerns me that some people think that people are so smart that we can outsmart nature or something. People may be smart - but we are not that smart.

I think the best we can do is to live in harmony with all the other freaks of nature to the best of our abilities.

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