Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our Fragile Earth

I picked that title up from an article over at space.com. Its discussing a new documentary that wants us to consider slowing down the fast pace of our technologically driven lives and embrace the rhythms of nature.

I'm not sure we see nature the same way.

The rhythms of nature are extremely violent, and the fragile earth? there is no such thing.

What there is the idea of stasis. We love the idea of stasis, because it fits our present world view. But nature is anything but stasis. We embody the concept of entropy, a balance created by energy in and energy out. We like these two interwoven concepts because the one creates the other and we can look out our window and know what to expect ever day.

But nature is anything but balanced. I will grant that temporary moments of equilibrium occur, but getting there is extraordinarily violent. From cosmic radiation to a single celled creature devouring another, nature is violent, mindless and ruthless. It is like one gigantic gladiatorial arena.

Homo sapiens have found an angle in that violent confrontation, our adaptation is such that it allows us to change the environment to fit our needs. That is adaptation we should embrace, not the indifferent rhythm of the natural world.

Does that mean we have to slaughter everything? No, of course. Out adaptation allows us to save everything. But do we embrace the idea of entropy?

Not sure that's a good idea.

Earth is not fragile. It is powerful and violent. It is enduring. We are just good, because our adaptation embraces that violence.

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