Our place on Earth
We, humanity, are an outcome of the laws of nature and of the lifeless physical evolution of the Universe that those laws generated. As with all physical things in the universe, we are formed of a combination of atoms that formed in the early existence of the Universe, and atoms that formed in ancient stars in ancient galaxies.
We are also an outcome of the ever-increasing complexity of the biological evolution of life on Earth, from the earliest simple virus-like half-live things, to the most complex: the mammals that we are.
Billions of generations of pre-human life-forms, and hundreds-of-thousands of generations of humans have experienced life on Earth. For the most part those generations of life have endured predation, danger and hunger that ended in painful and fearful deaths. Only in recent generations has humanity, and only humanity, been able to increasingly control the suffering of existence.
Our cultures and sciences have become an extension of our natural evolution, giving us unprecedented comfort and security. For many if us, our most basic needs are almost universally met: we never go hungry, nothing hunts us, we can avoid or cure most diseases or disabilities, and we are usually protected from violent elements in our society. If we are injured or get sick we are usually cured; if we can’t be cured, or if we get old, we are well supported. Most of us live in comfortable accommodation where we don’t suffer from the effects of weather extremes. Most of us are endlessly entertained; we can easily travel, communicate with people all over the Earth, and we understand much about the nature of our existence and the Universe.
We have made ourselves the greatest survivors as individuals, and the most successful of the most complex species, in our own judgement we are the pinnacle of evolution, and if there is such a thing as a right, we have a right to that place — it is an outcome of evolution that is a part of the nature of the Universe.
But, while it is the nature of evolution that a species may come to dominate its environment, it is not the nature of evolution that that species will necessarily maintain its domination. Total domination of our environment, which is now effectively the entire Earth, may not be the best choice for humanity's long-term success.
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