Nature and Wilderness
One essence of being human is that you are an adaptable and
nomadic creature. Your innate preferences are layered like layers in sedimentary
rock that allows geologists to read the history of a place over millions of
years. Your deepest feelings come
from the oldest parts of your brain that still recognize features of an
environment that appealed to early mammals and perhaps to more ancient creatures
such as reptiles and dinosaurs.
Humans are animals among animals who lived in crisis and
depended on their relationships with other animals. Some were prey, others were
predators. Animal spirits permeated the natural world and preoccupied
superstitious humans. Humans evolved in Africa and followed a lineage from
tree-living primates who ate plants and insects to ground-dwelling creatures
that wandered further and further as time went on, perfecting the attributes and
skills of nomadic hunters and gatherers. Human ancestors in the past 200,000
years have wandered all over the planet and settled in every place that could
sustain their life. Our deepest recognitions come from contact with rocks, wood,
fire, metal, bone and water. The history of the unique features of our mind is
rooted in a very slow, gradual transformation from creatures who lived in nature
to creatures who clustered in crowded space and transformed the nature of rocks, bone and wood into tools,
weapons, clothing and shelters.
The finest of homes
to this day display rock, wood and fire. Civilized humans still cook meat over
fires in kitchens, backyards and fires improvised on beaches, feeling more
peaceful and authentic on a camping trip when they are closer to their wilder
nature. When you go to a beach, you will collect stones and shells and sometimes
pieces of wood that have been sculpted by waves. You don’t really know why you
find these natural objects so attractive. You cannot recall how your distant
ancestors collected stones to make tools that were vital to their survival and
used stones to make houses, mark places, and create monuments for deceased
members of the clan.
Snyder suggested that: “Wilderness is a place where the
wild potential is fully expressed, a diversity of living and non-living beings
flourishing according to their own sorts of order. When an ecosystem is fully
functional, all members are present at the assembly. To speak of wilderness is
to speak of wholeness. Human beings came from that wholeness. Deep Ecology
thinkers insist that the natural world has a value in its own right, that the
health of natural systems should be our first concern, and that this best serves
the interests of all humans as well...Environmental concerns and politics have
spread worldwide. In some countries, the focus is almost entirely on human
health and welfare issues. It is proper that the range of the movement should
run from wildlife to urban health. But there can be no health for humans and
cities that bypasses the rest of nature... A sophisticated postindustrial
citizen will be asking: is there any way we can go with rather against nature?"
- Discussions of Environmental Science and Human Ecology were developed by
Environmed Research Inc. Sechelt, B.C. Canada. Online Topics were developed from
the book, The Environment. You will find detailed information about the sun, weather, soils, forests, oceans, atmosphere, air pollution, climate change,
water resources, air quality, energy sources, and preserving habitats. The Environment
is available from Alpha Online as a Printed book or as an eBook
Edition for Download. The 2018 edition is 286 pages.
The Author, Stephen Gislason MD
Download The Environment as an eBook.
- Also Read Air and Breathing.
This book helps you understand air quality issues, normal breathing and the
causes of breathing disorders.
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