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The Most Dangerous Game?

Updated on May 12, 2009

Are humans the worst creatures ever to walk the earth?

The global climate has been changing quite a bit lately, and it's widely believed that human activity is mostly to blame. But some people actually go so far as to say humans are "destroying" the natural world. In a small sense, sure, but the world isn't being destroyed.

Have you ever read anything on the history of the earth? Trust me, it's survived far worse than humanity. Ice ages, volcanic activity, meteor impacts; much of this happened long before humans existed. Mother Earth is a tough old bird.

So, what impact is humanity having on the planet? It's true that we're changing the world, but we're not making it uninhabitable or anything. All that's happening now is that earth is becoming less of a nice place for us to live. CO2 levels are rising in the atmosphere and the temperature is rising with it. That's not bad for the planet, it's just bad for us. Plenty of creatures can live in hotter temperatures. Sure, polar bears and the like are going extinct, but should we really be shedding tears over it? This is how natural selection works. Species that are ill-fitted for the environment die out. The same thing has been happening for millions of years. Countless species have died out long before we came along. Just because we're the ones causing change, somehow that means we have to feel bad about it?

The CO2 isn't a serious problem, either. Sure, it sucks for us, but it's not like it's polluting the world. In fact, one could argue that our planet was already polluted with another more dangerous gas: oxygen. Yeah, oxygen. Many people don't know this, but way back in the day, the majority of life forms on earth used CO2 for respiration like plants do. In fact, oxygen was actually poisonous to these life forms. When plants and phototrophic protists became more and more prevalent, they sucked up the CO2 in the atmosphere and started pumping out oxygen. All that oxygen killed the CO2-dependent life forms, leaving only a select few oxygen-tolerant creatures to survive and reproduce. Several generations down the road, mutations gave rise to creatures that actually used oxygen to carry out cellular respiration. These oxygen-breathers continued to survive and reproduce, in turn giving rise to the distant ancestors of the species that are alive today.

Not all of those CO2-liking creatures are gone, either. There are worm-like creatures living on the sea floor, far from any sources of sunlight or atmospheric oxygen. They live off of the heat from underwater vents. These creatures are considered extremophiles, or creatures adapted to live in extreme conditions, but if the CO2 levels in the atmosphere keep rising, the world at large could become a much friendlier place for such creatures to live.

So, are humans the worst? It doesn't seem like it. We show greater capacity for compassion than just about any other species. We have some seemingly negative effects on our environment, but doesn't the mere fact that we recognize this and try to take action to correct it show we're not all bad? And besides, even if the actions of man somehow did result in an end to life as we know it, it won't spell an end to all life. One way or another, our fair earth will carry on with or without us.

Thermophiles, a type of extremophile, produce some of the bright colors of Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park (Source: Wikipedia)
Thermophiles, a type of extremophile, produce some of the bright colors of Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park (Source: Wikipedia)


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      Martin J 7 years ago


      thank you for posting this. I am happy just by knowing I am not alone to think this way. Asking if humans are the worst creatures ever to walk the earth to human themselves is a funny questions since we are the one that decides what is good or what is bad. Actually, this is a question no human will ever be able to answer. Up front, one would think that since we are still living on this earth milion years after our creations (and I am talking about humans here, not life in general), we are probably not the wort creatures ever created. If life accepts us, it is beacuase we still fit in the ecosystem, we are not debalancing it too much. The day we will, probabilities are that we will disappear.

      We are part of a certain balance we know as "life". Life evolves, everybody would agree to this. It evolves into a certain direction (it would be more accurate to say many directions). Evolution is a good thing following human common values. For evolution to happen, there is one main factor: environmental changes. Here by environment, I don't only mean "climate", but any changes in the world "life" is living in. Changes leads to adaptation. Adaptation will take many forms over time. More changes there are, faster the adaptions will have to be. Hence, changes in climate condition is a good thing for life, even though being "bad" for human condition in general. That is one point solved for climate changes.

      Now the real question is: What is life's goal?

      As stated before, life takes many direction. Humans, as a specie, as taken one. If it works, then we go on. If it fails, then we disappear. For bilions of years, this rule has always been true. Hopefully, this will be true for bilions of years to come. Until the day the sun goes down.

      Our sun will get bigger and bigger by the end of his life (4 bilions years from now, which is not that far in the scale of life) and because of this the Earth will be burning. No species as we know them right now would sustain such a change. No species are known being able to live in such hot environment. Large molecules (organic molecules) are destroy at these temperatures. That is a dramatic lookout for life.

      But, here we are. 2000 AC. Earth age is estimated to be approximately 5 bilions years. We are at mid-way. THanks life for what it is, one specie has evolved enough that it can predict with a certain accuracy the future of elements. THis specie is called human. It is a young rookie, but it is talented.

      Today, we have the chance to change the future by taking action now. For th first time in history we know of, a specie could even be dedicated enough to sacrifice itself to protect life. THat fact alone is enough to proof that humans are the most beutiful creatures that have ever existed. Like every single part of "life" that exists is the most beautiful creature never created, because we need each other so much to evolve that we cannot divide life into segments and try to judge which one is better. WE ARE LIFE. We are all we know that exist. UNtil we face some other kind of conscience in this universe, we have to keep the faith in Life. Life have not proven to be wrong until today, so let's believe in it. Call it what ever you want, "god", "karma" even "universe", the only thing we know for sure is that without life, nothing exists. Without life, the universe do not even exist because there is no consciouness to remark something exists.

      Now what are we gonna do?

      We to spread life to other solar systems as soons as possible to protect it.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      I love Yellowstone (not that your hub was about that) just the picture.. lots to consider Dan, you stretch my thinking..and that's a great thing! Thank you!