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Humans vs Nature

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I subscribe to a lot of mailing lists. I like the discussions that take place there. I like that I can follow along, or jump in at any time, using my email client. My email is usually close at hand and I usually pay attention to it over other communication channels. So any time something interesting comes along, I read it pretty quickly.

Some of the beekeeping lists I follow are Bee-L, BackwardsBeekeepers, WarreBeekeepers, FeralBeeProject, and OrganicBeekeeping.

Every now and then, on one of these list a discussion pops up that starts out discussing pesticides and commercial farming. The usual suspects, on the respective list, jump in and the finger of blame for all nature’s ills points straight to humans. It devolves into about how we’ve intervened, meddled, tinkered, and engineered things to suit our selves rather than the way nature had “planned”.

I don’t disagree with these arguments. I whole-heartily believe that we are far too reliant on chemicals in all aspects of our lives, including and especially in the production of food. However, what I take issue with is the implied presumption that we humans are not part of nature. That our actions and ideas are not guided by the same notions that guide everything else on this planet. That some how we don’t belong here. That humans are messing things up and the world would be better off with out us.

Really? Really? Come on. Do the people making these arguments really intend to sound that way? Do they really view the human race, that they too happen to belong to, as a disease? Do they mean that insects, plants, and animals have a higher value than the greatest of all created creatures? God made man in His image and gave him dominion over the plants and animals. Said another way…”We’re at the top of the food chain.” By design.

Even looking at it from a completely non-biblical point of view, I still have a hard time with the concept that we don’t belong here. That our actions are outside the realm of “nature”. That we’re not part of the natural world. I don’t subscribe to that way of thinking, and therefore I find it hard to follow along in these discussions. Let alone contribute.

Humans are very different indeed than most other forms of life around us. We can embrace it and take advantage of the beauty that God gave us to enjoy, or we can despise our ugliness and elevate lower life forms to have a higher value than ourselves.

I’m all for keeping bees with as few inputs as possible. Mostly it’s because I’m cheap and lazy ;-). No really, I want good clean products of the hive (read honey). But the idea that the bees would be better off without me implies that I shouldn’t even keep bees. That anything I do to them is interfering with “nature”. Why can’t I be a part of nature too? Why must I view myself and my actions as un-natural? Why should I be a spectator or a clumsy fool? Or worse, an intentionally evil doer bent on exploiting all life for my personal gain?

We are as much a part of this world as the plants and animals. We were created first and all things were created for our enjoyment. To think that we have a lower value or position is to second guess the intention of our creator.

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