I have to thank my buddy Kevan Moore for sparking this thought. We were at the Atlanta Zoo. (By the way, seeing a real, live panda in person is even cooler than you think it would be. But I digress.)
While we were looking at one of the endangered species exhibits (I forget now which), Kevan piped up, asking why, if we subscribe to the theory of evolution, are we concerned when any animal becomes “endangered?” Isn’t that just evolution at work, weeding out the inferior species?
I responded sarcastically, “Oh no! You must understand that these species are only endangered because we—mankind—have hunted them down in our arrogance to make them trophies, or we have disturbed their habitats in our recklessness so that they can no longer flourish. For nature to kill off her own species is fine, but for us to do it is abomination!”
Then it occurred to me. Evolution theory says that mankind—uh, humankind (sorry) is simply nature’s most evolved species. In other words, we’re not outside of nature; we’re very much a part of it. So what’s the harm if our behavior causes other species to fall out of existence—species less capable, less fit, less able to adapt? Such is the binding arbitration of evolution.
So is mankind—uh, humankind part of nature or not? Can we just make up our minds already?