Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Man-made vs Natural

Man-made and natural.. how many times have we heard about these phrases? Virtually all literature in school text books, fiction and non fiction books, in articles, papers, even in our day to day talk.. we talk about these.

Any talk or literature about environment cannot be devoid of these phrases. We talk about man destroying nature with all that he creates. So what does man create which contributes towards destruction of nature.

Man creates pollution of air through his industries, automobiles and all the other things. This creates problems for our Ozone layer so on and so forth

Man creates concrete jungles and uses lot of wood for paper, building material and for all the paraphernelia for a comforatable living. This results in deforestation and trees and forests are vanishing fast. This causes many species of flora and fauna to go extinct.

Man creates non bio degradable waste like plastic which pollutes the water sources including the subterranian table and also soil etc.

The list can go on and on.. Is this blog sounding very familiar? You bet it is.. just an another environment talk by somebody who is concerned about environement.

But I just want to put a different perspective to this. What is man-made and what is natural? Is man not "nature-made"? Is man not part of nature? If not then who made us? How did we evolve? Darwin has provided us a very plausible theory of our evolution from the very simple living beings like single celled organisms to water living creatures to amphibians to land animals to mammals to primates to homo sapiens, what we are today. We call all of the living beings till the primates except homo sapiens are nature, but then only homo sapiens are'nt? This does not convince me.

Why is there a distinction like this? Has it been created by us just because we have one more sense, may be only numerically, more than the other creatures in nature? Or is it just because we want to make ourselves different from nature itself?
We have seen in the past that nature has found its own ways of regulating itself. We understand now that that there has been different stages in the life of earth, when nature has so called kept itself in check. The rise and fall of the dinosaurs, the very carefully crafted food chains so on and so forth. May be man is one such ploy by nature itself. We are part of nature. If we do not stop doing things as described above, may be man will play the part of the asteroid(??) which destroyed the dinosaurs, albeit in a different way.
Though this article is talking about man being part of nature, I do not subscribe to the fact that we should just continue doing what we are doing towards our environment, but we need to see how we can safegaurd it. We really need to ensure that we take care of our environment and not destroy it.
It is just that there can be nothing called man-made and natural. Everything is natural, because we are part of nature. So what we do is also natural. We just have to do what we do naturally better :-).
I simply dont understand when a weaver bird can weave its nest with all kinds of material it finds (may be including strands of plastic :-) ), it is called as a stroke of brilliance of nature, but when a man builds a house it is called man-made and not natural. Sounds goofy.

1 comment:

lone_wolf_dead said...


Interesting I have often thought of this myself ... why is an ant hill not ant-made ... or a beaver dam not beaver-made!

I personally concluded that we humans have always considered ourselves to be above nature.

There is some humility displayed every now and then but it is mostly contrived ... once in a while we do get humbled when a volcano erupts, an eathquake or tsunami hits some place ... but we forget.

We are confused and we do not believe in ourselves. We like to think we are the chosen ones ... the children of god ... but we do not really believe this.

It gets all the more confusing when issues like genetic engineering come into the picture. Now that we are capable of creating new life forms, are we god? Do we have the goodness in us to create only good life forms or will we be creating mutant armies? Do we have the guts to create a life form better than ourselves that will eventually replace us or will we leave that to chance?

It is part of this confusion perhaps that causes our medical science to be relatively behind as compared to the other fields ... a huge mistake ... and in the future, we shall pay a very heavy price for it.