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November 17, 2011

Is Humanization a threat to life on Planet Earth?

Homo sapiens is the formal taxonomic name for modern humans. We are considered, at least by the scientifically literate, to be a single species that evolved in Africa about 200 thousand years ago and subsequently spread over most of the world in a series of diasporas thought to have begun about 140,000 years later. Those time estimates are considered relatively recent on the deep (geologic) time scale known to Charles Darwin and now accepted by most scientists (but still denied by some organized religions). Indeed, marked differences between religious and political opinions-often bitterly stated- are among the many important issues dividing our species into separate camps in a world being rocked by violent revolutions, engaged in a feckless war on "terror" and now mired in a deepening global economic crisis.

Against that backdrop, one might think that Darwin's hypothesis, since independently confirmed to an unusual degee by Mendelian Genetics, the structure of the DNA molecule (and the fact that it provides a mechanism for inheritance in all known life forms) should be beyond dispute; but such is obviously not the case.

Indeed, we humans, the only cognitive species that is also literate and scientifically knowledgeable, are remarkably prone to irrational disagreements on a scale that, when combined with our technological prowess, pose a unique existential challenge to both our own species and other living things.

In other words the current degree of humanization of Planet Earth may have become the single most immediate threat to both its human population and life in general.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at November 17, 2011 01:14 PM