The amazing Homo sapiens

Homo sapiens, that species of which we are members, is an astonishing organism.  We have learned, invented, ventured, discovered, and done things that no other species in the five billion years of our planet’s history has ever accomplished.

And yet for all our brilliance, we might be responsible for actually destroying ourselves.

Other organisms have flourished on this planet, some for far longer than we humans.  Other organisms, plants and animals, have become extinct even after surviving hundreds of millions of years.  Other organisms on Earth have even died as a result of their own success, using up the resources on which they depend, or destroying the very environment which sustained them.

But we are almost certainly the first organism in the entire life of our planet which may be aware that we could be in the process of self-destruction, and yet continue head-long down this self-defeating path.

Look at what we have been able to do!  We’ve invented everything from writing to ships, from inter-space travel to the internet.  We’ve discovered vaccines for small pox and learned how to reattach severed limbs.  We’ve electrified almost every square meter of earth’s living space, we drive everything from cars and planes to gas balloons and drones.

But somehow we seem only halfheartedly convinced that our environmental pollution could kill us, and that wars are a poor way to resolve our differences.

Life is dangerous, and not every serious danger is of our own making.  And there are many who are doing more than their bit for our planet and for future generations.

Let’s do everything we can to make sure they are the ones who win this life-and-death battle.




About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
This entry was posted in humans, primates, and other life on earth, saving our home - thoughts about global warming and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The amazing Homo sapiens

  1. Henk says:

    Hello Terry, Good to see that you are still at it. If you allow me, you are probably one in a million who ‘uberhaupt’ cares for the continued existence of HS. Truly an uneven battle. And as you know, I consider ‘us’, meaning Man, Animal, Plant or Microbe, to mention only few of the melange, to merely being a chemical composition. Take one essential component out of the mix, or add a wrong one and puff, gone it is. Henk.

    • Hi, Henk. Thank you for the comment. I agree that life on our planet is far more precarious than most of us appreciate. And the human enterprise particularly so. My own sense is not that we are one (two?) in a million who cares about our continued existence, but I don’t think a lot of people are aware of how close to the edge we may be. Some because they believe God will take care of it, some because they don’t have the education. Personally, I can’t see any possible way that our population can continue to explode. We are already running out of arable land and drinkable water, and even our air is threatened. Something – perhaps many things – is going to bring us up short, if not to full extinction. It’s unlikely though, that you or I will live to see it. (Come to think of it, by definition, maybe nobody will.)

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