There is more going on in Nature than natural selection. Natural selection adds polish to a perfection that takes my breath away.That perfection cannot be denied.
An old school friend , once smugly answered a question I had placed online with, “It’s called natural selection.” My question was from an observation about dead frogs. They become more visible to carrion feeders when they die and their white underbelly turns upward. The contrast against the darker colored water becomes another mechanism in the amazing life cycle. While, I do believe that the white under-bellies happened in order to disguise frogs against the silver surface of ponds. Those who could be seen by underwater predators were eaten in greater numbers therefore, “selecting” the white bellies as a helpful genetic trait. This still did not explain how the white bellies also helped the “clean-up” effort. I find these unintended perks very interesting. Of course, as an observer of nature, I notice many perks and find them to be evidence of a perfect order that cannot be categorized as coincidental.
I am not inclined to bring religion into the discussion. Nature herself is an enigma which is tangible to our studies and senses yet cannot be explained by pure science.
Nature can be violent and seemingly unkind from the human view. Ah, even our own senses often betray us. Yet, we refuse to accept our own limitations, often at our peril. The global warming debate, our manifest interest in saving animals from extinction, and our refusal to realize that humankind is part of the natural order are not even hiccups to Nature’s plan. We may have a hand in our own destruction but we are not guardians of Nature.
I studied the Valdez Oil Spill, once upon a time. It was a horrible event with much destructive force. Our scientists rushed to help.Helping and doing is an honorable endeavor. The scientists developed enzymes and “soaps” to break down the oil. When the horrors of the event faded it was found, and not as widely reported, that the “soap” impeded the natural bacteria which took over and cleaned up the environment twice as fast. Individual wildlife suffered…Nature recovered. Nature recovered in spite of our well-intended cures not because of them.
When an animal, humans too, experiences severe bodily trauma, they go into shock. Shock can be a deadly condition but it also is a Natural reprieve from pain and worry. Folks who survive shark attacks seldom pause to relive the pain endured while losing the limb. They have pain during recovery but talk freely about pulling the unwhole body part away. Their natural response was not inhibited by overwhelming pain but was directed by adrenaline and the interest in surviving. I find this amazing. Even our bodies are kinder to us than we realize.
There are many ways to look at our world. Often we defer to experts when problems arise. I think Mother Nature is the quintessential expert when it comes to environmental issues. Our job is to care not to waste and destroy but it is arrogant to assume we can manage “her”.
- Is Human Nature Fundamentally Selfish or Altruistic? (healthland.time.com)
- You: Everyday evolution: Insects drive rapid plant evolution (labspaces.net)