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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

TEDCRED 30+

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What are homo sapiens good for, how do "they" contribute to a "cycle" on Earth, and what would happen to the world if "they" all left?

***First of all, I want to politely ask readers and responders to distance themselves from thinking as a homo sapien or human and place yourselves as a single separate entity, seriously considering this topic deeply, examining this from a distance***

If bees were to go extinct tomorrow; many plants and trees would not be pollinated or germinate, and many animals would starve. If all the algae of the world vanished off the face of the Earth; a collapse of the ecosystem would likely occur. If homo sapiens all left Earth someday, then what could possibly happen to the planet? Many scenarios could happen, but some have claimed that the Earth would continue unchanged after we leave and it would actually do much better, according to some.

Homo sapiens create great knowledge; they create great technologies; they create great works of art, literature, and architecture; they answer many questions that no other creature could even fathom; they have a complex mind; they are self aware; they have language; they are adaptive; they are the highest point of the food chain on Earth, when they are on land; they can potentially destroy Earth with their own technologies; they have war; they take a lot of Earth's resources; they sometimes waste a lot of resources; they are many more things, but how much do homo sapiens, as an entire species, play into the larger ecosystem on Earth?

Is Niccolo Machiavelli accurate when he describes people as "a sorry lot" or is the human existence a helpful one?

Thanks for reading my thoughts.

Topics: Homo Sapiens
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  • Oct 24 2012: "If homo sapiens all left Earth someday, then what could possibly happen to the planet?"

    Prehistoric humans were apex predators, those most certainly have an important role in any ecosystem. Who knows, maybe one day we'll use our technology to divert an asteroid away from Earth and in doing so make up for the damage we have done to nature over the last 10.000 years.
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    Oct 23 2012: Two planets meet. The first one asks: "How are you?"
    "Not so well", the second answered "I've got Homo Sapiens."
    "Don't worry," the other replied, "I had the same. That won't last long."

    Besides the fundamental directive of life, I think the given joke says it all ... :o)
  • Oct 22 2012: Our greatest weakness, is our greatest strength. Evolution and revolution to bind all the shattered pieces of society is just around the corner. Ignorance, is our greatest enemy. And it will go down eventually.
  • Oct 22 2012: I don't think one question is better than another question.
    Homo sapiens have destroyed the planet and are not stopping or slowing down.
    They have destroyed thousands of species and ecological environments, along with trust, belief in anything good or sacred and most importantly they have destroyed the very idea of relationships between others and the relationship between humans and all other forms of life.

    Regardless of all the beauty they are purported to have created, it only serves to hide the hideous truth of the human being.

    The beauty they create is in lieu of the fact they couldn't or wouldn't see the real beauty right before their eyes, stretched out in all directions and covering the planet. They destroyed that to make their own version, which is limiting, gaudy and ultimately worthless and not lasting.
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      Oct 22 2012: Wow, please take off the "Green" grasses and have some perspective.
      1) the planet is not destroyed.
      2) millions of species have gone extinct with out human interaction (this is part of the planets evolution), and to even say humans have caused thousands to be destroyed is a gross exaggeration.
      3) I see and appreciate beauty (man made and natural) every day. (beauty is in the eye of the beholder)

      Making exaggerated statements based on inaccurate data fuels agendas, but takes away from real progress. I understand and appreciate your passion and drive. I just feel that the cause and solution (for the human condition on this planet) would be better achieved by rational and educated discussions.
  • Oct 22 2012: A better question to ask is, are humans an evolution? Or a defect. As Jill Taylor put it, our right side of the brain collects processes information, and our left side picks out all the details and organizes them. Humans all process information, the fact that we do so makes us the same, yet we are different bases on the collection of data we store via our left. With that said, we can define that there is a start. And for purpose of argument that we call this start 0. Which is the beginning and the ending. Our "instinct." Because we can only process information in the small scope of bias that we have we can conclude that we will make decisions based on that. A prime example is the puzzle called sudoku. Where if you have a set amount of information, you will act upon it, but if you are not aware of every factor, you will not fail right away, but you will ultimately lose. Because of that. Humans vary +infinity and -infinity from 0. And we become separate from the complex and simple "nature" which gives us the ability to feel yin and yang. Happiness and sadness. Therefore we become a separate deity from the system. And furthermore, 99% of mankind are to ignorant to understand and relate. We are the virus of the system based on all the decisions made against our instincts which will lead ultimately to loss, unless we find the eraser and restart or revamp our entire society

    Thank you

    Brandon Chung
    @brandonkchung (twitter)
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    Oct 22 2012: You are assuming that the ECO system is fragile and it might well be, if meassured in human time. Think planet time.
    Unless the planet is pulverized, the sun changes or the planet loses it position in orbit "Life" in one form or another will continue on this planet. Homo - sapiens will only be missed by the next Intelligent species that replaces them in the future. "Missed" is probably the wrong term. Do we miss the Dinosaurs?
    Your conclusion about the bees is missing one important factor. TIME. Most would agree with most of your statement but give enough time thousands or millions of years the Eco system would right itself. It is widely believed that if the bees vanished it would be and end. I feel another insect or evolution would replace them and replace them quickly. The laws of supply and demand do apply to nature. Take O2 and CO2 if there is an abundance of CO2 and a drop in O2 the lifeforms that rely on the CO2 would flourish and the O2 lifeforms would diminish and then the pendulum would begin to swing the other way and then back again until the system rights itself or another disaster occurs.

    I don't claim to be an expert these are just some of my thoughts
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    Oct 22 2012: I think:

    Homo sapiens will very probably extinguish themselves soon,
    if they do not quit their INVALID HAPPINESS quickly.
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      Oct 22 2012: Please elaborate, what is "invalid happiness" and how will it extinguish the homo sapiens?
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    Oct 21 2012: What you are pointing is really that, the higher up the foodchain an animal is the less important it is to the overall picture.
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      Oct 22 2012: That is a single aspect, but it isn't the only point that I attempted to examine. Let's think about lions, they are pretty high up in the food chains as well, but lions are considered scavengers and they do not take resources in excess and waste as much as a homo sapiens do as a collective, at least to my knowledge. I wonder how do humans fit into the scheme of nature now that they are so high up in the food chain, or have humans become so superior that it can shed the cycles of nature and sustain life without it?
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    Oct 21 2012: If humans left, there wouldn't be anything to prevent some asteroid to completely wipe out everything alive.
    Bees are fuzzy and cute, though.
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      Oct 22 2012: Interesting idea, but most of the asteroids gets destroyed by the ozone or atmosphere before humans even step in, though maybe if we had a giant asteroid that may be a possibility.
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        Oct 22 2012: Or, if this planet is extremely lucky, life could go on without humans for another four billion years, untill the sun dies out. Life without smart humans is doomed.
  • Oct 21 2012: It is true that if insects went extinct tomorrow much of the life on land would also go extinct. It is similarly true that if homo sapiens went extinct tomorrow not much would change. Certainly there would be some short term problems as our technological works unwound but after a thousand years or so nothing harmful would be left except some radioactive hot spots.
    HSaps do collect and create knowledge, but only knowlege that is useful to them. Its like an owner of a house, collecting books to fill the house. When then owner dies and the books decay how will the animals outside the house mourn the loss. They won't because the knowledge is meaningless to them.
    What is the value of the knowlege that we have collected? In a universe that is apparently arrived at by accident and our very existance that is looking more and more like an accident as well, knwoledge and art is only personally valuable. It has not absolute value to the universe.
    What happened to the world when we lost the library at Alexandria or Celsus. Nothing, the world went on.
    HSap is altering the environment of the world. If they were to vanish a new dynamic balance would be struck and the world would continue to evolve and prosper until the end of the earth or until we run out of carbon dioxide
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      Oct 21 2012: I don't think carbon dioxide can run out, but oxygen could potentially significantly decrease if "HSaps" continue to deforest for land cultivation or pollute the waters, which can result in things like Coral Bleaching.
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    Oct 21 2012: We are God-like beings; and we have God-like intelligence. We also have the choice of putting such into use according to the purpose of our creator OR according to our own selfish plans and schemes.
    The world as it is, is being affected by the consequences of our choices as individuals and as a collective.
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      Oct 21 2012: Feyisayo,

      You begin by using "we" and that was my first thought about your response because I don't feel that you really tried to detach yourself from being a human, but that can take time to be aware of, for I have trouble doing the same.

      You proceed to state that humans are God-like beings, and also talk about "our creator", then would that make us someone else's science experiment or does that make us their play-things? Just as Greek Mythology stated that the gods on Mount Olympus would toy with the mortal lives for the enjoyment of the gods, and for that fact I think mortals should rebel against such mistreatment, if Greek gods existed in the first place.

      I want to ask for you to put aside your religious affiliations/notions and consider homo sapiens from an unbiased analysis. I understand that the world is effected by choices and consequences are evident, but how do humans contribute as a species to a natural cycle on Earth? For instance, how water gets evaporated and it then becomes rain that comes back down to Earth, and it cycles.