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What is mankinds relationship with the rest of the living creatures on earth?

Lions are the top predator on the savanna. Krill are essentially the fuel that run the marine food chain. Insects and birds pollinate plants. Bacteria and fungi are the recyclers.

What kind of role do we have in relation to the ecosystems we inhabit? Do we even care since we have all become civilized?. Is man separate from all other life like many cultural beliefs suggest?

  • Mar 5 2013: The best answer to this question is, we do not know.

    In the west much of our culture was based on the concept that man was pitted against nature and progress was viewed as a quest to conquer nature. Although we now know better, much of the western world continues to act in accordance with the old myth. It could lead to our extinction, because we do not know all of the ways in which our lives depend on nature. For example, It was relatively recently that we figured out that plankton provides us with much of our oxygen. We are groping our way into the role of global farmer; we will control the fate of every species on the planet. But we do not know how to perform this role well enough to assure our own survival. So we had better learn our relationship with the rest of the living creatures on earth, and quickly.
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    Mar 6 2013: Photo synthetic produce is the basic food based energy that drive all the living creatures on earth except small microbes who can live on minerals directly. About a decade ago, homo sapiens were appropriating more than 40% of the total global photosynthetic produce. That gives an idea about the relationship.
    The role that humankind assumes in relation to ecosystems and environment it inhabits is unique. It modifies both ecosystems and environment. That makes human evolution a very complex process and much of it is directed.
    Our cultural belief suggests that humankind is superior and at control. Facts suggest we are a runaway humanity.
    • Mar 15 2013: Civilization has created a culture of people living so far apart from the biological systems of its environment that I think modern mans relationship with other species is an short lived aberration.
  • Mar 17 2013: so what humans will go extinct? because even if we go beyond earth's capacity for human life we will just live on a smaller scale with less people but i believe that we will find a better and more advanced way to support our growing population because our species is very VERY hard to kill off
    • Mar 18 2013: Your question doesn't make sense. If all of a population doesn't die then there is no extinction.
      • Mar 18 2013: yes but you said "We are currently living through an extinction event. Scientist say the extinction rate is estimated anywhere between 100 to 10,000 times natural extinction rate" what does that mean?
  • Mar 17 2013: false spiritual egocentric societies think the world was made for humans which in fact it wasn't in any way we are just as important as the earthworms beneath our feet to the earth and i don't get what mass extinction we are living through? you mean the asteroid that killed the dinosaures?? because if it wasn't for that extinction humans would probably never have existed
    • Mar 17 2013: Yes you are correct. I'll add the majority of societies.

      We are currently living through an extinction event. Scientist say the extinction rate is estimated anywhere between 100 to 10,000 times natural extinction rate. I don't find this too very hard to believe just looking around at humanities footprint.
  • Mar 5 2013: How does any creature react to their environment? they just do.... now humans are unique in that even if we can survive off our environment we have a burning desire to expand and grow in every possible way but this is not bad we are a part of nature even though we are modern we are a part of nature and without us a lot of creature would perish or change drastically we should't care about changing the environment because the thing life is best at of all things is adapting
    • Mar 6 2013: It would be easy to argue that without humans many many species would rebound.
      • Mar 15 2013: yes but also many would parish animals have adapted to our existence yeas we damage alot of ecosystems but those systems can and will adapt
        • Mar 17 2013: Not every society is the same so I can't speak for everyone but the dominating culture believes the earth was made for humans and humans were made to rule it. Given the mass extinction event we are living threw this culture is dangerously flawed.
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    Gail .

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    Mar 5 2013: I recently heard: Kill of all the bees and humankind will be largely gone from the face of the earth in about a decade. Kill off all the humans, and the rest of life of earth will thrive in about a decade.