TED Conversations

Kimberly Kaminski

Post-doctoral researcher, Harvard Medical School

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We have become a strong "force" that is impacting and/or directing the evolution of many other species, as well as the planet.

In Harvey Fineberg's talk it is mentioned that we construct our environment to adapt to us more and more. In this way, it becomes less and less necessary for us to adapt to it.

In our efforts to adapt our environment to our needs, we have changed ecosystems, and parts of the world. In this light, we become something equivalent to the "force of nature" (that would propagate our continued natural evolution), but we are imposing this force on the rest of the world, and other species.

Is this good? Is it bad? I don't know. Have the natural forces that have brought us to where we are today in our evolution been good or bad? Both, I think. Whether good, or bad - it is a difference, and we are still largely unaware of the effects.

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    Apr 30 2011: I think human being is the only species in the whole animal kingdom that instead of adapting to environment started changing environment for their own sake. So there is high possibility your premise to be a possibilty.

    Taking the example of invention antibiotics or anti-microbial by as a whole and emergence of resistant strains of microbes through mutation to fight back anti-biotics and survive, can be a proof. Same happens to many insects capabilty to developing resistance to insecticides also are there....

    Vaguely can remember the black butterfly story that had better survival rate in advent of industrial revolution , which I read while was formal a student (i want to remain student always).

    Not sure whether we are giving enough time to complex animals or plants to mutate to adapt & survive with our high speed invasion to nature but definite I am that we are the cause of extinction of many species through destruction of their habitat or indiscriminate killing.

    Other definite answer seems to me what Harvey Fineberg told in his great talk.
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    • May 2 2011: I have not had a very good love affair; so, I don't know why anyone should be having a good time. -mother nature or was that the vogon captain?


      Post script: If we loved mother earth a little better, maybe, we will survive.