we don't need to change how we do conservation, we need to change why we do it

Once you See It you Can’t Un-See It (short version)

Fourteen reasons to view humankind as separate from the co-evolved Natural World:

Principles of population evo-ecology to which humans do not conform

1. — genetic structures evolve only in response to a functional shift. That is, structures do not change until environmental change calls for intergenerational adaptation by Natural Selection. https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/06/20/young-buddha-part-1-overturning-the-mortal-conformity-of-structure-and-function/

2. — opportunism means behavioral flexibility, but in pre-human Nature this can only be accomplished by compromising genetic structures https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/05/23/old-buddha-meets-young-buddha-part-one-a-contract-broken/

. . . and the kicker

3. — competitive exclusion of organisms that exhibit traits deep in the overlap zone between niches maintains the integrity and diversity of ecosystems (i.e. Natural Selection weeds out all individuals, along with their offspring, that step outside their place within the larger community of organisms) https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/05/30/old-buddha-speaks-part-1-sexual-traits-are-words/

. . . so when technology allows us, not in millions of years but in mere decades, to fully overlap every niche, then

4. — unlike any ‘coevolved species’, we wouldn’t only not be missed if we disappeared from their ecological space, but our disengagement would cause their more Natural populations to once again flourish! https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2023/01/09/of-whippoorwills-and-wolves-a-music-inviolate/

substantiation that humans are not a ‘species’ in the co-adapted sense

5. — co-adaptation requires stable relationships with other species over many lifetimes (the speed of technological change does not allow for stable relationships with species that can only change through genetic evolution) https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/06/21/old-buddha-meets-young-buddha-part-3-when-we-see-the-difference-our-world-changes/

6. — In thriving pre-human ecosystems, there was more biomass at the top of the food pyramid than at the bottom; in all humanised systems it’s the other way around (because agricultural “productivity” requires “predators” to be eliminated and Naturally “rampant” diversity to be “weeded out”) https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/08/25/young-buddhas-dreamscape-part-1-relation-to-the-living-world/

7. — racial discrimination drives adaptive radiation and ensures the integrity of species in stable ecosystems, but Humanity is a racial ‘melting pot’ https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/06/27/young-buddha-before-the-pilgrimage-part-2-three-natural-truths-horrify/

. . . because

8. — as Milford Wolpoff’s multiregional hypothesis, tells us: “the potential for niche overlap would have made the co-existence of multiple tool-using species impossible” https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/07/28/young-buddha-at-home-part-5-three-common-mistakes-we-have-all-made/

. . . then, since these principles anticipate that humans do not, for some time now did not, and ‘evolving’ forward can-not contribute in a co-evolutionary way to a thriving Nature, we might want to consider the buddha-natural idea that evolutionary ecology is already an Intelligence in its own right; meaning we must recognise its right to ‘self-determination’. (If we argue, as some have, that we ourselves are “Nature’s intelligence”, it would still be incredibly perverse to claim this has been so far helpful, let alone ‘needed’.) It’s generally accepted now, even in animal behaviour studies, that Awareness did not arise with us out of an oblivious Natural World; and if our vaunted Creative Intelligence as well can be understood as a kind of conceptual evolution, wherein “self” is also a concept, then “in effect”:

conceptual intelligence can be seen as a permutation of pre-existing speci-fying intelligence

9. — extraordinary parallels can be shown to exist between our planet’s slow but undeniably creative Earth Spirit, and the much faster creative spirit of human intelligence https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/05/21/old-buddha-part-1-the-tree-of-life/

10. — sexual selection is a meta-evolution that plays the same role of speci-fication in ecosystems that symbolic language (meta-behaviour/learning) plays in human cultures https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/05/30/old-buddha-speaks-part-1-sexual-traits-are-words/

11. — with a language-like model for ‘intentional’ (i.e. selected and maintained by inner tensions) species generation, there is now compelling reason to treat evolving ecosystems as Fellow Intelligence https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/06/08/old-buddha-speaks-part-2-sexual-traits-guide-reproduction-of-species-just-as-words-guide-reproduction-of-ideas/

. . . and, to justify this whole exercise, of trying to see something we’ve never seen before, we must ultimately ask, what might be the

consequences of a new and ecologically wayward human animal coming to know ‘what it is’

12. — dependency on Natural Resources is what gives rise to the ‘instinct for territoriality’ in the animal kingdom in general. This is a notoriously troublesome facet of our original ‘animal natures’ that might become substantially baseless as we take on, by achievable degrees, the http://www.extremophilechoice.com/ . Imagine that! https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2016/05/20/ok-then-lets-be-pragmatic/

13. — Perhaps, like human children, an adolescent Technological Intelligence comes to adulthood when it is individuated from its parent Genetic Intelligence. And if we finally come to understand that our technology is meant to free us, and Nature too, from our unsustainable dependency on resources (see principle 12 above) that have been evolved to efficiently sustain only eco-evolutionary flourishing, would this not make our task, our endless un-Natural choosing among ever-more-novel options, less picky and quarrelsome? Perhaps returning us, on an emotional plane anyway, to the more Natural condition experienced by other animals who are born knowing their niche in life?https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/08/30/young-buddhas-dreamscape-part-3-our-relationship-to-each-other/

. . . but, in this fractious, or at least this vitally argumentative, human world — where every dream of “destiny”, or of “utopia”, has always been opposed by rival dreams — why should we expect this scenario to be acceptable to a majority of human kind? Maybe because, just like human-caused global warming, or like natural selection

14. — once you see it, you can’t un-see it https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2021/03/18/the-journey-part-8-science-infected-by-love-of-nature-the-unstoppable-contagion/

* * *

Until we start talking in these population ecology terms, about what it means to be Human in the Natural world, the human-centred ‘environmentalist’ conversation will hold us to our past and present apocalyptic course. Until we fearlessly examine our assumption, that we have a God given, or evolution-given, right to Natural resources, we will continue to turn self-regulating and therefore thriving ecological diversity into “productive” (i.e. less diverse) farmland. And until we see that Technological Intelligence is intrinsically incompatible with co-evolutionary Genetic Intelligence, the conservation of myriad Naturally regulated species will always take a back seat to the immediate interests of one unregulated, technologically adaptive, and politically volatile primate who thinks he’s an integral part of their co-evolution just because he walks under the same sun and breaths the same air.

If you’re interested, I’ve also attempted to give some graphic ‘substance’ to this conversation in hopes this might contribute to whatever transformation in our view of Humans and Nature might yet come out of these chaotic times:   https://www.extremophilechoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Download-Quick-Tour.pdf

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