Does Mother Nature rule the world
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Mother nature will outlive us
Mother Nature has been around for an unimaginably long amount of time prior to the existence of human beings. It is reasonable to expect that human beings will not exist forever – especially the way we’re going now – and that therefore Mother Nature will long outlast us.
Mankind is clearly capable of diminishing nature's richness and diversity just through the way we live on Earth. Take a look at the Red List [[http://www.iucnredlist.org/]] to see the erosive results of our collective power.
Of course mother nature rules the world. As much as we try and control our lives and destiny the reality of the planet is that it makes it's own rules.
If we were really more powerful than mother nature then we would be able to stop tsunamis and floods and famine but we can't.
And therefore yes it does!
There are such things as limits
Humanity is not separate from the rest of the world, but part of the world.
There are some 6.6 billion people on the planet and projected to grow by about 40% to over 9 billion by 2050. As a result, natural resources (fresh water, arable land, biodiversity etc.) on a per person basis will decline due to population growth alone by at least 25% over that time.
However, our activities are actually reducing the availability of these resources. Therefore, the rate of decline per person over the intervening years will actually be much higher than the rate due to population alone.
For example, if the resource in question declines by an average 1% per year, then the per capita decline doubles to 50%. A 0.25% per year average decline would increase the per capita decline to over 33%.
These rates of decline will almost certainly stretch the ability of technological change to make up the difference beyond breaking point. Therefore, limits on natural resource availability mean we face significant lifestyle changes being forced upon us by the natural world, or Mother Nature if you will.
Oh and if you noticed, I have not mentioned climate change. Throw that into the mix and resource declines increase even more dramatically. It is hard to see how we can avoid a Malthusian cull of humanity in the next few decades.
Capacity of natural disasters
No matter how advanced mankind becomes, Mother Nature has the ability to wipe it out in one fell swoop. If this is to be doubted just take a look at the selected events that have occurred since 2003.
2003- Heat wave in Western Europe which was responsible for up to 37,451 deaths.
2004- Indian Ocean Tsunami which was responsible for the deaths of up to 230,000 people. It was caused by an earthquake in the ocean that measured between 9.1 & 9.3 on the Richter scale, making it the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
2005- Hurricane Katrina hit the south east corner of the USA, and was responsible for the deaths of 1,836 people and resulted in $89.6 billion worth of damage. This occuring in the worlds only super power.
2005- Earthquake in Kashmir, Pakistan, which was responsible for the deaths of 74,500+ people 2008- Earthquake in Sichuan Province, China. This was responsible for the deaths of 69,197 people, and cost the Chinese government $441 billion in aid and restoration costs.
2009- Australian Bush Fires was responsible for over 173 deaths. It also burnt out 4500 km² 450,000 ha (1,100,000 acres) of land.
2009- L'Aquila Earthquake, Italy was responsible for the deaths of over 270 people, causing $16 billion worth of damage and was Italys deadliest earthquake in almost 30 years.
After looking at all these events, it can only result in one conclusion. No matter what mankind does, Mother Nature rules the world.
It is possible for many natural disasters to be mitigated against. For example, in California where they suffer from a large amount of earthquakes due to the San Andreas fault, they are able to build structures which can withstand earthquakes. L'Aquila, for example, was so devastating because many of the buildings in the town were very old and therefore not designed to withstand such a powerful earthquake. In New Orleans, flood defences have been built so that the level of flooding seen during Katrina is never repeated. For heatwaves, air conditioning and other measures can be used to combat extreme heat. This shows that all but the most extreme natural disaster can be offset by man made technology.
Always the difficulty is that individuals do not outlast mother (or even father) nature so our fragile flesh has its own immediate pressing urgencies enlightened self-interest being the most powerful of engines, the question is how to combine our inherent selfishness with our inherent altruism (at least to those close to us) why can't i be both for and against a proposition?
Naturalism looks upon nature (and presumably therefore mother nature as well) as the fundamental source of everything that exists, everything can be explained in terms of nature. The limits of nature are the limits of reality itself and if the limits of nature are the limits of reality itself then we can absolutely say that Mother Nature rules the world; and a whole lot more too! Some forms of naturalism may allow for the existence of a God however He is within nature itself or else is the cause of nature but has no impact upon it. He cannot influence the order of nature or the course of events that are predetermined.[[http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10713a.htm]]
We can't survive without her, but she could definitely do without us!
Without the earth we couldn't BREATHE, let alone anything else. Mother Earth is our life source. Yet if we weren't here the earth would not only survive but would prosper.
Essentially as in any polytheistic religions Mother Nature does not rule the world because the world is split between numerous gods each of which rule an aspect of the world. To take the Greeks as an example While Gaia is considered the main earth goddess, the personification of the earth and probably the closest to ‘mother nature’. Although she was the great mother of all she cannot be said to rule the world, as she was in conflict first with her husband Ouranos, then son, Kronos and finally Zeus. As these were successively in the highest god in the pantheon, even if as heavenly gods rather than earthly it is difficult to say she ruled the world. Moreover there are other earth goddesses; Rhea was a goddess of the earth, she was often considered the great mother, and mother of the gods. Rhea is Gaia’s daughter. The lion was sacred to her as she was the divinity of the earth, and because the lion is the strongest and most important of all animals on earth. To make things more complex her daughter Cybele was a primal nature goddess, and Demeter was goddess of Agriculture and another nature goddess, Poseidon was god of the seas etc. [[http://www.theoi.com/Protogenos/Gaia.html http://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisRhea.html ]]
Assuming a belief in God as creator then no mother nature does not rule the world but is created by God. (Assuming of course that Mother Nature is not the one God you believe in). In Christianity Mother Nature is considered the agent of god in the moral order. There are Natural Laws which all must obey. If God is seen as the cause and creator of nature and its laws then that nature and its ‘laws’ depend upon Gods will which can presumably be changed by God, and indeed are temporarily suspended in the form of miracles.[[http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10715a.htm]]
This depends on what God is. If we take one type of naturalism (see above) Pantheism then "God is the essence of all things, for He alone truly is". If the one God and Mother Nature are identical then Mother Nature does rule the world.
Mother Nature no longer controls the environment
Since the dawn of time, Mother Nature has been able to develop the Earths environment naturally. However, over the course of the last 100 years, her autonomy in this area has been significantly lessened as a result of man made climate change.
Due to increased industrialisation since the turn of the century, and its emission of green house gasses such as Carbon Dioxide, the Earths average temperature has risen drastically in the last 50 years. As a result Sea levels are rising, there has been a change in the amount and pattern of precipitation, there will be an expansion of sub-tropical deserts, and the retreat of perma frost, glaciers and sea ice continues. There are also predictions of an upturn in the intensity of extreme weather, species extinction and a change to farming yields.
In the United Kingdom, the ten warmest years on record are as follows: 2006, 2007, 2003, 2004, 2002, 2005, 1990, 1997, 1949 and 1999. This further demonstrates the change in climate, and it is man made phenomena. The Earths environment is increasingly being controlled less and less by Mother Nature, and more and more by us.
Why is it that almost all the arguments FOR this debate relates the destructive power of the Mother Nature.. Is that how you measure the power to rule the world..? By determining the power of destruction..? I get that the nature holds certain power for destruction which is highly unpredictable.. That is what makes it powerful.. But we have to also understand that human have managed to somewhat control the power of destruction mother nature throws at us. EG flood defence, hurricane warning and few others.. So some credits need to be given to us human.
We have the ability to not only change the world but also are able to adapt to those changes.. Yes true the Gaia Hypothesis states that the earth can create a feedback system to fix the changes that had been exerted upon it.. For example the warming of the earth causes ice caps to melt and release colder fresh water into the North Atlantic Ocean which consequently disrupt the thermohaline circulation and bring the northern hemisphere back into an ice age.
There is two ways where this debated could and all im saying is its best to sit on the fence on this one. Although try and not think that Mother Nature rules the world just because She can kill in a flash.
Creation of Life
It is the power of creation that is most important. And it is similarly something that we are increasingly usurping. We have since 1995 been able to clone animals. Most famously dolly the sheep who was cloned in 1996 and survived until 2003. Dolly was the first mammal to have been cloned from an adult cell with others having been cloned from embryo cells.[[http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/antenna/dolly/]] We have for some time been able to use IVF to fertilise eggs in the laboratory. Allowing otherwise infertile couples to have children.[[1978: First 'test tube baby' born, BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/25/newsid_2499000/2499411.stm%5D%5D More mundanely we have for thousands of years been creating breeds of animals such as dogs and cattle. We create new strains of crops that more suit our needs. If Mother Nature is no longer the sole controller of what life is created on the world then she can no longer be considered solely rule the world.
What do you think?