A good argument that humans are an invasive alien species. We do tend to not fit in with the rest of life on this planet.
I understand this psychotic way of thinking well as I was raised in it. It stems from the Judeo-Christian world view of a patriarchal jealous god who will punish unbelievers, the puritan work ethic that goes along with the conditioning that you are a worthless sinner without redemption & meant to suffer while in this life, the belief that humans are separate from nature and are meant to dominate it for their own use, to be “fruitful & multiply”…and so on & so forth. Its insane & suicidal and here we are at the tipping point. People are waking up but not enough & not quickly enough. Earth will balance herself because that’s what she does.
I stress that most humans do not do anything that is deserving of a balancing that would be catastrophically lethal for our species. Sure you could say we are acting as if we were an invasive species but that is not overtly voluntary. Very few people actually want to destroy the environment although far too many seem to be unconcerned by that happening. All of this is quite natural. All species have evolved to propagate continuously until their environment is destroyed by their sheer numbers. It would almost be unnatural for any to do otherwise. No species actively and voluntarily improves their environment for the benefit of others. Even beavers who will dam a stream to create a pond, do so merely to have greater access to food in safety. Meanwhile the trees died and the beavers will then move to a new site to do it all over again. Humans are not an invasive species but the reality is that we are a destructive one at least in competition with wild nature. Humans domesticate both plants and animals and exploit the environment until…
… herein lies the rub… until we exploit the environment until it can’t sustain us any longer, just exactly like every other animal. It all comes down to numbers. It seems almost like we evolved to exploit everything for our own benefit. One can imagine the Earth like in some photo of an Asian village with rice paddies carved into the hillsides until they seemingly cover every available inch. Once that was lush jungle in the past. Someday there may literally be no available space for wild animals. The surface of an overpopulated Earth covered by farms, rice paddies and cities. Just people and the means of producing food and little room for anything else. Whatever forests exist will be regularly harvested monoculture tree farms.
The question is can we do it? Perhaps and very likely there will be intense and widespread misery. A horrific world where human life will have never been cheaper. My point is that whatever happens (and a wiser more balanced and efficient use of the world that preserves wild spaces etc is possible of course), it is what we were evolved to do. We primate apes eat up all the fruit and wasting most of it and move to another part of the jungle. We should be smarter but then looking at the way Trump’s incompetency made things worse in this crisis, I can only think that we will balance us through our flaws and imperfections. Not the deity or the Earth balancing itself by ridding itself of an invasive species of very numerous primate but US! We will do it to us. That is also what we evolved to do.
I do think ‘creation’s intention’ is for life to spread throughout the galaxy. If we are smart enough (and we have a shot at being so) then someday we will figure out a way to travel between the stars faster than light. If we can figure out how to do that soon enough then at least some of Earth’s wondrous and beautifully diverse bounty of life may be saved. If we can do that, Earth’s teeming crowded billions will then have someplace else to go and will seed an almost endless number of empty lifeless planets with life …
…or if the universe is already filled with life on all those planets at that point it is likely that we really will be an invasive species! Lol.
I appreciate your thoughtfulness though I may not agree with everything you put forth. It is however a worthy discussion.
So in theory the difference between us and other life on the planet is our ability to reason & problem solve and that we are self aware. While a herd of antelope left unchecked will over populate, the difference is we know better. We know what we are doing (at least marginally so) and whether its beneficial or destructive. Sure we are doing it to ourselves but the Earth will always seek balance. Cause & effect.
I would not want to see our species spread out to other planets and destroy them too. We are not ready until we can live harmoniously on this one and that will require a rapid evolution of our spiritual, psychological, & emotional intelligence. Species come and go all the time and perhaps we are just another evolutionary dead end, not smart enough to avoid our own destruction.
I basically do not disagree but I feel that like during previous eras when a murderous madman like Hitler or even when a conqueror Ghengis Khan type mentality ruled then maybe I’d say you were right in not wanting our species unleashed on a presumably peaceful galaxy (maybe peacefully inclined but then what about those who’d view our arrival like the delivery of take out food and they are hungry? Lol.
Kidding aside (I hope) I don’t blame our species as a whole though maybe I should but most of us are not going to be much different than any other races that we might find though they and we may look different. Life evolves through competition. We evolved our intelligence because it allowed us to compete and to survive better. The same would likely be true of alien life.
Maybe it would take the addition of us being able to travel through (or around or outside of) space to allow us to make that evolutionary spiritual and behavioral leap to a better humanity. However if we could travel to other planets FTL then I say do it anyway no matter what. If it happened tomorrow, I’d say that we should do it because… we need to do it just to be able to survive our being human.
A galactic version of ‘They went that away!’ … and that means us!