Nature Knows Best

In the paper written by Jeff Douthwaite, he begins by establishing credibility. He states that: “Having taught in both the social and physical sciences, I have concluded that the physical sciences are much more satisfying than the social in that, in the former, things can be defined with more precision.”(Douthwaite) He goes on further to say that he trusts and believes in the physical sciences more because he believes in its calculable nature. Douthwaite feels hesitation towards the social sciences because of the level of speculation, personal opinion and inherent guesswork that goes into its study. The authors of “Technofix,” however, believe that it is inappropriate to look at an ecosystem in any way other than looking at it as a whole. That is, “The ecosystem cannot be subdivided into manageable parts, for its properties reside in the whole, in the connections between the parts.”(Michael Huesemann and Joyce Huesemann) It is because of this point of view that they believe that natural problems have no true technical solution.

Nature has changed and evolved over millions of years and through that, it has come to a state of equilibrium within its self where all its constituent parts balance out the whole. Technology has come to fruition in the last hundred years or so, and for that reason, nature has had no time to adjust. Due to this, nature simply cannot be “fixed” without upsetting this balance and thus offsetting the carefully balanced ecosystem in which we live. While there will always be unintended consequences to meddling with this natural balance, science is improving and with that, becoming ever better at spotting surprise consequences. With this in mind, I think it is wise to move forth always searching for whatever solutions science might bring while remaining cognizant of potentially causing an imbalance in our precious ecosystem.

1 thought on “Nature Knows Best”

  1. You bring up a very interesting point, the balance of our eco-system, which immediately brings to mind our role and place within that system. Man has established himself as the apex species, and as such, has taken on a bit of a god like complex in how we interact within our environment. As we pursue technological fixes for the damage our other technological fixes have created, we do so with our eye on one goal, our own survival. I agree with you that we should move carefully when pursuing technological fixes, but wonder with the various motivations of self-preservation, monetary gain, and ego if we are capable. After reading your blog, I had to wonder if the “environment” had access to technology, would its number one pursuit be how to eliminate its biggest problem, mankind?

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