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Humans must stop thinking they’re special but must also save the world?

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In the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Zina Skandrani announces, “Is the human species special? It is… in its quest for specialness”.

She should have stopped right there.

The human ability to even have a quest for specialness tells you something right away. But not something the author gets, because she goes on, and it doesn’t get better:

The remaining question is why humans can’t accept being a particular species among other equally particular species. A glimpse to other human imprinted divisions shows how profound this quest for difference is. The human affirmation of uniqueness is indeed only a mirror of other common oppositions and comparisons of the self vis-à-vis others, from the macro- to the micro-level: earth/other planets, own culture/others’ culture, own country-city/others’ countrycity, we/they, me/you, to only name a few. It thus appears that the thesis of human specialness, in the same way as the other mentioned oppositions, results less from a naturally given ordering of the living then from a human attempt to structure human life and ultimately the world. Further, the continuous production of the human/other living distinction continuously builds human identity, an identity constituted by exclusion. The human specialness leitmotiv has in this way hijacked other life-forms to define humans and their own status, revealing less about humans’ place among the species than about humans themselves.

Uh,yes. It shows that humans can think about things in ways that other life forms can’t. So?

It remains, however, that the human specialness ideology promptly becomes an obscurantist barrier to the urgent improvement and change in humans’ current actions on the environment, as soon as this advancement means challenging humans’ privileged place. And it belongs uniquely to humans to become aware of this, for the sake of all the earth’s uniquenesses.

So humans aren’t special but we really are, because only we can save the planet?

Lack of logic is apparently no barrier to a career in environmental studies. No wonder science teacher friends have treated it with suspicion.

See also: Is this the most bizarre paper ever published?

8 Replies to “Humans must stop thinking they’re special but must also save the world?

  1. 1
    Lothars Sohn says:

    This is a case study of a worldview having highjacked science.

    Lovely greetings from Germany
    Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Michael Behe with Morgan Freeman – The theory of intelligent design – MSN video (featuring the bacterial flagellum)
    http://msnvideo.msn.com/?chann.....3c00bf6fc1

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    I, for one, am glad of the work from ID proponents that have restored a sense of dignity to the human race. The merciless tyranny of the 20th century wrought by those who would bestow upon us a atheistic utopia, by a convert or die mentality, or by elimination if you were ‘less fit’, is certainly not to be missed.,,,

    Though saving the environment, i.e. being good stewards to what God has given us, is certainly noble as a pursuit, to be ignorant of what our environment is now revealing to us about our ‘special’ place in grand scheme of things is not a minor omission in knowledge for one to forsake. And in this recent furtherance of knowledge, in restoring a sense of dignity to man, three names come readily to mind. First is astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez and his work in the privileged planet principle:

    The Privileged Planet – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnWyPIzTOTw

    The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery – book By Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Wesley Richards
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    The Privileged Planet – The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability
    “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”
    “The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.”
    “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.”
    – Guillermo Gonzalez – Astronomer
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    Second to come to mind in this endeavor of restoring a sense of dignity to man is astrophysicist Hugh Ross in which he included many environmental/chemical constraints onto the privileged planet principle of Gonzalez:

    Does the Probability for ETI = 1?
    Excerpt; On the Reasons To Believe website we document that the probability a randomly selected planet would possess all the characteristics intelligent life requires is less than 10^-304. A recent update that will be published with my next book, Hidden Purposes: Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, puts that probability at 10^-1054.
    http://www.reasons.org/does-probability-eti-1

    Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross’s book, ‘Why the Universe Is the Way It Is’;
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate ? 10^324
    longevity requirements estimate ? 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe ? 10^22

    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.
    http://www.reasons.org/files/c....._part3.pdf

    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere (10^-1054) – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347236

    Hugh Ross – The Anthropic Principle and The Anthropic Inequality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8494065/

    Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity By Hugh Ross
    Excerpt: Brandon Carter, the British mathematician who coined the term “anthropic principle” (1974), noted the strange inequity of a universe that spends about 15 billion years “preparing” for the existence of a creature that has the potential to survive no more than 10 million years (optimistically).,, Carter and (later) astrophysicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler demonstrated that the inequality exists for virtually any conceivable intelligent species under any conceivable life-support conditions. Roughly 15 billion years represents a minimum preparation time for advanced life: 11 billion toward formation of a stable planetary system, one with the right chemical and physical conditions for primitive life, and four billion more years toward preparation of a planet within that system, one richly layered with the biodeposits necessary for civilized intelligent life. Even this long time and convergence of “just right” conditions reflect miraculous efficiency.
    Moreover the physical and biological conditions necessary to support an intelligent civilized species do not last indefinitely. They are subject to continuous change: the Sun continues to brighten, Earth’s rotation period lengthens, Earth’s plate tectonic activity declines, and Earth’s atmospheric composition varies. In just 10 million years or less, Earth will lose its ability to sustain human life. In fact, this estimate of the human habitability time window may be grossly optimistic. In all likelihood, a nearby supernova eruption, a climatic perturbation, a social or environmental upheaval, or the genetic accumulation of negative mutations will doom the species to extinction sometime sooner than twenty thousand years from now.
    http://christiangodblog.blogsp.....chive.html

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Third, on the list of men who have restored a sense of dignity to man through their scientific endeavor, is Dr. Michael Denton in which he went all the way down to chemical reaction themselves, on earth-like planets, to show humans must be ‘special’ in this universe:

    The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis – Michael J. Denton – February 25, 2013
    Summary (page 11)
    Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. These include the thermal properties of water, its low viscosity, the gaseous nature of oxygen and CO2 at ambient temperatures, the inertness of oxygen at ambient temperatures, and the bicarbonate buffer, with its anomalous pKa value and the elegant means of acid-base regulation it provides for air-breathing organisms. Some of their properties are irrelevant to other classes of organisms or even maladaptive.
    It is very hard to believe there could be a similar suite of fitness for advanced carbon-based life forms. If carbon-based life is all there is, as seems likely, then the design of any active complex terrestrial being would have to closely resemble our own. Indeed the suite of properties of water, oxygen, and CO2 together impose such severe constraints on the design and functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that their design, even down to the details of capillary and alveolar structure can be inferred from first principles. For complex beings of high metabolic rate, the designs actualized in complex Terran forms are all that can be. There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.1

    Of related note, to counter Dawkins’ ‘blind, pitiless, indifference’ contention,,,

    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
    Richard Dawkins

    ,,,It should be noted that, ‘at bottom’, the universe we observe has, contrary to what Dawkins believes, precisely the properties that would be expected if the universe were indeed created by almighty God who cares very much for each and everyone of us:

    The Galileo Affair and ‘life’ as the true “Center of the Universe”
    excerpt: I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15]

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

    Thus much contrary to the narrative told to us in last century, science now reveals that man is much more special than we were led to believe originally by our science:

    Music:

    MercyMe – Beautiful
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vh7-RSPuAA

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Divinely Planted Quantum States – video
    https://vimeo.com/72625073

    Because of advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    The Galileo Affair and Consciousness as the true “Center of the Universe”
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” –
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Why Intelligent Design Describes the Cambrian Explosion – Stephen Meyer – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfYaD0c-SAc

  7. 7
    TSErik says:

    This is a case study of a worldview having highjacked science.

    LMAO. Wow. Amazing rebuttal, full of carefully considered work. I am now an atheist. Thank you. (I need me a sarcasm font.)

  8. 8
    Axel says:

    This is a case study of a worldview having highjacked ‘science.’

    Spot on, Lothars. Strange, though, I’ve been ‘beaten to the by the gun’ by an entity from ‘the dark side’!

    I expect TSE would be sarcastic about the brevity of E=MC2, and the ‘careful consideration’ that had gone into its formulation.

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