Save the Earth?

We do not need to save the Earth, it will be fine without us.  We cannot preserve the ecosystem because there are many, and they are constantly changing.  There has never been a time or a condition of the planet that has been inherently superior to any other.  There is nothing particularly superior about organisms that have been here for centuries, over ones that have just arrived from Asia in cargo holds.  All existing species are successful invasive species.  We are fairly successful, but far less so than cockroaches.  Most of the organisms that have ever been alive are dead, and their kind extinct.

We need to get rid of sanctimonious claims that Earth is our mother and we must nurture her.  Earth does not care whether we die out or not; it would be just fine as an iceball again.  Mars is not dead, and does not need to be revived.

The only entities to whom our continued existence as a species matters are ourselves, and possibly our dogs.  Certainly not our cats, still less our goldfish.

We need to get over the idea that we are harming nature.  We are nature.  Everything we do is natural, even if it leads to results unfavorable to ourselves.  We need to stop thinking in terms of preserving a sacred other, and realize that what we must do is keep the Earth suitable for ourselves to continue to live on.  That’s it, no holy quest, just pure self interest.  It’s something we’re rather good at.

Even then, if we are wildly successful, our species will no longer exist in a few million years, just as our Australopithecine ancestors no longer exist as a species.

Moral imperatives can be successfully refuted by mere denial; solid arguments based on evidence of our pure self interest are much more difficult to refute.  That’s just the way things are.

Time, gentlemen..

Most of the time, I think I look okay, not much different, as time goes by.  I look in the mirror when I shave in the morning, and I see some gray hairs (okay, white hairs), but the rest of me, I tell myself, is holding its own – a little mellower, maybe, a sag here, a wrinkle there, but all things considered, not so bad.

The other times I see myself are mostly reflections in a display window, hasty, on the way elsewhere, a quick glance, and, yeah, I’m alright.  My fly isn’t unzipped, at least.

Every once in a while, though, I have occasion to look in the mirror with my glasses on.

What I see is not necessarily bad, per se – a grandfatherly codger, unthreatening, friendly in an absent-minded way.  But it’s not the dashing figure of my shaving mirror, or even the literally dashing fellow hurrying by the store window.

Of course, I’ve known all along I’m getting old; it’s not a big secret.  I have a birthday every year, and I can count, providing I don’t get distracted and lose my place.  I’m old, face it.  If I’m only reminded every now and then, all the better, no?

Then I reflect on the fact that most of the people I come in contact with day to day are comparatively young, with excellent vision.  What I see occasionally, when I accidentally look in the mirror with my glasses on, they see all the time.

It’s not so much that I’m treated dismissively, or that I feel out of it; on the contrary, I’m in the swim, as much as I want to be.  It’s just the realization of my slow, inevitable decline.  Kind of like leaving a beloved city and seeing its outline receding in the rearview mirror.

With glasses on.

The Bar al-Kabob scrolls

The world of biblical archaeology is reeling from the announcement of a major discovery by a team from the Musée des Choses Incroyable, led by Professor Marcel Douteuse.  In a cave at Bar al-Kabob near the Dead Sea, the team has discovered a scroll, reproduced below, dated to the early first millennium BCE by context.  It appears to be an alternate version of the Book of Genesis, in particular, the section relating to the creation of Man.


bar al-kabob-001

Here’s a translation:

After God had made the earth and all the mountains, He found that He had some dust left over.  This He fashioned into a likeness of Himself, and breathed life into it.  Then He saw that there was still some dust left over.  This He made into another likeness of Himself, and breathed life into it, and looked upon His works, and saw that they were good, and called them Adam and Steve.