a natural paradox

I was too stirred to sleep last night thinking about what defines “natural.” At some point in our evolution the things we make, as a species, became unnatural. Was it when we started using tools to hunt? Was it the rounding out of a rock that came to be known as the wheel? Was it when we added heat to our food? Or was it as late as the combustion engine?

If a fellow ape, say a chimpanzee, rolls a handful of mud into a ball, is that ball considered unnatural?

We are natural animals, and we build everything from natural bases, using our natural hands, guided by our natural minds. Everything that makes us human arose from nature, but our creations are deemed unnatural.

2 thoughts on “a natural paradox

  1. I have often thought about this. Colloquially “natural” would mean “without the interference of man”. But in truth we are part of nature. Part of the cosmos. Whatever we do is “nature” – the actions of a species that evolved on a planet some 14 billion years after the big bang , in this version of the multiverse. I am a fan of Max Tegmark’s “Mathematical Universe “. We are just another subset of equations in reality – just like gibbons and the fires of Antares and the cosmic background radiation.


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