THE SILENT COSMOS: The Extinction Cascade
Dead Earth: Click on the image for more information.
At this time, on this planet, Earth, the environment and climate change naysayers constantly dispute the proven fact that humankind is directly contributing to the decline of life. The dispute is based on the belief that whatever is happening is in no way humankind’s fault and that much of the purported dangers are fraudulently conceived to empower liberal politics. This is tragic and even more tragic is the possibility that none of this is unique. It is possible that these sames kinds of disputes and ongoing abuse of the environment and life systems has occurred and is occurring throughout the Cosmos.
Yes, there is what we could call competitive evolution in which one life form in its evolution may threaten the existence of one or more other life forms, but all of this seems to follow a rather random but orderly pattern that appears to be a part of the thrive of planetary life systems (at least on this planet). The evolution of humankind as, for now, the top life-form, introduces a species that does not necessarily follow any orderly pattern and generally threatens a large segment of all life on the planet. At the same time, some segments of the human species is mindful of this threat to other life and seeks to alter human behavior to reduce that damage and also enhance the endurance and progress of all life on the planet. Therein resides the cause for the dispute mentioned above. The net effect right now is that life on Earth is imperiled.
Have we carried Darwin’s theory of “natural selection” too far? Are we convinced that we are the ultimate species and that there is little or no interdependence of life within our environment? Science says it is otherwise. Based on current scientific research and analyses there is a very high probability that life inhabits other planetary bodies (exoplanets) throughout the universe. It is also possible that some forms of human life exists on some of those exoplanets. Can we also assume that some or all of those human-like lives have evolved and in a manner similar to ours? In my opinion, that answer should be yes. The next question could be, are those humans abusing their environments just as we are or are they like our Native American bretheran who still believe and practice a respectful interrelationship with planet Earth? The intriguing and entrancing scifi movie “Avatar” clearly illustrates this diversity of attitudes toward the environment.
What if it is true, that human life, in whatever form and wherever, is abusing their planetary environments much as we are? Even though life in some form will most likely continue to generate and regenerate throughout the Cosmos, there is also the possibility that there could be a gigantic collapse of life throughout the Cosmos due to widespread abuse of life supporting environments. If this should all come to pass within an envelope of time, it is highly possible that we could have a silent Cosmos. By silent, I mean without life in any form and its evolutionary processes. This is avoidable, and for Earthlings, though a cosmic consciousness is desirable, the key concentration must be on planet Earth. We have the power, the technology, the science, and the economic drive that should enable us to both progress and preserve and protect our environment. On the other hand, if we submit to greed and addiction to power we could quickly accelerate the total extinction of all life on Earth. Capitalistically, that is a lousy investment. Environmentally it is stupid. Sociologically it is suicidal.
Lastly, as mentioned above we are learning and beginning to respect the interdependence of all life here on Earth and to envision that concept prevailing throughout the Cosmos. That is a purely glorious and stimulating realization. We are not alone. We have immense linkages across the universe, and with that we have the power to progress and enrich all that surrounds us. In a cosmic sense, to me at least, this is our ultimate mission and reason for our presence. Yes, life has a reason, and we should neither neglect nor abuse it.
Like the Na’vi of Pandora we must prevail and in prevailing we could be the incentive that ensures that the Cosmos will never go silent.