Would the earth be better off without humans? The expected response from a member of today's society would be a resounding yes. However, those who are quick to come to such a conclusion may not be completely correct in their response. The world is a natural thing, with only earthly inhabitants, and so long as all of these inhabitants are of earthly origins, all are natural. We as humans are natural, and therefore any consequence of our existence, be it good or bad is natural. Now, this creates an extraordinarily broad realm of what is natural, but this point is essential to any argument for the existence of humans.
The Earth itself is a remarkable planet. The fact that life exists at all is an amazing feat. This planet and all of its complexities are attributes to a natural process that is billions of years in the making and is still going strong today. Evolution, is a fact of life, and is the only reason that we as humans have come to exist. Long before there were people, there were reptiles, before them there were fish, before them were invertebrates and before them there was microbial lifeforms. This path of development over time was used to disprove the stance held by Christians that their "God" created all that is present on this Earth.
Evolution is responsible for all forms of life as we know them. The entire natural world of this planet is directly linked through evolutionary processes. Over time, those species that were best fit to survive remained, and those that were unfit for continued existence became extinct. The reasons for survival are varied, and can be downright confusing, but the fact remains, no species on this planet was ever given a free ride. Each has to have done something right in the evolutionary process to remain in existence today.
Humans are part of this very natural process. We evolved from other species just like all of the other natural beings, and have managed to survive just like everything else present in the natural world. We are part of this natural process just as much as any other species on this planet. It is not important that we are only recent members of the natural world, what is significant is that we are a part of these processes and therefore are a part of the natural world. Therefore, we can say that humans are in fact natural.
Humans have destroyed more than 30 per cent of the natural world since 1970 with serious depletion of the forest, freshwater and marine systems on which life depends (Brown). Brown is correct in his observation that humans have affected the ecosystems of the planet adversely. He even overlooks some other very important aspects of the human impact on the natural world. Take for example the incident involving the Cuyahoga River flowing through Cleveland, Ohio, in which the river was inadvertently set on fire (Keller 299). Can you imagine what humans must have put into the river in order to enable it to burn? This is not the only instance of humans ruining the natural...