Re: 100% Natural

Anders Sandberg (
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 17:12:13 +0200 (MET DST)

On Sat, 14 Sep 1996, James Daugherty wrote:

> Deep ecologists take this to extremes as well.
> They see everything human as unnatural and evil.
> They even try to define man as a cancer to the Eco-Sphere.
> The analogy is very flawed as I think we can all agree. Cancer is
> a malfuncting cell, not an organism trying to reproduce and extend its
> range as are humans.
> Or is there another theory of cancer these days?

Well, cancer occurs when a cell stops obeying the growth-inhibition
signals from its surroundings, and in one way or another finds a way to
circumvent the programmed cell death and immune system. It could quite
well be said to try to extend the range of its lineage, which means that
in some sense the deep ecologists are right - we are no longer following
the old rules. The question is of course if one can view the ecology as an
organism (Gaia) as they do; that is very close to the now defunct idea of
"the harmony of nature".

Cancers are really evolution in action; the proliferating cells mutate
and adapt to their surroundings, sometimes coming up with great solutions
that strongly help them in the short run but are disastrous in the long
run (metastasis). We have to avoid getting into that kind of trap.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y