Spend nine days with members of your team. After the work related chit chat runs out, it's time for deep thought. Sometimes is borders on the absurd. But is it really?
For instance, we were discussing the Planet Earth series I'm watching. The discussion started off innocent enough. I explained the polar bear plight and how global warming is affecting the ice shelf and the bear's ability to survive. One of the members of my team proclaimed that we, the human race, are having no effect on the natural cycle of this planet. I'm paraphrasing his words, but I believe my characterization is accurate.
Consider that for a second... Is it possible that the planet Earth, and its ability to recover from whatever we throw at it, could really be stronger than what the human race has to dish out? Is the planet in a natural evolutionary cycle that has evolved over millions of years and we are barely a dust particle in its path?
It's easy to challenge that. We can point to many cases of our ability to poison and kill reefs, plants and other warm blooded species. But are those simply the small picture? In the course of the evolutionary scale, does it matter?
Technically, religion didn't enter into this discussion. But I can't rule this out considering how the discussion unfolded. You could hardly have a serious scientific discussion today without some aspect of religion entering the picture.
So what is fact?
Is it fact that we, the human race are sending the planet earth hell bent on a path of destruction? Or, are the current events of this planet simply natural evolution? Do you have proof to back it up?
Lets assume we say screw the green initiatives and decide to pollute without regard to the outcome. Along comes a planet killer meteor. The planet goes cold and the next ice age starts. 50 million years later things warm back up and the planet is beautiful again. Natural evolution?
What do you think? Is my colleague right? Can we control or affect the outcome of evolution or are we just here for the ride?