Have you lost your instinct?

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Have you lost your instinctThe English astronomer J. Jeans called all life, terrestrial and hypothetical extraterrestrial, "the disease of an aging planet." Then, in the 1920s, when he came up with this unflattering metaphor, the geochronological method of studying rocks (analysis of radioactive decay) was not yet known, with the help of which their age was determined. Subsequently, it turned out that some of the fossils of ancient mollusks were formed 3.5 - 4.2 billion years ago. The age of the Earth itself, apparently, does not exceed 4.5 - 5 billion years. So the Earth is only a few hundred million years older than life that arose on it, and there is no need to talk about an "aging planet" that only in its declining years turned out to be burdened with life.

But can we speak of a "disease"? All the celestial bodies of the solar system, explored using spacecraft, turned out to be lifeless. However, the state of the "majority" may not always serve as a norm for the behavior of the "minority" - in this case, one and only planet Earth. It's just that this negative discovery of astronautics also confirmed the previously theoretically known position about the rigid limits within which protein compounds can exist - from + 80 ° C to - 70 ° C, if we take only temperature parameters. True, these limits are now somewhat expanding: in places where magma emerges during volcanic eruptions, bacteria are found at the bottom of the oceans that can exist at temperatures above the boiling point of water (of course, there, under powerful pressure, it does not boil at 100 ° C). But even with such exceptions, the limits remain quite strict. This is the first and most common ecological niche for earthly life as a whole, and this niche is indicated by the radius of our planet's orbit around the Sun, its distance from the central luminary, providing those conditions that, apparently, are optimal for the emergence and development of life. What is life? Its existing scientific definitions are known, but do they fully reveal its essence? Have you lost your instinct

The secret of the emergence of a living from a non-living, self-reproducing creature from a molecular structure remains a mystery today, despite the creation of quite successful models and imitations of a coagulating and dividing cell.

We do not undertake to solve the grandiose problem of the essence of life and will accept it as given with the only proviso that it was "given" not by God, but by developing matter. We will not go beyond ecology. But perhaps, within these limits, through the efforts of ecologists and philosophers, mankind will be brought closer to revealing the very secret of life - the secret of its connections and dependencies, leading to the secret of its origin. Have you lost your instinct

The indisputable, although not yet explained fact is that life, having barely originated, immediately began to create conditions for its existence and development: free oxygen, ozone layer, soils, deeper rocks - limestone, granite, combustible minerals - are obliged by its presence of vital activity of primary organisms of the primary Earth. Modern life is literally surrounded and cherished by the lives of the past.

Today they are autotrophic, that is, they live off the inorganic world, its energy and substances, only plants, some bacteria, as well as microscopic animals found in the lakes of California (USA). But we can say that life as a whole, if the habitat immediately created by it is included in this whole, is also autotrophic. Heterotrophy of herbivores and predators is just an "internal affair" of living nature. There is life with "non-life" around it, and due to this "around" it exists.Own equipment of this, but before this empty ecological meganishi (the sum of all ecological niches) - this is, perhaps, the very first and most general environmental law. Organic life is built into inanimate organic matter and inorganic nature, but life itself was and remains the builder. Have you lost your instinct

In the New History, earthly nature once, as it were, conducted a unique experiment on the habitation of dead space. Almost a century and a half ago, on August 27, 1883, at 10 o'clock in the morning, a volcano erupted on the island of Krakatoa (Indonesia) with a force equal to 26 hydrogen bombs - of course, without penetrating and residual radiation, but nevertheless everything on the island was destroyed alive.

Life returned to the island from Java and Sumatra, located about 40 km from Krakatoa. A spider was discovered on the island nine months after the eruption. Then blue-green algae, mosses, ferns appeared. Plants multiplied, soil cover was formed. Soon, insects, birds, and reptiles began to inhabit the island. After 50 years, the island was overgrown with forest, and its fauna already numbered more than 1200 species. Thus, life was revived again where there was absolutely nothing living, and she carried out the siege of this inanimate methodically and ecologically flawlessly, moreover, in terms comparable to the major deeds of man. There is something to imitate, mastering the deserts and wastelands. Have you lost your instinct

Another revolutionary step of earthly nature after the emergence of life on the planet was the formation of the mind in the higher primates, the formation of Homo sapiens. The formation of the rational from the unreasonable is a process no less impressive than the formation of the living from the inanimate. But there is much less mystery here. The formation of the mind of people took place in the historical memory of the people themselves and is evidenced by the monuments of material culture - primarily the tools of labor. Flint and obsidian axes and knives, these rudiments of future technology, also cut and honed the animal reason, turning it into reason. And the primitive collectivity of the herd turned tool labor into social labor, which in turn turned the herd into society. But a social person, almost all those 3 million years that have passed since its inception, did not separate himself from the rest of living and inanimate nature, which was expressed in various forms of totemism, when a person traced his ancestry from a falcon, deer, turtle, moon, sun , volcano, waterfall. Have you lost your instinct

It is believed that a man of prehistoric times completely fit into the environment, slowly adapting to it and to its drastic changes in the form of, for example, glaciation, gradually deepening and expanding his ecological niche with the help of natural and artificial shelters from bad weather, mastering fire, transition to omnivorous.

It is also believed - and is this so, and if so, then to what extent, we will try to find out further - that primitive man possessed a saving ecological instinct, just inherited from living nature and subsequently lost. Throughout his million-year history, man even thought only in images, moreover in images drawn, naturally, from nature. From these images, polytheistic beliefs were born, when each of the many natural forces became for people its own, independent deity. Abstract thinking (and its equivalent - monotheism, monotheism), which arose about 6 thousand years ago, with the beginning of social stratification and the formation of the first states in Mesopotamian Mesopotamian Mesopotamia, was the first serious step towards alienation of man from nature, for there are no abstractions in nature.

Abstract thinking, this ancestor of all sciences, whose predecessor and material prerequisite was the manufacture of such tools that served for the production of other tools (the prototype of machine tools), which finally made man a man, in turn made finally reason a mind.This process can even be regarded as the third revolution in the living nature of the Earth after the emergence of life itself and the beginnings of human intelligence.

But if a formed human mind alienates a person from nature, would it not be legitimate, paraphrasing and continuing Jeans, to assert that the mind is a "disease of aging life"? Have you lost your instinct

Here we have to turn to the Neolithic revolution, the greatest revolution in all of ancient history. According to modern scientific concepts, the first people appeared in East Africa, in places where uranium ores emerged to the surface. The radiation stimulated the mutation, allowing some of the primates to get off the trees and leave the rainforest.

The unconditional uniqueness of the then man, who stood on his hind limbs, allowed him to significantly expand his area of ​​distribution, and penetration into more severe latitudes developed new habits and adaptations for him. The Eurasian continent was then connected to the North American continent at the site of the present Bering Strait, where the main route of all kinds of land migrations passed. For example, a horse came from America, which for some reason died out in its homeland. The man rushed in the opposite direction. By the end of the Paleolithic, he populated the main regions of the planet, and this triumphant march of man across the Earth was accompanied by intense hunting and gathering: man did not know any other way of life support. Have you lost your instinct

Presumably by the beginning of the Neolithic, 7-8 thousand years ago, 1 million people lived on the globe. This is extremely small by modern standards. But this is extremely small and in general - in comparison with the number of other main animal species of the planet. No one knows the number of people, or pre-people, two or three tens of millennia earlier. It is quite possible that there were several orders of magnitude more. What happened?

Of course, not only man killed, say, mammoths. The first culprit of the abrupt change in the ecological situation that destroyed them was the great glaciation that covered a significant part of the northern hemisphere - the main theater of human expansion. The vast tundra steppe turned into accumulations of creeping glaciers. Natural (due to climate change) and "artificial" (by the efforts of the consuming person) reduction of food resources has become catastrophic. The mass extinction of Homo sapiens began, which, as it turns out, initially behaved like the most ordinary living species: without encountering resistance, it multiplied excessively. Have you lost your instinct

Cattle breeding and agriculture, which replaced hunting and gathering and constituted the essence of the Neolithic revolution, were a general reorientation of man in the ways of consuming natural goods: he began to produce his own consumer goods. Of course, production is also consumption: energy, territory, own labor. But man has thereby substantially altered his ecological niche. Moreover, this concept ceased to exist for him. He acquired a well-known and considerable independence from the living nature of the planet, turning more directly to the Sun (in agriculture) and. To its first producers - plants (in pastoralism). Was this another, fourth revolution in the development of the planet's wildlife? Apparently, yes, although such independence already conceals the origins of all coming crises in human ecology.

We started our conversation with ecological instinct. So did primitive man possessed him before he gained his relative independence from nature or not? Possessed. But it was possession at the level of "unreasonable" nature, it was an ecological instinct, not accompanied by ecological knowledge, moreover, knowledge covering all essential connections in wildlife and between living and inanimate nature.And these connections are so complex and far-reaching that they even presuppose the release of knowledge into cosmology with its anthropic principle, according to which the condition for the formation of life on Earth, and then of man, was the entire Metagalaxy at a certain stage of its development. The ecological instinct, and just an instinct, doomed man to extinction, just as the giant lizards and lush fern and horsetail pre-Carboniferous vegetation that filled the planet, its land, water and air disappeared before man. 99% of living forms that have ever existed on Earth have been irretrievably erased from its face, of which 95% - to a person or without his participation. Have you lost your instinct

There are various hypotheses and theories explaining the extinction of species. These are abrupt changes in the environment, sometimes caused by cosmogonic reasons, such as, for example, all the same glaciations, which, according to one of the hypotheses, occur during periods of the passage of the Earth together with the Sun through areas of space saturated with interstellar dust and reducing the flow of solar heat and light to the planet. This is too narrow a specialization of species, making them vulnerable to even minor changes in the environment. If mammoths were meat carriers, then herbivorous dinosaurs were its real combines. Devouring the mass of green fodder, they became more massive and heavier from generation to generation; there is an assumption that dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period from a certain, not very large increase in earth's gravity, again for cosmogonic reasons - due to the passage of the Sun with the Earth and other planets near some massive celestial bodies. Finally, this is the aging of the species, associated with its genetic degeneration - a mechanism that is still poorly understood, like the very nature of the gene and the genetic code.

One way or another, living species not only appear, but also disappear, although all of them, one might say, are endowed with an ecological instinct. The latent desire of man, sometimes expressed by philosophers, is to overcome death, the lethal outcome of the existence of an individual. After all, there are immortal organisms: amoebas that reproduce by cell division, or some plants that produce offspring in a vegetative way. But there is one more hidden desire, experienced not so much by man as by mankind - to overcome the "second death", the one that in the well-known Gospel expression sounds like the end of the human race. If the first desire still remains the property of fantasy and we can only talk about a significant extension of the individual human life and its active period, then the second desire is, in principle, realizable if the external and internal nature of a person is preserved and protected.

However, is it not unnatural and, therefore, is it not utopian such a desire to achieve the immortality of one of the living species - the human race? Of course, only the future will answer this question. But now we can conclude that ecology in the broadest sense of this scientific and practical complex, the comprehensive conditions for the existence and development of mankind play an important role in solving this daring task. In the end, it may be that reason is given to a person in order to solve it.

In its history, mankind has repeatedly created local and partial environmental crises. This or that civilization often "leaves behind a desert". Not without human participation, the once blooming Sahara turned into a desert, the sheep ate grass and shrubs on the hills of Ancient Greece, the rocky desert became the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates, where the Bible placed the earthly paradise and where once was the ancestral home of wheat. Entire continents have been anthropogenically transformed beyond recognition. On the site of the North American prairies with bison, pronghorn antelopes and prairie dogs for a couple of hundred years - an extremely short time by evolutionary standards in wildlife - fields of monocultures have formed, erosion has developed, dust storms have become frequent, sometimes not inferior in intensity to the Martian ones. Have you lost your instinct

There have also been global crises: let's recall the threshold of the Neolithic revolution. But mankind has never known such a global and all-round crisis that began to come in the last third of our century. Today we are talking about the degradation of the entire atmosphere of the Earth, when the fumes of thermal power plants participate in the formation of clouds, and sulfuric acid rains fall over entire countries; about a thin oil film almost throughout the entire World Ocean and the death of phytoplankton, which provides the bulk (up to 80%) of free oxygen; about the more frequent cases of still local, critical thinning of the ozone layer, which protects all life on Earth from severe ultraviolet irradiation by the Sun (and now about the formation of ozone holes). The unprecedented scale and unprecedented rate of growth of the economic, communication and other activities of civilization have led to an unprecedented response from nature.

Whether a person had an ecological instinct or not, now it does not matter. The mind must follow its own path - the path of reason, not instinct. And he was a great enlightener on this path at the end of the 20th century. nature itself, with its degradation processes, clearly shows that it is time to abandon the population instincts of "devouring" nature, inherited by society from its pre-social state.

Indeed, the unrestrained expansion - spatial, population, industrial - attests to the entire previous history of human civilization. Is it because the current global ecological crisis caught humanity by surprise, because it did not want to see signs of its approach, did not want to abandon an extensive approach to nature, from the eternal attack on it?

The development of the planet's nature and the cumulative evolution of the living and intelligent were designated by us, although, of course, purely conditionally, by four milestones-revolutions: the emergence of life, which immediately began to create conditions conducive to its maintenance and development; the beginnings of reason and the appearance of the first people; the final formation of reason and a kind of "detachment" of man from nature; man's production of the goods he needs, the acquisition of a certain and ever-growing independence from nature, the end of the Neolithic. The fifth revolution is brewing, opening a new, "historical-geological" era - a revolution in the attitude of people to nature. The revolution, perhaps, at first moral and intellectual, but then, of course, material and material.

The Earth has many spheres - from the iron-silicate core to the magnetosphere, extending far into near-earth space. They delimit from each other - either with a clear or blurred boundary - the various physicochemical components of the planet. These are the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere. Life forms the biosphere. In the 1920s, French scientists, paleontologist P. Teilhard de Chardin and physicist and mathematician E. Leroy, introduced the term "noosphere" (from the ancient Greek "noos" - mind) into science to designate the sphere of action of the rational principle on the planet. Both scientists were simultaneously theologians and, in philosophy, Christian evolutionists. According to Teilhard, the evolution of reason should end with its merging with God at the "Omega point", and this act will be nothing more than the eschatological "end of the world", meaning the cessation of all development of the human spirit and mind.

The content of the noosphere concept was developed on a materialistic basis by VI Vernadsky. For him, the noosphere meant the organic combination of the natural and the social, the opening of a new era in the history of the Earth. "Now we are experiencing a new geological evolutionary change in the biosphere," the scientist wrote. "We are entering the noosphere. We are entering it - a new spontaneous geological process." Thus, not alienation or alienation from nature turned out to be a defining feature of the behavior of the social form of the movement of matter, but a qualitatively new stage in the development of nature itself, of which man and humanity have always been an integral part.

Abstract thinking, which served as one of the stages of the preman's ascent to man, has always concealed the danger of transferring abstraction from the mental-spiritual sphere to the activity-practical one. The social form of the movement of matter, according to the philosophy of dialectical and historical materialism, is higher than the biological and all other known forms of movement of matter. But it includes all the previous forms in a transformed form. This is the theory (which we will refer to more than once). VI Vernadsky translated it into a natural science plane, made it spatially visible and, as it were, returned society to the bosom of the nature that gave birth to it. Have you lost your instinct

The noosphere is not an additional sphere of the planet, but a new state of the biosphere, which itself has long permeated many other spheres - from the granite depths, these petrified former biospheres, to an altitude of 80-100 km, almost to the "legal" border with space. The "noospherized" biosphere goes and will go even further - into space and into the bowels of the planet. But the main thing is that nature, developing under the sign and under the auspices of the noosphere, develops according to the laws of progress. Progress inherent in society, society, means an irresistible (through all crises and deviations) ascent, complication, enrichment (informational, energetic, material), negentropy, that is, the denial of entropy.

Like ecology, entropy is now understood broadly, in a broad worldview and philosophical context, as a total regression. Progress opposes regression, excludes it. Inherent in the social form of the movement of matter, it may turn out to be not only a geological, but also a cosmogonic force that supports and ensures the development of matter in general to more and more higher forms of its movement.

But back to Earth and to Earth's ecology. The noosphere no longer resembles a niche - an ecological niche that was once pushed apart by man. The anthropogenic impact now extends to all nature available to man, and the entire globe has become available to him, where it is difficult to find a corner that does not testify to his presence. The loss, if not of the ecological, then of the "niche" instinct, has led to the elimination of the niche itself. For all living species, this always ended in their death. The man survived. Nature can congratulate herself on such a victory.

However, congratulations today would be premature. The process of transition from ecological instinct to ecological knowledge is not over yet. We live in an ecologically dangerous era, when the former is no longer there, and the latter is not yet. Hence the crises and shocks of the natural environment. It is our task to know them, their character, scale and origin. Know to overcome competently. This - about regression and entropy, progress and negentropy, the realities of the crisis and the ideals of harmony - will be discussed further.

Yu. A. Shkolenko

Climate and man

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