What if a disease like Covid-19 does to mammals what who knows what finished off the dinosaurs? What small creature lurks in dark places, waiting for its moment to emerge into the sun and dominate the Earth?
This miracle planet filled with life irresistibly arising from the inanimate, a chunk of motley stardust learning how to see itself. How did awareness blossom, escaping from crucibles of mathematics, physics, chemistry? What does the planet think of its experiment now that it is overrun with undisciplined, invasive monkeys?
There is no doubt that the human species has changed our planet quite significantly. Are we a force for evolution, like the oxygen-producing bacteria of billions of years ago, the ones that poisoned the world for the creatures then extant, and made it habitable for new creatures, like us? It would be exciting if this were the case.
I read somewhere that the average human being already contains about three pounds of plastic in her body cells. Are we gradually going to become capable of living in outer space or on other planets? With new technologies, as well as the natural selection that living in our polluted world engenders, maybe we are evolving into some sort of starchildren.
And yet, and yet…. Every atom in our bodies was made inside a star. We are already starchildren. The inanimate has already learned how to become intelligent; it has already become self-aware by developing biological processes of which we are a flower or fruit. What I think is happening now is a sort of devolution as we slowly relinquish our biological being, with all its attendant messiness and unpredictable creativity, and slip into a terrible eternity of machine existence.