Astronomers are looking with their powerful telescopes into the universe, hoping for an answer to questions mankind has so far been unable to find. Questions like how old is the universe ?, is it still expanding ? and will we be able to travel to other planets in the future? But the one thatt appeals most to the imagination must be whether there is any life somewhere out there, and if so is it intelligent.
But what is intelligence? We consider ourselves far more intelligent than the other inhabitants of the planet we live on aka earth. But are we? A long time ago I developed my ant theory in which I ask myself why we as individuals outsmart ants but in larger groups seem to underlay them clearly. If you look at their longevity (they are estimated to have been around for 300 million years), their number (aprox.1000 times more than humans), the architecture of their nests/homes where they keep both livestock and perform agriculture without messing up their environment (on the contrary, they clean up not only their own mess but also of others). How poorly do we look in comparison.
Ever since we invented smart machines that run on fossil energy we pollute our nest in such a way and extent that it is increasingly starting to look like self destruction.
But it gets even better. How about bacteria? There are 100 million times as many bacteria in the oceans as there are stars in the known universe. On planet earth there are about 1.000.000.000.000.000.000.000 (give and take one or two zeros) times as many bacteria as humans. They have lived here for over 3 billion years and survived all the disasters that earth has known. And they will survive us too. They laugh at antibiotics as we can painfully see in the increasing number of hospital infections. In each of our bodies we have many more bacteria than cells. Could it be that they are just using us (the smartest of all,remember)? We feed them, we get rid of their garbage, maybe they use and lead us as a rider does his horse.
What I am trying to make clear is that it might suit us to behave a little more humbly in regard to the creatures that have less brain mass than we have. And we might also consider redefining intelligence. Our 25 year old world wide web on the internet is a huge achievement but of laughable simplicity compared to the soil food web, a community of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil, a complex living system that interacts with the environment, plants, and animals.
The nature that surrounds us is far more subtle and organized than we think. In a handful of soil there are more living creatures than humans on this planet. And they keep that soil alive and belief it or not, it is soil that we eat. And thus it is plain stupid to stuff that soil with all the chemicals we managed to invent with our big brains.
I call upon a few wealthy individuals to support and finance aware ness and further investigation into how nature in our soils works. Private individuals please because our universities are as polluted as the soil.