I just found this to be utterly awe-inspiring! We ARE nature. Passing it on... How 40,000 Tons of Cosmic Dust Falling to Earth Affects You and Me http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150128-big-bang-universe-supernova-astrophysics-health-space-ngbooktalk/?sf7214653=1

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  • "You study pathology, Iris. Is physical malfunction part of the cosmic order?

    Iris: Absolutely. There are healthy processes, such as growth, for which we need cell division. Then there are processes when things go wrong. We age because we lose the balance between cell deaths and regeneration. That's what we see in the mirror when we age over time. That's also what we see when diseases develop, such as cancers. Cancer is basically a mistake in the DNA, and because of that the whole system can be derailed. Aging and cancer are actually very similar processes. They both originate in the fact that there's a loss of balance between regeneration and cell loss."

    If we consider the Earth to be a living organism, are things like pollution, deforestation, global warming, and genetic engineering part of the cosmic order too, as cancer and aging are to humans?
    • Is it part of the cosmic order for Earth eventually to end up like Mars, which as far as we know is a dead planet? And is it part of the cosmic order for humans to play a role in that?
      • http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/john-wheelers-participatory-univ...

        I am a "fundamentalist" considering the idea of participatory universe, but, as it happens sometimes to fundamentalists, I might be wrong. There is a joke about a man who wears too small shoes just because of pleasure he feels after he takes them off. That's how I see sadism, violence, and ignorance in the broadest sense (mind you, I am using energy and resources right now as I'm typing this comment) and looking for meaning or purpose behind it.

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