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Most Humans Are Parasitic

  1. May 21, 2007 #1
    Is it safe to say that most humans are parasitic in relation with their surroundings:confused:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2007 #2
    does anyone think this is true and why???????
     
  4. May 21, 2007 #3

    DaveC426913

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    Why don't you share your thoughts?
     
  5. May 21, 2007 #4

    ranger

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    I'm just curious as to why WhatIf...? would ask such a question and what are his thoughts.
     
  6. May 22, 2007 #5

    loseyourname

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    That entirely depends upon what you mean by "parasite." It has a very specific definition in biology, that of a symbiote that derives something it needs to live from its host but provides no benefit in return and in fact is detrimental to its host's survival. Aside from conjoined twins and fetuses, no humans are symbiotes. One can only assume that isn't what you meant, in which case you should state what it is you do mean.
     
  7. May 22, 2007 #6

    Mk

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    Cannot humans be thought of as part a larger system and therefore cannot be thought of as parasites just because they use and absorb parts of the world around them? As in the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. It isn't as if they only take, and do not release energy to the rest of the universe.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2007
  8. May 22, 2007 #7
    I believe that human beings are parasites.. You can't ask most of the people on here because they will "assume" your "trolling" and try to prove you wrong in someway with out ever considering your opinion.

    We aren't parasitic organisms by any means but I understand what you are saying.
     
  9. May 22, 2007 #8

    ranger

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    In case you havent noticed, there were a few responses requesting that WhatIf...?'s opinion be stated.
     
  10. May 22, 2007 #9

    loseyourname

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    There isn't a single post in this thread attempting to prove him wrong. To even try that, we'd first need to know what he means.
     
  11. May 22, 2007 #10
    What i ment by it is that most humans go to a place and leach of all the recources they can find and when they are all gone they go to a new place and restart the process leaving the area where they leached off to rot and die
     
  12. May 22, 2007 #11

    loseyourname

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    Human industry for the last few hundred years has done a lot of that, but humans generally throughout history have tried to live in a way that sustained the land they lived off of. We see sort of an inverse curve as we move from foraging through agriculture to industry of less and less sustainable resource usage.
     
  13. May 22, 2007 #12

    Mk

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    Why not mine? I say humans are not parasitic because they are just another part of the system.
     
  14. May 22, 2007 #13

    loseyourname

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    Well, you phrased your post as a question, which I don't generally take to be a form of proof.
     
  15. May 22, 2007 #14
    i would say that we are parasitic cause the earth doesn't gain anything in having us hear we feed of of it and we leave their. Its true we care about it to some extent but even the people that do care about it they really don't make a difference. whats gonna happen when we run out of fuel in the middle east well leave it their to die and go find another place. and if we don't find any then and only will we really seriously think about alternatives
    only when the world is ending do we think about a solution.
     
  16. May 22, 2007 #15
    i think whatif...? has a valid point but is really going far out on a limb there
     
  17. May 22, 2007 #16
    what i m trying to say is that yeah it is true that we live off of the earth and it doesn't gain anything from us but we aren't parasitic because then pretty much everything is parasitic in relation to something so technically being parasitic is human and natural.
     
  18. Jun 25, 2009 #17
    Parasite by definition :An organism that lives in or on and takes its nourishment from another organism. A parasite cannot live independently.
    We as humans take, and offer nothing back to our host but to destroy it! No other animal, other than humans does such ravishing of earth. I don`t know of a word in the vocabulary better to describe how destructive humans are on its host,than parasite!
     
  19. Jun 26, 2009 #18

    DaveC426913

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    What "organism" do humans parasitize from? Earth is not an organism or a host.

    And even if it were, name another animal that can "live independently" of the Earth.

    By the definition, humans are not parasitic. Not much wiggle room there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  20. Jun 26, 2009 #19

    DaveC426913

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    All animals use the resources that are around them. It is simply that humans are a particularly invasive species due to their high degree of adaptability.

    If you would like, I can give a number of examples of species that destroy the environment around them. I can name you species that have polluted the Earth so much it has virtually wiped out life on it and the Earth has never recovered. In the game of destroying the Earth, humans are rank amateurs.

    Still so down on humans?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  21. Jul 3, 2009 #20
    I don't think it matters that an animal live independently of the Earth to not be classified as a parasite. I mean, what parasite can live without its host? The question I posed presumes that humans are parasites in much the same way that your statement presumes we are not.

    I would agree that 'Earth' is not viable as a host. I think what people sometimes mean when they say 'Earth' isn't any single organism, but the biodiversity of an entire planet as a single system of which we are but a part. So a claim that human beings are parasites is like saying that humanity is detrimental to biodiversity. I would guess this opinion would be more prevalent if one believed that this threat to biodiversity was detrimental to our own existence, essentially using humanity as the measuring stick for biological fitness. It could also refer to a more emotional response of how people benefit from the labor of others without reward of equal value to the effort, so we could be described as parasitic to ourselves.

    Judging by the effects of human actions on biodiversity and human behaviour in general I would say that humanity is parasitic, though not specifically in a medical or biological sense. When resources are plentiful we take what is available with little to no regard for the effects that our actions will have on other life. When our effect on biodiversity or a limitation of resources threatens our own survival we act to remedy the situation to benefit our continued survival and future growth. Self-interest is the dark side of individual consciousness, particularly when it is amplified by group thinking.

    Zombies are room temperature.
     
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