# Most Humans Are Parasitic

Is it safe to say that most humans are parasitic in relation with their surroundings

does anyone think this is true and why???????

DaveC426913
Gold Member
Why don't you share your thoughts?

ranger
Gold Member
I'm just curious as to why WhatIf...? would ask such a question and what are his thoughts.

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
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.

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.

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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.

ranger
Gold Member
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.
In case you havent noticed, there were a few responses requesting that WhatIf...?'s opinion be stated.

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
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.

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

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
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.

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.
Why not mine? I say humans are not parasitic because they are just another part of the system.

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Well, you phrased your post as a question, which I don't generally take to be a form of proof.

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.

i think whatif...? has a valid point but is really going far out on a limb there

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.

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 dont know of a word in the vocabulary better to describe how destructive humans are on its host,than parasite!

DaveC426913
Gold Member
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 dont know of a word in the vocabulary better to describe how destructive humans are on its host,than parasite!
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.

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DaveC426913
Gold Member
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?

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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.

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.

DaveC426913
Gold Member
The question I posed presumes that humans are parasites in much the same way that your statement presumes we are not.
Then you've begged the question. Which means, in your question, you've asked for the answer to be granted.

My statement does not presume humans are not parasites, my statement compares the definition of parasite with what humans do - and finds falsehood. Pretty hard to argue with that.

DaveC426913
Gold Member
What you're doing is redefining the word parasite to suit your needs.

Don't.

Humans are invasive and ecologically destructive.

But, as I pointed out, we are neither the first nor the best, at this. There are species that make our destruction of the Earth look puny by comparison. You might think I'm hyperbolizing. I'm not.

What you're doing is redefining the word parasite to suit your needs.

Don't.

Humans are invasive and ecologically destructive.

But, as I pointed out, we are neither the first nor the best, at this. There are species that make our destruction of the Earth look puny by comparison. You might think I'm hyperbolizing. I'm not.

I'm using a connotive definition. That's true. But It isn't a definition that I created myself for my own convenience. That's not a fair judgement. I think it was the definition inferred by the OP. My point was that humans are invasive and ecologically destructive to the system that we depend on for life. I'm pretty sure the OP wasn't using a scientific definition so I don't think I'm wrong to introduce the idea of an answer based on the connotive definition, not that the OP will ever read this. As far as I can tell I'm answering the question as it was asked, and using a medical or biological definition of the word would cause miscommunication in any proffered explanation. Without explaining the definition scientifically one might leave the conversation with the impression that humans are not invasive and destructive, when that was not the meaning intended by stating that human beings are not parasites . Even if I am wrong in discerning the OP's intent, since the OP isn't here to clarify, I don't see how it causes harm to offer another point of view as long as I am clear in the definition that I'm using.

I don't doubt that there are species that are more destructive than humans, though just pure curiousity compels me to ask which ones you have in mind. Still, because there are things that are more destructive than humans doesn't make humans less destructive than we are. What really grinds my gears is that humans often behave this way consciously.

I'm not saying anyone is wrong. I'm just saying there is another way to look at this, and it's more likely to answer the question as it was asked.

DaveC426913
Gold Member
I don't doubt that there are species that are more destructive than humans, though just pure curiousity compels me to ask which ones you have in mind.