"'Humans are intruders' and the natural world is better off without us, says Sir David Attenborough," runs the Independent's headline.
It's a sad come down for the man who, as a BBC executive, commissioned Bronowski's the "Ascent of Man", but the doyen of nature doco-makers, Sir David Attenborough, has declined so far into nihilism and own-species self-loathing that he wishes humans didn't exist.
It's even sadder that while he has lovingly narrated the lives of various members of the animal and plant kingdoms, and the complexity of environments, he has never put the same care and attention into chronicling the most amazing and wonderful animal of all – human beings.
He's not the only environmentalist to downgrade and misclassify homo sapiens, but it is a damaging mistake to pretend that, somehow, we are not members, albeit the most outstanding members, of nature.
We can partly blame the Jews, and their lineal descendants, the Christians, for this. One of the many errors in the Creation story is to have God make man after he has made the rest of the planet. While it is chronologically correct, it separates man's creation from that of every other animal, and misses the fact that we are indeed the outcome of the process of the creation of every other animal, tracing our ancestry back to the first single-cell organisms, along with all other living organisms.
This is the point that Jordan Peterson makes when he compares humans to lobsters. His major point might be that hierarchies are inevitable, but his subsidiary point is that it is because humans are animals, and we share the same physical chemistry as even some of our most basic cousins.
This misconception leads to the deification of the lower animals, and the demonisation of humans, the highest animal.
We can also blame our exceptionalness for this mistake.
When I was younger I was a dab hand on the piano, even winning the odd competition. But I knew there was an unbridgeable gap between me, and say Mozart, who not only composed good music in his early teens, but could memorise and transcribe Allegri's Miserere after just one hearing. I never kidded myself I was more than a journeyman.
However, I'd be much closer to Mozart, than even the closest of our animal relatives is to the lowest performing human being.That's the distance between us and the rest of the animal kingdom, and it is so large that it obscures the fact that we are just another animal.
Think of some of the animals that are chronicled in wildlife documentaries, and then compare them to us.
There's the Great Barrier Reef, able to be seen from space. Not bad for colonies of blind polyps, but I'll take your GBR and raise you the Great Wall of China, also visible from space. Or the loom of civilisation at night, what the environmentalists call light pollution, which indicates to the whole solar system that someone is home on this planet.
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