Butterfly Hugh Hume/Flickr

Má hmyz vědomí?

MELBOURNE – Loni v létě na roketu, kterou jsem pěstoval, nakladl vajíčka bělásek zelný. Zanedlouho se rostlina hemžila zelenými housenkami, dobře splývajícími se zelenými listy. O něco dál jsem měl vysazené další rokety, které mi měly zajistit dostatek listů na saláty, a nechtěl jsem používat insekticid, proto jsem housenky nechal být. Brzy sežraly všechny listy až ke stonku. Jelikož už nebylo čím se sytit, housenky, které ještě nedospěly do další fáze svého životního cyklu, všechny pošly hladem.

Na úrovni mikrokosmu jsem sledoval něco, co už dlouho uznávám rozumově: evoluce je neosobní přírodní proces, který nebere žádné ohledy na blahobyt jednotlivých bytostí, které stvořil. Jak si teisté, divím se občas, dokážou srovnat svět, který vidí, s vírou, že svět stvořila bytost, která je vševědoucí – a tedy předvídala, že se tohle všechno stane –, a přesto je dobrá a zaslouží si být uctívána?

Křesťané tradičně vysvětlují lidské utrpení jako důsledek Adamova prvotního hříchu, který jsme údajně všichni zdědili. Housenky ale nejsou Adamovým potomkem. Descartesovo řešení problému spočívalo v tom, že zvířatům upřel schopnost cítit bolest. U psů a koní by ale Descartesův názor přijalo jen málo lidí, a to i v jeho době. Dnes proti němu hovoří vědecké výzkumy v oblasti anatomie, fyziologie i chování savců a ptáků. Nemůžeme ale přinejmenším doufat, že i housenky dokážou cítit bolest?

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