管理地球

在未来二十年之中,人类和自然界的关系会深刻而永久地改变。这种改变不会突然发生,但现时的科技发展会使它无法避免。不论我们是否愿意,也不论我们是否做好了准备,这些科技发展会使我们逐渐成为全球生态系统的管理者而不仅仅是参与者。

我想从历史的角度思考这一场日渐临近的革命。在那种被称作"人"的生物在地球上活动的350万年的绝大部分时间里,他们就一直是自然系统的一部分。严酷的进化法则管理着他们的生存,生存能力弱的人早逝,并很快被遗忘。我们面对地对世界的唯一防卫就是原始的石器和火-最多也只是一种极有限的保护。

而在约一万年前,不同寻常的事情发生了。在Taurus山脉的某处,即今天的土耳其,有一群人,很可能是妇女,开始发展一套新的技术。这些技术会改变人类与其所在环境之间的互动关系。我们将其称为"农业"。它们第一次给予了人类摆脱自然选择的力量。我们的祖先不用再满足于自然界所赐予的食物-他们可以开始种植自己的食物,其产量要比自然界吝啬的供给大得多。

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