On the Origin of Species
The reflection on the universe leads us to its amazing variety and harmony. There have been any number of efforts to find the truth about how it originated, and we have the Big Bang Theory now for almost a century, which at best, is an effort at explaining it and not an established fact. We have versions with metaphysical roots like the Hiranyagarbha (Golden Womb) Theory of Rigveda 10:121 and Purusha Suktam of Rigveda 10:90 or the Golden Egg Theory in several cultures. I am more familiar with the Judeo-Christian tradition (Torah and Bible) creation narrative which offers a very interesting story of the origin and diversification of the universe. The narrative apparently tries to establish the proven role of humans as stewards responsible for the upkeep of this diversity with the command to ‘till and keep’. As the planet faces unforeseen cataclysmic events in the form of cyclones, typhoons, tornados, blizzards, torrential floods, unprecedented snow, heat waves, increasing melting of the polar glaciers, and a resultant threat to the planet and its diverse dwellers, we are faced with five-fold challenges:
- The planet and its dwellers, including humans, require biodiversity to live peacefully on it.
- The diversity is to be understood, assessed, appreciated and protected for the benefit of the present generation and for posterity.
- While humans have great power to mould and manipulate diverse beings on the planet, after the point of balance is lost, no human technology or effort can withhold the disasters that entail, which would affect humans as well, increasingly without distinction.
- Humans have the great potential to protect and recreate, and thus be truly co-creators and saviours with the Creator, to re-establish harmony by restoring biodiversity.
- In the context of the all-pervasive and almost unretractable human interface with every aspect of planetary diversity, the great human responsibility is to cautiously and discreetly attend to the diversity of the species and systems, in promoting as well as regulating them, reviewing every step taken in this realm.
J. Prasant CMI, holds a Ph.D. in Social Work (Community Development). He served as the Principal of Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, for many years. An environmentalist, his work focuses on environmental education, organic farming, bio-diversity and waste management. In 2021, he travelled across India on a motorbike as part of the Trust-Green-Peace campaign.