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Biophilia

Biophilia

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 26 Oct 2018, 15:40:10

Biophilia hypothesis
The biophilia hypothesis also called BET suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.[1] Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984).[2] He defines biophilia as "the urge to affiliate with other forms of life".[3]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophilia_hypothesis

Came across this term once again last night. It strikes me that biophilia is a real thing, but that folks can get so removed from nature as to forget what it is, how it can touch them. It’s a piece of their soul that they have sadly lost.

There is a related concept. Solastalgia

Solastalgia (/ˌsɒləˈstældʒə/) is a neologism that describes a form of psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change. In many cases this is in reference to global climate change, but more localized events such as volcanic eruptions, drought or destructive mining techniques can cause solastalgia as well[1]. Coined by philosopher Glenn Albrecht in 2003[citation needed], it was formed by the combination of the Latin words sōlācium (comfort) and the Greek root -algia (pain). Differing from homesickness, solastalgia refers to the distress specifically caused by environmental change[2]. In 2015, the medical journal The Lancet included solastalgia as a contributing concept to the impact of Climate Change on Human Health and Wellbeing[3].

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solastalgia

I think that there are those of us who have some sense of biophilia and solastaligia, Research seems to confirm that biophilia is general embedded in us. But it appears there are others who have no sense of it. Perhaps there should be a condition like psychopath or autism for lacking biophilia; biopath?

Anyway it strikes me that our “leadership” seems to be a grouping of biopaths. Folks who have no empathy for nature. If true it would go a long way to explain the mess we are in re AWG, resource depletion, etc.

Just to add some image to the concept: conjure up going on a long day wilderness hike with either Donald or Hillary. See what I mean?

Thoughts?
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 26 Oct 2018, 22:34:20

Biophilia is innate but the muscle must be exercised or it atrophies. Even worst it becomes channeled into love for fellow invasive species like cats and dogs simply because of lack of awareness, knowledge or time spent in natural ecosystems. You add digital addiction of youth many of whom never get into the woods and that biophilia muscle can't even spot a bird or lift a small rock to see what dwells underneath. Biophilia then becomes a pure abstraction. A concept not grounded by any real time spent in nature.

I am sometimes grateful that the vast majority of humanity lives in a state of poverty toward the natural world. They stay clustered in urban areas. In spite of 7.6 billion humans on the planet there are still vast areas of the planet left alone with few humans interested to explore or spend time. When they do make trips they visit iconic areas Like Yosemite or Yellowstone and cluster together in long lines of cars. They don't venture more than a couple of miles.

Here at our resort we get folks whose biophilia muscle is well toned, they love the natural world and spend time studying and enjoying it.

I have noticed that folks who exercise their love of the natural world by prioritizing time spent in nature are usually mentally far more sane than those who don't. Time spent in the natural world acts as an insulator to all the bullshit in society at large.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 26 Oct 2018, 23:06:58

I biophil my cats with Chicken of the Soul brand catfood. And they come away happy and plump. My cats are sweet and natural.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 27 Oct 2018, 02:28:41

Why do certain people have this unending need to recreate definitions? The term 'nature lover' doesn't suffer from the same negative connotation of terms like 'tree hugger' or 'climate crank' so translating it into Latin or Greek to make it sound special are just plain unnecessary and a distraction.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 27 Oct 2018, 05:54:21

pstarr wrote:I biophil my cats with Chicken of the Soul brand catfood. And they come away happy and plump. My cats are sweet and natural.


Coyotes agree.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby baha » Sat 27 Oct 2018, 06:38:29

My biophilia can sometimes be overwhelming. I know exactly what they are talking about. If the environment changes you can never go 'home' again...it's gone.

I went to Isle of Palms SC last week to repair a solar system. We stayed in a hotel on the beach. I used to love the beach. As a kid we used to go to the FL panhandle. Back then you parked 100 yards from the beach and walked thru dunes and grasses to get to it.

I really don't like the beach anymore. Most of them are about 25 yards of washed sand and then condo's and hotels. SC is a never ending line of buildings just set back from the surf.

It depresses me. I literally wanted to cry. I closed my eyes and imagined the way things were 100 years ago and it helps. I walked the beach at sunrise. I had to go 1/2 mile to get a picture without a pier in it.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 27 Oct 2018, 06:47:45

baha wrote: I closed my eyes and imagined the way things were 100 years ago and it helps.


Even better is to imagine how it will be 100 years in the future. Nature bats last and waits on the sidelines silent and still. That is the most wholesome truth to meditate on when feeling solastalgia.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 27 Oct 2018, 07:14:10

Tanada wrote:Why do certain people have this unending need to recreate definitions? The term 'nature lover' doesn't suffer from the same negative connotation of terms like 'tree hugger' or 'climate crank' so translating it into Latin or Greek to make it sound special are just plain unnecessary and a distraction.


Yes and no. For ordinary conversation the more general term suffices. For more specific discussion then you get more specific definitions. Sad vs depression. But you always run the risk of the “psychobabble syndrome” of meaningless minuscule definitional changes that no one really understands.

Nature Lover sort of denotes someone who enjoys nature. Biophilia is the concept that most of us have this “nature lover” within us at birth. That it can remain undeveloped is undoubted. There is also a hidden value judgement that says it should be developed.

Elsewhere here was a discussion of IQ in feral children. It’s be demonstrated that children raised without meaningful human contact will never learn to communicate or assimilate into a human society. Perhaps the same is true with a love of nature, if it’s not encouraged at an early age it becomes inaccessible.

The question I have is, do we want folks with no love of nature running our world? I would posit that a love of nature is required but not sufficient. IIRC Stalin lived his flowers, it was people he had no time for. That didn’t work so well. Conversely, someone may love humans, but be mindless of nature, that brings about societal collapse.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 28 Oct 2018, 09:49:12

I just arrived back to Mount Totumas after 5 weeks in the USA. This morning I sat in silence surrounded by over a million acres of pristine cloud forest wilderness. Biophilia yes is a nice sanitized term to give it scientific credibility.

What I am feeling is totally of the heart, spiritual, religious.

My soul is swollen with biophilia :)
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 28 Oct 2018, 12:10:29

Good for you! Had a bit of the same coming back to Grenada.

Met some chaps in Philly airport going on a Panama mountain bird watching expedition, thought they might be visiting you.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 28 Oct 2018, 18:49:03

Sounds like a beautiful moment! :)

But are we biophiliating (to coin a verb) the world to death? :(
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 28 Oct 2018, 19:23:43

Quite the opposite. It seems that older generations were more concerned with natural systems than younger generations.

Posit for a moment that biophilia is like a language, if exposed to it at a young age it comes natural. But it deprived then past a certain age it becomes difficult if not impossible to pick up.

So as we move into becoming a urban species we loose more and more of our connection to nature. We loose the ability to understand how nature acts, and does t care about us. We become enthralled with our hubris, our ability to control.

It’s hard for nature lovers to undersfand how callous some can be about species going extinct. But it’s alao hard for city (cave) dwellers to understand how nature works. Yet another divide.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Cog » Sun 28 Oct 2018, 19:54:08

Don't all animals attempt to insulate themselves from nature? I was thinking of the squirrels in my subdivision today. They have built nests in the trees to keep themselves from freezing this winter. They have been caching seeds in my yard which they will dig up during the winter. Or the birds who are flying south to avoid the harsh winter that is coming. Or even a wasp who builds a nest under an overhang so they can stay dry. Humans insulate themselves from nature too. We just think about it more instead of using pure instinct.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 28 Oct 2018, 22:09:08

Some people seek a connection with nature by dominating other creatures, going so far as shooting it with guns. Others connect by pissing in another animals'corner. Or making rude yelping noises much like the Male Gibbon in heat. Sound familiar Cog? I mean the shooting thing.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Cog » Mon 29 Oct 2018, 05:02:05

Eagles use talons to seize fish and rabbits. My cat uses teeth and claws to catch mice. Humans use guns because their teeth and claws are not useful to acquire food. I see no difference in the outcome for the prey.

But regarding biophilia, this love or appreciation of nature. I only see humans as capable of it. But humans, like all other animals, seek to isolate ourselves from the extremes of what nature is. The lessor animals have dens and nests and do this by instinct. Humans do the same, but with the additional human concept of comfort and convenience. It 72 degrees in my house. It will be tomorrow. I can survive lower temperatures but why should I?
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Cog » Mon 29 Oct 2018, 05:41:45

This is not a criticism of Ibon's cloud forest resort. I'm sure people enjoy the experience. But it's still practices isolation from the natural environment. His guests do not sleep on the ground, or have to scrounge their own food, or be subject to the extremes of nature. The guests feel they get close to nature but don't really want to be a full part of it. I don't blame them. Nature can be beautiful but it can also kill you stone dead.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 29 Oct 2018, 05:52:20

Those are good points, that we need to appreciate nature IN ORDER TO protect ourselves from nature. And perhaps that’s where there is a distinction between biophilia and Nature Lover. Gracie Burns used to say “I love nature, as long as it stays where it belongs, outside my window.”

Biophilia, to me anyway, implies a belonging with nature, a coexistence. Which further means some understanding. It’s not just looking at a nice sunset, it’s coasting a rocky shore knowing a change in wind can spell death if you allow yourself to be embayed.

That’s where the lack of natural knowledge will bite us, our hubris that we control nature. The stupid is strong in that one.

Cog asked: “Don’t all animals seem to insulate themselves from nature?” Great question. The answer is yes, all but one, humans.

We know that we are raising the temperature and that as a consequence Nature will provide SLR and desertification. We know we are depleting our soils and creating runoff. Nature will make the soils less fruitful and create alge blooms. Nature has given us finite resources to use sparingly. Even those, such as water, which renew, we use at an excessive rate.

To some of us the mistakes humanity is making are colossal and obvious. But equally obvious is that too many, economist in general, are oblivious to the consequences. Not because they are bad people but because they never learned the language of nature. They don’t understand limits, they don’t need to, they can create infinite amounts of money at any time. And to be honest, I don’t understand the world of economics, it’s like reading scfi, the laws of nature need not apply.
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 04 Nov 2018, 07:24:17

This quote belongs on this thread

“Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.”

― Hubert Reeves
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Re: Biophilia

Unread postby Cog » Sun 04 Nov 2018, 08:56:01

The planet is not sentient no matter how much you Gaia worshippers think otherwise. It's a ball of rock surrounded by a skin of atmosphere with a skim coat of biologic activity.
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