The dialectical or ecological approach asserts that creating the world is involved in our every act. It is impossible for us to operate in our daily lives and not create the world that everyone must live in. What we desire arranges the genetic code in all of our major crops and livestock. We cannot avoid participating in the creation, and it is in agriculture, far and away our largest and most basic artifact, that human culture and the creation totally interpenetrate.
Living organisms were not independently created, but have descended and diversified over time from common ancestors. And thus, no other biological theory so elegantly explains this. Evolutionary theory has withstood the test of time—by way of vicarious experimentation, observation, analysis, and relentless criticism, though opposing viewpoints still cling to the concept of "design." As a person of the biological sciences, I cannot subscribe to such misguided notions that suggest static biological states. Clearly, proper examination of the natural world reveal evolutionary trajectories—some random, others nonrandom—and all having observable genetic implications. It is only when we apply evolutionary explanations to living systems that it becomes ever so clear. The world was not specifically designed with us in mind, but rather we long since adapted and conformed to our surroundings, only giving it the illusionary appearance of "design.
I am no ecological Pollyana. I have borne, and will continue to bear, feelings of wholehearted melancholy over the ecological state of the earth. How could I not? How could anyone not? But I am unwilling to become a hand-wringing nihilist, as some environmental 'realists' seem to believe is the more mature posture. Instead, I choose to dwell, as Emily Dickinson famously suggested, in possibility, where we cannot predict what will happen but we make space for it, whatever it is, and realize that our participation has value. This is grown-up optimism, where our bondedness with the rest of creation, a sense of profound interaction, and a belief in our shared ingenuity give meaning to our lives and actions on behalf of the more-than-human world.
Ecology is beginning to slowly shift focus with tentative explorations of what the world would look like if process, rather than matter were the basis for reality What if we defined a species in terms of its life processes? We might seriously doubt whether the California condor or the tall grass prairie can be 'saved' or even 'restored.' Perhaps we can re-create some local conditions that foster a few nests of condors or a few acres of prairie. But the life process of the condor ended with the urbanization of the California foothills and the living ebb and flow of the tall grass prairies died with the plowing of the Great Plains. What if we suggested that a thing is what it does? In this light, the Rocky Mountain locust was a immense aperiodic energy flow that linked life processes on a continental scale.This notion of life-as-process might seem unusual in a society in which material existence is primary. But such a perception informs our deepest understanding of life. Indeed, life-as-process underlies our notion of euthanasia. When loved ones are simply bodies, devoid of the capacity to care, respond, or relate again a away that we can recognize as being "them," we understand that they are gone even before they are dead.