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Nature is everything that isn’t man made

This may be people’s most common perception of nature. However, if humans are considered part of nature, so should be their creations, in fact all their creations without any restrictions. The ability to construct and use tools is a capacity that nature enables us to do. There are some animals that use tools in order to get food, escape or defend themselves. Like the Egyptian vultures, Woodpecker finches, Green herons, hooded monkeys and chimps for example.

Of course humans’ capabilities to build and utilize tools and materials are far superior to animals. But nevertheless, the principle remains the same. Animals and humans’ alike are trying to the best of their abilities to complete a particular task or reach a specific goal. The only difference is that humans have a much greater range of options, which consequently results in much more diverse creations and outcomes.


A primitive state of existence; untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality

This definition is similar to the first definition as it separates human creations from “natural” existence.


The material world and its phenomena

This is a very broad description and perhaps a bit too general.


The world and its naturally occurring phenomena, together with all of the physical laws that govern them

This is also a fairly broad account, with the inclusion of mentioning physical laws.


The forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world

In this explanation reference is made to forces instead of physical laws. However, it is not clear what is meant with forces. Is it solely about physical laws or does it recognize nature as a force separately in addition?


The whole system of the existence, forces, and events of the physical world that are not controlled by human beings

This explanation recognizes the entire physical existence and the forces of the world, but disregards humans as a reciprocal component.


Living organisms and their environments

This definition is also general as it includes “all living organisms and their environments”. It is also open to interpretations about what is meant with “their environments”? Does this description refer to traditionally mainstream recognized “natural” environments, or extend out thoroughly, with the inclusion of human made environments? The latter would include “artificial” products such as steel, concrete, glass and plastic materials which are part of a modern day human environment. There is also no mention of a force that allows all this to happen.


The external world in its entirety

This again is a broad definition without mention of a force, the probably most important feature and characteristic of nature.


The physical world including all natural phenomena and living things

This is similar to the last definition with the inclusion of all “natural phenomena”, but with no distinct mention of a force.


A creative and controlling force in the universe

This definition presents a slightly different take as it focuses solely on the force behind all the created phenomena.


The forces and processes collectively that control the phenomena of the physical world independently of human volition or intervention, sometimes personified as a woman called "Mother Nature."

This definition has also its focus on a force (or several forces). However, I question the necessity of pointing out Natures’ independency from human volition and intervention. Else one could point out the independency from all other species and living things, including plants and bacteria, which would only reopen the question “What is nature?”