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The definitions all present a slightly different take on Nature. Some include human involvement while others strictly separate Nature from human influences. In my opinion it makes little sense to exclude the creations of humans, as we are clearly as much a part of nature as any other living being. Therefore all our acts, even seemingly strange behaviours and “artificial“outcomes should be included. This means that a plastic cup, a car and a computer are as much a part and outcome of nature as is a tree, cat or human. Just because we make distinctions between living, non-living and man made things doesn’t mean that it is not all ultimately the result of the same big system.


 

Nature

 

 

 

 

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Vegetation

 

 

 Animals

 

 

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Trees

Bushes

Flowers

 

 

 

 

 

Ants

Cats

Humans

Dogs

Birds

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Ant hills

 

Plastic cups

 

Nests

 

 

Cars

 

 

 

 

Computers

 

 

 


         

After all, plastic cups, cars and computers essentially consist of natural elements. It is just that we humans’ have the knowledge, skills and capacities to transform these naturally existing resources into the mentioned functional items. At the same time, a more liberal inclusion of things is not enough to explain and define nature. It is not the elements and products that matter, but rather the recognition of nature being a force that is the most crucial aspect, because without it, life and their creations would never have developed in the first place.


Some people may disagree with this conclusion and understandably sense an argument in support of intelligent design. Here I need to point out that is not my intention to support the notion of intelligent design. At the same time I must admit that I do recognize an aspect of this idea, which may be of great relevance (See “Is intelligent design really so unintelligent?”).


My current view of Nature is that it is not just about gravity, magnetism, electrical charges, chemical processes and other more or less presently known physical principles. If it were, then Nature as a force would not “necessarily” generate phenomena that exhibit “direction”. We call this direction evolution. Things keep getting more complex and enhanced over time, with an increase in aptitude upon previous capacities and conditions. This phenomenon is to be found in all forms of life and if it would not take place we would never have evolved from single procaryotic cells and beyond into what we are today. This I believe is the most crucial point to be recognized.

 

Having come to the concluding view that nature is essentially a driving force, my definition of nature is that it is...

     "an innate energy that allows the generation of progressive outcomes"

This definition is different to others in that it recognizes Nature to be a force with the potential to create progressive outcomes. It is only “potentially” possible for Nature to unfold its power if particular conditions are present. I.E: Water, soil, certain temperatures and other bio-chemical prerequisites.


As you can see it isn’t easy to define nature as one thinks and yet we are quick to judge and label things as natural and unnatural. Nature remains the big unknown force which is key to all life on earth and likely the entire universe. Hopefully you are able to recognize that there may be more to nature than what we have been told and what meets the eye.


Lastly, no matter what nature is or what it specifically entails, what is important to realise is that we are a pro-active and reciprocal elements within Nature, elements with a growing amount of potential. What we think and do matters and have an enormous impact on how the world will continue to unfold. Each one of us has the potential to change the world. (link coming soon - See chapter “What you can do”).


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