**I wrote the following about a year ago when I was learning loads about gut dysbiosis (thanks to Chris Kresser among others) and thought the concept applied really well to all of biology’s current problem with human colonization of the planet. I added in a paragraph more recently with regards to Willie Smits and his wonderful work at restoring healthy ecologies, but after a second failing to pull it all together, I thought I should just publish the notes and partial write-ups:
Willie Smits—a man whose wisdom is available for consumption via Permaculture Voices, recorded lectures, audio podcasts, a TED talk, and surely other media and direct interaction—is a human worth having on your radar, at least as much as a Noam Chomsky type if not more. A preeminent biological systems thinker such as he said of the sugar palm—Earth’s most productive (a C4[link to C4 species] and a super efficient harvester of sunlight) and well protected (redundancies against insect pestulance and fungi and bacterialogical diseases) species—that it has “no known serious diseases”. Why then are sugar palms not as prolific, and even decreasing in number given their supposed comparative advantage over all other species? The answer that I am working towards is missed even by thinkers as astute and subtle as Willie Smits; one of the central diseases on our planet is being overlooked by the preeminent minds, though usually through no fault of their own but a fault of their whole species. Yes, humans, wielding fire and thermally manipulated metals, have made themselves the principal opponent to the sugar palm’s benevelolent monarchy over tropical lands as well as the most serious disease to the vast majority of life on Earth.
A nuanced way to define disease could be as follows: the proliferation of a single species without its convening or receiving consent/input from any other species found in its original ecology. The single species (usually a bacteria/virus) gets so far ahead of everything else, fractionally so small/narrow as it leaves behind virtually all other competitors or co-conspirators, that as it pushes forward it forms into a sharply pointed blade, cutting deeply into the ecological fabric from which it grew.
As we have retarded the development of many other organic systems, we have so too retarded our own development as evidenced by our infertility epidemic (nature’s solution to us) and autistic/obesity pandemic. There’s no trace of essential minerals in plants that used to be abundant of them. Eating a grass fed cow liver today is probably less dense in nutrients than a grain fed pork chop from 80 years ago.
where does this place autoimmune “diseases”? I think that these are repercussions for the vastly out of context situation that the singular species finds itself in after its rush of conquering.
We have slathered a thin but odious biofilm across vast regions of this planet and are living inside
when the host
We parallel the earth, we don’t really engage in a deep way with it. Sure, we mine very deeply, but these are brutal pin pricks that never build any emergent, multi-leveled dynamic interactions. They are cold, brutish, and short [use the exact hobbes quote]