Are humans 'extra'?

Looking around at the earth, and the way all forms of life interact with each other, and all the different ecosystems and the biome in general, I’ve come to the conclusion that humans do not fit into the system.
My reasoning is this: we were able to take ourselves out of the predator/prey cycle… no other form of life has ever even been close to approaching this feat.
It is clear that humans are suspiciously different from other animals… science can only offer the most rude explaination for our origins. So how did we get here?

Your position outside of the food chain would be best discussed in a forum convened in a primitive environment. I would suggest attendance by representatives of other points of view, perhaps lions, and tigers and bears.

Oh my!


Imagine my signature begins five spaces to the right of center.

Not all predators are animals with nasty big teeth. Some of them are really small. We haven’t taken ourselves out of their predator/prey cycle (although we keep trying).

As others have said, we haven’t taken ourselves out of the cycle. We’ve become better at saving ourselves, but we’re far from perfect. Humans are still attacked by parasites and viruses and bacteria. And as far as the larger predators with big teeth and claws, we haven’t removed ourselves from the cycle so much as removed ourselves from being near the predators – at least in America and other “Western” nations. But if you go out in the wilderness, you can still become the prey!

I don’t know about that, Gilligan. I’ve given quite a bit of thought to this “Man as prey/predator” thing.
Although some of us delve do into the “caveman ethos” as a hobby, most just grab a pound of hamburger at the local supermarket. Of course the meat comes from animals, but they don’t have any chance of escape. So this hardly qualifies us, or the meat industry, as predators. More as scavengers, eh? Even in the seafood industry there’s not much chance of escape.
As far as man as the prey, sure, there are diseases and parasites. But they don’t usually hunt us for food. Not in a “Hunt down and rip flesh from bone” sense. Well, once we die, there are those worms. But that’s the scavenger thing again, isn’t it? :slight_smile:
I think we humans have pretty much removed ourselves from the food chain, let alone the predator/prey relationship.

Teach your kids to bungee jump.
One them might have to cross a bridge someday.

This is nonsense. There is absolutely no justification for characterizing the food chain as comprising only predators and prey. Scavengers are just as integral a part of the so-called “food chain” as are predators and prey.

In fact, just calling it a “food chain” in the first place tends to invite unwarranted corollary propositions, such as “the top of the food chain,” as though there is any such terminus. Unfortunately, I don’t have an alternative term that will adequately point out the fact that all living organisms remain alive only as long as they continue to feed off of other living organisms, and when they die, their remains become the fuel for the sustenance of other organisms. That is, I don’t have one that does all that and still rolls trippingly off the tongue with the pleasing sound-bite quality that characterizes the term “food chain.”

Human beings, like any other living creatures, are most assuredly a part of the “food chain.” And speaking of suspicious, you may call me cynical if you like, but the OP carries (to me) the suspicious flavor of an attempt to introduce an argument for Special Creationism. Well, feel free. But I don’t see this one as being particularly novel, or difficult to dismiss.

Oops. I made up a perfectly good .sig line for that post, and forgot to append it.

“The fish eat the fish food, and the shark eats the fish. And nobody eats the shark.”
(Elliot, to his new friend)

Yeah, it struck me that way, too. If that was the point of the OP, then I would argue that domesticated dogs and cats have done an even better job of “taking themselves out of the predator/prey cycle.” Heck, all they have to do is sit around and wait for us to bring their food to them. (Makes you wonder who’s really running the show here on planet Earth.)

Here are several possibilities:

  1. We were preceded by the Great Apes who, for some unknown reason happened to have opposing thumbs. Because of the opposing thumbs, they were able to make and use tools. The use of the tools caused them to use their brains, and develop powers of reason - for some unknown reason. The apes eventually became us.


2)We were preceded by the Great Apes. They were using tools in the jungle when along came some a more advanced species from another planet or maybe even another dimension. They interbred with the apes, and here we are.


  1. God created man in His image and likeness.


kaylasdad99 said, in part;
“when they die, their remains become the fuel for the sustenance of other organisms.”

Is fire an organism? (heh heh)
You’re right about the term “food chain” being somewhat limiting. I recall seeing it referred to as the “food web” in an article I read long ago. This was before the advent of THE web.
Of course scavengers are part of the web/chain. My point was that we try to keep ourselves from being food for others by being hermetically sealed in a casket, or cremated.
Personally, I kinda like the idea of my old dead body being consumed and returning to the “food web”. (I like that term)
mangeorge (Toss it into the ocean)

Boomer, you had your chance to make creationist arguments in several other threads and you ignored those chances or failed. Heck, if you want another chance, you can even open up a new thread. But don’t try to take a perfectly good thread off on a creationist tangent.

This was the OP. I offered 3 possible explanations. What’s the problem?


Even more possibilities.
4. The Invisible Pink Unicorn created us.
5. Odin created us.
6. We are the end result of a very long experiment to find The Answer. I would suggest being very nice to the mice.
7. I will wake up and all of you will disappear.

I happen to have as much evidence for these(and many more!) possibilities, as Calif does for his first three. But this isn’t the Great Free Association Forum, is it? :slight_smile:

Eagles may soar free and proud, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines.

Boomer – I never thought I’d be saying this, but: You’re right. I missed the ending of the OP somehow. I apologize.

I’d still like you to back up your creationist claims (or admit that you cannot), but I was wrong to criticize you for your message when you were, in fact, answering the OP.

(Mmmmm. Crow isn’t bad with a little BBQ sauce…)

So the possibilities are endless-we knew that before the question was even asked, didn’t we? Which answers have the highest probabilities, according to the evidence we have on hand?

Eagles may soar free and proud, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines.

slythe, I hate to correct you, but we’re NOT searching for the Answer. It’s the question. The answer is 42, silly.

And the origin of that number is almost mundane.

I sold my soul to Satan for a dollar. I got it in the mail.

Say, I have a question. What does this have to with the rest of the OP?

Heck is where you go when you don’t believe in Gosh.

Whoops! Almost forgot.

Humans aren’t extra. We’re standard options, along with power steering, rear-wheel anti-lock brakes, and driver’s side air bags. Does this answer your question?

Heck is where you go when you don’t believe in Gosh.

All organisms need energy.

All organisms derive energy from some link in the food chain, with the sun as the basis.

I’m sorry, human beings are still part of the food chain. We are not out of the system.

There’s always another beer.

–neuro-trash grrrl

Don’t forget the beer guzzling, 5.7 liter V8.

There’s always another beer.