February 20, 2002 | David F. Coppedge

Back to Nature, Back to Health

People need access to nature.  That’s what an article on Science Daily argued, based on work by Frances Kuo, a professor of natural resources and environmental science and psychology at the University of Illinois.  Why?  “Humans are evolved organisms and the environment is our habitat,” she said.

The E word evolution did not show up elsewhere in the article, though.  Mostly, it discussed how her work showed that elderly adults, college students, and children with ADHD all do better in natural settings as opposed to urban settings devoid of trees and grass.  The article paraphrased Kuo’s reasoning why getting outdoors is healthy: “Humans living in landscapes that lack trees or other natural features undergo patterns of social, psychological and physical breakdown that are strikingly similar to those observed in other animals that have been deprived of their natural habitat, Kuo said.”

As you know, CEH is a strong advocate of hiking and outdoor activity (01/05/2009, 06/22/2008, 05/10/2006), but the reasons have nothing to do with clueless evolutionary psychology (07/01/2008).  The original good creation put man and woman not in a city, but in a garden.  The first people were surrounded by plants and animals.  Even today, the beauty of a forest, the fresh air and the sight of other creatures tends to bring positive reactions in people.  We think that is not because we evolved with them, but were created with them, and were created with an innate sense of the good, the true, and the beautiful.

What is nature, anyway?  Why does Kuo distinguish between people and nature?  This goes to show that “nature” is an equivocal word.  It can mean many things.  Evolutionists have no logical way to distinguish humans from “nature” – including their works.  The artificial gets subsumed under the natural.  To a consistent evolutionist, our cities, global warming, over-hunting, and other traits must necessarily be incorporated into the category “products of unguided, purposeless natural selection.”  This also means that humans are already in their “natural” habitat in the urban jungle, just as termites are in their hives.  So if we are evolved organisms, why do we need access to nature?

Whatever calls us back to nature in appreciation of its beauty and order is a natural response of human nature; but that response is spiritual in nature.  See?  We told you that nature has multiple meanings.

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