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“Ecology is beginning to slowly shift focus with tentative explorations of what the world would look like if process, rather than matter were the basis for reality What if we defined a species in terms of its life processes? We might seriously doubt whether the California condor or the tall grass prairie can be 'saved' or even 'restored.' Perhaps we can re-create some local conditions that foster a few nests of condors or a few acres of prairie. But the life process of the condor ended with the urbanization of the California foothills and the living ebb and flow of the tall grass prairies died with the plowing of the Great Plains. What if we suggested that a thing is what it does? In this light, the Rocky Mountain locust was a immense aperiodic energy flow that linked life processes on a continental scale.

This notion of life-as-process might seem unusual in a society in which material existence is primary. But such a perception informs our deepest understanding of life. Indeed, life-as-process underlies our notion of euthanasia. When loved ones are simply bodies, devoid of the capacity to care, respond, or relate again a away that we can recognize as being "them," we understand that they are gone even before they are dead.”


Jeffrey A. Lockwood
tags: ecology, reality
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