The question is often raised: what is humankind's role in nature? Depending on what scholarly exegesis you subscribe to, you might arrive at different answers. Regardless of whether humankind is meant to lord over or live in congruence with God's creation, we are irrefutably having a grave effect on its process.
As homes replace trees, wildlife is displaced, leaving our ecosystem scrambling to adapt to humankind's involvement. Consequently, our planet is in a continual state of accommodation.
It's true that God gave us His creation so that we might thrive, but He also gave us knowledge and more importantly, awareness so that we might care for the gift He has given us.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee… – Hosea 4:6
Calvin of Bill Watterson’s famous comic has a few iconic lines, such as “It’s a magical world, Hobbes ol’ buddy…Let’s go exploring!” This is exactly how I picture scientific research, especially in the field of ecology. Our home is so immense, so complex, and there’s so much to discover! The more we know, the more we marvel at God’s handiwork.
Madison County, Montana. Shared under the Creative Commons license.
A recent study from the Wildlife Conservation Society compared how songbirds in two very different habitats, the Adirondack forest region of New York and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Montana, respond to human development going on around them. Human development of a rural area means that the habitat will be changed structurally–a house replaces trees, et cetera.