Homework Question on How Earth influences and controls life
At several points in the course thus far we have talked about how Earth influences and controls life, as well as how life rises to influence and control Earth.
- What do you think is the most striking example of the later?
- How is this view consistent or different from your earlier understanding of the relationship between Earth and life?
- How do you think these processes are reflected in our diagram entitled Emergence of the Tree of Life?
Homework Answer on How Earth influences and controls life
Though many people are of the opinion that the life influences the earth more than the earth influences life on it, I am opposed to the former. The earth influences life on it greatly. The example that was given by Professor Fouke is a perfect one in his lecture. For human beings, animals, and plants to exist in the prevailing environmental conditions, organisms must grow adaptation structures to continue to exist.
For instance, according to Than, the Permian extinction, and the Ordovician extinction that occurred 250 and 450 million years ago respectively were due the animals’ inability to survive on the earth surface (1). The conditions on the earth were so harsh to an extent that the animals died and became extinct. For an organism to continue to exist in the changing environmental situation, they have to keep evolving.
There exist other ways in which the earth controls life as opposed to life growing to control the earth. For instance, deaths due to cancers have been increasing. Some of the cancers are caused by radiations on the earth’s surface. A paleontologist, Bruce Lieberman, from the University of Kansas explained that prolonged exposure to natural cosmic radiations can lead to increased rates of genetic mutations.