For as long as we’ve been a species, all across the world human beings have told stories. And in the stories told about origins and our place within the world, there is a theme that consistently reoccurs. In these stories, human beings are given a role as stewards or caretakers of the earth. They are taught to respect and value all other beings, knowing that there is no separation of humans from out of the web of nature, but that we are all related and interdependent on one another.
To use the language of science, we might say that Homo sapiens plays the ecological role of keystone species of the planet. A keystone species is understood as one which has such a large impact on its environment that its very presence structures and maintains the ecological community of which it is a part. And no one would deny that human beings have drastically reconfigured the planet’s landscape! Indeed, many today are coming into agreement that a new geological epoch has arisen, and it is to be called the Anthropocene: the Age of Man.