I think we as individuals are unique, in most ways at least, especially when speaking about biology. Unique after all is defined as "being the only one of its kind, unlike anything else," according to Google. There exist more than eight million different possible combinations of 23 chromosomes pairs and as a result there are rarely ever two gametes with the same chromosome combinations. This means we are extremely unique in our DNA make up. But I don't think the question is being posed from that angle, rather from an ethical standpoint or from the standpoint that in the grand scheme of things we are so insignificant in the vast universe that we live in. And one can certainly understand that perspective when staring out into the cosmos with billion upon billions of stars blasted across the Milky Way in every direction before our eyes. Then one feels that we are no different than any other living species on Earth; we don't matter; we are just but a spec in the immensity of geologic time. I think it's fine to see ourselves as a unique part of nature. I would argue that most feel the same; it's why we defend ourselves in dangerous situations or stand beside our mates in times of war or need. Our institutions are constructed to protect and preserve life. I don't think so much investment would be poured into our institutions of government or education if we were not unique or important—same can be said of the preservation of endangered species. I think this view helps give a balanced perspective of our role in nature instead of it always being negative.
Published on 27 September 2017