Biophilia and our Connection to the Other-than-Human Community

Published on Feb 11, 2020 | Last updated on Jan 2, 2023

Biophilia is a term coined by Edward O. Wilson, defined as our need as humans to connect with other forms of life.

The Biophilia Hypothesis suggests that humans have an innate connection with the natural world, a connection that might be a biologically-based need, integral to our development as individuals and as a species.⁠

woman standing in forest by a oak tree

There is a lot of research that seems to point in that direction; indeed, humans tend to feel way less stressed and much happier when in forests and other non-civilized spaces. However, there are other scientists that question this hypothesis, suggesting that there might be other reasons for humans to feel such wellness when outdoors other than this deep affiliation E. O. Wilson refers to.⁠

How disconnected do we have to be to question the existence of such a deep ancestral connection? ⁠

Naturally, it’s science’s role to question everything. However, this one really frustrates me. Where’s the line between using science to help us understand the world better, remember and reconnect, and using it to disconnect us even further from our Kin and those who sustains us and gives us health?⁠ Scientists, specially those working in the biological fields, are the first to know we, humans, are animals tied to an ecosystem. And yet, so many continue to act as if a separation exist, continually re-enacting this fictional hierarchy.⁠

What is your take on this? How do you think questioning our connection to the Other-than-Human community for the sake of science affects our relationship with it?⁠ Let me know on the comment section bellow!

I haven’t read the book Biophilia by E. O. Wilson yet, though it’s in my wish list. So stay tuned, as I might review his book in the future. And in case you have read it, let me know what you thought about it in the comment section bellow!

If you found this small article interesting, you might like another text I wrote about Animism. You can read it here.

Hello there! My name is Ana Filipa Piedade and I am a portuguese hide tanner and ancestral skills student, practioner and teacher who finds a lot of joy in sharing about traditional living skills with others. I hope you enjoy this space!

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