The Natural World – The world that developed without man’s influence
The natural world refers to all features of the Earth that were not artificially produced by humans. This encompasses everything from animals to weather to subatomic particles. The word “nature” stems from the Latin term natura, which was used to explain the features of the world which had developed of their own accord. The term was first used to refer to characteristics related to plants. However, its usage has expanded over time to its modern definition.
The natural world can be divided into two realms, the living and the non-living. The living natural world refers to all organisms meeting the generally accepted principles of life. This means it must reproduce without intervention, participate in some metabolic processes, and be capable of growing or adapting. Furthermore, creatures in the living natural world are made up of microscopic cells. All living things are located within Earth’s biosphere and considered part of the global biomass.
The non-living natural world refers to features of the Earth and its atmosphere which are not alive and were not created through artificial processes. This includes weather phenomena, minerals, water, and other naturally forming chemical compounds. The most popular fields of study related to this non-living realm are geology and meteorology.
Frequently, interest in the natural world relates to how Earth’s features can assist mankind. Humans have always subsisted by using various features of the natural world for food, clothing, shelter, and other basic needs. Today, studies of various plant species and animal traits may be able to reveal cures for diseases or locate new food sources. Research also highlights the usability of natural products for manufacturing, construction, and energy.
Some scientists focus on the reverse relationship; how the natural world is impacted by humans. One popular topic of study is global warming. Thus, researchers review the effects of artificial chemicals on the atmosphere to determine their overall impact. Researchers also investigate man’s effect on animal life and the functioning of various ecosystems. This often reveals the negative impact of artificial devices, such as the depopulation of a species.
In addition to scientific study, many people profess a special spiritual connection to the natural world. Throughout history, numerous religious faiths and belief systems have focused on appreciating features of the naturally occurring world. Most commonly, a greater spirit or deity is considered responsible for creating and maintaining features of nature. Additionally, some philosophies consider the natural wilderness to be the ultimate location for personal enlightenment. Thus, natural settings are frequently sought for meditative practices and certain spiritual rituals.
Studying the natural world involves observing how things exist, behave, and change without artificial interference. Although research in this field has been conducted for millennia, there are still many topics related to the natural world that we do not thoroughly understand. For example, the concept of evolution, which is the natural change and adaptation of organisms over time, is greatly debated by experts in the field. Furthermore, scientists theorize that there are still thousands of plant and animal species not yet discovered by man. Thus, there is still must to study within the natural world.
John W. Martin