This word indicates the lasting impact of human activities on our natural surroundings. This influence has reached such a point of significance that it will leave an eternal researchable print on the surface of our planet. It resembles the geological markings that were left behind by other huge impacts on our planet and its lifeforms, s.a. climate changes, volcanic eruptions, meteorite impacts, ice-ages, etc. Those eras have received a particular name because of the unique traceable combinations of environmental impact and interaction with the existence and evolution of life, the appearance and disappearance of species and evolutionary patterns. Anthropocene is the very first era that can be attributed to the behavior of a single species, the human being.
This Anthropocene is hence the very first conscious act of destruction, pollution and manipulation. It does not mean that the consciousness is done entirely on purpose. It is a consequence of an evolutionary development of a human society that has avoided, neglected or remained unaware of the need for harmonic relationships with our universe. This awareness is now reaching the awakening consciousness of the species, demanding the intense and urgent modification of societal structuring that evolved over many millenia. The question that arises today is whether the required transformation is at all possible, considering the way the species deals with power, authority, aggression and greed in its structuring of responsibilities. Lots of modern talks consider the need to define ethics, spirituality and morality in our behavior and social organization. Hardly any reflection occurs yet on a much more serious consequence of the Anthropocene: the genetic anthropocene!
Genetic footprint of pollution
The human consists of rational intelligence which becomes aware of the Anthropocene from the traditional external sensory point of view. It is a challenge of course to translate this rational into behavioral changes that allow our species to progress in a sustainable manner. A lot of effort goes into transforming our industrial, manufacturing and logistic activities. What we have neglected in our quest for material abundance is that we are also beings with physical properties that are equivalent to those of our surroundings. From a molecular composition point of view we do not differ from our natural environment. The molecules come together to shape a human life around a purpose yet the quality of the assembly is a good as the quality of the surrounding components. Pollution in our environment is equivalently present inside our physical system. Our body is a complex machinery of harmonically interacting elements that involves the entire evolutionary complexity since the big bang. Our molecular composition and our enrichment through sensory interaction with our environment, is a mirror image of the consciousness of the surrounding universe about which we reflect. Pollution is part of that, when it occurs, and influences in exactly the same degree our composition and awareness.
What does this mean?
It means that our genetic coding is including the physical and psychological disorder that the pollution of our environment is providing. This is measurable through science. Many other species show genetic disorder already due to the Anthropocene. Some have mutuations that mutulate their existance and evolutionary chances. Others, especially on bacterial level adjust to such an extend that they become a threat to human kind.
Genetic research has found in the last few years the codes that predict the chances of any person to suffer a disorder in life. Right now this research is done from a material perspective to determine how much health insurance someone may have to pay when society becomes aware that a certain illness is more or less likely to occur. The morality of such conclusions is of course highly disputable but the same research can show that the same genetics show an Anthropocene too in our genetical footprint. In practical reality we see that more and more people suffer cancer and other types of health problems. Archaeological research on mummies, skeletons and other human remains of our history confirm this tendency.
There are of course scientists that refuse to admit this. Some simply believe that the growing problems in health are a consequence of a longer life expectancy and improved scientific level of knowledge and maintenance of statistics. This is ridiculous of course. Why accept the disorder and mutations in animals, insects and plants, and not in the human species. We are the same as our environment!
This is an even more serious consequence then the effects of the Anthropocene itself. Even if we manage to adjust our behavior we will eternally show the scars of our Anthropocene in our own genetic anthropocene, with all the related consequences in our own evolutionary quality of life. Harmony with our surroundings is therefor an issue of universal ethics that urgently needs to be introduced in our systems of law, morality and behavior.