Anglo-Germanic Writers’ Influence on Popular Environmental Thinking Research Paper

Although, it now became a commonplace practice among particularly ‘progressive’ social activists to blame Western civilization on account of its environmental unfriendliness, the objective analysis points out to the fact that it is namely in Western societies, where people have traditionally been concerned with trying to preserve nature. The soundness of this suggestion can be well illustrated even today.

For example; whereas, in Nigeria it is being considered absolutely normal by the residents of country’s even biggest cities to dump garbage onto the street, right in front of their shabby houses1, in such Western countries as Britain, Sweden and Germany, one may very well end up facing administrative charges for even as little as throwing a cigarette butt anywhere else but into specially designed garbage bins.

And, the reason why, as compared to the people from Third World countries, Westerners appear to grow ever more environmentally aware is simple. As history indicates, the more a particular society is being affected by scientific progress, the less its members require natural resources to sustain their physical existence, which in its turn creates objective preconditions for them to consider adopting friendly stance towards the nature. In other words, the notions of environmental friendliness and scientific progress are very much.2

This is precisely the reason why it is specifically Anglo-Saxon societies, which have traditionally been considered the most technologically advanced, that continue to feature world’s highest environmental standards. In our paper, we will aim to substantiate the full soundness of this suggestion by exploring how creative writings and visual artworks from Anglo/Germanic authors, concerned with popularizing the objective essence of natural laws, contributed towards increasing the extent of public’s environmental awareness in 19th and 20th centuries.

When we assess the qualitative subtleties of Western civilization’s socio-cultural and scientific progress, from the time of antiquity until today, a very striking picture will emerge – the pace of this progress appears to have been gaining exponential momentum during the time of antiquity (5th century B.C. – 5th century A.D.) and during the time of comparatively modern era (15th-20th centuries).

However, during the course of so-called Dark Ages (6th – 14th centuries), the pace of Western socio-cultural and scientific progress came to virtually a complete stall – all thanks to Catholic Christianity.3 Therefore, it comes as not a particular surprise that it was specifically the exposure of Biblical fables’ anti-scientific essence, on the part of European most prominent intellectuals, which created the initial preconditions for Western civilization to be set back on its natural track of development.4

And, there can be very little doubt that Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) was one of these intellectuals. In his poetical work The Botanic Garden; a Poem in Two Parts, supplemented by scientific commentaries, Darwin went about promoting a revolutionary idea that people and plants are being subjected to the same laws of nature.

In its turn, this implied plants’ sexuality: “The first buds of tree raised from seed die annually and are succeeded by new buds by solitary reproduction; which are larger or more perfect for several suc­cessive years, and then they produce sexual flowers, which are succeeded by seminal repro­duction”.5

Nevertheless, it were not the explicit references to the very notion of sexuality, quite unconventional for its time, which ensured Darwin poem’s progressive sounding, but the fact that this poem suggested the physiological origins of a number of purely metaphysical notions, such as ‘soul’. As a result, Darwin’s poem ended up promoting clearly positivist message that it is the existence that defines consciousnesses, and not the other way around.

As it was noted by Reed: “If life, mind, and feeling are concomitants of the arrangement of organs and of a fluid ether in animal bodies, what role was left for either God or the soul? Erasmus Darwin… argued that the way we act is a function of our upbringing—of social, not divine intervention”.6

It goes without saying, of course, that such Darwin’s botanical stance was wholly inconsistent with the very spirit of anthropocentrism, based upon Judeo-Christian tradition, which contributed rather substantially to poem’s scientific value. After all, even during the course of 18th century, Church continued to exert a strong influence onto the essence of socio-political dynamics in British society.

And yet, Darwin proved himself intellectually honest and courageous enough to utilize his poetic talent for the purposes of enlightenment, while defying the conventions of anthropocentrism. What is particularly interesting, in this respect, is the fact that he went about accomplishing it by the mean of endowing plants with clearly anthropocentric psychological traits – whatever the ironic it might sound.

In The Botanic Garden; a Poem in Two Parts, flowers are being represented as such that can experience a variety of different emotions:

Whilst erythrina o’er her tender flower

Bends all her leaves, and braves the sultry

hour;—

Shield, when cold hesper sheds his dewy light,

Mimosa’s soft sensations from the night.7

Thus, even though in Darwin’s poem, plants can be formally referred to as God’s creations, under no circumstances can they be referred to as some sort of God’s commodity. Just as it is being the case with people, in this poem, plants appear to have a life of their own.

And, even though The Botanic Garden; a Poem in Two Parts is not being concerned with promotion of the concept of evolution, by being exposed to plants’ sexuality, readers come to suspect the existence of dialectically predetermined links between flora and fauna. Thus, it will not be much of an exaggeration, on our part, to suggest that Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution partially derives out of his grandfather’s insights, in regards to biological commonality between just about all life-forms.

The irony lies in the fact that both: Erasmus and Charles’s insightfulness in the matters of biology appears to be of essentially Lamarckian nature. As Barlow had put it: “Erasmus’s cast of mind appears to hold special heritable qualities… When we examine the achievements and characteristics of his (Charles Darwin’s) forbears and descendants, the copious mind of Erasmus appears as a vast family aggregate”.8

Apparently, the example of Erasmus Darwin shows that in 18th century, the sheer vibrancy of the process of Western empirical sciences freeing themselves out of Christian imprisonment had put era’s most prominent intellectuals at liberty to utilize just about any creative techniques, while popularizing scientific notions.

The legitimacy of an earlier suggestion can be also explored in regards to one of 19th century’s most famous ornithologists John Gould (1804 – 1881). Just as it used to be the case with many intellectually advanced enthusiasts of science at the time, Gould took an interest in a number of scientific pursuits. Contemporaries considered Gould a professional in the fields of taxidermy, gardening, naval navigation and zoology. Nevertheless, it was namely his love of birds, which did not only allow Gould to ensure its fame as ornithologist but also to contribute to the process of Charles Darwin designing the concept of natural selection.

According to Pycior: “Darwin has been described as being ‘frankly stunned’ by Gould’s telling him that the Galapagos finches were a peculiar group of thirteen species, all closely related to one South American finch, that Galapagos mockingbirds belonged to three distinct species from different islands, and that twenty-four of twenty-six land birds were from separate species found nowhere else in the world”.9

Nowadays, Gould is being mostly remembered for his books of lithographic prints The Birds of Australia and The Mammals of Australia, which have been equally praised from scientific and purely artistic points of view. In 1838, Gould and his wife Elizabeth, who proved herself being rather indispensable helper to its husband, travelled to Australia, in order to collect specimens for future lithographic prints.

After having spent more than two years there, while travelling extensively across the country, John and Elizabeth came up with descriptions of 681 bird species, out of which, 328 were previously unknown. Following his return to Britain in 1840, it has taken Gould another eight years to secure enough subscriptions for book’s (The Birds of Australia) eventual publishing.

The subscribers, however, never felt sorry for deciding in favor of helping Gould to publish his book, because apart from having experienced an aesthetic pleasure, while exposed to beautifully reproduced and utterly realistic images of Australian birds, they were able to enlighten themselves on how these birds came to being, in the first place. In the Introduction to The Birds of Australia, Gould suggested that: “Geological researches into the structure of the globe show that a succession of physical changes have modified its surface from the earliest period up to the present time and that these changes have been accompanied with variations in the phases of animal and vegetable life”.

10 The clearly defined evolutionary sounding of this statement is quite apparent. Therefore, there is nothing particularly odd about the fact that Gould’s book did not only stimulate environmental awareness in readers but also encouraged them to access a number of environmental issues through the lenses of science – hence, benefiting them rather immensely, in intellectual sense of this word.

The full appropriateness of utilization of lithographic prints, as the method of prompting people to indulge in environmental thinking, has also been proven by Ernst Haeckel (1834 – 1919) – probably the most prominent German naturalist philosopher of all times. After having met with Darwin, and after having indulged into extensive research as to what can be considered the leading principle of evolution, Haeckel came to define this principle as the continuously increasing complexity of organic forms, without the involvement of any ‘divine powers’, whatsoever.

As it was pointed out by Gliboff: “Haeckel’s (evolutionary) system expressly ruled out teleology, divine providence, and any special biological determinism”.11 This, however, did not prevent Haeckel from referring to the process of evolution in essentially quasi-religious terms, which later extrapolated itself in Haeckel’s formulation of the concept of Monism, which he defined as ‘natural religion’, meant to appeal to intellectually advanced but idealistically minded atheists.

According to Holt: “Haeckel used the term’ natural religion’ in a dual sense: as a deistic counterpart to ‘revealed’ religion and as a general term describing a worshipful attitude toward the ‘wonders’ of nature”.12 Apparently, being an extreme idealist himself, Haeckel could not help admiring nature as ‘god-in-making’, as according to him; the purpose of non-organic and organic forms growing ever more complex will eventually result in predetermined evolutionary emergence of specie of semi-Gods.

Even a brief glimpse at Haeckel’s book of lithographic and autotype prints Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms of Nature), provides us with the insight into what was the actual motivation behind his conceptualization of Monism. As it appears from this book, it is not only that Haeckel considered the striking symmetry of even the most primitive organisms as being divine, in evolutionary rather than in theistic sense of this word, but as the actual source of people’s artistic inspirations: “Ernst Haeckel observed long ago that all artistic forms are derivative from natural forms.

This is true of structure, columns, decoration of buildings, the role of ‘repetition’ in a stylistic pattern, etc”.13 Such Haeckel’s idea was truly innovative, because before him, people’s endowment with the sense of aesthetic finesse used to be referred to as the proof that Homo Sapiens specie came to being through the act of conscious creation, on the part of some tribal God, rather than as the result of apes’ continuous evolutionary development.

In Kunstformen der Natur, however, Haeckel had shown that, even though the symmetrical complexity of viruses and bacteria appear being divinely inspired, which might presuppose that these organisms were ‘created’, it is namely blind transmutations, that never ceased affecting organisms’ genomes over the course of millions and millions of years, that eventually accounted for their observable symmetry.

And, given the fact that people find organic symmetry aesthetically pleasing14, it would only be logical to conclude that, just as it is being the case with Haeckel’s radiolarians, they are nothing but the product of evolution: “The original principles of esthetic appraisal are embedded in the forms of the natural world, as found therein by our senses consciously or unconsciously and abstracted therefrom”.15

The fact even today, books meant to popularize the concept of evolution to the general public, usually feature colorful illustrations of already extinct animals, confirm the full appropriateness of utilization of a variety of creative techniques, while promoting the notion environmental awareness.

As it was stated earlier, throughout history, Christian Church never ceased opposing those scientific notions that undermined the validity of its anthropocentric dogmas. This partially explains why, before the beginning of Industrial revolution, Europe stood on the brink of environmental catastrophe. For example, by the end of 18th century, there were virtually no forests left in Europe – almost all the trees had been cut down to build ships.16

The absence of sewers resulted in turning even Europe’s largest cities into smelly cloakas, where residents used to dispose of waste in a manner commonly practiced by the citizens of today’s Third World countries. Nevertheless, as time went on, more and more of Europe’s intellectuals started to realize that sheer counter-productiveness of anthropocentric philosophy, as such that stood in striking opposition to objectively existing laws of nature.

One of such intellectuals was Alexander von Humboldt (1769 – 1859) – an encyclopedically educated German naturalist, philosopher, geographer, geologist, botanist, zoologist and meteorologist. Throughout the course of his life, Humboldt never stopped experiencing the urge to explore unexplored lands, to invent life-enhancing gadgets and to encourage people to act in respectful manner towards the nature.

It is quite impossible to reveal the full scope of Humboldt’s contribution to Western science. For example, during his five-years-long travel to South America (1799-1804), which is now being commonly referred to as ‘America’s second discovery’, Humboldt collected the specimens of 4500 plants alone, explored previously uncharted parts of Orinoco and Amazon rivers, and conducted a number of astronomical experiments, which provided exact geographical locations to the multitude of continent’s towns and villages.

Nevertheless, it is not solely due to the sheer number of Humboldt’s scientific contributions that his legacy continues to be remembered. Being an extremely open-minded individual for its time, in his book Aspects of Nature in Different Lands and Different Climates; with Scientific Elucidations, Humboldt also succeeded in convincing readers to abandon their Christianity-induced belief in an unchanging nature men’s superiority over other forms of organic life, based upon clearly tribalistic assumption that ‘God favors men among his other creations’.

In the very Preface to his book, Humboldt articulated the motivations behind its publishing with perfect clarity: “Throughout the entire work I have sought to indicate the unfailing influence of external nature on the feelings, the moral dispositions, and the destinies of man”.17 Therefore, it does not come as much of a surprise that many contemporary authors point out at Humboldt’s environmental progressiveness as one of his most distinctive psychological traits.

According to Sachs: “Humboldt stood apart from nature to observe its mysterious workings yet also included himself in its realm. He had an almost postmodern awareness that nature and culture are inextricably linked, yet he also felt a pro­found respect for nature’s differentness”.18

The example of Humboldt proves that, once a particular individual dedicates itself to exploring the nature, it becomes only the matter of time before his or her anthropocentric anxieties weaken considerably. Apparently, while staying in close touch with natural environment for continuous period of time, one simply cannot help beginning to awe the works of nature as such that emanate the actual spirit of divinity.

Just as it used to be the case with Humboldt, John James Audubon (1785 –1851) was the man of great many talents. After all, during his early years, Audubon had proven himself as an industrious tradesman, carpenter, painter and traveler. Nevertheless, it was namely his fascination with America’s wildlife (namely birds), which contributed the most towards making of Audubon’s personality and consequently, ensured his place upon the pedestal of great Americans.

The very biography of America’s most celebrated ornithologist leaves very few doubts as to the fact that, as time went on; his love of birds was becoming ever more stronger. This was the reason why, despite the fact that during the course of his middle-life, when Audubon was experiencing an acute financial hardship, he nevertheless decided to drop all of his other pursuits in favor of dedicating himself to what he considered the actual purpose of its life – compiling the complete illustrated catalogue of America’s birds The Birds of America.

And, although Audubon went through much of a pain, while securing subscriptions for his yet-to-be-published book, which would contain hand-colored engraved prints of the birds, he nevertheless succeed it with. Just as it being often the case with emanations of Western ingenuity, the sheer quality of Audubon’s prints compensated for the lack of quantity.

Even though it is now being assumed that no more than two hundred copies of The Birds of America have ever been produced, the scientific and aesthetic value of each of the copy can hardly be overestimated. As it was pointed by Rourke and MacDonald: “Not more than two hundred complete sets of the ‘Birds’ were published; but with all the changes and disasters and interruptions in the course of these years (1827-1838), this represented an almost miraculous achievement”.19

In part, it was due to Audubon’s unwavering belief in the beneficence of his undertaking that allowed him to reach his primary objective in life. Nevertheless, there is not only an aesthetic but also a philosophical aspect to Audubon’s The Birds of America. Because, just as it is being the case with Gould’s The Birds of Australia, this book features author’s commentaries, there can be little doubt as to the fact that one of the foremost purposes for its publishing.

Audubon considered endowing readers with the spirit of environmental awareness – quite inconsistent with the conventions of Judeo-Christian morality, which defined the essence of early 19th century’s Western living: “Audubon often invited his readers into his natural history by dramatizing and anthropomorphizing the behavior of birds and other animals.

Typically, he also created a moral lesson to be learned from his representations of the natural world”.20 Unlike many of today’s hypocritical celebrities, who strive to ensure their continuous popularity by participating in ‘save the whales’ or ‘hug the trees’ campaigns, Audubon never aimed to delegitimize the very act of hunting. After all, it was namely hunting that, on many occasions, represented the only source of Audubon’s subsidence.

This, however, did not lessen the strength of his determination to popularize respectful attitude towards the wildlife, which explains why the theme of nature’s preservation appears dominant not only in The Birds of America but also in the number of his published travelling accounts. This is the reason why nowadays, Audubon is being considered one of American environmentalist movement’s fathers.

However, it was not until the publishing of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life in 1859, that the very premise of Western religion-based anthropocentrism has been undermined to the point that, as of today, only the ignorant Bible-thumpers who may seriously believe in its soundness.

The historical significance of The Origin of Species simply cannot be underestimated, due to the sheer universality of ideas, contained in it. Therefore, it is not surprising that Darwin’s book did not only revolutionize biology, but also philosophy and political science. As it was pointed out by Dawkins: “Living organisms had existed on Earth, without ever knowing why, for over three thousand million years before the truth finally dawned on one of them.

His name was Charles Darwin”.21 In its turn, this explains the utter hostility, on the part of Christian’ lambs of God’, which continues to define their attitude towards the name of Charles Darwin even today. The reason for this is simple – apart from outlining biological mechanisms of evolution, Darwin’s theory also exposes professional moralists from religion as being nothing but social parasites, which have ceased developing intellectually and therefore, represent humanity’s burden.22

Ever since Darwin had published his revolutionary book, it will always be religion trying to adjust its outdated notions to science and not the vice versa, as it used to be the case during the time of Dark Ages. What Darwin was able to achieve is proving that the actual stimulus behind the fantastic variety of different life-forms is an ongoing process of natural selection:

“It may metaphorically be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers”.23

According to Darwin, it is the fact that some species were able to take advantage of being continuously affected by spontaneous mutations, which allowed them to ensure their biological survival – hence, their seemingly ‘designed’ complexity: “Thanks to Darwin, it is no longer true to say that nothing that we know looks designed unless it is designed.

Evolution by natural selection produces an excellent simulacrum of design, mounting prodigious heights of complexity and elegance”.24 During the course of his trip on H.M.S. Beagle, Darwin used to observe striking variations in the appearance of representatives of single sub-species, such as Galápagos tortoise, for example. Yet, it was not until the time when Darwin had applied a great deal of effort, while classifying Bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla), that it had dawned upon him that the deviations in these birds’ appearance directly correspond to the particularities of a surrounding environment.

In its turn, this allowed Darwin to conclude that the very notion of biological variety is functionally purposeful and that we cannot refer to it as simply the consequence of God’s ancient desire to please Adam and Eve’s eyes. The implications of such Darwin’s discovery are clear – people’s anthropocentric anxieties, sublimated in world’s monotheistic religions, are nothing but the remnants of their deep-seated psychological bestiality.

Whatever the paradoxically it may sound – in order for us to be able to overcome our inner ‘monkey’, we must recognise the fact that we have evolved from monkeys, in the first place. Moreover, we will also have to recognise the fact that the specie of Homo Sapiens is not the final product of evolution. As it was prophesized by Nietzsche: “What is the ape to men? A laughing stock or a painful embarrassment.

And just so shall man be to the Superman – a laughing stock or a painful embarrassment”.25 Therefore, it is fully explainable why it is namely in highly secularized Western countries, where citizens are able to enjoy clean natural environment along with world’s highest standards of living26; whereas, in highly ‘spiritual’ but filth-ridden Third World countries, the value of human life has always been and will continue to be utterly low.

Apparently, the endowment with religion-based anthropocentrism is what prevents people from becoming humans, in full sense of this word, which in its turn, undermines the extent of their environmental awareness. What it means is that, if Western civilization sustains a defeat in its current confrontation with Muslim world, it will also have a negative impact on planet’s natural environment – as history shows, anthropocentrically-minded religious people do not think that there is any wrong about living in their filth.

One of foremost preconditions that ensure Western societies’ continuous well-being is the fact that, despite being subjected to the oppression of political correctness, the ideologues of which strive to transform Western countries into primarily Socialist’ welfare states’, many native-born Whites continue to profess the value of individualism.

The reason for this is apparent – people’s inborn sense of existential individualism is what fuels the proper functioning of free-market economy. In its turn, the proper functioning of such an economy creates ‘surplus value’, which provides an additional momentum to the pace of scientific progress. And, as we have mentioned earlier – the more technologically advanced a particular society is, the less it requires natural resources to sustain the physical existence of its members.27

What it means is that the concepts of individual liberty and environmental friendliness organically derive out of each other. Therefore, it does not come as a particular surprise that there is a strongly defined environmental sounding to the works of Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), in which he promotes the values of individualism. Apparently, he knew that the government played rather a modest role in creating prerequisites for the U.S. to become world’s greatest country.

As it was pointed out in one of his most prominent essays On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, it was namely American citizens’ ability to explore their inborn sense of existential idealism in a socially-productive manner, which resulted in turning America into nothing less of a paradise on Earth: “The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way”.28

It goes without saying, of course, that such Thoreau’s idea is being not only inconsistent with Protestant belief that it is solely the exposure to ‘God’s blessing’, which ensures the well-being of a particular society’s, but also with the central dogma of political-correctness, based upon the irrational belief in people’s equality, regardless of the specifics of their physiological/genetic constitution.

After all, it is not a secret for today’s intellectually honest biologists, psychologists and sociologists that the essence of people’s psychological traits, as well as their varying ability to operate with abstract categories, defined by the rate of their Intellectual Quotidian (I.Q.), is being somewhat genetically than socially predetermined.29

Therefore, it will not be much of an exaggeration, on our part, to suggest that, just as it was the case with anti-anthropocentric ideas of Galileo Galilee and Giordano Bruno, the ideas of Henry Thoreau had proven little too advanced for their time, which partially explains Thoreau’s tendency to indulge in social withdrawal.

This, however, does not undermine these ideas’ validity, as they are being entirely consistent with Darwinian Theory of Evolution – the extent of people’s environmental friendliness is proportionally related to the extent of their existential complexity/evolutionary value, which in its turn is being reflected by the extent of their predisposition towards professing the values of individualism, secularism and cosmopolitism.

The validity of an earlier statement can be explored in regards to the biographies and the works of American two other famous naturalists – John Muir (1838–1914) and John Burroughs (1837–1921). Despite the fact that, throughout the course of his early years, Muir never ceased being subjected to religious brainwashing, on the part of his father.

After having reached an adulthood and after having spent a few years living in Yosemite Valley, he transformed his Christian beliefs into a form of heathen pantheism, which considers impersonal nature of being the actual ‘God’. As it was rightly noted by Leighly: “His (Muir’s) ‘theism’ was very close to pantheism. The God whose name he frequently uses is not one that would find a place in any dogmatic theology”.30

Moreover, while continuing to remain highly idealistic individual, Muir considered it his duty to popularize nature’s holiness, whenever opportunity presented itself. This explains why the theme of pantheistic divinity defines the semantic content of most of his published works. For example, in A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf Muir comes up with a thought-provoking rhetorical question: “Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation?

The universe would be incomplete without man; but it would also be incomplete without the smallest transmicroscopic creature that dwells beyond our conceitful eyes and knowledge”.31 And, given the fact that, during the course of his lifetime, Muir was considered one of the most influential American authors, there is nothing utterly surprising that he did, in fact, succeed with convincing great many citizens to assess nature’s beauty through the lenses of ‘preservation’, rather than through the lenses of ‘conservation’.

Essentially the same thesis can be utilized when it comes to discussing what should be considered John Burroughs’s (1837–1921) contribution towards the process of more and more Americans adopting environmental awareness, as an integral element of their existential mode.

After all, just as it used to be the case with Muir, Burroughs never became tired of exposing the works of nature as such radiate the spirit of true divinity: “We now use the word Nature very much as our fathers used the word God, and, I suppose, back of it all we mean the power that is everywhere present and active, and in whose lap the visible universe is held and nourished”.32

And, the foremost characteristic of such a spirit is the fact that it is being conceptually irreconcilable with the notion of religious moralism: “Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral”.33 The sheer progressiveness of Burroughs’s environmental ethics only became apparent during the last decades of 20th century, associated with the rapid decline of Christianity’s influence.

The fact that in Western countries, the same decades are being also associated with the process of ‘green’ political parties beginning to contribute towards defining the very essence of socio-political discourses, we can safely assume that the efforts, aimed at increasing the extent of people’s environmental awareness, on the part of earlier mentioned naturalists, did not go in vain.

As we have pointed out in the Introduction, there good reasons to think that it was not by an accident that it has always been intellectually and spiritually liberated Westerners advancing the cause of preservation of natural environment. The very essence of historical dialectics, defined by evolutionary laws, created objective preconditions for this to happen.

We believe that the earlier conducted analysis of what accounted for Anglo/Germanic most prominent environmental enthusiasts’ ability to promote environmental awareness among people, by the mean of exposing the methodological fallaciousness of anthropocentric views on nature, is being entirely consistent with paper’s initial thesis.

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Footnotes

1 Azuka Dike, ‘Environmental Problems in Third World Cities: A Nigerian Example’, Current Anthropology, 26/4 (1985), 503.

2 Joel Mokyr, ‘Technological Progress and the Decline of European Mortality’, The American Economic Review, 83/2 (1993), 325.

3 Andrew Keitt, ‘Religious Enthusiasm, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Disenchantment of the World’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 65/2 (2004), 233.

4 Arthur Melzer, ‘The Origin of the Counter-Enlightenment: Rousseau and the New Religion of Sincerity’, The American Political Science Review, 90/2 (1996), 350.

5 E. Darwin, Botanic Garden, a Poem, in Two Parts; Containing the Economy of Vegetation and The Loves of Plants, with Philosophical Notes (London: Jones & Company, 1825), 23.

6 E. Reed, From Soul to Mind: The Emergence of Psychology from Erasmus Darwin to William James (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), 15.

7 Darwin. Op. Cit. 66.

8 Nora Barlow, ‘Erasmus Darwin, F.R.S. (1731-1802)’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, 14/1 (1959), 85.

9 H. Pycior, Creative Couples in the Sciences (New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press, 1996), 89.

10 J. Gould, The Birds of Australia: in Seven Volumes (London: Richard and John Taylor, 1848), 28. http://nla.gov.au/nla.aus-f4773-1.

11 S. Gliboff, H.G. Bronn, Ernst Haeckel, and the Origins of German Darwinism: a Study in Translation and Transformation (Cambridge: Mass MIT Press, 2008), 156.

12 Niles Holt, ‘Ernst Haeckel’s Monistic Religion’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 32/2 (1971), 270.

13 Max Rieser, ‘Three Principles of Natural Beauty’, The Journal of Philosophy, 53/11 (1956), 355.

14 Harold McWhinnie, ‘A Biological Basis for the Golden Section in Art and Design’, Leonardo, 22/1 (1989), 61.

15 Reiser, Op. Cit. 356.

16 Nicholas Kyriazis, ‘Seapower and Socioeconomic Change’, Theory and Society, 35/1 (2006), 75.

17 A. Humboldt. Aspects of Nature in Different Lands and Different Climates; with Scientific Elucidations (London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1849), ix. http://www.archive.org/stream/aspectsofnaturei01humbuoft#page/viii/mode/2up.

18 Aaron Sachs, ‘The Ultimate ‘Other’: Post-Colonialism and Alexander Von Humboldt’s Ecological Relationship with Nature’, History and Theory, 42/4 (2003), 119.

19 C. Rourke & J. MacDonald, Audubon (New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1936), 284.

20 P. Murphy,T. Gifford & K. Yamazato, Literature of Nature: An International Sourcebook (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998), 172.

21 R. Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976), 3.

22 R. Dawkins. The Blind Watchmaker (London: Longmans, 1986), 13.

23 C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, [1859]1996), 70.

24 R. Dawkins, The God Delusion (London: Bantam Press, 2006), 79.

25 F. Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (New York: Algora Publishing, [1891] 2003), 75.

26 K.. Dobbelaere, Secularization: An Analysis at Three Levels (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2004), 167.

27 Christopher Hoag, ‘The Atlantic Telegraph Cable and Capital Market Information Flows’, The Journal of Economic History 66/2 (2006), 350.

28 H. Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, FeedBooks.Com [web page] (2007) <http:// generation.feedbooks.com/book/219.pdf>.

29 R. Lynn & T. Vanhanen, IQ and the Wealth of Nations (Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002), 63.

30 John Leighly, ‘John Muir’s Image of the West’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 48/4 (1958), 312.

31 J. Muir. A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916), 139.

32 J. Burroughs. The Gospel of Nature, ReadBookOnline.Net [web page] (2011) <http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/21513/>.

33 Ibid., 2011.

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