It seems humans believe one of two things about human life, either
1. Humans are insignificant
2. Humans are the most significant species.
these can be framed in different arguments.
Humans are insignificant is an undervaluing of themselves as a species. They think it makes them sound ‘modest’ or ironically ‘enlightened’ ironic because to believe you’re enlightened is to believe your superior to everyone else therefore you sort of crown yourself as the significant one, it’s everyone else who is insignificant for noticing how insignificant they are.
Humans are the ‘more evolved’ (people who say ‘more evolved’ don’t understand evolutuion.) There is no ‘more evolved’ since this implies an eventual ‘perfect’ species. Evolution isn’t quite like those pictures of apes forming into humans in a row. Evolution doesn’t happen in step by step process quite like that, though the images are good at showing the similiarities and the gradual changes between one particular species into another. Anyway I digress, to say Humans are the ‘more evolved’ or the most significant species is overvaluing humans as a species.
Both points of view seem to have difficulty seeing us as within the natural cycle itself. The insignificant line of thinking, that we don’t have much or any impact on the world, implied with this is that nature itself happens around us and we’re not a part of it. “That thing out there, thats natural forces, nothing to do with humans”
And to see us as the most significant species, erases the fact we act within nature and while we do have some impact on the world so does everything else in it, we have some significance but we’re not the most significant. We are within nature, not outside of nature. We don’t build outside of nature, we build within nature for better or for worse. but so do other animals.
We have significance in that we have great numbers of us and we’re multiplying, meaning we build more homes, cause more construction and with that destruction aswell.
Both points of view are a bit wrong and a bit right.
Humanity as a whole is significant, not in the sense that humans are important in a superior sense. We’re simply important in the life cycle and ecosystem that exists today. That doesn’t make us some brilliant magnificent species, it makes us the same as other species in that we simply play a role in the ecosystem. We can debate till the cows come home what is superior in the sense of which species can the most, which species has the best talent or whatever else you want to quanitfy. But all that aside we are simply like the other animals, we are fullfilling a role in the ecosystem.
You your individual self? You are insignificant. You as an individual would only become significant if the human race began to decline so much so that not many people were left and you were one of the very few left.
It is not humans that are insignificant, it is yourself.