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This learning module is part of a series of modules that seeks to help students develop human-nature relational values. Relational values are more readily developed when the methods employed reference species/environments/landscapes/situations that students are familiar with already and may encounter during their everyday lives. In this activity students are asked to consider whether nature is in balance. The idea that nature is in balance extends deep into human history, but modern scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that nature is not in balance. Despite scientific evidence, the perception that nature is stable or in balance persists in human culture. This activity challenges misconceptions about how nature changes over time, demonstrates that this fallacy extends far back into human history, and explores our current scientific understanding.

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Nature; Environmental ethics; Values;

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Curricular Materials


Biology | Philosophy




This learning module was developed as part of a 2018-2019 NEH Human Connections grant to Rowan University faculty titled Cultivating the Environmental Humanities. This content is copyright 2019 by the author and must be properly attributed (see Recommended Citation). Contact the author for reuse permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Are Humans Natural? Part 2: Exploring Human-Nature Relational Values and the Balance of Nature